Nestlé’s California Milk Factory to Become ‘Zero Water’ Plant

Nestle milk factory Modesto

by | May 20, 2015

Nestle milk factory ModestoNestlé says it is investing in technology to help reduce the water it uses in California at the five water bottling plants and four facilities where food or petcare products are manufactured.

Last year in Mexico, Nestlé opened its first “zero water” plant, which extracts all the water it needs from milk used to manufacture dairy products.

Work is underway to transform the Nestlé USA milk factory (pictured) in the city of Modesto into a zero water factory, meaning the plant will not use any local freshwater resources for its operations.

The project should save nearly 63 million gallons of water each year, equivalent to 71 percent of absolute withdrawals in 2014, the company says.

Nestlé has invested about $7 million in the project, which is due to be completed by the end of 2016.

At the Nestlé USA factories in Bakersfield and Tulare, the company has identified savings of more than 26 million gallons of water each year, potentially reducing the plants’ absolute annual withdrawals by 12 percent compared to 2014 levels.

Planned investments this year in conservation measures to reduce the amount of water used in Nestlé Waters’ bottling plants in California are projected to save 55 million gallons of water a year, a reduction of nearly 8 percent compared to 2014 levels, the company says.

The zero water factory announcement comes as Nestlé’s water bottling operations in California have been under attack for sourcing water in the drought-stricken state.

Nestlé says the World Resources Institute is helping it to better understand water risks to the company’s food and bottled water manufacturing operations in their localities and to identify water stewardship opportunities.

Nestlé is also working to implement the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) international standard in each of its nine California factories, within two years.

The standard is a set of rigorous criteria for how water should be managed in a way that is environmentally, socially and economically beneficial.


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