Efforts to minimise water consumption and emission of wastewater from our production and
cleaning processes are a central focus area of our environmental management. In 2020/21, our business units and production facilities in Poland, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark prepared local action plans for how to achieve the targets for reducing water consumption and wastewater emissions. The action plans are based on the mapping of production and cleaning processes and reduction potential to ensure that we concentrate our efforts on investments that have the greatest effect.
Full-scale plant for recycling of water
Danish Crown has teamed up with other food companies, authorities, technology providers,
universities and research institutes to develop and test technologies that could help food companies produce more with less water. The collaboration takes place in the public-private partnership Danish partnership for Resource and water-efficient Industrial food Production (DRIP). We focus on the possibilities of re-circulating and reusing treated process water for new purposes, known as Water fit for purpose without compromising food quality
and food safety.
In 2020/21, we installed and commissioned the first full-scale facility for the recycling of water at our Danish pig abattoir in Horsens, and the facility will commence operations in 2021/22. The plant treats process water from abattoir robots with the help of filtration techniques, ozone flotation and UV technology. Two years of extensive testing in all possible operational situations has documented that process water can be bacterially purified to drinking water quality so the water can be used in other parts of the production process. The new plant is expected to reduce the abattoir’s total water consumption by up to 10 per cent.
Since all our pig abattoirs in Denmark have the same design and layout, there is a significant potential for savings if the solution is implemented at all abattoirs. We will move ahead with this when the facility in Horsens has been running at full-scale for some time and any operating adjustments have been made. We will also examine the possibilities of using the same technology with other water-consuming processes. The next major initiative will be the establishment of a full-scale facility at our Danish food factory in Vejle, which we expect to initiate in 2022/23. A pilot project in 2019/20 showed that it is possible to optimise the water and energy efficiency of autoclave operations where canned meat is cooked. By treating the boiling water with ultra-filtration and UV treatment and reusing it to wash the closed cans externally prior to entering the autoclave, the factory’s total water consumption may be reduced by 10-15 per cent.
We want to reduce water consumption at our production facilities in Denmark, Poland, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands by 40 per cent per produced tonne and the volume of organic matter in wastewater from the production facilities by 30 per cent per produced tonne in 2030 relative to 2019/20.
We support targets 6.3 and 6.4 through efficient water utilisation, increased recycling of water as well as wastewater treatment and minimisation of the emission of organic matter.
Water consumption in m3 per produced tonne
Our water consumption has been relatively constant over the past three years. Based on the
planned initiatives for reducing water consumption, we expect a decrease in coming years.
COD in wastewater in kg per produced tonne
The demonstrated development shows a decreasing trend of the relative content of COD. The reason is not unequivocally different approaches to test measurements over the course of the year. This will be adjusted in the upcoming year.