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Water management

Fresh water is a scarce resource that is vital for the sustainability of our societies and economies. Water is particularly important for food production. As water availability comes under increasing strain in future, this will have a significant effect on our industry. Water consumption and waste water quality are subject to stringent regulations. As a result, water management is a major sustainability priority for us.

Wastewater quality

To maintain high standards of wastewater quality, almost all of our sugar factories have their own efficient biological wastewater treatment plants. These reduce the organic load of all effluent water by more than 90 per cent before it is reused for irrigation or returned to local water sources.

Because of this we meet the stringent EU quality requirements for discharge of water into surface water channels.

Impact

Water consumption from own well, groundwater and municipal water per tonne of sugar has been fairly constant since 2009. However, it fluctuates somewhat from year to year depending on abiotic environmental conditions such as temperature, sun and rain as well as the product mix. In 2011, for instance, the abiotic conditions were extremely good and our water consumption was lower than usual.

- Our beet factories are net water producers.
- Our sugar factories reuse water up to 20 times.
- All beet factories but one have their own efficient biological water treatment plants.