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Modern Beer Brewery

Nature - Water Efficiency

Beverage Manufacturing


Site Operations


Water Footprint Assessment, Strategy and Guide, 30% Water Reduction


The availability of freshwater is a global concern, not only for human consumption but for business operations and long term resilience.  Water scarcity is particularly relevant in the food and agricultural industry, which accounts for 70% of freshwater withdrawals.

This project summary reflects work with a Fortune 100 beverage company to proactively mitigate water-related business risks and improve resource efficiency.  The location selected for this project was one of the Company's largest bottlers in the US with a long term goal to achieve an efficiency of 1.1 gallons of water to 1 gallon of product.

Project Overview

Problem Statement


How can we make dramatic strides in water efficiency while maintaining product quality and continuity of operations?

Previous attempts to reduce water use were focused explicitly on water within the finished product and yielded limited improvements.  Given previous challenges to progress, we conducted a review of available information to gain insight into broader site operations.  The process highlighted several key findings, one of which was a dramatic gap between water flows into the facility and that being used within the product.  The distance between the volumes was surprising.  Given this information, the team elected to focus on what seemed to be a significant conservation opportunity in supporting operations.

As much of the information we needed was anchored in employee expertise, we took a hands-on approach to working with production, quality and maintenance crews throughout the project. The team devoted time to understanding water flows for the supporting process types and identifying opportunities for reduction.  

The findings of our assessment were structured to provide clearly-defined opportunities for each stakeholder group, prioritized by impact and time, and relevance to the business.  This reporting approach proved fruitful with strong site engagement.


The effect of our work was immediate and significant.  Within 6 weeks, site water use was reduced 30% with no impact to quality or production processes.  Additionally, with a prioritized set of opportunities, the site was well-positioned to pursue additional activities that fit with their business priorities.

These swift and meaningful results were made possible through the team's inclusion of practical implementation guidance for several key projects, which eased the management burden on operational teams and expedited implementation.

In addition to direct water conservation, the project provided synergistic benefits in reduced energy use by cooling units and water treatment systems and through reduced water supply and sewerage costs.  The project serves as a great example of how the positive impacts of resource efficiency can extend beyond a particular material of focus and into other areas of the business.






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