What's your water footprint?
Examining water usage and sustainability efforts in bakeries.
BakingBusiness.com, March 29, 2011
by Dan Malovany

When the Toronto, ON-based Pineridge Group examines its water usage, the company looks at more than what its bakeries are using to make their products or clean their facilities, including its Oakrun Farm Bakery and Gourmet Baker operations. Rather, the sustainability program gauges its entire environmental and water footprint, including everything from ingredients purchased to packaging and distribution to how consumers use or prepare its products, said Dominic D’Amours, director, sustainable development for the group.

“It not only considers what you are using in your facility, but how much water was involved in, let’s say, the ingredients that you purchased,” Mr. D’Amours said. “The biggest chunk of water usage is sometimes before the ingredients get into your plant.”

Pineridge uses a water footprint and life cycle assessment consultant, Quantis, to help calculate its water footprint. One 30 g slice of bread, for instance, takes about 40 liters of water to produce, according to www.waterfootprint.org. It takes 1,300 liters of water per kg of wheat, 900 liters per kg of maize, 5,000 liters per kg of cheese and 1,000 liters of water per liter of milk, to name a few on the website.

GOING GREEN'S GLOBAL CHALLENGE.

Tokyo, Japan-based Yamazaki Baking has endorsed the Japan Bakery Industry Association’s official environmental action plan that calls for reducing carbon dioxide emissions in production and distribution, among other initiatives. In fact, the company spends about US$70 million per year on environmental expenditures, which have included installing co-generation facilities, switching from heavy oil to natural gas and installing heat pumps and other energy-saving equipment. When it comes to recycling, the company’s motto is, “We will not waste food.” This initiative includes finding secondary markets for waste products, reducing packaging waste and improving recycling efforts.

Read More on the Subject:
Sustainable Practices: Down the Drain