PECM Issue 23 2016 - Page 72

ESG Water Treatment Services n the food and drink industry, one of the most important responsibilities is to maintain high levels of sanitation throughout the production process. For organisations that bottle beverages, water treatment is a fundamental part of any effective hygiene regime and there are stringent health and safety standards which need to be met. I Historically, organisations have used biocidal products which are based on chemicals such as chlorine, bromine or iodine, to disinfect water systems. However, concerns over their impact on product quality and the environment have led to the development of sanitation methods that don’t rely on halogen-based chemical disinfectants. These are being increasingly utilised by the world’s leading drink producers. Cleaner technologies One such treatment method, which holds a number of benefits for bottlers, involves the use of ozone as a disinfection agent. When dissolved in water, ozone produces an extremely powerful and environmentally friendly biocide through 72 PECM Issue 23 oxidisation, capable of eliminating bacteria, viruses and microbial cysts. Unlike other disinfectants, ozone does not combine with organic materials to create chemical by-products or residues during the sanitation process. In addition, the substance naturally breaks down into oxygen once contaminants have been removed, resulting in minimal product interference. Resource efficiency is another key advantage that comes with the ozonated water as, instead of being flushed away, it can be reclaimed and used countless times. Despite this, the substance is over 50 times more reactive than chlorine, the more traditional alternative, making it a highly efficient disinfection agent. Leading the way One major company, currently making the most of this advanced, non-conventional water treatment technology, is Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland. As one of the largest bottlers in Ireland, the business produces a range of beverages for the island of Ireland from its production plant in Lisburn, County Antrim. With a heavy focus on sustainability, Coca-Cola HBC was recently named global beverage industry in sustainability for the 3rd consecutive year according to Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI). The local business contributes to these results, with ambitious local targets across water, carbon and waste to help the Group achieve these global accreditations. Coca-Cola HBC places a high importance on water stewardship in its operations, making use of local fresh water for its production and cleaning processes. Regular risk assessments are conducted at the plant, and the business aims to ensure that all water is returned to the natural environment in a condition that supports aquatic life. In addition to its environmentally friendly focus, CocaCola HBC commits itself to high internal efficiency standards, incorporating water saving technologies into its production lines and setting its teams stringent targets to meet.