April 14 2016

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By: Olivia Mitchell, Marketing Coordinator

Water is one of the most important substances on earth. Apart from needing water to survive, among other things water is essential to the food and beverage industry in order to produce many, if not all, of the industries products. In fact, for most of these companies, water is the key ingredient. In order to secure this vital ingredient, companies are jumping on board to create sustainable practices revolving around protecting water supplies now and for the future.

Paul Schuler, region executive, the Americas – Engineered Systems at GE Water & Process Technologies was interviewed by FoodEngineering to uncover how food and beverage companies are coming together to ensure water sustainability for the environment and for their businesses. Schuler says, “Interestingly, we’ve seen a real spirit of community and “co-opetition” among craft brewers when it comes to sustainable practices and water. These smaller companies are essentially partnering with their competitors to not only make great beer, but to do it in a better way.” By participating in various associations and committees, craft brewers and their larger competitors can learn and grow together in their sustainable practices.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), manufactures of all sizes will see the following benefits as a result of engaging in sustainable business practices:

  • Increase in operations efficiency
  • Keep a competitive advantage
  • Strengthen brand awareness
  • Build visibility

Focusing on maintaining and improving this key ingredient for food and beverage companies has shown to be a priority, with corporate initiatives established to focus on conserving and recycling water. For large companies, organizational transparency is a must as sustainable practices could get lost at the individual plant level. Schuler ends the interview by stating that the importance of taking time to work towards sustainable water practices instead of simply going for the “quick fix” is well worth it in the long run.