PepsiCo and Atlatec developed a purification process to reuse water through a 7-phase bio-tower in a food company. As a by-product, the bio-tower generates biomass that can be used to regenerate soil and livestock feeding. Through the water reuse and generation of biomass, PepsiCo and Atlatec contribute to the responsible consumption of water, as well as generating a process that is friendly to the environment. Moreover, making the water drinkable also generates food for cattle as a by-product of the bio-tower.
Julio Cesar Elizondo Uvalle
Pablo Enrique Flores Zepeda
EGADE Business School Tecnologico de Monterrey
MARTIN H BREMER
In 2006, due to the drinking water shortage in Mexico City, PepsiCo decided to reduce water consumption in its manufacturing facilities, allowing the company to grow in any region which had a water shortage problem or not. The main purpose of this innovation was operational continuity, and by investing more than 8 million dollars on 7 phase Bio-Towers PepsiCo achieved a 90% of water reduction within the first year.
Bio-tower is an organic process that any industry could implement to reduce its water consumption. This innovation contributes to SDG number 2 - Zero Hunger by creating bio-mass for livestock feeding, number 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation, and number 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production, by treating their own water usage by 90%.
The leader was inspired by the challenge of water shortages in Mexico City and the possibility of interrupting operations in the long term. This innovation was implemented as a national sustainability strategy to improve water supply and performance. PepsiCo Sustainability Senior Manager, Salvador Alvarez told us, "We have always set a goal which is acquired by the whole company. We focus on finding solutions, we close water taps and we involve people from departments like global, quality control, engineering, sustainability, and legal in order to develop new ideas for the improvement of water usage. This innovation not only helps PEPSICO but other companies, as this seven-phase Bio-Towers process can be replicated by other food industries".
The evidence confirms that this technology works because it has reduced 90% of water consumption by PepsiCo and has made a positive impact on the company by assuring the operational continuity of one of its largest manufacturing facilities, which is located in Mexico City. Additionally, this innovation supported the company's positive image within the surrounding community and can be taken as the basis for new facilities or other companies.
Also, this innovation contributes to the sustainability agenda that the company has set for the objectives of the year 2025.
Inside the Bio-tower, solids or mud arise derived from corn cuticle, potato scratches, potato peel, and among other organic compounds gather from their manufacturing processes. This is known as bio-mass and can be used as soil regeneration or compost for the feeding of livestock because of the vitamins and minerals contained within the material.
The business benefited through the installation of bio-towers nationwide, which cost 8 million dollars per tower, saving up to 90% in water consumption on their manufacturing facilities.
Salvador told us that this innovation allowed for the company to reduce from 10 liters of water per kilo produced to 1 liter of water per kilo of production within its most efficient plant. It allowed for operational continuity during a water shortage in regions such as Mexico City and Mexicali.
Additionally, through the use of these bio-towers, it was possible to obtain a by-product, biomass, which is used to regenerate soils and as food for livestock, because of vitamins and minerals obtained from the potato, corn, and corn-meal production processes.
This innovation contributes to SDG 2- Zero Hunger, SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation, and SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production. There is a goal to achieve universal and equitable access to drinking water by 2030. Only 3% of the world's water is drinkable and PepsiCo, with this organic aerobically innovation, is reducing 90% of its water consumption in its manufacturing processes.
PepsiCo seeks to lower its operational cost by benefitting from the productivity and income from the by-products generated by the Bio-Tower, which is the biomass rich in nutrients to regenerate soils and for livestock feeding.
Salvador Alvarez, Sustentability Senior Manager
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CDMX, CDMX, MX
Year Founded: 1965
Number of Employees: 10000+
PepsiCo is dedicated to the production and distribution of foods and beverages across the world. Alongside Atlatec, the company developed an innovative Bio-Tower and clean water process.