Saving Water Through Nejayote

GRUMA

6. Clean Water and Sanitation 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 12. Responsible Consumption and Production

Overview

Through the use of bacteria and innovative water treatment processes, GRUMA is able to reuse 90% of the water that nixtamalization requires, thus saving 5.5 billions of liters of water per year.

Author

Hector Mendez Cepeda

Hector Mendez Cepeda

School

EGADE Business School Tecnologico de Monterrey

EGADE Business School Tecnologico de Monterrey

Professor

Fernanda Concha

Fernanda Concha

Innovation

The process of nixtamalization consists in the transformation of corn into a nutritionally richer product that can then be used to make tortillas and other corn products.

This process uses up to 6 millions of cubic meters of water per year, and the water couldn't be purified and reused.

GRUMA improved its water treatment process to be able to reuse up to 90% of the water wasted in the process, and by reusing this water they were able to make a product with improved nutrients.

This translates into 5.5 billion liters of water saved per year only by GRUMA, while also avoiding the disposal of used water in rivers that could pollute bigger masses of water.

GRUMA continues to invest to reuse up to 97% of this water in the future.

Saving Water Through Nejayote

Inspiration

The uncontrollable amount of water needed for the process was causing an impact in the ecosystem that was near the plants that had this nixtamalization process. They needed a more sustainable process that wouldn't destroy its surroundings.

Overall impact

The overall impact of this innovation is:

  • 5.5 billions of liters of water saved annually.
  • Corn with higher nutrients.
  • Sustainable production plants.

Business benefit

The benefits of this innovation to the business include:

  • Up to 4 million dollar savings per year in water.
  • Avoidance of environmental fines.
  • Cleaner and more sustainable process that makes them more competitive.

Social and environmental benefit

The benefits to society and the environment are:

  • Pollution reduced in the surroundings of the production plants.
  • 5.5 billion liters of water saved anually.
  • Jobs created in the new treatment process.
  • A sustainable process that could be improved even more (GRUMA is investing in this)

Interview

Nicolas Martinez, Environmental Manager

Photo of interviewee

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GRUMA

GRUMA

Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, MX

Business Website: https://www.gruma.com/en

Year Founded: 1949

Number of Employees: 10000+

The process of transforming corn into tortillas uses thousands of millions of liters of water each year.

Through innovation in the treatment of water that is used in the process, they are able to reuse it and save 90% of the original consumption and obtain products with better nutrients.