The "smart factory": powering the future

Oct 6, 2016

Nestlé Waters is continuously striving to optimize its environmental performance. On its manufacturing sites, specific objectives include reducing water and energy consumption, minimizing CO2 emissions, and eliminating waste. The “smart factory” is a site designed to achieve these objectives, in particular through the use of renewable energy sources and innovative technologies, and in 2016 Nestlé Waters has opened or renovated six such facilities around the world as flagship pilots.

Harnessing local, renewable energy sources

At Nestlé Waters, being smart first of all means using clean, renewable local energy sources to power your operations. The Buxton bottling plant in the UK now generates 100% of its electricity from renewable sources such as solar, wind and hydroelectric. Appropriately, about 30% of the plant’s power is generated by local water, channeled from the region’s abundant waterfalls by a nearby hydroelectricity facility. Across the world in Karachi, meanwhile, the new social block opened recently by Nestlé Waters Pakistan at its Port Qasim factory, runs 100% on solar energy. By harnessing the power of the sun, the factory is achieving significant energy and financial savings, and reducing annual CO2 emissions by 51 tons, equivalent to the amount of CO2 absorbed by 2,300 trees.

buxton smart factory Buxton  

Switzerland smart factory Henniez  

The Henniez bottled water plant in Switzerland uses a less orthodox local energy source: it has replaced traditional fossil fuels with manure from local cows. By burning the manure, along with used Nescafé and Nespresso coffee grounds, the Valbroye agricultural biogas production facility generates enough energy both to heat the neighboring Henniez plant and to provide electricity for over 1,000 local households. The use of biogas means that 1,750 fewer tons of CO2 will be released into the atmosphere each year, and after processing, the manure is returned to the farmers who use it as a natural fertilizer.

Using innovative technologies to reduce wastage 

The Sanpellegrino Group’s new bottling plant for Nestlé Vera Naturae mineral water, located at Castrocielo in Central Italy, derives its energy exclusively from renewable sources. A combination of photovoltaic panels, LED lights, and heat recovery and retention systems allows it to boast zero CO2 emissions. All packaging used at Castrocielo is 100% recyclable, and an ultramodern PET line allows the plant to optimize water consumption.

Italy smart factoryNestlé Vera Naturae  

thailand smart factoryNestlé Thaïland  

Reducing water consumption is a key goal for Nestlé Thailand too, at its new Nestlé Pure Life bottling facility in the country’s Surat Thani province. An innovative technology called VSEP (Vibratory Shear Enhanced Membrane), helps reduce clogging in the filtering process and thereby limit water wastage across the production process. An efficient logistics system at the new plant will also improve environmental performance by reducing transport distances.

Being a smart factory also means creating opportunities for the local community and helping its members improve their livelihoods. The brand new Nestlé Pure Life bottling facility at Abaji in Nigeria has created 111 new jobs for the local community, and it houses a Technical Training Centre to develop skills of young Africa engineers.

“Thanks to its innovative technologies, this new plant represents a proof of excellence at an international level. It provides further proof of Nestlé Waters’ desire to invest in innovation and sustainability, while continuing to promote local water resources” declared Nestlé Waters CEO Marco Settembri for the official plant opening of Castrocielo in Italy. By creating new smart factories, and renovating existing facilities to make them smarter and greener, Nestlé Waters is confirming its intention to meet a whole range of environmental commitments by 2020 or earlier, in support of its long-term goal of Creating Shared Value in all the territories where it operates.