McCain Foods has exceeded its own water reduction targets in its Ballarat Factory.

Under its Be Good, Do Good strategy, the company outlined a range of targets to help transition to more sustainable operating practices. Incredibly, while it had pledged to reduce water usage by 2% over the last 12 months, it significantly exceeded this, achieving a 20% reduction.

McCain has placed a focus on reducing emissions and waste in its Australian and NZ operations and in investing in renewable electricity and more sustainable packaging. As part of this focus, and the wider McCain Global Energy Efficiency Program, a behind-the-metre renewable system was introduced in the Ballarat factory.

Despite the success, McCain Foods Ballarat Potato Plant Manager Rodney McLaren said he believed they could achieve more.

“We saw there were multiple opportunities across the site to minimise water usage, and we wanted to motivate the teams to do all that they could, leading us to set a further 3% water reduction goal for 2021 and beyond,” Mr McLaren said.

The plant is also following a zero-waste approach and focussing on waste prevention and has redesigned the resource life cycle of goods to ‘fully utilise’ inputs which has reduced its waste by 40%.

“There have been numerous energy efficiency studies under the program now completed on our site and we have found a range of energy saving opportunities here with some already applied which is great to see. The plant upgrade completed a couple of years ago certainly helped us drive this most recent increase in efficiencies,” said Mr McLaren.

The plant has also installed 17,000 solar panels, which McCain anticipates will reduce the plant’s energy consumption by 39%.While a cogeneration anaerobic digester will also be installed to repurpose food scraps into biogas, to reduce its reliance on natural gas.

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