Facing water issues in manufacturing

18th September 2017

Facing water issues in manufacturing

By Sofidel ,

Water consumption is one of the main challenges facing environmentally friendly industrial manufacturing.

Sofidel – the second largest tissue company in Europe and the sixth worldwide – has made water issues one of the crucial pillars in its own environmental sustainability strategy. It is committed to responsibly managing the resource, highlighting its relevance in terms of hygiene and well-being and raising awareness among the company’s stakeholders.

The aim of reducing water consumption is pursued both through management measures and specific investments. Moreover, the use of water at Sofidel paper mills is monitored in real time through a dedicated dashboard – the efficiency of water flow is a significant parameter in the company’s worker incentive system.

As a whole, this commitment has led Sofidel to achieve significant results, with an average use of water per kilogramme of paper produced of 7.0 l/kg, compared to the industry’s benchmark of 15-25 l/kg. Sofidel’s responsibility goes beyond production impacts, aiming at “building an inclusive, sustainable and resilient future for people and planet”, in accordance with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The pledge to improve hygiene and sanitation in developing countries led to a three-year partnership with WaterAid, an NGO whose mission is to ensure safe water and sanitation to everyone, everywhere by 2030. This contributes to UN SDG 6 on clean water and sanitation.

As of today, the issue is particularly relevant in less developed countries, with 663 million people that still don’t have access to safe water, and 2.4 billion people that have no place to go to the toilet. This means that otherwise-preventable diseases can spread: according to WHO and UNICEF, a child under five dies every two minutes because of this lack of clean water, sanitation and hygiene.