Greenyard Fresh Belgium and Pidpa, a Belgian integrated water utilities company, have announced that they have entered the final phase of their plans to install a new on-site water purification system on Greenyard’s site in Sint-Katelijne-Waver.
The installation has an innovative biological treatment method, which will reduce Greenyard Fresh Belgium’s annual intake of fresh water for cleaning and rinsing fruit and vegetables by 75%. The processing water will be purified and recuperated via the installation. Combined with the existing on-site ground water extraction, the site will no longer be using city water for its operations unless necessary. This investment will allow Greenyard to further improve its environmental performance and to reduce costs.
Reducing water intensity for a more sustainable food value chain
Together with Pipda, Greenyard Fresh Belgium intends to purify and reuse over 100,000 m³ of its rinsing water for fruit and vegetables, each year. This corresponds with one of the Group’s five Sustainability Ambitions to lower the company’s water footprint. By the end of 2025, the Greenyard-group wants to reduce its own total water intensity by 10% compared to 2019.
“Smart water use plays an important role to further improve our environmental performance and reduce costs. At Greenyard, we constantly take initiatives to improve our operations, making sustainability an integral part of everything we do.” says Yannick Peeters, Managing Director at Greenyard Fresh Belgium.
Ensuring the highest water quality
The water purification system will consist of an innovative biological treatment: it uses granulated activated sludge, followed by a sand filter, ultrafiltration, and reverse osmosis with potentially a last step of ultra-violet treatment. Essentially, a high-tech filtration system that will allow for the reuse of processing water in an energy efficient way - ensuring the safe and sustainable annual reuse of around 105 000 m³ of rinsing water. The water will be qualitatively equal to drinking water after the process, which is key for food processing. The remaining 35 000 m³ will come from on-site groundwater extraction, with the possibility to switch to the use of city water when needed.
From pilot to agreement
In 2021, a pilot installation provided the necessary proof of concept that water recirculation was scalable at Greenyard Fresh Belgium’s site. The successful pilot is an important step, before moving towards an agreement between Greenyard Fresh Belgium and Pidpa for the effective implementation of an industrial-scale water purifier combined with the existing on-site ground water extraction. The next step in the process is to get the necessary permits before fully deploying the solution.
For more information:
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