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Italian meat processor ups sustainability via watertight deal

Post a commentBy Oscar Rousseau , 13-Jul-2017

Meat business Inalca is looking to reduce its water usage
Meat business Inalca is looking to reduce its water usage

Italian business Inalca SpA claims to have cut water and energy use at its meat plant in Lazio in a bid to address a challenge facing many meat processors: reducing the impact of climate change.

Inalca collaborated with US-based Nalco Holding Company to implement four water management projects that saved the business €65,000 in combined water and energy costs at its canned meat factory in the city of Rieti, central Italy.

Its factory can produce around 36,000 tonnes of canned meat per year, but wanted to do so in a way that was as environmentally friendly as possible – hence why it sought the help of Nalco Water.

“Inalca had several key business drivers for this project, with safety and food quality being the top priorities,” said Alberto Serafini, vice-president and market leader of Europe South for Nalco parent firm Ecolab.

“We were charged with implementing solutions to reduce site water and energy consumption, reduce total costs of operation and improve site process operations.”

Roberto Clerici, operations manager at Inalca, said the project came out of the company’s desire to minimise any environmental degradation.

“Our vision of sustainable development is constituted by our knowledge, activities and business processes, which have the essential aim of analysing, controlling and correlating the economic, environmental and social challenges that develop within our supply chain,” said Clerici.

“Our commitment to environmental sustainability is based on reduction and optimisation of energy and water consumption, biomass recycling, use of recycled paper and recyclable plastics, and waste reduction.”

Based on Nalco’s advice, Inalca implemented four projects at its Rieti plant to reduce the amount of water it uses amid global concerns that industries, including agriculture, use too much.

The projects involved installing more environmentally efficient equipment to replace old pieces of machinery and improve water recycling and cooling.

Through all of the energy optimisations put in place by Inalca, the meat processor believes it will save around 14 million litres of water per year. More than 2,400 gigajoules of gas were also saved, and processing enhancements meant 121,000 pounds fewer commodity chemicals needed to be used.

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