Water is a key raw material in the production of both cider and beer, so the continued supply of clean water is key to the sustainability of our long-term commercial activities. C&C continues to be proactive in conserving water usage while also protecting the aquifers and sources at both manufacturing sites.
Water usage is metered and monitored on a real-time basis at all facilities, with numerous conservation and re-use projects delivered. In Clonmel, equipment rinse time optimisation, a new canning pasteuriser programme and reduction in RO water usage will reduce water usage by 14 million litres, which is 2.3% of annual usage. At Wellpark Brewery, redundant tanks have been converted to water storage tanks, which are now storing hot liquor from the brewing process which is then recycled for use, reducing annual water usage by 24.3 million litres, a 3% reduction versus FY2018 total usage.
In FY2019, total water usage for the Group improved by 2.8% to 3 hectolitres of water per hectolitre (hl/hl) of product produced, which is significantly better than the average of the large global brewers at 3.3.
As part of our groundwater protection programme, the Clonmel site commenced a 3-year programme in 2018 to upgrade the site drainage and wastewater network. This programme will ensure our operations continue to achieve the best environmental performance standards and protect the water sources of the surrounding Tipperary countryside.
Both the Clonmel and Wellpark sites continue to be accredited to ISO14001, which is the international standard which specifies the requirements for an effective environmental management system.
In Q1 of FY2020, Wellpark Brewery will commission a state of the art wastewater treatment facility utilising Anaerobic Digestion technology at a cost of €4.5 million. This development will reduce the loading of wastewater emitted from the site by 80%. We are working closely with the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency on this project, as the onsite treatment will increase the quality of the wastewater discharges to the municipal plant and have associated environmental benefits through not requiring further treatment.
Water conservation and protection of groundwater sources will continue to a strategic focus of C&C operations, with a 3-year target to achieve a water usage below 2.5 hectolitres of water per hectolitre; a further reduction of at least 17%.