Nestlé Waters has started production at its new £35 million state-of-the-art factory at Waterswallows in Buxton. The first bottles of Buxton Natural Mineral Water® and Nestlé Pure Life® left the factory this week heralding a new era for Nestlé Waters bottled water business in the UK.
The new factory, one of Europe’s most innovative and efficient bottling facilities, is the culmination of many years of research and development and for the first time, combines the bottling facility with warehousing capability with the new lines allowing Nestlé Waters UK to significantly reduce its total energy output, as well as the packaging used in its bottles.
Nestlé is a big employer in the area and the local community was kept in mind when tendering for the new factory. The construction company was tasked with sourcing both procurement and labour from a tight circumference of the building site, ensuring contractors and materials wouldn’t have far to travel and more importantly adding a boost for the local community and employment. By the end of February 67% of the labour on site was from within the area and 76% of the materials had been purchased within a 50-mile radius.
The new facility has also given Nestlé Waters the opportunity to promote sustainable development practices and the factory is hoping to achieve an ‘excellent’ grading in its BREEAM Certification later this year. This certification takes into consideration the site’s energy and water use as well as its transport infrastructure and its ecology.
Paolo Sangiorgi, Managing Director Nestlé water UK said: “I am delighted to see the first bottles of Buxton Natural Mineral Water and Nestlé Pure Life come off the lines less than 12 months after we started building our new factory. Waterswallows has enabled us to pursue our ambition to promote sustainable development practices in both the construction and production processes operated there.”
In keeping with the local environment, the factory has been designed to harmonise with its beautiful surroundings and features classic recycled Derbyshire dry stone walls, which are used to reinstate field patterns and define site boundaries. An attractive, wave-shaped roof enhances the buildings’ visual appeal and a sustainable drainage system manages the rain water that runs off from the new site. A heat recovery system also transfers heat generated from the bottling lines to provide heat to the warehouse and offices has also been introduced which significantly reduces additional heating requirements and reduces carbon output.
The site will enable Nestlé Waters to continue to decrease the amount of water used in its manufacturing and by the end of 2012 it will also be zero waste to landfill.
As part of Nestle Waters commitment to minimizing its environmental impact another area of importance is to improve biodiversity. Working with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and the local Butterfly Conservation Group, students from Derbyshire University ‘Skills for Life’ course planted a wild flower meadow within the factory grounds with the aim of attracting many species of butterfly back to the area.
Paolo added: “Using butterflies as a symbol of a healthy and thriving eco-system, one of our biodiversity targets is to see year-on-year increases in both the overall number of butterflies attracted to the site and the variety of species recorded there.”
Additionally, to create shared value with the local community, schools in the area were also included in the project and pupils teamed up with archaeologists to investigate the foundations of the new facility and created and buried a time capsule in the main entrance.
Start of production also saw the launch of an innovative lightweight range of bottles. These new bottles are the lightest bottled water bottles produced in the UK and have a shorter neck and a sturdy, ergonomical shape that requires less plastic and fits comfortably in the hand. Through their redesign Nestlé Waters has achieved an average 25% reduction in the use of Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) in their production with a 46% reduction in PET for the smaller 25cl and 33cl bottles.
Innovation in production continues with the launch of a new sports cap that includes a tamper evident seal that stays within the lid when opened. The new sports cap will be available on the Buxton Natural Mineral Water 25cl, 75cl and 1ltr formats and the Nestlé Pure Life 33cl formats.
Waterswallows at a glance
- Bottling and warehousing are located on same site, making it one of the most efficient bottling and warehousing facilities in the world
- Increased energy efficiency through use of low energy lighting and recycled heat systems
- Efficient water use in production processes uses as much as 50% less water than in similar, though less efficient, processes
- Implementation of lighter weight bottles reduces energy and PET consumption
- A sustainable drainage system mimics nature and carefully designed architecture echoes shape of nearby hills
- Local biodiversity is nurtured through dynamic and sensitive planting schemes
- Considerate constructor processes were employed throughout the build and our site achieved one of our construction company’s highest ever scores
- Production of the UK’s lightest PET water bottle with an average of 25% less PET across the range