Moving the soft drink industry towards sustainability

The soft drink industry is highly competitive. But Grundfos technology means a company can transform its processes - and become more sustainable in the way it operates.

The soft drink industry like other industries face the responsibility and economic necessity of reducing water use. Through optimising processes and reusing water, we can all help safeguard our water resources.

The potential for savings in utility, or secondary processes in soft drink factories is substantial, as are improvements for process efficiency, total cost of ownership and sustainability. These potential gains can be realised with our offerings for water treatment and water reuse, digital solutions for temperature control, and optimisation services.

In this module, we will look at the processes in soft drink factories and how there are opportunities for:

  • Transforming to more sustainable production processes, and
  • Avoiding unnecessary costs and improving overall equipment effectiveness.

But first, let us look at the general challenges facing soft drink production: Demand for soft drinks is driven by growing populations and higher income levels. These consumers are increasingly demanding a sustainable product, from content to packaging.

This means that soft drink suppliers need to act and communicate in a fiercely competitive global market, while addressing shifting consumer preferences.

Water is a vital part of soft-drink production and factory processes. To help keep water use low while meeting production and sustainability targets, factories can improve on how water is used in utility or secondary processes.

Key beverage industries are setting targets against the index of how much water they use per litre of product. One major beverage company reported 1.85 Hectolitres of water per product in 2020 and another has set an ambitious target of 1.4 Hectolitres going forward.

Improving factory processes requires an understanding of where the best returns on investing in more sustainable processes can be made. The drivers for making these investments are often based on:

Restrictions on wastewater treatment, the need to reduce operational costs, and corporate sustainability and/or science-based targets.

Optimising processes that have high energy consumption, including industrial cooling and heating across the entire production cycle.

Utility, or secondary processes like washing and cleaning, which are essential for meeting food safety requirements.

So, how can Grundfos help? We are well placed to contribute to a soft drink factory’s sustainability transformation. Grundfos is committed to a sustainability agenda, supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), mainly SDG 6 and 13 that focus on water and climate.

Guided by SDG 6, our objective is to enable our end-users to save 50 billion m3 of freshwater through efficiency and treatment by 2030.

To support SDG 13, we are committed to the Science-Based Target Initiative towards a net-zero target by business to limit global warming to a maximum of 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030.
Grundfos not only has measures in place to reduce our carbon footprint, but also our carbon handprint, which refers to the carbon footprint of our customers – in this case, the soft drink industry.

In the UN Global Compact CEO Water Mandate, there are 37 beverage companies (out of total 196) committed to Water Stewardship, which makes this the largest industry committed to this initiative. These companies will need to report their water consumption and wastewater discharge and reach their goals by 2030, further reflecting the importance of moving towards a more sustainable production.

Grundfos can also help the soft drink industry avoid unnecessary costs and improve overall equipment effectiveness.

Consultant Engineers and Technical Directors in the soft drinks industry are confronted with a competitive market under extreme price pressure. Therefore, cost avoidance, process optimisation and sustainability and regulatory compliance are areas prioritised for investment.

As soft drinks producers tend to be decentralised, the decision to invest in ‘avoided cost’ measures are often made quickly, where the immediate benefits of low maintenance, low downtime, improved overall equipment effectiveness and optimisation of the pumps and system are tangible.

Therefore, the soft drink industry requires a partner who can help to:

  • Improve uptime and efficiency,
  • Reduce total cost of ownership of systems, and
  • Ensure sustainable processes through water treatment, water reuse and optimised water handling.

And increasingly, the solutions supplied to meet these requirements have to be more digital and intelligent. E-pumps from Grundfos start with a simple pump with an integrated or external variable frequency drive, or VFD, for variable speed pump applications. To this, we add sensors, algorithms, and connectivity for a comprehensive, intelligent solution - what we call Grundfos iSOLUTIONS.

Grundfos iSOLUTIONS delivers application-specific solutions that transform data into insights and action – increasing reliability, simplicity, and predictability. An example can be seen in dosing, where chemicals are dosed into the water to maintain water quality. Dosing is used in all industrial applications including water utility, industrial process water, water and wastewater treatment, as well as processes like disinfection chemical dosing and filtration. With intelligent dosing pumps, companies can support variable dynamic flow requirements to meet the needs of various applications, reducing operational costs and optimising the use of chemicals.

Grundfos can be a one-stop partner for your industrial water treatment needs, and work with your OEM system builders to optimise system performance. There are applications where Grundfos supplies a range of unique solutions through your OEM system builder, which can add value to your processes. In particular: Temperature control for cooling towers and boiler systems, where we work with chiller and boiler OEMs and integrate our intelligent solutions, to deliver an overall optimised system. The benefit will be a constant pressure pump, to supply process water to specific equipment or throughout cooling and heating networks.  This can be done with an integrated VFD so you can save space within the chiller unit in lieu of mounting an external VFD.

What other intelligent solutions can Grundfos offer soft drinks producers? As a full-line supplier, we supply the most hydraulically efficient pumps with the most efficient motors available as a part of solutions for applications and processes such as:

  • Water intake,
  • Boiler feed,
  • Industrial cooling
  • Washdown systems
  • Industrial process water treatment
  • Industrial wastewater treatment and reuse

Grundfos can also supply all chemical dosing activities including pH correction, disinfection, for Cleaning-in-Place (CIP) processes, which is a key element in the soft drinks industry.
We offer a unique range of services and solutions that resolve the challenges facing soft drink producers through:

  • Improved system control, reduced energy consumption and reduced water and chemical consumption for bottle and can washing systems,
  • Pump condition monitoring to reduce downtime and avoid breakdowns,
  • Integrated electronics for increased connectivity, reducing the need for external control cabinets and wiring in a challenging factory environment,
  • Optimised pressure boosting system and chemical feed system, and
  • Optimised cleaning and improved reliability while reducing water, energy, and chemical use.

Furthermore, a range of Grundfos Optimisation Services and consultancy agreements investigate and analyse pump and system operations. This identifies areas of improvement and helps factories achieve potential gains. Our Energy Checks and Audits show where you can benefit from an upgrade to energy efficient solutions, Real-time monitoring, remote control, fault prediction and system optimisation help your system reach a new level of performance, and Condition Monitoring provides predictive service offerings, reducing maintenance and downtime.

We help the soft drinks industry lower total lifecycle costs, move towards a more sustainable production with our wide range of intelligent systems and solutions, and help companies achieve their sustainability and science-based targets.

To learn more about how Grundfos products and solutions that support the utility, or secondary industrial processes, please see our other Industry ECADEMY courses.

Course overview

Modules: 1
Completion time
Completion time: 12 minutes
Difficulty level
Difficulty level: Intermediate