Company, a producer of baby foods, discovered that employee
education and involvement related to water management
at its Fremont, Michigan plant can yield significant
returns. Gerber is a business unit of Novartis Consumer
Health, Inc. In January 2000, the plants Water
Team kicked off a year-long effort to cut water consumption.
By years end, they had saved 67.5 million gallons
of water compared to 1999.
The Water Team worked with all areas
of the plant to survey water use, collect water conservation
suggestions from employees, and identify specific opportunities.
Numerous projects emerged from the plants water
conservation initiatives, including:
- Installation of new equipment that
uses 30% less water to cool jars of hot baby food
- Recycling of wastewater to wash
down the plants floors, gutters, and drains
- Recycling of wastewater to irrigate
corn, oats, and alfalfa grown for animal feed on a
420-acre farm owned by Gerber four miles down the
Gerber health, safety and environment
personnel found that employee education was key to the
plants success, making wise water use a habit.
The Water Team produced a video to increase employees
awareness of water issues and plant water use. Among
other topics, the video encourages employees to routinely
check for leaks and drips to reduce wasted water. Employee
involvement with Water Team activities, combined with
the video and other awareness raising efforts, has helped
to change employees water management behaviors
while enlisting them in company efforts to continually
improve the plants water-related performance.