Water Industry News

Oatly Targets Reduced Water Consumption At New UK Factory

Many people are examining their diets to work out ways to make them more environmentally friendly, which has led some to turn to plant-based diets, or at least reducing their meat and dairy consumption.


Products such as Oatly, which are an oat-based drink that is often used in place of dairy milk, have become increasingly popular.


Oatly, which is a Swedish oat drink manufacturer, recently announced its plans for its first factory based in the UK. The new facility is being designed to be “fit for the future”, according to the firm.


This means it will strive for the most efficient use of resources and to have minimal impact on the planet. As part of this, Oatly intends to use 100 per cent renewable energy to power its factory, and is targeting a reduction in its water consumption and waste of 75 per cent at each factory by 2029, compared to its 2019 figures.


Chief supply chain officer at the firm Johan Rabe explained that sustainability is a key consideration as the business progresses with its plans to expand its production capacity into the UK.


“Everything from the sourcing of our oats, to the production of our product range specifically designed for humans, has sustainability at the heart of it,” he stated.


When the factory opens, which is currently expected to happen in the third quarter of 2023, it will be capable of producing 300 million litres of oat drink per year, and will have the capacity to increase its output to 450 million litres a year if demand continues to grow.


This will make it one of the largest factories producing a plant-based alternative to dairy milk in the world.


In 2019, the BBC shared research showing which of the plant-based alternatives to cow’s milk have the smallest environmental footprints. It revealed that oat milk is one of the options that requires the least water to produce, with only soy milk less water-intensive.


It also accounts for some of the lowest emissions, with only almond milk recording lower emissions during the production cycle. However, almond milk is incredibly water intensive to produce.


While the amount of land required to produce oat milk is the highest of all the plant-based alternatives, it is still more than ten times less land than is required to produce the equivalent amount of cow’s milk.


If you work in food production, you will undoubtedly need to use water as part of your process. However, businesses can certainly do more to reduce their usage and cut back on unnecessary wastage of this precious resource.


Interested in finding out how your business fares in terms of its water consumption? Get in touch with us to arrange a site survey to find out how much you’re using and whether you’re paying a fair amount for your water supply.


During this process, we’ll compare the volumes that you use against what you’re being billed for, to make sure that you’re not overpaying for your water supply. We will also make recommendations on how you can reduce your water use to help you save more money on your water bills.