Water conservation measures according to risks
Reducing the amount of water used in manufacturing plants is a major challenge. The Kirin Group has pursued water conservation through recycling and others in addition to initiatives such as using water only when and as much as needed.
Meanwhile, focusing on the water risks in the basin regions around our manufacturing plants, we have conducted surveys to identify the degree of risk and are installing and operating watersaving equipment according to the level of risk.
Cascading industrial water
Much of the water used in manufacturing plants is used for washing and sterilizing processes of equipment and pipes. In addition to the establishment of frameworks and mechanisms for the confirmation and assurance, from a quality perspective, that washing is being performed, water flow rate and velocity are strictly controlled to ensure that water is not wasted. We also actively pursue the re-use of water, depending on the purpose. Specifically, the rinsing water used in the final step of the pipe and equipment washing process is still relatively clear, so it can be used again for the initial process of pipe washing. In this way, we have implemented a cascading system of water use that repeatedly uses water that has been used in washing, according to the quality of the water. In actuality, considerable knowledge on how to use this equipment is needed to achieve the right volume balance of recoverable water and water used and the timing of recovery and use, and to guarantee that the equipment and pipes are being washed properly.
The Kirin Group is achieving a high level of water conservation by sharing various know-how and ideas, giving feedbacks on outcomes and taking other steps for improvement, thereby accumulating such know-how and ideas as technologies.
Advanced water treatment equipment
Lion is committed to exploring innovative ways to improve water management within the communities it operates. In 2009, Lion commissioned a water recycling plant for its Castlemaine Perkins Brewery – setting out to halve the water used in brewing their classic brand, XXXX Gold . A decade on, the brewery is approaching world class standards in water management and is continually pushing the boundaries of conservation.
The two main uses for water in brewing are water used in making the beer itself – plus water used in the brewing process, which is used in non-product related processes, such as cleaning, cooling and pasteurising. In 2009, Lion partnered with the Queensland Government to install a reverse osmosis plant, to recover waste water and minimise our reliance on mains-fed town water.
In 2019, the plant generated more than 240 million liters, the equivalent of 96 Olympic-sized swimming pools. On average the brewery recycled approximately 4.7 million liters of water per week in 2019. Vitally, the plant enables XXXX Gold to be produced at a ratio of 2.5 liters of water for every liter of beer produced – which is approaching world class levels of water efficiency.
This technology is being shared within the Kirin Group, and is now in use at Kirin Brewery’s Kobe Plant.