Key Drivers of Corporate Water Sustainability and Innovation

CleanTechIQ recently spoke with Paul O’Callaghan, CEO of water technology research firm BlueTech Research, about water sustainability and adoption by large corporations as well as emerging players and new disruptive water technologies.  In addition a brief summary of our conversation, we’ve captured audio clips below:

Drivers of Water Sustainability Corporate Investment

What are the drivers of water sustainability investment in large corporations, such as food and beverage industry corporates, such as Coca-Cola, Nestle, and PepsiCo, and in the semiconductor industry, such as Intel? O’Callaghan discusses issues they face around brand image and reporting potential water risk to their operations.

He also discusses which industries are spending the most on new water technologies and why the brewing industry can justify spending more on water management than any other sector analyzed by BlueTech Research.


Water Avoidance is Key at Large Water Intensive Corporations

O’Callaghan discusses some of the creative ways that corporations, including Coca-Cola, Nike, and Patagonia, are eliminating water entirely from their manufacturing processes.


Which Regulations are Driving Further Water Investment?

O’Callaghan explained that key water quality regulations in the U.S. and Europe will drive innovation, including policies on nutrient removal and emerging contaminants found in drinking water, which is sparking corporate investment in source treatment technologies.  And new discharge regulation will spark China’s industrial sector to leapfrog its global counterparts in water reuse and recovery, he says.


Where are the Biggest Innovations?

The biggest water innovation is happening in the food & beverage industry, observes O’Callaghan, including new technologies that combine organic waste with wastewater treatment.  Nijhuis Water Technologies is a top startup in this area, he says.

And early adopters include Scotland’s Grants Whisky and the Irish dairy company, Carbery Dairy, which are utilizing new innovative technologies to turn waste and wastewater into energy and higher value products.

Other innovations in the brewery sector he discusses includes Nutrinsic, which can produce an animal feed replacement from brewery wastewater, and Cambrian Innovations, which is working with wineries in California to recover energy from their wastewater.

And keep an eye out for a highly disruptive wastewater technology for the Oil & Gas industry developed by Super Critical Fluids International (SCFI) Group, he says.


New innovations are also coming from big water industry players, such as GE Water, he says.  GE, the major supplier of water reuse technology in the Food & Beverage industry is pioneering anaerobic membrane bioreactors for treating organic material in wastewater which, O’Callaghan says, is “next big thing for the food sector.”


For more insight on corporate water sustainability and investment, come to the SustainSummit on Feb. 12 in Newport Beach, CA and check out the The Emergence of the Circular Economy panel discussion. Use promo code CTIQ50 to receive a 50% discount on registration.


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