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i WF pilot project

Water Footprint of
Nestlé’s ‘Bitesize
Shredded Wheat’
A pilot study to account and analyse the water
footprints of Bitesize Shredded Wheat in the
context of water availability along its supply
chain
A.K. Chapagain & S. Orr
WWF (for WFN)
April 2010
ii WF pilot project
Project timeline
This pilot project is first proposed at a meeting of Water Footprint Working group (WFWG)
held on the 8
th
July 2008 with interest from Nestlé. The project proposal was jointly prepared
by WWF-UK and University of Twente. The quotation for the project was then sent to Nestlé
on the 7
th
of August 08 by UT (University of Twente) followed by a formal contract signed by
both the parties. WWF-UK agreed to lead the project and prepare the final report.
WWF-UK prepared the preliminary data acquisition sheet and sent that to the Nestlé on the
17
th
Oct 2008 in a workshop organised at the Cereal Partners factory in the UK. The
participants of this first meet were John Gavin (Quality & Regulatory Affairs Dir CPUK), John
O’Callaghan (Energy Mgr CPUK), Clive Smith (SHE Mgr Stav), Marianela Jimenez (CO-
SH&E), and Ashok Chapagain (WWF-UK). The visit was useful in collecting the first set of
data on production of various kinds of Shredded Wheat varieties from the factory. A more
detailed data set was prepared and sent by John O’Callaghan on the 7
th
Nov 2008. John
Gavin has been persistently filling any data voids during the entire calculation phase of the
project.
An interim presentation of the first cut of the results was made in the WFWG’s meeting
hosted by SABMiller at Woking, UK on the 18
th
Dec 2008. The first draft report was sent to
Nestlé on the 19
th
March 2009. John O’Callaghan and Marianela Jimenez provided
refinement and clarifications on data used in the calculations in April 2009.
A second draft of the report was prepared and sent back to Nestlé and a feedback to that
was sent by Marianela Jimenez on 22 July 2009. WWF-UK provided necessary materials to
Marianela Jimenez for the preparation of the presentation by Nestlé at World Water Week
event in Sweden held in August 2009.
A meeting has been arranged between Arjen Hoekstra (WFN) and Ashok Chapagain (WWF-
UK) at Enschede to discuss and finalise the report in August 2009. Based on the outcome of
the meeting and feedbacks from Nestlé, the report is finalised in April 2010.
iii WF pilot project
Contents
1 Introduction 1
1.1 Project deliverables 2
1.2 Product description 2
1.3 Staverton factory 3
2 Method 3
2.1 WF of a product along the supply chain 3
2.2 Product tree of the Bitesize shredded wheat 6
3 Data 7
3.1 Crop production 7
3.2 Shredded wheat production 8
3.3 Bitesize shredded wheat consumption 8
4 Result 8
4.1 WF of crop production 8
4.2 WF of Bitesize shredded wheat at factory gate 9
4.3 WF of consumption of Bitesize shredded wheat 10
5 Sustainability assessment and conclusion 12
Acknowledgements 14
References 14
1 WF pilot project
1 Introduction
Recent interest in Water Footprint (WF) accounting for business has led to the formation of the
Water Footprint Network (WFN) in 2009. As part of Nestlé’s engagement in Water initiatives,
Nestlé has joined the Water Footprint Network (WFN).
As the concept and methods for accounting WF are still at the development stage, there are not
yet established standards for businesses to adopt. In this context, WWF International
commissioned a study on the subject to the University of Twente. With subsequent discussions
in the meetings of the WFN at Zeist (2007) and Delft (2008), a report on the framework to
account the WF of a business (Gerbens-Leenes and Hoekstra 2008) was published. To further
the accounting methods outlined in this report along with expertise housed in the University of
Twente and WWF-UK on WF accounting methods, numerous pilot projects have been
suggested as a way to road-test the methods and help advance the process of establishing a
WF ‘Tool’ for estimating water in supply chains. This study therefore contributes to
methodological learning for the tool towards standards for water footprint accounting.
In this context, WWF-UK and Nestlé proposed to undertake the pilot Water footprint
Assessment study. This begins with an analysis of the wheat supply chain within the UK to the
Staverton factory for the production of Shredded Wheat brands. The factory and Shredded
Wheat brand belongs to Cereal Partners Worldwide, a 50:50 Joint Venture between Nestlé and
General Mills International. Nestlé’s interest in this is to test the methodology covering all steps
along the product life cycle, from suppliers to consumers, in order to develop a better
knowledge on assessing the water footprint of a product, and prepare a basis to improve the
product’s environmental impact.
The project has two stages (Figure 1). In stage 1, volumetric assessment of the water footprint
is made at three levels which are: the supply chain WF, the direct water footprint of wheat to the
final Nestlé product originating from its factory, and the end-use water footprint of consumption.
In stage 2: the WF is then analysed with the impacts in the corresponding locations with respect
to the local hydrological characteristics.
Figure 1. Framework for the assessment of WF of ‘Bitesize Shredded Wheat’ from a factory perspective.
WWF-UK (Ashok Chapagain) and WWF-International (Stuart Orr) have undertaken this study
with input and guidance from A.Y. Hoekstra (University of Twente/WFN). An active coordination
with the wider work programme of the WFN has been provided by Derk Kuiper. The work is
conducted with a field visit to the concerned factory in the UK with experts from Nestlé (M.
Jimenez and J. Gavin). A group discussion was held among the key technical and
2 WF pilot project
management personnel at the site to understand the in-situ use of water at various production
steps.
1.1 PROJ ECT DELI VERABLES
The report includes volumetric amounts, source maps, impacts study and breakdown of water
content along the various stages of the supply chain and a narrative section. Once the report is
finally agreed and accepted, a subsequent mode of publication and dissemination of the results
will be discussed with WFN.
1.2 PRODUCT DESCRI PTI ON
The pilot is designed to estimate the water footprint of one simple product from Nestlé, Bitesize
Shredded Wheat. This product is produced in a single factory in the UK located at Staverton.
Nestlé has different varieties of this product (Figure 2). As the purpose of this project is to
establish a practical framework on accounting methodology and impact assessment, the study
focuses on ‘Bitesize Shredded Wheat’ as it is the simplest example among the different varieties
of Shredded Wheat from Nestlé. The method can be replicated for any other varieties using
product specific data for each individual product.
Figure 2. Different varieties of Shredded Wheat and Shreddies produced in the Staverton factory
The common ingredient for the most common varieties of Shredded Wheat brand has 3
flankers:
1. Bitesize Shredded Wheat – ingredients (whole grain wheat = 100%)
2. Honey Nut Shredded Wheat – ingredients (whole grain wheat = 82%, honey = 2.8%,
sugar, peanuts, coconut, hazelnuts, molasses, flavouring agents)
3. Fruitful Shredded wheat – ingredients (whole grain wheat = 73%, different dried fruit &
nuts, sugar, and flavouring agents.
3 WF pilot project
1.3 STAVERTON FACTORY
The factory is located at Trowbridge (51° 20' 50" N 2° 12' 30" W) along the banks of river Avon
near Bath (Figure 3). It is a relatively a new factory (< 10 yrs old) in a rural location with 8.5
hectares of areal coverage. It has 100% UK wheat as a main ingredient, and is a sole supplier
of all Shredded products. It was formerly a shared Nestlé site.
Figure 3. Staverton factory of Nestlé in the UK
At full capacity, the factory is estimated to produce 21,717 tons of Shredded Wheat and 17,676
tons of Shreddies in 2008. Table 1 presents the future production estimation from the factory for
the years 2008-10.
Table 1. Estimated Shredded wheat production from the Staverton factory (tons).
Year 2008 Year 2009 Year 2010
Shredded wheat 8,212 8,554 8,556
Shredded biscuits 13,505 13,381 13,531
Shreddies 17,676 18,740 18,969
Total factory 39,393 40,675 41,056
This factory sources mainly two varieties of wheat, Clare and Alchemy. The farms are located at
a 50 km radius of Northants, NN6 7QA. The farmers do not irrigate their farm for wheat
production. Wheat is harvested and/or dried to maintain a moisture content of <14.5% for
storage. It has two heat suppliers which add approximately ~1% of water during cleaning to
condition the grain, approximately 48hrs prior to the cooking stage at Staverton. The factory is
located at 180 km away from the collection hub at Northants. Staverton receives its water
supply from Wessex Water Ltd from 2 reservoir feeds with a separate water meter with sub-
meters for different units. These are read manually. Effluent from the factory goes to a local
treatment works run by Wessex Water and nothing is discharged to the nearby river. The plant
has an agreement with Wessex Water to treat the waste based on the volume of polluted return
flows from the factory.
2 Method
2.1 WF OF A PRODUCT ALONG THE SUPPLY CHAI N
The total water footprint (WF) of a product/supplier is made up of two components; the direct
WF and indirect WF. The direct WF of a supplier is calculated as the sum of volume of water
either evaporated or polluted at the point of operation. The indirect WF is equal to the sum of
4 WF pilot project
total WFs of the predecessor suppliers in the product supply chain. The schematic to calculate
the total WF of a supplier is presented in Figure 4.
| | | | | |
d sc
WF i WF i WF i = +
where WF [ i ] is the total water footprint of supplier i, WF
d
[ i ] is the direct water footprint of the
supplier i, and WF
sc
[i] is the indirect water footprint of the supplier i.
The indirect water footprint of the supplier i, WF
sc
[i], is equal to the total water footprint of its
immediate supplier WF [ i-1 ] . The direct water footprint of the supplier i for product m from its
operation, WF
d
[ i,m ] is calculated as:
| |
{ }
| |
{ }
| |
| |
[ , ]
[ , ]
[ , ]
, [ , ]
[ , ] [ , ] [ , ]
, [ , ]
[ , ] [ , ] [ , ] [ , ]
, [ , ]
,
f
d
f
f
f
blue green f
f
v i m
WU i m
WF i m
Q i m p i m
v i m Water evaporated i m Water polluted i m
Q i m p i m
Water evaporated i m Water evaporated i m Water polluted i m v i m
Q i m p i m
BWevaporated
Q i m
= ×
+
= ×
+ +
= ×
=
| | | |
[ , ] [ , ] [ , ]
[ , ] , [ , ] , [ , ]
[ , ] [ , ] [ , ]
f f f
f f f
blue green grey
v i m v i m v i m
GWevaporated Water polluted
p i m Q i m p i m Q i m p i m
WF i m WF i m WF i m
¦ ¹ ¦ ¹ ¦ ¹
¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
× + × + ×
´ ` ´ ` ´ `
¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦ ¦
¹ ) ¹ ) ¹ )
= + +
where WF [i,m], expressed in m
3
/ton, is the water footprint of output m and Q [i,m] is the
quantity of the product m in ton produced from the supplier i. The WF [i,m] is calculated based
on the method given in Chapagain and Hoekstra (2008). WU [i,m] is the volume of water use in
the operation of the supplier which is made up of the volume of water evaporated and
equivalent volume of water polluted. The volume of water evaporated is further separated into
two based on the source of water use, blue (BWevaporated, evaporation from the use of
surface and ground water) and green (GWevaporated, evaporation from the use of rain water).
The p
f
[i,m] is the product fraction (dimensionless) and v
f
[i,m] is the value fraction
(dimensionless) of the product m and are calculated using the methods presented in Chapagain
and Hoekstra (2008). Thus, the WF of each product is composed of three separate WFs,
namely blue WF
blue
), green (WF
green
) and grey (WF
grey
). The volume of water polluted is
estimated based on agreed water quality standards in the recipient water bodies and the
pollution load in the return flows from the factory (Hoekstra and Chapagain 2008; Chapagain
and Orr 2009). The total volume of water evaporated in the stage of crop growth is calculated
using the maximum daily crop water requirement and the available effective rainfall calculated
using the model CROPWAT (FAO 1992). Using the outcomes of the CROPWAT, the volume of
blue and green water evaporated are separated following the methodology presented in
Chapagain and Orr (2009). The various steps involved in the calculation of the WF of a
business is recently published in the form of a manual by the WFN (Hoekstra, Chapagain et al.
5 WF pilot project
2009). Figure 4 presents a detailed schematic for the calculation of a WF along the supply
chain.
Figure 4. Layers of calculating WF of different actors along the product supply chain.
6 WF pilot project
A simplified supply chain of Bitesize Shredded Wheat from Nestlé’s Staverton factory is
presented in Figure 5.
Figure 5. Simplified supply chain of Shredded Wheat.
2.2 PRODUCT TREE OF THE BI TESI ZE SHREDDED WHEAT
If a supplier has more than one output product, the total WF of the supplier should be attributed
to each product in a rational way such that there is no double counting of WFs. The distribution
of a WF among different output products is made on the concept of product fraction and value
fraction. Chapagain and Hoekstra (2003) first introduced this concept to estimate the virtual
water content (volume of water used per unit of a product) of processed products. Later on, the
concept is embedded in the methodological frame work of estimating virtual water content of
any processed products (Chapagain, Hoekstra et al. 2006; Chapagain and Hoekstra 2007;
Hoekstra and Chapagain 2008; Chapagain and Orr 2009).
For this purpose, the different stages of production are hierarchically presented in a product tree
(Figure 6). A product tree has product fraction (ratio of the weight of the individual output
products to the weight of the input product) and value fraction (ratio of the market value of
individual output product to the total market value of all the output products combined) at each
stage of production. For example, after stage of ‘Storage’, the only change is moisture content,
thus the value fraction is 1.0, whereas the only the product fraction changes. For a detailed
explanation of product fraction and value fraction please refer Hoekstra et al (2009).
Figure 6. Product tree of Bitesize Shredded Wheat.
7 WF pilot project
3 Data
The various sets of data used in this analysis can be broadly grouped into three different levels.
These are ‘Farm level (crop production)’, ‘Factory level (storage and factory)’, and ‘end use level
(consumer)’. The different data used in each group is discussed in the following sections. In the
absence of data, a reasonable assumption is made based on existing literature and expert
opinion. It is taken care that any such assumptions do not undermine the usefulness of the
result.
3.1 CROP PRODUCTI ON
Three sets of data have been compiled at farm level as detailed in the following paragraphs.
The wheat used in the factory is entirely grown in the UK around 50 km radius of Northants
(Longitude = 52
0
18’ N, Longitude = 1
0
5’ W).
The total quantity of wheat import per farm is back calculated from Staverton import data
provided by Nestlé. The crop yield (ton per hectare), crop length, crop parameters are collected
from field data from Nestlé and FAO (Allen, Pereira et al. 1998). The fertiliser use data at farm
level is gathered and supplied by Nestlé field offices. As the pesticide use in winter wheat in the
UK is nominal (FAO and Defra), and there is no data readily available on the type and quantity
of any pesticide and insecticide used in the farm, it is neglected in quantifying the WF of crop
production. There is no irrigation water used (source: Nestlé) in the crop fields. The climate data
for the regions where wheat is sourced from is collected from FAOCLIM (FAO 2001).
More than 95% of the wheat used by Nestlé is winter wheat of varieties: Clare, Alchemy,
Consort and Riband. According to the BSFP (British Survey of Fertiliser Practice), 98% of the
crop area received nitrogen dressing for winter wheat in the UK during 2007 (Thomas 2008).
The total fertiliser application rates for N, P
2
O
5
and K
2
0 were, 190, 31 and 39 kg/ha respectively.
The efficiency of use of nitrogen fertiliser by winter wheat and winter barley varies depending on
the soil type. For light sand soils the efficiency is 70%, whereas for medium, clay, silty, organic
and peaty soils, it is 60%. For shallow soils over chalk and limestone it is only 55% (The
Stationary Office 2000). Hence, there is inevitably some fertiliser leaching into the local surface
water sources. For this study, we have assumed a 60% recovery of inorganic nitrogen and
100% recovery for organic nitrogen fertiliser. However, as there is very little organic manure
applied to the field, the nitrogen applied is assumed to be 100% inorganic. Out of the total loss,
we have assumed a nitrate-nitrogen loss as leachate as only 10%. Though there can possibly
be at least 2-3 crops in rotation in the same field in a year, we have attributed only half of the
total fertiliser application to the winter wheat and consequently only half of the total leachate to
the wheat production.
Nitrate-nitrogen is highly mobile in the soil and will be lost with any drainage water. We have
calculated the grey water footprint of wheat farming based on the methodology presented by
Chapagain et al (2006). Nitrate in human diets was thought to be a contributory factor to
methaemoglobinaemia in infants and to gastric cancer (Richards 2007). The ‘Drinking Water
Directive’ (80/778/EEC) of 1980 set a limit of 50 mg nitrate/litre in drinking water and this limit
was extended to water sources in the ‘Nitrates Directive’ (91/676/EC) of 1991. Since 1980, the
association between nitrate concentration in water and human health has been largely
dismissed, at least in Europe, but the limits remain (Richards 2007). Hence, we have used this
limit as the standard to estimate the volume of water necessary to dilute the leachate (polluted
return flows) to the drinking water standards.
8 WF pilot project
3.2 SHREDDED WHEAT PRODUCTI ON
There is an intermediate storage before the wheat grain reaches the factory. There is negligible
amount of water used in this storage and there is no pollution released to fresh water bodies at
storage level.
At the factory level, all the relevant data are collected from the factory inventory by Nestlé e.g.
wheat entering the system (ton/yr), Bitesize Shredded Wheat produced (ton), wastage of wheat
(in % or in ton), water used in the factory (m
3
), and waste water discharged (quantity and
quality). There is no immediately available data on the supply chain of the packaging material
and other water intensive products used in the factory for these products.
3.3 BI TESI ZE SHREDDED WHEAT CONSUMPTI ON
Normally, once the product is dispatched from the factory, it reaches the shelves of the retailer
and then ultimately to the consumer. One might like to refine the total water footprint of the
product that finally reaches the hands of a consumer by adding the direct water footprints
incurred at the retailer level. However this is a relatively small amount and very complex to
estimate as a retailer might have thousands of products in store that varies both in time and
quantity. Therefore we have omitted this phase in the pilot.
A further additional water footprint is created when the product reaches the consumer, in the
process of consumption and waste disposal. Based on a Life-Cycle Analysis (LCA) approach,
one can estimate the end use WF of the product. As this is very complex and invites rather
complex boundary issues, we have not done a complete estimation of the end use WF.
However, as Nestlé has recommended that consumers take the Bitesize Shredded Wheat with
milk in a certain combination for a variety of reasons, we have included this at the end use WF
estimation. Nestlé recommends using 125 ml of low fat milk per 2 biscuits of Shredded Wheat at
21.5 gram of each. We have used the same recommendation for 43gm of Bitesize Shredded
Wheat consumption.
Though one can imagine that a variety of other sources of water use can be attributed to this
consumption such as:
- What are the other ingredients needed, for a different composition that might be
suggested by Nestlé?
- What percentage of the daily water use can be attributed to this individual
consumption? Is cleaning of utensils an additional burden or not?
In the absence of the detailed data at this level, we have not included all these actions in
estimating the end use WF of the Bitesize Shredded Wheat. As it is almost impossible for a
factory to trace out the source of other ingredients that a consumer buys, it is suggested to use
the national average water footprint (m
3
/ton) of these ingredients in the UK from Chapagain and
Hoekstra (Chapagain and Hoekstra 2004). However, this national average should be calculated
based on the weighted production inside the UK and the imported volume of products with their
respective virtual water contents at the producing countries (Hoekstra, Chapagain et al. 2009).
4 Result
4.1 WF OF CROP PRODUCTI ON
The crop water requirement of wheat is 397 mm/season in the farms where Nestlé sources its
wheat from for the Staverton factory production. The effective rainfall used by the crop is 184
9 WF pilot project
mm /season, called green water use (evaporation of soil moisture maintained by rainfall). Since
there is no irrigation to the concerned wheat fields, there is no blue water evaporation in the
fields. Using the crop yield (ton of wheat per hectare of land), we get the green WF of what at
farm level equal to 239 m
3
/ton.
The average fertiliser use in the winter wheat farms in the UK is 190 kg N/ha, 31 kg P
2
O
5
/ha and
39 kg K
2
O/ha. Based on nitrogen as the critical element in determining the dilution requirement,
the equivalent volume of fresh water affected is 380 m
3
/ha. With an average wheat yield of 7700
kg/ha, the grey water footprint of wheat (WF
grey
) is calculated.
The total weight of wheat at farm level is 5951 ton/yr. The total WF at farm level (direct WF at
farm level for Nestlé’s Bitesize Shredded Wheat) is calculated to be equal to 1.7 million cubic
meters per year.
Table 1. WF at ‘Farm level’ for the quantity of wheat sourced by Nestlé.
Green Blue Grey Total
Water use, evaporated or polluted
(m
3
/ha)
1838 0 380 2218
WF of wheat in m
3
/ton 239 0 49 288
Total WF of wheat at farm level in
m
3
/yr
1,422,378 0 294,088 1,716,466
Note: As there is no irrigation water supplied, the blue water requirement is not included in the total water use at field
level.
As there is a slight reduction in weight as a result of change in moisture content, the total weight
of the wheat at the storage phase becomes 5229 ton/yr. Based on the total water used to clean
the storage house, the direct WF at storage level is calculated. This direct WF is added to the
total WF at farm level to get the total WF at storage level (Table 2).
Table 2. WF at ‘Storage level’ for the quantity of wheat sourced by Nestlé.
Green Blue Grey Total
Indirect WF in m
3
/yr 1,422,378 - 294,088 1,716,466
Direct WF in m
3
/ton 0 0.005 0.005 0.01
Direct WF in m
3
/yr - 26 26 52
Total WF at storage level in m
3
/yr 1,422,378 26 294,114 1,716,518
4.2 WF OF BI TESI ZE SHREDDED WHEAT AT FACTORY GATE
4.2.1 Di r ec t WF at St aver t on
There are a number of other output products besides Bitesize Shredded Wheat from gross
activities at the factory. As there are no independent data for water usages for one single
product in the plant, a logical water accounting is made to estimate the evaporated and waste
flow for each of the individual products from the factory based on the share of each weight of
each product to the total weight of all the output products.
The water use inventory is compiled from the factory for the period of Apr-Sep 2008. The total
use of water from the return of the condensation for the 6 months is measured as 2,047 m
3
. The
total deficit water, after deducting the re-use of the condensed water, is measured as 16,533 m
3
for the same period. Total water intake for the same period is 66,865 m
3
. The gross return flow
from the factory is 37,557 m
3
. Thus the total outflow from the factory (steam loss + return flow)
10 WF pilot project
is equal to 54,090 m
3
. The total evaporation in factory is the calculated as the difference
between total intake (66,865 m
3
) and total outflow (54,090 m
3
) which is equal to 12,775 m
3
.
The deficit steam (water) and total water intake is attributed to each product category based on
the share of evaporation for each product category to the total evaporation from the factory. The
volume of waste water is estimated by subtracting the volume total evaporation (steam loss plus
other evaporation from the system) from the total water intake.
The total volume of water evaporated attributed to the Bitesize Shredded Wheat is calculated to
be 2,172 m3 per six months period. As the production is 2,353 t/six month, the evaporation per
ton of product is 923 litres. Hence, the direct blue water footprint of the factory in the production
of Bitesize Shredded Wheat is 923 l/t.
The return flow per unit of finished product is 2,714 l/t. However, as all the waste water is
treated by a separate unit as per the existing set up, there is no grey WF of the factory. It is still
debatable whether the blue WF should include the return flows or not, as the treated water is
released to a different point (downstream of the river) other than to the point where it is
abstracted from. For the sake of present calculation and to be consistent with the existing
methods on estimating a WF (Hoekstra, Chapagain et al. 2009), we have excluded this from the
total blue WF of the factory.
As there is a reduction in the total weight of the wheat as result of the factory operation, the
weight of the half yearly production of the Bitesize Shredded Wheat is 2,353 ton. Thus the direct
water footprint of the Bitesize Shredded Wheat at factory level is equal to 2,172 m
3
/six month.
Assuming that the annual production is double of that for the six months (4,706 t/yr), the
resulting direct WF at this stage is calculated to be 4,344 m
3
/yr, which is a 100% blue water
footprint.
4.2.2 Tot al WF at St aver t on
The total WF of the Bitesize Shredded Wheat at the Staverton factory level is the sum of its
indirect WF and direct WF. The indirect WF at this level is equal to the total WF at storage level
which is 1,716,518 m
3
/yr (calculated in section 4.1). The direct WF is equal to 4,344 m3/yr
(calculated in section 4.2.1). The total WF (m
3
/yr) of the Staverton factory related to the Bitesize
Shredded Wheat production is calculated to be 1,720,862 m
3
/yr (Table 3). The blue WF is
created by the operations at factory level and storage, whereas the green and the grey are from
the activities at farm level (crop production).
Table 3. The WF of Staverton Bitesize Shredded Wheat at Staverton factory gate.
Indirect WF Direct WF Total WF
Green Grey Blue Total Green Grey Blue Total Green Grey Blue Total
WF
*
(m
3
/ton)
302 62 0.006 365 0 0 0.923 0.923 302 62 0.929 366
Total WF
(m
3
/yr)
1,422,378 294,114 26 1,716,518 - - 4,344 4,344 1,422,378 294,114 4,370 1,720,862
Locations Farm and storage locations Factory site -
4.3 WF OF CONSUMPTI ON OF BI TESI ZE SHREDDED WHEAT
Assuming that there is no significant direct WF in the retailer stage, the total WF of the
Shredded Wheat at the level of the consumer is estimated by adding the WF of other
ingredients needed to make a serving based on the recommendations by Nestlé for desired
taste and nutritional value. As per Nestlé’s recommendation, one serving of Shredded Wheat
11 WF pilot project
Biscuits is best taken with 125 ml of milk; 2 biscuits of 21.5gm each. There are no other
additives recommended such as sugar or fruits etc. We have taken same serving composition
for the Bitesize Shredded Wheat in calculating the water footprint per serving of the product.
Assuming cleaning of utensils and the related pollution per servings to be negligible, the total
water footprint per serving of Nestlé’s Bitesize Shredded Wheat is calculated and presented in
table 4.
Table 4. Total WF of Bitesize Shredded Wheat consumed according to Nestlé’s recommendation.
Blue WF Green WF Grey WF Total WF
WF (m
3
/ton)
- Biscuits 0.929 302 62 365.674
- Milk** 0 722 0 722.000
WF (m
3
/yr)
- Biscuits 4,370 1,422,378 294,114 1,720,862
- Milk 0 9,877,128 0 9,877,128
- Total WF 4,370 11,299,506 294,114 11,597,990
Note: * Water use in preparation and cleaning utensils etc is assumed to be zero.
** The WF of milk is taken from (Chapagain and Hoekstra 2004). Here, it is assumed that this to be 100% green WF, as the
report doesn’t separate these two WFs categorically.
The total WF of a typical packet (750gm) of the Bitesize Shredded Wheat equates to 274
litres/packet, out of which 226 litres are green, 47 grey and 1 litre is blue (Table 5). Here, the
WF is related to the biscuits only. However, as it is consumed with milk, the WF of a typical
Bitesize Shredded Wheat breakfast is 106 litres per serving (16 litres for biscuits and 90 litres
for milk).
Table 5. WF per serving of a typical Bitesize Shredded Wheat breakfast.
Blue WF
(litre)
Green WF
(litre)
Grey WF
(litre)
Total WF
(litre)
Bitesize Shredded Wheat (43 gm/serving) 0.04 13.00 2.69 16
125 ml of low fat milk per serving 0.00 90.25 0.00 91
Total WF (litre/serving) 0.04 103.25 2.69 106
A flow diagram showing the distribution of the WF along the supply chain of the Bitesize
Shredded Wheat is presented in Figure 7.
WF of crop production
Direct WF
Blue 0 m
3
/t
Green 239 m
3
/t
Grey 49 m
3
/t
Indirect WF
Blue -
Green -
Grey -
Total WF
Blue 0 m
3
/t
Green 239 m
3
/t
Grey 49 m
3
/t
WF of crop storage
Direct WF
Blue 0.005 m
3
/t
Green - m
3
/t
Grey 0.005 m
3
/t
Indirect WF
Blue 0 m
3
/t
Green 239 m
3
/t
Grey 49 m
3
/t
Total WF
Blue 0.005 m
3
/t
Green 239.000 m
3
/t
Grey 49.005 m
3
/t
WF of Staverton factory
Direct WF
Blue 0.923 m
3
/t
Green - m
3
/t
Grey - m
3
/t
Indirect WF
Blue 0.005 m
3
/t
Green 239.000 m
3
/t
Grey 49.005 m
3
/t
Total WF
Blue 0.928 m
3
/t
Green 239.000 m
3
/t
Grey 49.005 m
3
/t
WF of consumption
Direct WF
Blue - m
3
/t
Green (milk) 722.000 m
3
/t
Grey - m
3
/t
Indirect WF
Blue 0.928 m
3
/t
Green 239.000 m
3
/t
Grey 49.005 m
3
/t
Total WF
Blue 0.928 m
3
/t
Green 961.000 m
3
/t
Grey 49.005 m
3
/t
Figure 7. Water footprint of Bitesize Shredded Wheat (l/ton) along the supply chain.
12 WF pilot project
5 Sustainability assessment and conclusion
At the farm level, impacts are minimal with respect to blue water use as no irrigation water is
used. However, as a result of fertiliser use there are pollution impacts to the local surface water
resources which can be addressed with a proper fertiliser management practice in place. The
risk of loss of nitrates by leaching can be reduced by ensuring that the amounts of nitrogen
applied are lesser than, or just equal to that the crop uptake.
At the storage level, there is a moisture enhancement of 10%, about 24 hours before the grain
is supplied to the factory. This only adds a very small (direct blue) amount of water at the
storage point. The size of the direct blue water footprint is very small compared to the total
water available in these locations, and hence the impact on the local hydrology is also minimal.
However, an analysis of UK water resources is useful to highlight potential issues and
proactivity with regard to trends and changes.
Average annual rainfall over England and Wales is 890 mm/yr and nearly half of this evaporates
leaving an average of 465 mm to recharge surface water resources (Environment Agency
2008). However there is a large variation in the recharge rates over England and Wales ranging
from more than 2500 mm in parts of Wales and the English Lake district to less than 200 mm/yr
in parts of Eastern England. Figure 8 presents the recharge rate during summer and winter in
England and Wales. The farms supplying wheat to Nestlé are located on regions with
moderately lower recharge rates to the surface water bodies (100-200 mm/yr), whereas the
factory is located in a region with a relatively higher recharge rate (200-500 mm/yr).
Figure 8. Annual recharge rate of surface water in England and Wales during winter (October to March) and summer (April
to September). Source: (Environment Agency 2008).
A measure of scarcity can be effectively expressed in terms of WEI (water exploitation index)
which is the ratio of actual blue water abstraction to the total recharge rate in a region. On
average, over England and Wales, only about 10 per cent of the freshwater resources are used
for abstraction, excluding abstraction to support power production, which is often returned
directly to the environment (Environment Agency 2008). Water resources are considered to be
under stress or over stretched if this index is more than 20 per cent. South East and Eastern
England can be classified as an area ‘under stress from water abstraction’, with more than 22
per cent of freshwater resources abstracted (Figure 9). Compared to the rest of Europe, water
Recharge rate in winter
Recharge rate in
summerr
13 WF pilot project
resources are under greater stress only in drier countries such as Cyprus, Malta, Spain and Italy
(Environment Agency 2008).
Figure 9. Water Exploitation Index in regions of the UK and the rest of the Europe. Source (Environment Agency 2008).
Based on the CAMS (Catchment Abstraction Management Strategies) assessment of the
Environment Agency (2008), there are considerable pressures on water resources throughout
England and Wales, not just in the drier South East and Eastern England. The CAMS considers
how much freshwater resource is reliably available, how much water the environment needs
and the amount of water already licensed for abstraction. This shows the locations where water
is potentially available for abstraction.
The water resources availability map (Figure 10) shows that there are many catchments where
there is no water available for abstraction at low flows (Environment Agency 2008). The figure
shows that the Nestlé factory is located in a region with risk to future blue water availability. The
farms are located in areas with severe blue water availability issue. Hence, a timely WF analysis
of all its products originating from this region would be strategically important for the business to
grow in these regions.
Figure 10. Blue water availability for abstraction in
England and Wales. Source (Environment Agency 2008).
Figure 11. Levels of water stress in England and
Wales. Source (Environment Agency 2008).
14 WF pilot project
The most critical competitor for water uses is the domestic water sector. The analysis of the EA
(Environment Agency 2008) shows that both the locations of Nestlé’s supply chain lie at severe
water stress zones (Figure 11). The figure shows which areas of England are considered to be
seriously water stressed by assessing where current and future household demand for water is
a high proportion of the available freshwater resources.
Based on projected population growth in England and Wales, it is seen that both the farm and
factory locations are going to witness a 20-30% rise in the population (Environment Agency
2008; ONS 2009). Hence, any reduction of blue and grey water footprint of the supply of
Nestlé’s Bitesized Shredded wheat would always result in a better position for Nestlé’s water
related risks in the future.
The inclusion of impact categories into the WF measure is an on-going evolution, drawing on
experiences from both LCA and water regulation practices. There are, depending on the
boundaries set and the problem to be solved, impact categories which can help the
management aspect of water use. In this case study the impacts are low, as the system from a
water abundant area with minimal social and environmental impacts deriving from production
techniques. While this is essential for companies to realise, not all factories and production sites
are impact free.
Acknowledgements
The report has largely benefited with the discussions when the first interim results were
presented at SABMiller, Woking. Particularly we’d like to thank prof. A.Y. Hoekstra (University of
Twente/WFN), Clive Smith (SHE Mgr Stav), D. Kuiper (WFN), John Gavin (Quality & Regulatory
Affairs Dir CPUK), John O’Callaghan (Energy Mgr CPUK) and Marianela Jimenez (CO-SH&E)
for providing necessary information and feedbacks on earlier drafts of this report.
References
Allen, R. G., L. S. Pereira, et al. (1998). Crop evapotranspiration - Guidelines for computing crop water
requirements. FAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper 56. Rome, Italy, FAO.
Chapagain, A. K. and A. Y. Hoekstra (2003). Virtual water flows between nations in relation to trade in
livestock and livestock products. Value of Water Research Report Series No. 13, UNESCO-IHE.
Chapagain, A. K. and A. Y. Hoekstra (2004). Water footprints of nations. Value of Water Research Report
Series No. 16. Delft, the Netherlands, UNESCO-IHE.
Chapagain, A. K. and A. Y. Hoekstra (2007). "The water footprint of coffee and tea consumption in the
Netherlands." Ecological Economics 64(1): 109-118.
Chapagain, A. K. and A. Y. Hoekstra (2008). "The global component of freshwater demand and supply."
Water International 33(1): 19–32.
Chapagain, A. K., A. Y. Hoekstra, et al. (2006). "The water footprint of cotton consumption: An
assessment of the impact of worldwide consumption of cotton products on the water resources in
the cotton producing countries." Ecological Economics 60(1): 186-203.
Chapagain, A. K. and S. Orr (2009). "An improved water footprint methodology linking global consumption
to local water resources: A case of Spanish tomatoes." Journal of Environmental Management
90(2): 1219-1228.
Environment Agency (2008). Water resources in England and Wales - current state and future pressures.
UK, Environment Agency.
FAO (1992). CROPWAT: A computer program for irrigation planning and management. Irrigation and
Drainage Paper 46. Rome, Italy, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations:
Developed by: Martin Smith.
FAO (2001). FAOCLIM2: World-Wide Agroclimatic database. Rome, Italy, Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations: CD ROM.
Gerbens-Leenes, P. W. and A. Y. Hoekstra (2008). Business water footprint accounting: A tool to assess
how production of goods and services impacts on freshwater resources worldwide. Value of
Water Research Report Series No. 27. Delft, The Netherlands, UNESCO-IHE.
Hoekstra, A. Y. and A. K. Chapagain (2008). Globalization of Water: Sharing the Planet’s Freshwater
Resources. Oxford, UK, Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Hoekstra, A. Y., A. K. Chapagain, et al. (2009). Water footprint manual: State of the art 2009. Enschede,
the Netherlands, Water Footprint Network.
ONS. (2009). "Population estimates and projections." 2009, from
http://www.statistics.gov.uk/CCI/nscl.asp?ID=7594.
Richards, I. (2007). Research needs on nitrogen and phosphate management in cereals and oilseeds.
Suffolk, UK, HGCA, The Home-Grown Cereals Authority.
The Stationary Office (2000). Fertiliser Recommendations for Agriculture and Horticultural Crops
(RB209). Norwich, UK, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
Thomas, M. (2008). The British Survey of Fertiliser Practice: Fertiliser use on farm crops for crop year
2007. York, Surveys, Statistics and Food Economics Division, Defra.

Project timeline This pilot project is first proposed at a meeting of Water Footprint Working group (WFWG) held on the 8th July 2008 with interest from Nestlé. A meeting has been arranged between Arjen Hoekstra (WFN) and Ashok Chapagain (WWFUK) at Enschede to discuss and finalise the report in August 2009. Based on the outcome of the meeting and feedbacks from Nestlé. The visit was useful in collecting the first set of data on production of various kinds of Shredded Wheat varieties from the factory. and Ashok Chapagain (WWF-UK). The participants of this first meet were John Gavin (Quality & Regulatory Affairs Dir CPUK). WWF-UK prepared the preliminary data acquisition sheet and sent that to the Nestlé on the 17th Oct 2008 in a workshop organised at the Cereal Partners factory in the UK. John Gavin has been persistently filling any data voids during the entire calculation phase of the project. WWF-UK provided necessary materials to Marianela Jimenez for the preparation of the presentation by Nestlé at World Water Week event in Sweden held in August 2009. UK on the 18th Dec 2008. WWF-UK agreed to lead the project and prepare the final report. The first draft report was sent to Nestlé on the 19th March 2009. The quotation for the project was then sent to Nestlé on the 7th of August 08 by UT (University of Twente) followed by a formal contract signed by both the parties. Marianela Jimenez (COSH&E). An interim presentation of the first cut of the results was made in the WFWG’s meeting hosted by SABMiller at Woking. John O’Callaghan and Marianela Jimenez provided refinement and clarifications on data used in the calculations in April 2009. The project proposal was jointly prepared by WWF-UK and University of Twente. A more detailed data set was prepared and sent by John O’Callaghan on the 7th Nov 2008. the report is finalised in April 2010. ii WF pilot project . A second draft of the report was prepared and sent back to Nestlé and a feedback to that was sent by Marianela Jimenez on 22 July 2009. John O’Callaghan (Energy Mgr CPUK). Clive Smith (SHE Mgr Stav).

3 5 WF of crop production WF of Bitesize shredded wheat at factory gate WF of consumption of Bitesize shredded wheat Crop production Shredded wheat production Bitesize shredded wheat consumption Project deliverables Product description Staverton factory WF of a product along the supply chain Product tree of the Bitesize shredded wheat 1 2 2 3 3 3 6 7 7 8 8 8 8 9 10 12 14 14 Method Sustainability assessment and conclusion Acknowledgements References iii WF pilot project .2 1.Contents 1 Introduction 1.3 4 Result 4.2 3.2 3 Data 3.3 2 2.1 3.2 4.1 2.1 1.1 4.

from suppliers to consumers. WWF-UK and Nestlé proposed to undertake the pilot Water footprint Assessment study. Jimenez and J. The project has two stages (Figure 1). This study therefore contributes to methodological learning for the tool towards standards for water footprint accounting. there are not yet established standards for businesses to adopt.1 Introduction Recent interest in Water Footprint (WF) accounting for business has led to the formation of the Water Footprint Network (WFN) in 2009. Gavin). a 50:50 Joint Venture between Nestlé and General Mills International. Figure 1. the direct water footprint of wheat to the final Nestlé product originating from its factory.Y. numerous pilot projects have been suggested as a way to road-test the methods and help advance the process of establishing a WF ‘Tool’ for estimating water in supply chains. To further the accounting methods outlined in this report along with expertise housed in the University of Twente and WWF-UK on WF accounting methods. Hoekstra (University of Twente/WFN). Nestlé has joined the Water Footprint Network (WFN). volumetric assessment of the water footprint is made at three levels which are: the supply chain WF. The factory and Shredded Wheat brand belongs to Cereal Partners Worldwide. A group discussion was held among the key technical and 1 WF pilot project . An active coordination with the wider work programme of the WFN has been provided by Derk Kuiper. In this context. and prepare a basis to improve the product’s environmental impact. and the end-use water footprint of consumption. Nestlé’s interest in this is to test the methodology covering all steps along the product life cycle. This begins with an analysis of the wheat supply chain within the UK to the Staverton factory for the production of Shredded Wheat brands. The work is conducted with a field visit to the concerned factory in the UK with experts from Nestlé (M. As the concept and methods for accounting WF are still at the development stage. In stage 1. With subsequent discussions in the meetings of the WFN at Zeist (2007) and Delft (2008). in order to develop a better knowledge on assessing the water footprint of a product. a report on the framework to account the WF of a business (Gerbens-Leenes and Hoekstra 2008) was published. In stage 2: the WF is then analysed with the impacts in the corresponding locations with respect to the local hydrological characteristics. In this context. WWF International commissioned a study on the subject to the University of Twente. As part of Nestlé’s engagement in Water initiatives. Framework for the assessment of WF of ‘Bitesize Shredded Wheat’ from a factory perspective. WWF-UK (Ashok Chapagain) and WWF-International (Stuart Orr) have undertaken this study with input and guidance from A.

molasses. Bitesize Shredded Wheat – ingredients (whole grain wheat = 100%) 2. The method can be replicated for any other varieties using product specific data for each individual product. 1. Nestlé has different varieties of this product (Figure 2).2 PRODUCT DESCRIPTION The pilot is designed to estimate the water footprint of one simple product from Nestlé. a subsequent mode of publication and dissemination of the results will be discussed with WFN. Honey Nut Shredded Wheat – ingredients (whole grain wheat = 82%. honey = 2. As the purpose of this project is to establish a practical framework on accounting methodology and impact assessment. sugar. Different varieties of Shredded Wheat and Shreddies produced in the Staverton factory The common ingredient for the most common varieties of Shredded Wheat brand has 3 flankers: 1. different dried fruit & nuts. Fruitful Shredded wheat – ingredients (whole grain wheat = 73%. Figure 2. This product is produced in a single factory in the UK located at Staverton. sugar. flavouring agents) 3. impacts study and breakdown of water content along the various stages of the supply chain and a narrative section. coconut. the study focuses on ‘Bitesize Shredded Wheat’ as it is the simplest example among the different varieties of Shredded Wheat from Nestlé. Bitesize Shredded Wheat.8%. 2 WF pilot project . Once the report is finally agreed and accepted. peanuts. hazelnuts.management personnel at the site to understand the in-situ use of water at various production steps.1 PROJECT DELIVERABLES The report includes volumetric amounts. source maps. 1. and flavouring agents.

740 40.393 Year 2009 8.056 This factory sources mainly two varieties of wheat. Staverton factory of Nestlé in the UK At full capacity.717 tons of Shredded Wheat and 17.556 13. It is a relatively a new factory (< 10 yrs old) in a rural location with 8.3 STAVERTON FACTORY The factory is located at Trowbridge (51° 20' 50" N 2° 12' 30" W) along the banks of river Avon near Bath (Figure 3). The farms are located at a 50 km radius of Northants. Shredded wheat Shredded biscuits Shreddies Total factory Year 2008 8. approximately 48hrs prior to the cooking stage at Staverton. It was formerly a shared Nestlé site. It has 100% UK wheat as a main ingredient.5 hectares of areal coverage. Wheat is harvested and/or dried to maintain a moisture content of <14.1.676 39. These are read manually. Table 1 presents the future production estimation from the factory for the years 2008-10.505 17. NN6 7QA. Table 1. Figure 3. The direct WF of a supplier is calculated as the sum of volume of water either evaporated or polluted at the point of operation. The indirect WF is equal to the sum of 3 WF pilot project . 2 Method 2.675 Year 2010 8. It has two heat suppliers which add approximately ~1% of water during cleaning to condition the grain.531 18.969 41. Clare and Alchemy.381 18. The factory is located at 180 km away from the collection hub at Northants. Estimated Shredded wheat production from the Staverton factory (tons).5% for storage. the direct WF and indirect WF.212 13.1 WF OF A PRODUCT ALONG THE SUPPLY CHAIN The total water footprint (WF) of a product/supplier is made up of two components. Staverton receives its water supply from Wessex Water Ltd from 2 reservoir feeds with a separate water meter with submeters for different units.676 tons of Shreddies in 2008. and is a sole supplier of all Shredded products. Effluent from the factory goes to a local treatment works run by Wessex Water and nothing is discharged to the nearby river. the factory is estimated to produce 21. The farmers do not irrigate their farm for wheat production.554 13. The plant has an agreement with Wessex Water to treat the waste based on the volume of polluted return flows from the factory.

m    BWevaporated v f [i. The direct water footprint of the supplier i for product m from its operation. The volume of water evaporated is further separated into two based on the source of water use. blue (BWevaporated. is equal to the total water footprint of its immediate supplier WF [ i-1 ] . m]                 Q i. m]   GWevaporated v f [i.m]. the WF of each product is composed of three separate WFs. m]  WFgrey [i. m] p f [i.m ] is calculated as: WFd [i.m] is the product fraction (dimensionless) and vf [i.m] is the value fraction (dimensionless) of the product m and are calculated using the methods presented in Chapagain and Hoekstra (2008). is the water footprint of output m and Q [i. The pf [i. The volume of water polluted is estimated based on agreed water quality standards in the recipient water bodies and the pollution load in the return flows from the factory (Hoekstra and Chapagain 2008.m] is the quantity of the product m in ton produced from the supplier i. m]  WU [i. m]  v f [i. Thus. m  p f [i. m]  Water evaporated [i. The various steps involved in the calculation of the WF of a business is recently published in the form of a manual by the WFN (Hoekstra. m  polluted [i. green (WFgreen) and grey (WFgrey). m] v f [i. 4 WF pilot project . Using the outcomes of the CROPWAT. m]  Q i. Chapagain and Orr 2009). The total volume of water evaporated in the stage of crop growth is calculated using the maximum daily crop water requirement and the available effective rainfall calculated using the model CROPWAT (FAO 1992). The indirect water footprint of the supplier i. The schematic to calculate the total WF of a supplier is presented in Figure 4. m]  WFgreen [i. and WFsc [i] is the indirect water footprint of the supplier i. m] v f [i. WFsc [i]. expressed in m3/ton. m] where WF [i. m]          WFblue [i. the volume of blue and green water evaporated are separated following the methodology presented in Chapagain and Orr (2009). m]   Q i. evaporation from the use of surface and ground water) and green (GWevaporated. WU [i. namely blue WFblue). WFd [ i ] is the direct water footprint of the supplier i. m  p f [i. m]  Water Q  i. Chapagain et al. m]   Q i. m  p f [i. m]  Water polluted [i. The WF [i.m] is the volume of water use in the operation of the supplier which is made up of the volume of water evaporated and equivalent volume of water polluted. m]  Water polluted v f [i. WF i   WFd i   WFsc i  where WF [ i ] is the total water footprint of supplier i.total WFs of the predecessor suppliers in the product supply chain. m] p f [i. m] Q i. m]  Water evaporated blue [i. m]  Water evaporated green [i. evaporation from the use of rain water). m  p f [i.m] is calculated based on the method given in Chapagain and Hoekstra (2008). WFd [ i.

Figure 4 presents a detailed schematic for the calculation of a WF along the supply chain. 5 WF pilot project . Figure 4.2009). Layers of calculating WF of different actors along the product supply chain.

the only change is moisture content. Figure 6.A simplified supply chain of Bitesize Shredded Wheat from Nestlé’s Staverton factory is presented in Figure 5. A product tree has product fraction (ratio of the weight of the individual output products to the weight of the input product) and value fraction (ratio of the market value of individual output product to the total market value of all the output products combined) at each stage of production. the concept is embedded in the methodological frame work of estimating virtual water content of any processed products (Chapagain. thus the value fraction is 1. Simplified supply chain of Shredded Wheat. Product tree of Bitesize Shredded Wheat. the total WF of the supplier should be attributed to each product in a rational way such that there is no double counting of WFs. Figure 5. Hoekstra and Chapagain 2008. Hoekstra et al. Chapagain and Hoekstra (2003) first introduced this concept to estimate the virtual water content (volume of water used per unit of a product) of processed products. Chapagain and Orr 2009). For a detailed explanation of product fraction and value fraction please refer Hoekstra et al (2009). 2.2 PRODUCT TREE OF THE BITESIZE SHREDDED WHEAT If a supplier has more than one output product. Chapagain and Hoekstra 2007. The distribution of a WF among different output products is made on the concept of product fraction and value fraction. whereas the only the product fraction changes. For this purpose. after stage of ‘Storage’. Later on. 2006. 6 WF pilot project . For example. the different stages of production are hierarchically presented in a product tree (Figure 6).0.

and ‘end use level (consumer)’. There is no irrigation water used (source: Nestlé) in the crop fields. According to the BSFP (British Survey of Fertiliser Practice). we have assumed a nitrate-nitrogen loss as leachate as only 10%. As the pesticide use in winter wheat in the UK is nominal (FAO and Defra). For this study. it is 60%. The wheat used in the factory is entirely grown in the UK around 50 km radius of Northants (Longitude = 520 18’ N. However. 3. We have calculated the grey water footprint of wheat farming based on the methodology presented by Chapagain et al (2006). as there is very little organic manure applied to the field. we have used this limit as the standard to estimate the volume of water necessary to dilute the leachate (polluted return flows) to the drinking water standards. Pereira et al. the nitrogen applied is assumed to be 100% inorganic.3 Data The various sets of data used in this analysis can be broadly grouped into three different levels. These are ‘Farm level (crop production)’. Hence. Though there can possibly be at least 2-3 crops in rotation in the same field in a year. there is inevitably some fertiliser leaching into the local surface water sources. P2O5 and K20 were. The ‘Drinking Water Directive’ (80/778/EEC) of 1980 set a limit of 50 mg nitrate/litre in drinking water and this limit was extended to water sources in the ‘Nitrates Directive’ (91/676/EC) of 1991. we have attributed only half of the total fertiliser application to the winter wheat and consequently only half of the total leachate to the wheat production. 98% of the crop area received nitrogen dressing for winter wheat in the UK during 2007 (Thomas 2008). crop parameters are collected from field data from Nestlé and FAO (Allen. Hence. The total fertiliser application rates for N. The total quantity of wheat import per farm is back calculated from Staverton import data provided by Nestlé. but the limits remain (Richards 2007). 7 WF pilot project . 31 and 39 kg/ha respectively. 190. whereas for medium. clay. The fertiliser use data at farm level is gathered and supplied by Nestlé field offices. The different data used in each group is discussed in the following sections. Nitrate-nitrogen is highly mobile in the soil and will be lost with any drainage water. Alchemy. Nitrate in human diets was thought to be a contributory factor to methaemoglobinaemia in infants and to gastric cancer (Richards 2007). it is neglected in quantifying the WF of crop production. 1998). The climate data for the regions where wheat is sourced from is collected from FAOCLIM (FAO 2001).1 CROP PRODUCTION Three sets of data have been compiled at farm level as detailed in the following paragraphs. silty. at least in Europe. and there is no data readily available on the type and quantity of any pesticide and insecticide used in the farm. the association between nitrate concentration in water and human health has been largely dismissed. ‘Factory level (storage and factory)’. a reasonable assumption is made based on existing literature and expert opinion. we have assumed a 60% recovery of inorganic nitrogen and 100% recovery for organic nitrogen fertiliser. Since 1980. Longitude = 10 5’ W). Out of the total loss. Consort and Riband. crop length. The crop yield (ton per hectare). It is taken care that any such assumptions do not undermine the usefulness of the result. For light sand soils the efficiency is 70%. organic and peaty soils. More than 95% of the wheat used by Nestlé is winter wheat of varieties: Clare. In the absence of data. For shallow soils over chalk and limestone it is only 55% (The Stationary Office 2000). The efficiency of use of nitrogen fertiliser by winter wheat and winter barley varies depending on the soil type.

At the factory level. However. 3. The effective rainfall used by the crop is 184 8 WF pilot project . 2009). Though one can imagine that a variety of other sources of water use can be attributed to this consumption such as:   What are the other ingredients needed. Nestlé recommends using 125 ml of low fat milk per 2 biscuits of Shredded Wheat at 21.3. Bitesize Shredded Wheat produced (ton). we have included this at the end use WF estimation. for a different composition that might be suggested by Nestlé? What percentage of the daily water use can be attributed to this individual consumption? Is cleaning of utensils an additional burden or not? In the absence of the detailed data at this level. wheat entering the system (ton/yr). once the product is dispatched from the factory.5 gram of each. as Nestlé has recommended that consumers take the Bitesize Shredded Wheat with milk in a certain combination for a variety of reasons. all the relevant data are collected from the factory inventory by Nestlé e.2 SHREDDED WHEAT PRODUCTION There is an intermediate storage before the wheat grain reaches the factory. We have used the same recommendation for 43gm of Bitesize Shredded Wheat consumption. There is no immediately available data on the supply chain of the packaging material and other water intensive products used in the factory for these products.g. it is suggested to use the national average water footprint (m3/ton) of these ingredients in the UK from Chapagain and Hoekstra (Chapagain and Hoekstra 2004). wastage of wheat (in % or in ton). and waste water discharged (quantity and quality). There is negligible amount of water used in this storage and there is no pollution released to fresh water bodies at storage level. in the process of consumption and waste disposal. 4 Result 4. Therefore we have omitted this phase in the pilot. we have not done a complete estimation of the end use WF. water used in the factory (m3). However. A further additional water footprint is created when the product reaches the consumer. One might like to refine the total water footprint of the product that finally reaches the hands of a consumer by adding the direct water footprints incurred at the retailer level. Based on a Life-Cycle Analysis (LCA) approach. As this is very complex and invites rather complex boundary issues. one can estimate the end use WF of the product. we have not included all these actions in estimating the end use WF of the Bitesize Shredded Wheat. this national average should be calculated based on the weighted production inside the UK and the imported volume of products with their respective virtual water contents at the producing countries (Hoekstra. Chapagain et al.3 BITESIZE SHREDDED WHEAT CONSUMPTION Normally.1 WF OF CROP PRODUCTION The crop water requirement of wheat is 397 mm/season in the farms where Nestlé sources its wheat from for the Staverton factory production. it reaches the shelves of the retailer and then ultimately to the consumer. However this is a relatively small amount and very complex to estimate as a retailer might have thousands of products in store that varies both in time and quantity. As it is almost impossible for a factory to trace out the source of other ingredients that a consumer buys.

called green water use (evaporation of soil moisture maintained by rainfall). WF at ‘Farm level’ for the quantity of wheat sourced by Nestlé.466 Note: As there is no irrigation water supplied. Based on nitrogen as the critical element in determining the dilution requirement.716.378 Blue 0 0 0 Grey 380 49 294. 31 kg P2O5/ha and 39 kg K2O/ha.01 52 1. Table 2. Since there is no irrigation to the concerned wheat fields. the grey water footprint of wheat (WFgrey) is calculated. evaporated or polluted 3 (m /ha) 3 WF of wheat in m /ton Total WF of wheat at farm level in 3 m /yr Green 1838 239 1.422.533 m3 for the same period. after deducting the re-use of the condensed water. Thus the total outflow from the factory (steam loss + return flow) 9 WF pilot project .2 WF OF BITESIZE SHREDDED WHEAT AT FACTORY GATE 4. With an average wheat yield of 7700 kg/ha. Using the crop yield (ton of wheat per hectare of land). The average fertiliser use in the winter wheat farms in the UK is 190 kg N/ha.mm /season.466 0.005 26 26 Grey 294.422. As there are no independent data for water usages for one single product in the plant.7 million cubic meters per year.047 m3. The total weight of wheat at farm level is 5951 ton/yr.716. Indirect WF in m /yr 3 Direct WF in m /ton 3 Direct WF in m /yr 3 Total WF at storage level in m /yr 3 Green 1.378 0 1. the total weight of the wheat at the storage phase becomes 5229 ton/yr.518 4.865 m3. The total WF at farm level (direct WF at farm level for Nestlé’s Bitesize Shredded Wheat) is calculated to be equal to 1.088 Total 2218 288 1. The gross return flow from the factory is 37. Total water intake for the same period is 66.114 Total 1. Based on the total water used to clean the storage house. a logical water accounting is made to estimate the evaporated and waste flow for each of the individual products from the factory based on the share of each weight of each product to the total weight of all the output products. we get the green WF of what at farm level equal to 239 m3/ton.422.2. Table 1. WF at ‘Storage level’ for the quantity of wheat sourced by Nestlé.088 0. the equivalent volume of fresh water affected is 380 m3/ha.378 Blue 0. the direct WF at storage level is calculated. The total use of water from the return of the condensation for the 6 months is measured as 2. As there is a slight reduction in weight as a result of change in moisture content. the blue water requirement is not included in the total water use at field level. is measured as 16. there is no blue water evaporation in the fields.005 26 294. The total deficit water. This direct WF is added to the total WF at farm level to get the total WF at storage level (Table 2). Water use. The water use inventory is compiled from the factory for the period of Apr-Sep 2008.1 Direct WF at Staverton There are a number of other output products besides Bitesize Shredded Wheat from gross activities at the factory.716.557 m3.

As there is a reduction in the total weight of the wheat as result of the factory operation.172 m3/six month. we have excluded this from the total blue WF of the factory.114 0. the direct blue water footprint of the factory in the production of Bitesize Shredded Wheat is 923 l/t.353 ton. which is a 100% blue water footprint.720. as all the waste water is treated by a separate unit as per the existing set up. the total WF of the Shredded Wheat at the level of the consumer is estimated by adding the WF of other ingredients needed to make a serving based on the recommendations by Nestlé for desired taste and nutritional value.344 m3/yr (calculated in section 4.2.172 m3 per six months period. Thus the direct water footprint of the Bitesize Shredded Wheat at factory level is equal to 2. Assuming that the annual production is double of that for the six months (4.1).344 m3/yr.775 m3.378 62 294. The total evaporation in factory is the calculated as the difference between total intake (66. As the production is 2. the weight of the half yearly production of the Bitesize Shredded Wheat is 2.344 Total WF Green Grey Blue 302 1. Chapagain et al.865 m3) and total outflow (54. one serving of Shredded Wheat 10 WF pilot project . 2009). as the treated water is released to a different point (downstream of the river) other than to the point where it is abstracted from. The deficit steam (water) and total water intake is attributed to each product category based on the share of evaporation for each product category to the total evaporation from the factory. However.1).422.706 t/yr).716. the resulting direct WF at this stage is calculated to be 4.is equal to 54.2 Total WF at Staverton The total WF of the Bitesize Shredded Wheat at the Staverton factory level is the sum of its indirect WF and direct WF. 4.923 4. As per Nestlé’s recommendation. The total WF (m3/yr) of the Staverton factory related to the Bitesize Shredded Wheat production is calculated to be 1.923 4.3 WF OF CONSUMPTION OF BITESIZE SHREDDED WHEAT Assuming that there is no significant direct WF in the retailer stage.378 62 294.518 m3/yr (calculated in section 4. The direct WF is equal to 4.2. The indirect WF at this level is equal to the total WF at storage level which is 1.862 Locations Farm and storage locations Factory site - 4.714 l/t. The blue WF is created by the operations at factory level and storage. It is still debatable whether the blue WF should include the return flows or not.114 0. whereas the green and the grey are from the activities at farm level (crop production). there is no grey WF of the factory. Hence. The return flow per unit of finished product is 2.716.929 4.518 Direct WF Green Grey Blue 0 0 0.344 Total 0.090 m3.006 26 Total 365 1. The volume of waste water is estimated by subtracting the volume total evaporation (steam loss plus other evaporation from the system) from the total water intake. The total volume of water evaporated attributed to the Bitesize Shredded Wheat is calculated to be 2.422.720. For the sake of present calculation and to be consistent with the existing methods on estimating a WF (Hoekstra. Table 3. Indirect WF Green Grey Blue WF* (m3/ton) Total WF (m3/yr) 302 1.090 m3) which is equal to 12. The WF of Staverton Bitesize Shredded Wheat at Staverton factory gate.370 Total 366 1.353 t/six month. the evaporation per ton of product is 923 litres.862 m3/yr (Table 3).

00 90.674 722.005 m3/t 0.114 Total WF 365. ** The WF of milk is taken from (Chapagain and Hoekstra 2004).114 0 294. Total WF of Bitesize Shredded Wheat consumed according to Nestlé’s recommendation.005 m3/t WF of consumption Direct WF Blue Green (milk) Grey m3/t 722.923 m3/t .m3/t . However. as the report doesn’t separate these two WFs categorically.299.m3/t 0. out of which 226 litres are green.506 Grey WF 62 0 294.25 Grey WF (litre) 2.000 m3/t 49. as it is consumed with milk.69 0. Blue WF WF (m /ton)  Biscuits  Milk** 3 WF (m /yr)  Biscuits  Milk  Total WF 3 Green WF 302 722 1. The total WF of a typical packet (750gm) of the Bitesize Shredded Wheat equates to 274 litres/packet. it is assumed that this to be 100% green WF.370 Note: * Water use in preparation and cleaning utensils etc is assumed to be zero. Table 5.00 2.928 m3/t 239.862 9.928 m3/t 961.04 0.005 m3/t 0.990 0.005 m3/t 239.000 m3/t 49.128 11.25 103. 11 WF pilot project .720. WF of crop production Direct WF Blue Green Grey 0 m3/t 239 m3/t 49 m3/t 0 m3/t 239 m3/t 49 m3/t WF of crop storage Direct WF Blue Green Grey 0. 47 grey and 1 litre is blue (Table 5).04 Green WF (litre) 13.000 m3/t 49.Biscuits is best taken with 125 ml of milk.929 0 4. Table 4.005 m 3/t m3/t 0.005 m3/t Indirect WF Blue Green Grey Indirect WF Blue Green Grey Indirect WF Blue Green Grey Indirect WF Blue Green Grey Total WF Blue Green Grey Total WF Blue Green Grey Total WF Blue Green Grey Total WF Blue Green Grey Figure 7.877.877.422.000 m3/t 49. We have taken same serving composition for the Bitesize Shredded Wheat in calculating the water footprint per serving of the product.000 1.005 m 3/t 0 m3/t 239 m3/t 49 m3/t 0.69 Total WF (litre) 16 91 106 A flow diagram showing the distribution of the WF along the supply chain of the Bitesize Shredded Wheat is presented in Figure 7.370 0 4.000 m3/t 49. the WF of a typical Bitesize Shredded Wheat breakfast is 106 litres per serving (16 litres for biscuits and 90 litres for milk).005 m3/t 239. There are no other additives recommended such as sugar or fruits etc. Assuming cleaning of utensils and the related pollution per servings to be negligible.128 11.5gm each. Bitesize Shredded Wheat (43 gm/serving) 125 ml of low fat milk per serving Total WF (litre/serving) Blue WF (litre) 0. Here. Here.005 m3/t WF of Staverton factory Direct WF Blue Green Grey 0.378 9. Water footprint of Bitesize Shredded Wheat (l/ton) along the supply chain. the total water footprint per serving of Nestlé’s Bitesize Shredded Wheat is calculated and presented in table 4. WF per serving of a typical Bitesize Shredded Wheat breakfast.928 m3/t 239.597.000 m3/t m3/t 0. the WF is related to the biscuits only.00 0. 2 biscuits of 21.

and hence the impact on the local hydrology is also minimal. Compared to the rest of Europe.5 Sustainability assessment and conclusion At the farm level. water 12 WF pilot project . However there is a large variation in the recharge rates over England and Wales ranging from more than 2500 mm in parts of Wales and the English Lake district to less than 200 mm/yr in parts of Eastern England. only about 10 per cent of the freshwater resources are used for abstraction. Source: (Environment Agency 2008). excluding abstraction to support power production. South East and Eastern England can be classified as an area ‘under stress from water abstraction’. On average. impacts are minimal with respect to blue water use as no irrigation water is used. Figure 8 presents the recharge rate during summer and winter in England and Wales. Annual recharge rate of surface water in England and Wales during winter (October to March) and summer (April to September). However. with more than 22 per cent of freshwater resources abstracted (Figure 9). Average annual rainfall over England and Wales is 890 mm/yr and nearly half of this evaporates leaving an average of 465 mm to recharge surface water resources (Environment Agency 2008). about 24 hours before the grain is supplied to the factory. Recharge rate in w inter Recharge rate in summerr Figure 8. This only adds a very small (direct blue) amount of water at the storage point. At the storage level. or just equal to that the crop uptake. whereas the factory is located in a region with a relatively higher recharge rate (200-500 mm/yr). as a result of fertiliser use there are pollution impacts to the local surface water resources which can be addressed with a proper fertiliser management practice in place. The farms supplying wheat to Nestlé are located on regions with moderately lower recharge rates to the surface water bodies (100-200 mm/yr). However. over England and Wales. Water resources are considered to be under stress or over stretched if this index is more than 20 per cent. The risk of loss of nitrates by leaching can be reduced by ensuring that the amounts of nitrogen applied are lesser than. an analysis of UK water resources is useful to highlight potential issues and proactivity with regard to trends and changes. there is a moisture enhancement of 10%. The size of the direct blue water footprint is very small compared to the total water available in these locations. which is often returned directly to the environment (Environment Agency 2008). A measure of scarcity can be effectively expressed in terms of WEI (water exploitation index) which is the ratio of actual blue water abstraction to the total recharge rate in a region.

Malta.resources are under greater stress only in drier countries such as Cyprus. Source (Environment Agency 2008). Hence. The CAMS considers how much freshwater resource is reliably available. Based on the CAMS (Catchment Abstraction Management Strategies) assessment of the Environment Agency (2008). Water Exploitation Index in regions of the UK and the rest of the Europe. Figure 10. not just in the drier South East and Eastern England. Blue water availability for abstraction in England and Wales. Levels of water stress in England and Wales. a timely WF analysis of all its products originating from this region would be strategically important for the business to grow in these regions. Spain and Italy (Environment Agency 2008). how much water the environment needs and the amount of water already licensed for abstraction. Source (Environment Agency 2008). Figure 11. The farms are located in areas with severe blue water availability issue. 13 WF pilot project . Source (Environment Agency 2008). Figure 9. there are considerable pressures on water resources throughout England and Wales. This shows the locations where water is potentially available for abstraction. The water resources availability map (Figure 10) shows that there are many catchments where there is no water available for abstraction at low flows (Environment Agency 2008). The figure shows that the Nestlé factory is located in a region with risk to future blue water availability.

Hoekstra (2003). Chapagain. (1998). impact categories which can help the management aspect of water use. Hoekstra. Rome. Kuiper (WFN).The most critical competitor for water uses is the domestic water sector. FAO Irrigation and Drainage Paper 56. Hoekstra (2008). and A. Hoekstra (2004). K. Irrigation and Drainage Paper 46. Delft. A. D. John Gavin (Quality & Regulatory Affairs Dir CPUK). Particularly we’d like to thank prof.Guidelines for computing crop water requirements. 14 WF pilot project ." Journal of Environmental Management 90(2): 1219-1228. A. Hence. Value of Water Research Report Series No. any reduction of blue and grey water footprint of the supply of Nestlé’s Bitesized Shredded wheat would always result in a better position for Nestlé’s water related risks in the future. Italy. Italy." Ecological Economics 60(1): 186-203. A.. Hoekstra (2007). Clive Smith (SHE Mgr Stav). Y. FAO. Virtual water flows between nations in relation to trade in livestock and livestock products. Pereira. Woking. UNESCO-IHE. Y. K. Crop evapotranspiration . Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: Developed by: Martin Smith. Italy. In this case study the impacts are low. K. A. G. Rome." Water International 33(1): 19–32. not all factories and production sites are impact free. (2006). it is seen that both the farm and factory locations are going to witness a 20-30% rise in the population (Environment Agency 2008. Rome. There are. Environment Agency. "The water footprint of coffee and tea consumption in the Netherlands. Chapagain. "An improved water footprint methodology linking global consumption to local water resources: A case of Spanish tomatoes. John O’Callaghan (Energy Mgr CPUK) and Marianela Jimenez (CO-SH&E) for providing necessary information and feedbacks on earlier drafts of this report. and A. Water footprints of nations. Chapagain. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: CD ROM. Y. FAO (1992). 16. The inclusion of impact categories into the WF measure is an on-going evolution. and A. A. R. as the system from a water abundant area with minimal social and environmental impacts deriving from production techniques. FAOCLIM2: World-Wide Agroclimatic database. UNESCO-IHE.Y. CROPWAT: A computer program for irrigation planning and management. Chapagain. Water resources in England and Wales . Environment Agency (2008)." Ecological Economics 64(1): 109-118. "The water footprint of cotton consumption: An assessment of the impact of worldwide consumption of cotton products on the water resources in the cotton producing countries. A. ONS 2009). K. Y. L. "The global component of freshwater demand and supply. 13. Orr (2009). Based on projected population growth in England and Wales. A. Chapagain. The analysis of the EA (Environment Agency 2008) shows that both the locations of Nestlé’s supply chain lie at severe water stress zones (Figure 11). and S. S. and A. Value of Water Research Report Series No. Acknowledgements The report has largely benefited with the discussions when the first interim results were presented at SABMiller. While this is essential for companies to realise.current state and future pressures. Chapagain. K. et al. A. UK. K. et al. Y. Hoekstra (University of Twente/WFN). FAO (2001).. References Allen. depending on the boundaries set and the problem to be solved. drawing on experiences from both LCA and water regulation practices. The figure shows which areas of England are considered to be seriously water stressed by assessing where current and future household demand for water is a high proportion of the available freshwater resources. the Netherlands.

The Home-Grown Cereals Authority. A. Chapagain. Norwich. 27. "Population estimates and projections.gov. Hoekstra. Delft. I. from http://www. Water footprint manual: State of the art 2009. Oxford. Fertiliser Recommendations for Agriculture and Horticultural Crops (RB209). Fisheries and Food. Surveys. UK. Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Richards. Thomas. The Netherlands. (2009). K. and A. Hoekstra (2008). Chapagain (2008). Y. The British Survey of Fertiliser Practice: Fertiliser use on farm crops for crop year 2007. Hoekstra. A. and A. (2009).statistics. W. Research needs on nitrogen and phosphate management in cereals and oilseeds. Statistics and Food Economics Division. Enschede.. ONS. K. The Stationary Office (2000). Business water footprint accounting: A tool to assess how production of goods and services impacts on freshwater resources worldwide.Gerbens-Leenes. (2008). Ministry of Agriculture. UK. M. Suffolk. A. Y." 2009. UNESCO-IHE. Defra.uk/CCI/nscl. Value of Water Research Report Series No. P. UK. Globalization of Water: Sharing the Planet’s Freshwater Resources. York.asp?ID=7594. Y. the Netherlands. Water Footprint Network. . et al. HGCA. (2007).