JBS Rockhampton Pioneers Water Saving Technology
JBS Australia’s Rockhampton facility is pioneering water saving initiatives at the plant, which are being recognized globally by the JBS Group for their innovation and effectiveness.
The Rockhampton plant has been a leader in developing new technologies and processes that have resulted in permanent and ongoing major water reductions. Over the past decade, a widespread cultural shift towards responsible water use has successfully resulted in a notable reduction in water consumption across the Rockhampton facility.
The Rockhampton meat processing facility installed automated water sensors in 2022 as part of JBS’s global commitment to reduce the company’s water consumption by 15% by 2025. Since the sensors were installed, the plant has saved a total of 50kL of water per day (the equivalent of 14 Olympic swimming pools saved each year).
Another initiative pioneered at Rockhampton was the development of a dual knife sterilizer system. This system hosts a dual compartment containing sterile (82 degree) water that continuously flows from one decontamination unit to another. This system efficiently uses overflow water and saves 5kL of water daily, and was delivered for less than $900. With heating only required for one sterilizer unit rather than two, the system also saves energy and emissions.
Other initiatives rolled out at Rockhampton include recycling and reuse of water in areas where it is safe to do so, water pressure reduction and improved cleaning efficiencies through dry-cleaning and a focus on minimizing water waste.
More recently, meters were installed at seven standard points at the Rockhampton site as part of a rollout at nine JBS Australia red meat processing facilities. Using benchmark data obtained from these meters, JBS Australia is reviewing opportunities to further reduce water consumption.
Major initiatives and water savings are shared with the industry group – the Australian Meat Processor Corporation (AMPC)– to help build industry knowledge on water saving opportunities.
The metering project and others amounted to an investment of $2m in water measurement and innovation by JBS Australia in 2022.
JBS Australia CEO Brent Eastwood said that as Australia enters another El Niño event, it’s critical we keep investing in water efficiency measures:
“The team at our Rockhampton plant have made a conscious and proactive effort over the last decade to change the way they work and use water.
“This cultural change has resulted in material water savings at the site, demonstrating our shared commitment to sustaining our invaluable water resources, and has also been recognized by our global company as one of the best in the world.”
Sam Churchill, JBS Australia Group Manager Sustainability, said the team at Rockhampton have played a leading role, globally:
“Rockhampton is an example of how a plant can make a small change to the way it operates but have a big impact on our environmental outcomes and our goal of reducing water consumption by 15% by 2025.
“Water stewardship is increasingly important across JBS Australia’s operations. Across our facilities the company has saved a total of 735 million Liters or more than 295 Olympic swimming pools of water, so far this year.
JBS Rockhampton Plant Manager Anthony Milzewski said the water metering’s success is credited to the commitment and ingenuity of the entire Rockhampton team:
“Our water program depends on technology, but also behavioral change of our team members across our organization. This trial is a fantastic example of how technology can inform new ways of working and support our people in making a real impact.”
The Rockhampton Plant was established in 1965 and produces a large range of grass-fed beef products for Australian and international customers. The plant employs over 500 people.
Director Corporate Communication, Australia & NZ
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About JBS Australia
JBS Australia is the largest meat and food processor in Australia with more than 15,000 team members and a strong portfolio of leading beef, lamb, pork, salmon, and value-added branded products. JBS globally is the largest animal protein business and the largest food company in the world, with operations in North America, South America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.