Mars Food wins Global Water Award

Posted by Josette Dunn on 14th May 2010

Mars Food, producer of the MasterFoods, DOLMIO, KAN TONG and UNCLE BEN’S brands, has taken out top prize in the Industrial Water Project Of The Year category at the Global Water Awards, held in Paris earlier this month.Queen Noor of Jordan presented the coveted award to Mars’ Global Technology Staff Officer (Supply & Sustainability), Andrew Hobday at a gala dinner attended by 500 industry colleagues and dignitaries.

The Global Water Awards are the most prestigious in the water industry. Independently run and voted, the awards cover a handful of categories, including Top Water Technology Company, Top Public Water Project, and Top Desalination Project.

Mars Foods’ water conservation project, which includes a state-of-the-art water treatment and recycling plant on its Central Coast, was commended for not only halving the business’ annual water usage (equivalent to 33 Olympic swimming pools, or the annual water usage of more than 300 Australian households) but for its innovative use of world class technology.

The plant helps the business to reduce its reliance on mains water by recovering and then treating storm and manufacturing waste water for reuse in non-product utility purposes, including cooling towers and cleaning of process equipment. After primary treatment, the process involves using two stages of biological digestion, ultra-filtration and reverse osmosis technologies to treat and clean the water to a purified standard. Effectively, every drop of rainwater that falls on a hard surface on-site and much of the water used in the plant is captured, recycled and reused.

Mars Food’s General Manager Andrew Clarke said: “The Water Recycling Project has been an important initiative for Mars Food, as a business committed to sustainability, and as a large manufacturer operating in a region heavily affected by ongoing drought.”

As a major food manufacturer with more than 500 different products, Mars Food relies on quality water for a number of uses – it’s an ingredient in products like table sauces, pasta sauces and meal bases, as well as an essential part of the manufacturing process, particularly for boilers, cooling towers and cleaning manufacturing lines between products.

“We are extremely proud of the project and our Associates are very excited to have received such prestigious global recognition for our commitment to sustainability,” said Andrew. “The challenge now is to keep up this momentum, and continue to make real changes in the way we do business, to minimise our impact on the local environment.”

The next step in Mars Food’s sustainability journey is the opening of its new cogeneration plant, which – using natural gas – will halve the site’s demand for energy, save costs and reduce carbon emissions.

Mars Food’s Water Recycling Project was supported by a $725,000 grant from the NSW Government Department of Environment, Climate Change & Water under the Central Coast Water Savings Fund.

In line with the business’ long-term commitment to sustainability, Mars Food has a number of projects in development to reduce its emissions and reliance on energy and water. Its Associates, many of whom helped to develop and tailor the world class technologies implemented on site, play an active role in Mars Food’s sustainability journey, sharing in the business’ environmental responsibilities and reducing, reusing and recycling wherever possible.

For more information about the Global Water Awards – and to check out the other nominations in the category of ‘Industrial Water Project Of The Year’ – visit