Minister refreshed by eco–friendly factory

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It was a clean sweep for the Buxton water factory when the Environment Minister praised it for its hygiene and sustainability.

Lord de Mauley, Environment Minister, was impressed by what he saw at Nestle Water’s new facility, in Waterswallows Lane, when he officially opened it.

He commented: “I have been hugely impressed with my visit here, the enthusiasm of the staff and the sustainability of the project, as well as the health and hygiene of the product.”

The company decided to move the factory from its former site, in Station Road, in order to allow it to expand.

The idea to build a new facility came about in 2009 and the project was finally completed last year.

Lord de Mauley said: “One of the things I really like about it is their sustainability. They operate a zero waste policy and they use a good deal less energy than other factories.”

Matt Beddoe, who oversaw the project for Nestle, explained that the new larger site allowed both production and warehousing to be under the same roof, meaning they no longer needed to use trucks to transport the bottles of water between two separate sites.

He explained that the factory adheres to a zero waste policy by recycling everything it can.

“Everything that can’t be recycled goes to be incinerated so it doesn’t go to landfill,” Mr Beddoe said.

Lord de Mauley said the Government was actively seeking ways to reduce the amount of waste send to landfill by companies.

“The main policy is a landfill tax, which is a powerful deterrent, in addition we have the Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP), which involves some of the major retailers and companies helping to design packages and procedures in a way where they can minimise waste.”

The state–of–the–art building boasts other features, including extensive glazing to maximise its use of natural light, and a rainfall drainage system that mimics the natural process whereby rain water will go straight into the ground, rather than the sewer.

“We built the factory in a sustainable way because its the right thing to do,” Mr Beddoe added.

The company’s thoughtful construction has won it ‘excellent’ certification from BREEAM, the world’s foremost environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings.

The majority of the people who work at the factory, which has been based in Buxton since 1988, live within the local area.

Lord de Mauley said: “The UK food and drinks sector is hugely important to us and employs 3.7 million people and makes £90 billion, so clearly we sit up and take notice when a company like this wants to establish a factory of this type.

“They are interested in the country as a whole, investing £500 million over three years, of which this is a substantial part - apart from the fact it employs a good number of local people.”