GE Water & Process Technologies, a unit of General Electric Company, awarded Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), one of the world’s largest agricultural processors, with the 2007 global ecomagination Leadership Award for its innovative environmental and business efforts. More than a decade ago, ADM’s Decatur, Ill., corn plant, which processes corn for food, feed, industrial products, and biofuel, implemented a sustainable water management program – conserving 150 million gallons of water each year and realizing $1 million in annual operational savings.

 

“Healthy water sources are essential for healthy communities, industries and agriculture production,” said Jeff Garwood, presidents and CEO, GE Water & Process Technologies. “Managing our fresh water sources in a sustainable way is not only critical to the long-term health of our natural resources, but it is also essential to the vitality of the industries located in the industrial and agriculture heartland of the U.S. ADM won the 2007 ecomagination Leadership Award for its environmental leadership. ADM is an excellent example of how small changes can result in big wins for both the environment and business.”

 

Today it is estimated that industrial water use in developed countries accounts for as much as 59 percent of all fresh water consumption. At the same time that water consumption continues to rise, groundwater depletion, water contamination, demographic shifts and unpredictable weather conditions continue to impact the world’s fresh water sources.

 

"At ADM, we know that taking a sustainable business approach doesn’t just benefit our environment and communities, it benefits our company as well,” said Bill Manley, plant manager for ADM’s Decatur corn plant. “Our Decatur site has been reusing wastewater for more than a decade. And this year alone we’ve reused and captured over 150 million gallons of wastewater. Our innovative water conservation and treatment strategy brought a million dollars in operational savings, as well. Using GE’s wastewater system and cooling tower treatment solutions, we minimized our reliance on municipal water sources, conserved fresh water supplies, and improved our operational efficiency."

 

Working with GE to develop a sustainable water management program, ADM installed a ZeeWeed wastewater treatment system, an ecomagination-certified membrane ultrafiltration system, to minimize water withdrawn from Lake Decatur, local fresh water wells and municipal water sources. The ZeeWeed membranes treat wastewater from the site, producing high-quality effluent that can be reused in the site’s cooling towers. ADM also implemented a cooling tower treatment program that included GE specialized chemistry, monitoring services and feed and control equipment. The program enabled ADM to improve its operational efficiency and its reduce environmental footprint.

 

For more information on the GE ecomagination Leadership Award and ecomagination water and process technologies, visit www.gewater.com.