Water: Efficiency Projects and Comprehensive Tracking Improve Results

19.1%= Decline in ADM’s water consumption on a per-unit-of-production basis from 2008 to 2014 thanks to aggressive implementation of water reuse systems, investments in high-efficiency equipment, and operational improvements in boilers and cooling-tower systems.

Conservation initiatives advanced by ADM’s Corn and Oilseeds teams demonstrate how the company was able to surpass its target three years ahead of schedule.

  • During the historic U.S. drought of 2012, water levels in Lake Decatur—which supplies the company’s large local processing complex —were declining, prompting the city to impose water-usage restrictions. In response, Corn Division teams at the complex installed equipment that enabled them to capture and recover more process water from wastewater—something the plant was already doing successfully—and use it to supply four cooling-tower systems. This generated savings of 1 million gallons of water per day at the complex—about 6 percent of its total usage. 
  • At the same time, ADM’s Decatur Oilseeds teams found an innovative way to displace potable water needed upstream at one of the soybean plants with recycled water. These projects netted another 1 million gallons per day in water savings.

Going forward, we will continue implementing efficiency projects worldwide with a view to achieving further improvements.


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