As part of its environmental responsibility strategy, La Union has set out to know the water impact generated by the production of one of its star products, cucumber, at its facilities in El Ejido, Almeria.
The study carried out in collaboration with Ecoterrae concluded that the Blue Water Footprint (BWF), which corresponds to the amount of water that comes from surface or underground sources, in the 2019-2020 campaign stood at 50,558 m³/t.
According to the study, direct consumption is greater than indirect consumption for this indicator, accounting for 60% of the BWF. By process, the planting process accounts for 60.44% of the BWF, storage accounts for 39.54%, and the transportation of cucumber only accounts for 0.02% of the water consumption.
The Green Water Footprint (GWF), which is related to the rainwater incorporated in the product, was equal to zero.
The Grey Water Footprint (GWF) indicates the level of contamination of freshwater derived from the entire production process. According to the study, GWF stood at 73.101 m³/t. This is defined by the volume of freshwater required to assimilate the polluting load, which is a consequence of the application of fertilizers during the cultivation of cucumbers.
In total, 112,631.567 m³ of water was used during the year of study. However, the total water footprint of the cucumber produced by the company stood at 123,659 m³/t.
According to the information from the study, the water footprint used in the 2019/2020 campaign was 38% lower than in the previous year.
Once those phases of the production process that generate a greater impact on the water resource were identified, La Union implemented a series of measures that contribute to the saving and optimization of said water consumption.
Among many other measures, La Union implemented intelligent computer systems that allow reducing the annual consumption of water for irrigation by up to 15%, and hydroponics, an irrigation technique that allows water savings of around 80% compared to traditional irrigation systems and that also allows the recirculation of drained water.