Discover Julien Populin & Filip Lefever’s interview, Heads of Environment departments at Lutosa.
World Water Day 2022,
our sustainable commitments.
Here are our five pillars: Good People, Good Partnerships, Good Agriculture, Good Food and Good Operations. At Lutosa, we care about reducing our environmental footprint. This initiative is made possible thanks to our Good Operations pillar. A reasoned use of energy and water, as well as the optimized waste management are being implemented.
World Water Day 2022 is devoted to underground water: “make visible what is not”, in order to underline its important role in procurement systems in agriculture, industry, ecology and adaptation to climate change.
Water is a valuable resource. That is the reason why Lutosa makes considerable efforts to reduce its water consumption not only in production but during the planting process as well to preserve what is justly called “blue gold”. More than 80%* of wastewater is discharged in nature without any depollution!
At Lutosa, we apply a water management policy. This means that “we are committed to respecting environmental obligations. We have a single (environment) permit telling us how to manage water on site, how to discharge it and in what amount, as well as how to set the volumes we can pump”, Julien Populin, Head of Environment department at Lutosa in Leuze.
The water we use to make our products comes from the groundwater table. This table is renewable to a certain degree, but it can take time to replenish itself. “
“We have been one of the first companies to put a RO installation to reduce our water consumption“, Filip Lefever, Head of Environment department at Lutosa in Waregem.
Implemented actions to optimize our water consumption
Our production at Lutosa grows steadily year after year. Some products are very water-consuming. “The challenge is to remain within that restricted framework while making more and more water-consuming products”, Julien Populin, Head of Environment department at Lutosa in Leuze.
At Lutosa, our production sites have their own water treatment plants that clean water before giving it back to environment. They also allow to reduce our wastewater. Our first goal is to consume less water per ton finished products every year.
To optimize that we have implemented several actions: consume less and recycle water.
First, wastewater from the production process that is not pure enough for our production lines has been treated by “biomethanization” for 15 years. This process allows to transform wastewater into energy. This energy is reinjected in the plant and amounts to the electric consumption of 1,600 households per year. After it has been treated, wastewater can be reused for potato washing at the start of the production process.
Second, devices have purified part of the methanized water and reinjected it in the production process for 4 years. That is called “Ultrafiltration reverse osmosis “: filtration is done in such a way as to get osmosed water. “We transform our own wastewater into drinkable water in order to further reduce the quantity of tap water we use”, Filip Lefever, Head of Environment department at Lutosa in Waregem.
In other terms, this water is purer, odourless, without any chloride aftertaste, or any unwelcome and polluting substances. We use it in more production such as steam production, cooling, etc.
Reused water covers between 20 to 40% of our production needs.
Our objectives for 2025
Lutosa’s production of finished products grows every year. A new objective to reduce our production has been set for 2025. To reach this objective, we are constantly looking for new solutions and investing in better production practices.
“We must manage our resources in a renewable and sustainable way to ensure the continued existence of our activity”, Julien Populin, Head of Environment department at Lutosa in Leuze.
Here are some concrete examples:
- In terms of investments, we have developed a brand-new system that allows us to control the water consumption of each consumer at any time of the day.
- From a more practical point of view, we insist on using cannulas for the high-pressure cleaning of workshops. It allows us to divide consumption by three in terms of cubic meter per hour.
These solutions will allow us to reach our objectives in 2025.
As part of Water World Day on March 22, we invite you to discover our past and future initiatives. They are built on our five pillars, as well as on our “Potatoes To The World”. They express our commitment to sustainability, to a lasting activity, to us, to the next generation and to our planet.