Water use and Wastewater

Water use

The Nordic countries enjoy fresh water in abundance. Local shortages were noted, however, in parts of Eastern Sweden during 2016, but so far HKScan has not been affected directly. The availability of clean freshwater is a global issue, as the total volume of global water resources is limited.  HKScan monitors its consumption of freshwater to be as efficient as possible while mitigating all risks related to food safety.

HKScan has reduced its water consumption by 13 per cent during the last five years. To assess potential for further savings, a Total Plant Assessment (TPA) audit was performed in Linköping, Sweden. The purpose of the TPA is to reduce and optimize water consumption, energy consumption, waste and usage of cleaning chemicals. Several improvement targets were identified for further evaluation and implementation.

Examples from our sites

1. To reduce water consumption, the Mikkeli plant in Finland replaced the spray nozzles in its cooling cabinets with smaller ones.  Optimized timing has also reduced water volumes.

2. The Jelgava production plant in Latvia modified the water cooling system linked to its smoking ovens by lowering the temperature and shortening the cooling time, thus reducing water consumption by 10 per cent.

3. The Skovsgaard plant in Denmark has reduced its water consumption by 5-10 per cent. Additionally, HKScan Denmark is participating in the “DRIP” project  (Danish partnership for Resource and water efficient Industrial food Production), which focuses on optimizing the use of drinking water. Two DRIP sub-projects have been initiated so far, saving 320 m3 water per day.

4. During the rebuild of the stables at the Kristianstad slaughterhouse, Sweden, new taps for drinking water and new showers for cooling the air temperature were installed to reduce water consumption.


In 2016 HKScan’s wastewater levels have been relatively stable. Thanks to HKScan’s control programme, only a few deviations from environmental permit levels were detected at an early stage. The detected deviations resulted in immediate investigations and improvement measures. HKScan is continuously working to reduce its wastewater emission levels to ensure that they remain clearly below those required under environmental permits.

Example from our sites

The wastewater treatment process was improved at the Tabasalu plant in Estonia, where a new aeration system was developed for the flotation process.