at our Rio Nance complex to treat water
in the making of a white cotton t-shirt when compared to the industry average
to treat wastewater through the Biotop system
Water is a big part of the apparel industry, starting from the cotton grown at the start of the process, through to the washing and drying in the consumer-use phase.
From 2010-2015, we invested in systems and technology that allowed us to reduce our water usage intensity by 17%, saving the equivalent of 1,500 Olympic swimming pools in the process. We have set a goal to reduce water intensity resulting from our owned operations, per kg of product, by 10% from 2015-2020.
We are focused on pursuing more ways to improve our water usage and will continue to pursue new technology and enhanced natural chemistry to achieve our goal.
The Biotop, located in our Honduran and Dominican Republic manufacturing hubs, is our innovative biological wastewater treatment system. The natural system treats wastewater through a series of interconnected lagoons that contain bacteria which virtually eliminates all dyes and chemicals and uses no incremental energy to process the water. Over a thirty to forty-day cycle, water flows through the system where a variety of bacteria, microorganisms, fish and wildlife coexist to naturally return clean water, ready to sustain life, to the environment. The water that re-enters the local ecosystem is continuously monitored for compliance with local requirements. Our BioTop system is home to 52 animal species in Honduras and to 42 species in the Dominican Republic, including crocodiles, fish and several species of native birds.
In the past two years, we introduced a filtering system within the BioTop process to capture the fibre lint within the effluent, which is then repurposed as a fuel stock within our Biomass steam generation systems.
For effluent that contains specific properties, such as antimicrobial treatments, we alternatively treat the wastewater using biological reactors which work in tandem with the BioTop system to guarantee a continuous and safe wastewater treatment system. This biological oxidation system eliminates all contaminants and returns clean water to the environment