In the manufacturing of our foods and beverages, we use substantial amounts of water, both in processing and in the cleaning and sanitation of our equipment. We understand water’s importance as a natural resource and the possible supply constraints in the future. 


Water Audits

Understanding how efficiently we use water is at the heart of our water conservation efforts, which include both reducing water usage and finding ways to return clean water to ecosystems.  Since 2008, we have conducted thorough audits of water usage in our plants to:

  1. Identify and document all water systems;
  2. Observe, measure and record operating conditions; and
  3. Identify best practices for asset protection and improved efficiency.

With these audits, we have identified more than 250 water efficiency projects that are being evaluated for implementation, and we have completed more than half of these projects to reduce our usage across the company. Additionally, each manufacturing plant has a monthly water efficiency performance target that is connected to our overall water reduction goal.

2020 Water Use Reduction Goal

We set our first water use reduction goal in 2008, aiming to reduce the non-ingredient water used per gallon of product produced (intensity) 30 percent by 2013. After completing a thorough examination of reduction methods and timelines, we revised our water use reduction goal in 2012 to a 35 percent intensity reduction by 2020. Since 2008, we have reduced absolute water consumption by 16 percent and water use intensity by 13.5 percent.

Water use Reductions2009201020112012201320142015
Net Water usage
*(absolute gallons)
Gallons of Water/Gallon of Production1.23411.21161.13231.14041.16801.22281.2649
Intensity Improvement
(vs. baseline)

*Net Water = total water usage minus ingredient water (water that goes into our products as an ingredient)





With the completed spin-off of our WhiteWave business and the sale of our Morningstar business in 2013, all sustainability metrics, going back to 2007, have been recalculated to reflect the current structure of Dean Foods.

Privacy Policy ©2012, Dean Foods