Effluent Treatment Station of the Jeep Automotive Plant

​To preserve water, Jeep goes beyond its factory walls


In celebration of World Water Day, FCA carries out actions inside and outside the Jeep Automotive Plant and shows that preservation goes far beyond reducing consumption

March 23 2020 - As a brand that carries sustainability in its DNA, Jeep is concerned with preserving water for future generations and does its homework by helping to reduce the impacts on climate change. The Jeep Automotive Plant, installed in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco, practically eliminated the use of drinking water to manufacture cars, reaching a rate of 99.4% of recirculated water in production - one of the highest in the world.

The excessive use of surface waters such as lakes and rivers – in addition to human activities such as industrial processes and domestic consumption itself – can cause lasting damages to the environment. For this reason, this year, the United Nations established the theme “Water and Climate Change” for World Water Day, celebrated on March 22.

Natália Andrade, Effluent Treatment Station analyst for the Jeep Automotive Plant

The Effluent Treatment Station analyst (ETE) for the Jeep Automotive Plant, Natália Andrade (photo), explains that all the effluents from the factory are treated and returned in order to be used in several stages of production, as in the water test for instance (which tests the insulation of the car) or in the painting sector (where the water in the tanks is reused). “This maximum reuse allows us not to get water from any river or even groundwater. This is very important because, by using fewer natural resources, we are preserving the environment”, she explains. In one month, about 28 thousand m³ of water will no longer be taken from the public supply network, which is the equivalent of eight Olympic-sized swimming pools or the average consumption of 8,484 people.

Since the opening of the factory five years ago, the plant has managed to reduce the water indicator per vehicle by 52%. “When we inaugurated the factory, 2,980 liters of water were needed to produce a car. Today, we use 1,430 liters”, explains Natália. In addition, this water is totally renewed, as the plant has a WWTP with a treatment capacity for 210 thousand liters of water per hour and differentials such as Membrane technologies - MBR (reactor with microporous membranes that perform the ultrafiltration process, barring solids and bacteria) and Reverse Osmosis (semipermeable membrane that separates water from mineral salts). The only water that is not reused at the factory is that intended for human consumption. Rainwater is used to irrigate the seedling nursery.


Clean beaches

It turns out that water preservation is not restricted to reducing domestic consumption and of industrial processes. “When we involve the issue of climate change, we are also talking about waste disposal and pollution of oceans, mangroves and water sources”, points out the plant's environmental analyst, Diego Marques.

For this reason, Jeep goes beyond the walls of the factory, taking action regarding water conservation to the population. This is the case of the project “Praia Limpa, Minha Praia” (Clean Beach, My Beach), which has as its main objective to make people aware of the correct way to separate waste. “The plant's employees are preparing to go to the beaches, talk to people, distribute ecological bags and collect waste to take to the Ecological Island, from where they will be properly disposed of,” explains Marques.

In addition to this action, there are others within the factory that are aligned with the UN theme, such as question and answer tests on the environment, information and a sustainability challenge. For Diego, these initiatives carried out inside and outside the Plant end up bringing the population closer to Jeep, which is even more involved in the community in which it operates. “In addition, the plant's employee becomes more knowledgeable on the subject. Everyone wins and the environment is thankful for it” Marques celebrates.

Aurenilson Pardim, purchasing analyst at the Jeep Automotive Plant can attest to that. As a lover of the sea, he says that whenever he goes to the beach with his family, he might forget everything except for the ecological bag to collect personal garbage. "When possible, we also collect the garbage we find on our way", he says.

Aurenilson Pardim on the beach with his familyPardim on a conscious walk with his family on the beach.

Among straws and pet bottles, which are the main objects found by Pardim, he says that his children are becoming aware of the importance of preserving the environment. “Once, even my 4-year old daughter surprised me. My wife asked her why she couldn't throw straws on the beach and she promptly said that she could end up killing a turtle”, says Pardim proudly.

Although the practice of collecting garbage on the beach has been a habit for some years, Pardim says that Jeep has started to inspire good environmental practices in another way. “After witnessing what Jeep does, I started to think twice before, for example, ignoring a leak. We ended up reducing our bath time and closing the tap when washing the dishes at home. What I did was just bring good Jeep practices into the home”, he says.


Sustainability

In addition to the Jeep factory, the Fiat Automotive Pole (Betim, MG, Brazil), also carries out several actions for the preservation of water. The plant, which holds the record for water reuse in the sector (99.7%) uses technologies such as Virtual Reality and Internet of Things to achieve efficiency in production processes and, with that, better environmental management. With actions like these, in three years the plant reduced the amount of water used for each vehicle produced by 37%, in addition to reducing waste generation by 12% and consuming 23% less electricity.

The Campo Largo Engine Factory, in Paraná (BR), has a Natural Area Conservation and Environmental Education Program, which is dedicated to protecting the remaining area of ​​the Forest with Araucarias; it contains five springs, in addition to more than 50 plant species, 82 species of birds and six of mammals. Today, the Program has 106 hectares of preserved natural area.


Words: Isabela Alves

Pictures: Marketing

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