Water Reductions at R.J. Reynolds Company
In 2015, R.J. Reynolds focused on conserving water throughout its manufacturing operations by analyzing water consumption patterns to identify and implement projects to reduce and reuse water at its facilities.
One project started this year was the redevelopment of its steam trap program. Steam traps, which assist in discharging condensate without losing steam, require regular maintenance. Through the implementation of a more efficient maintenance program, R.J. Reynolds estimates an annual savings of:
- 48 million pounds of steam;
- More than 50,000 GJ natural gas; and
- More than $250,000.
Due to the nature of the cigarette manufacturing process, facilities are kept at relatively high humidity. The heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems use large amounts of water to maintain high humidity levels. This year, the R.J. Reynolds team identified an innovative approach to reuse water from the HVAC systems for other mechanical equipment before the water is ultimately discharged. Additionally, improved equipment cleaning techniques were identified. These two process improvements are estimated to result in savings of $311,000 and conserving 32 million gallons of water per year.
R.J. Reynolds proposed other water conservation projects in 2015, including the reduction of water usage in steam plant operations. Once fully implemented, the total water savings generated by these projects is estimated to be 48 million gallons, approximately 10 percent of RAI’s operating companies’ annual water consumption, as well as savings of more than $400,000 in water and wastewater costs per year.