Danone is investing around EUR2m (US$2.1m) to install a wastewater treatment system for its Tres Cantos yogurt and dairy products facility near Madrid.

The company said the sustainability project will be carried out in phases over the next three years. By the end of 2019, the plant “will be self-sufficient in supplying 80% of its water needs”, Danone said.

The new system will enable the site in Tres Cantos, which produces brands including Activia, Vitalinea and Danet, to capture wastewater generated by the plant for filtration and purification and subsequent re-use at the site, such as in the cleaning of facilities.

Tres Cantos produces four million yogurts and dairy products each day. The site uses around 800 cubic metres of water daily, which Danone said is “equivalent to the water consumption of a family of four over more than four years (1,515 days)”.

Tres Cantos plant director Alexandre Biau said: “This is an innovative and pioneering project for the company with an ambitious goal – to be largely self-sufficient in our water needs. Our challenge is and will continue to be to carry out our activities with the maximum efficiency and sustainability.”

The plant was opened in 1994 near its namesake town, 25 kilometres from Madrid, and covers 62,000 square metres. Danone said the plant employs 180 workers and has an “important impact” on the local economy because it receives between 400,000 and 600,000 litres of milk from local producers daily.

In January, Danone joined Unilever, Mars and other companies in supporting an “action plan” by business that has an aim for 70% of plastic packaging to be reused and recycled.