The company announced yesterday that it has agreed to purchase New York-based Evocation, a supplier of renewable energy solutions and effluent management systems, to meet growing eco-concerns amongst processors. With rising commodity and energy costs for food and drink groups, manufacturers are increasingly looking to alternative energy sources to drive greater cost efficiency in their operations, whilst meeting targets to cut carbon emissions and other environmental impacts. Ecolab chairman Douglas Baker says that while primarily serving beverage and food companies in the US, the purchase would strengthen its worldwide presence in waste water management and sustainable energy. "This acquisition greatly expands the range of solutions Ecolab can provide to its food and beverage processing customers to help them manage food safety, water, energy and environmental stewardship," he stated. "Ecovation's technologies allow food processing plants to be more environmentally responsible, while simultaneously reducing operating costs." With the addition of Evocation's operations, Ecolab says it can now offer producers a total system of anaerobic wastewater treatment, solids management and air pollution control, from design through to construction and operating. Ecolab claims that using this technology within the wastewater stream of a production plant can allow companies the chance of converting liquid waste into a cleaner water supply. This water can then be recycled or released back into the environment, offering both cost and environmental benefits to a plant, according to the company. In being able to treat waste on site, producers do not have to haul the after-product to large aerobic treatment fields, while they are also allowing for energy production from the waste itself, Evocation claims. Baker said that the potential benefits of the acquisition were expected to be felt throughout Ecolab's global operations. "We believe Ecolab can help further develop Ecovation's potential by leveraging our strong and established global customer base, and delivering additional water and energy solutions for customers," he added.