CO2-neutral production goal achieved ahead of schedule

We are proud to have reached our 2020 goal of CO2-neutral production two years ahead of schedule. And we are the first company in our industry to achieve this status! With our factories in the Netherlands, Brazil, China and Malaysia achieving CO2-neutral status in 2018, we can confidently say that all of our emulsifier and stabiliser solutions are now manufactured in CO2-neutral factories.

Our CEO, Jakob Thøisen comments, “This accomplishment took hard work, dedication and innovation from our people. We kept our eyes on the goal and haven’t looked back since we set it almost ten years ago.”

Preparing for the future

Why was the 2020 goal set in the first place? The production of food ingredients, such as emulsifiers and stabilisers, is energy-intensive. We work to address this through implementing environmentally friendly capacity optimisation projects, establishing a scalable production setup and focusing on production execution.

Our approach to production is inspired by our founder’s values of responsibility and commitment. We set the 2020 goal to continue making a meaningful contribution – preserving the Earth’s natural resources, reducing our global footprint and limiting the effects of climate change. That’s why, in 2010, a deliberate decision was made to reach CO2-neutral production on a global .

The strategic approach prioritises using tangible solutions or projects, such as installing solar panels and converting to energy-efficient lighting. We only apply offsets as a last resort. This can be challenging because the rate of innovation in renewable energy varies throughout the world. For example, throughout 2017 and 2018, we investigated ways of using renewable energy sources in Malaysia without having to purchase offsets – a difficult task.

Rising to the challenge

Determined to find a solution for our factory in Malaysia, we engaged a consulting firm to explore local renewable energy options to achieve CO2-neutrality. The report identified no suitable solutions that aligned with our strategic approach. Therefore, it was decided to purchase offsets governed by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The UNFCCC initiative offers UN-certified emission reductions (CERs) that contribute to climate-related projects in developing countries. We’re proud our CERs help fund two wind energy projects based in India:

  • Wind Power Project of Hindustan Platinum in Maharashtra
  • Bundled Wind Power Project by Gangamai Industries and Construction Limited

We’ve come a long way since 1919, when our first emulsifier factory was established in Denmark. And while we may have reached our 2020 CO2-neutral production goal early, the journey to improve our production processes’ environmental impacts will continue.

A remarkable journey

The Palsgaard factory in Denmark took the first steps of our sustainability journey, setting the pace for other Palsgaard factories around the world. The factory in Denmark was a natural starting point for reducing emissions, as it used the most energy at the time. It also had local access to infrastructure and technologies that were still in infancy in other parts of the world.

 

You can see an overview of our remarkable journey to CO2-neutral production here:

Optimising operations

It’s not just about the type of energy we use or the lighting options we select for our sites. A lot of consideration goes into the design of each step within our production processes, including the technologies selected for each process.

We continually search for innovative ways to reduce our CO2 footprint throughout the entire production process. By optimising operations, we ensure that we get the most out of our raw materials, saving cost and the environment, too.

In 2018, we reduced energy consumption by 7.4% (per kg of finished product) compared with the previous year. We have set a 2020 goal across all our production sites to reduce energy consumption (per kg of finished product) to 1.05 kWh. We are not far off from achieving that goal either, with an average energy consumption of 1.12 kWh per kilogram of finished product in 2018.       

The most important production processes of our operations in Denmark are illustrated in figure 1. Material and resource streams are calculated per kg of finished product, and the figures quoted are from 2018.

An independent auditor has verified that Palsgaard’s factories have offset their consolidated carbon emissions related to electricity consumption and natural gas consumption.