Danish emulsifier producer Palsgaard has achieved its goal of carbon-neutral production two years ahead of schedule, describing the accomplishment as a ‘milestone for the whole ingredients industry’.
Palsgaard operates six production sites around the world, and in 2010 the company set a target of becoming completely carbon neutral across its production network by 2020. Thanks to the increased adoption of energy sources such as biogas and solar power, the company actually achieved this goal in 2018.
According to figures provided by Palsgaard, the adoption of renewable energy resources and certified biogas – as opposed to energy sources such as heavy fuel oil – has reduced its net carbon emissions from 12,029 tonnes in 2010 to zero in 2018.
In this period, Palsgaard claims that it has achieved CO2 reductions totalling 56,175 tonnes – equivalent to the amount produced by 4,885 EU households in a year.
Jakob Thøisen, CEO of Palsgaard said: “This is a major milestone ― not just for Palsgaard but for the whole ingredients industry.
“The production of emulsifiers is very energy-intensive and when we decided to eliminate our carbon footprint, many thought it couldn’t be done. However, we’ve demonstrated that with ambition and innovation, sustainable ingredient production is possible.
“Achieving CO2-neutral status ahead of schedule has given us extra energy to continue making a difference. We hope other companies will be inspired to go on the same journey.”
Between 2010 and 2018, the company made significant investments to upgrade the sustainable energy infrastructure at its sites in Mexico and the Netherlands, installing 400 solar panels at its sole Mexican production site, and over 800 at its site in the Netherlands. The sites became carbon neutral in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
However, Palsgaard’s Malaysian production site represented the main hurdle to achieving the milestone, as the company claims that the infrastructure for renewable energy and biogas in the country is not yet substantial enough to power production at the site.
To achieve carbon neutral production at the site, Palsgaard has been purchasing CO2 offsets from the United Nations Carbon Offset Platform.
Moving forward, Palsgaard has stated that it wants to double its total production capacity by 2023, but in doing so will aim to keep its production operations carbon neutral.
The company indicated that this would likely involve the upgrade of existing production facilities, such as the production site at its headquarters in Juelsminde, Denmark, and has announced plans to build a new solar energy plant at the Juelsminde site to power the expanded site in a sustainable manner.
Anders Brix, Group CEO of the Schou Foundation, which owns Palsgaard, added: “Throughout Palsgaard’s hundred-year history, we have been dedicated to meeting challenges and climate change is undoubtedly the greatest challenge facing us now.
“At the moment, carbon neutrality is a rare achievement, but it will soon be the norm.
“Manufacturers will be forced to reduce their emissions, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because environmentally conscious consumers demand it.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019