Danish emulsifier company Palsgaard has taken a step towards carbon-neutral production with the activation of 840 solar panels at its Dutch factory.
The Netherlands site, which is now completely carbon-neutral, has been running solely on renewable energy since the start of the year, and the new solar panels further reduce its need for external sources of electricity.
Palsgaard said that if it continued to use fossil fuels at the factory, CO2 emissions “could have reached 1.3 million kg per year” ― the same as the amount produced by 165 Dutch households.
The move follows the carbon-neutral status secured at its site in Mexico and its largest facility, in Denmark.
Palsgaard said it has been actively working to reduce its carbon footprint since 2010. It has introduced heat recovery and insulation techniques, converted from heavy fuel oil to biogas, and used renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar power. In Denmark, the firm has also introduced its own straw-fired central heating systems.
Last year, Palsgaard CEO Jacob Thoisen told FoodBev how the company’s sustainability efforts in Mexico and Malaysia are being “very well received” by public institutions and its clients.
Mar Holkers, plant manager of Palsgaard Netherlands, said: “We’re delighted to be part of Palsgaard’s journey towards CO2 neutrality. In the food industry, production processes are often highly energy-intensive, so a lot of dedication and hard work has gone into reaching this goal. However, we’ve shown that with commitment and ambition, companies big and small can take meaningful steps to reduce their impact on the environment.”
He added: “I hope we can set a useful example for other ingredient companies seeking to implement green solutions. In addition to being the right thing to do, reducing carbon emissions makes good business sense. Switching to renewable energy is more cost-effective in the long term, as well as meeting consumers’ expectations that the ingredients in their favourite products are produced sustainably.”
Palsgaard is now focusing its efforts on making its remaining factories – in Malaysia and Brazil – carbon neutral, and is on course to do so by the end of 2020.
Anders Brix, group CEO of the Schou Foundation, which owns Palsgaard, said: “Back in 2010, the idea of a company like Palsgaard eliminating its carbon footprint was unheard of. Today we are CO2 neutral at our sites in Denmark, Mexico and the Netherlands, and on target to achieve the same goal at our remaining sites. In future, I hope we will continue to set bold goals, and that other companies will do the same.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019