Danisco rolls out plant emissions plan

By Sarah Hills

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Carbon dioxide

Danisco is introducing measures to boost its ethical and environmental record with plans to cut CO2 emissions at five of its largest plants worldwide, starting with Denmark.

The company aims to reduce energy consumption by 8-9 per cent annually at the Grindsted plant, cutting CO2 emissions by about 6,000 tonnes by July 2010.

The emissions initiative is in collaboration with Danish-based Danfoss Solutions, which is also involved in projects at Danisco plants in Finland, France and Mexico and the US. However the scheme will be rolled out company-wide if it proves successful.

Danisco boasts that Grindsted is the world’s largest emulsifier plant, although other ingredients are also made there.

Annual electricity costs at a plant the size of Grindsted are estimated to be in the region of DKK 20m (€2.7m).

Climate change and its association with carbon emissions have become a hot topic in recent years, with consumers and businesses becoming increasingly aware of their potential impact on the environment.

Morten Hygum, head of the project department of Danisco’s global innovation and technology organization, said: “Of course there is a financial incentive, but Danisco’s primary reason for launching the project is sustainability.

“We supply ingredients to the food industry globally and we clearly feel that our customers are increasingly focusing on supplier ethics and social responsibility.

“That is why we are particularly focusing on reducing CO2 emissions. We would like to be a responsible player in society and contribute to making Denmark, and the other countries where we are present, live up to their international obligations in this field.”

A spokesman added that more than 50 per cent of the measures will come from employee behavior, so it was important for them to know what works well.

This will be aided by including a large part of the 300 or so electricity meters at the plant in a software program so consumption and movements can be registered and made visible to increase employees’ consumption awareness.

Danfoss will pay the difference if savings of 8-9 per cent at Grindsted are not achieved but said they “will also be taking a larger slice of the cake if the savings turn out even greater.”

Hygum said: “We pay one amount for all the services from Danfoss Solutions. With the annual savings we have been promised, we will see a return on our investment within three years.”

He added that this is not very long in terms of energy savings as a return would normally be expected after five years.

Industry action

Last month British Sugar became the first sugar company to use the new PAS 2050 method for calculating the lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of products to certify the carbon footprint of its granulated sugar.

PAS 2050 is a joint development between the independent government agency the Carbon Trust and the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Other food manufacturers pioneering the scheme include Cadbury, Muller, Pepsico and innocent, as well as Associated British Agriculture and several supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s, Tesco and the Co-operative.

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