Palsgaard solar panel scheme moves towards carbon neutral production
Danish-headquartered emulsifier business Palsgaard has reported making strides towards delivering worldwide carbon-neutral operations, after installing 840 solar panels at its Dutch production facility.
The move is another important landmark for the company, which has interests in a number of food segments including bakery and confectionery ranges, as it works to eliminate its carbon footprint at all global production sites by 2020.
Last year, the business became the first industrial company in the country to achieve CO2-neutrality at its Mexican plant, and its largest site, in Denmark, was declared carbon-neutral in 2015 after it reduced emissions by 16,000 tons.
The company, known as the inventor of the modern emulsifier, 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 it has also introduced its own straw-fired central heating systems.
The Netherlands factory 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. Had the company continued to use fossil fuels, CO2 emissions could have reached 1,322,000 kg per year ― the same as the amount produced by 165 Dutch households.
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.”
In addition to reducing its carbon footprint, Palsgaard is highly dedicated to using sustainably sourced palm oil and is able to offer its full product range as RSPO SG certified, the highest commercially available grade of certified sustainable palm oil