Chr Hansen has just published its “Global Environmental Report 2008 – building a sustainable business” which states that the company’s total energy consumption decreased by six per cent last year, even though business activity has increased.
This it said, was a clear indication that fewer resources are needed to produce a given amount of products.
Measures that have contributed to this include turning to more environmentally efficient energy sources, such as natural gas and developing “high performing products improving customers’ yield while reducing resource consumption”.
An example is the enzyme solution YieldMax which it claims can get more cheese out of the same amount of milk compared to traditional enzymes.
Also moving the production of cultures from France to the USA, and therefore closer to its customers, saw annual CO2 emissions reduced by approximately 1,800 tons, or equal to the emission of 180 households per year. It said the transport chain was reduced significantly here.
Chr Hansen has published an annual environmental report since 2005 but it does not show the cost savings related environmental benefits.
Henriette Oellgaard, Chr Hansen CSR (corporate social responsibility) manager, told FoodNavigator.com that this is an area the company is working on.
She said that cost was a language that both shareholders and customers understand. And in reducing the company’s environmental impact, there was both a tangible or monetary value and an intangible benefit, in terms of reputation or image.
Chr Hansen has also just set up a Corporate Social Responsibility organisation to monitor the company’s impact on society and give its environmental efforts a more formal structure and higher priority.
Oellgaardsaid this was because the company realised it needed to have “a very visible platform internally and externally”.
The company has a target to reduce the amount of energy and water used in the production of one unit of product by five per cent every year.
Its energy efficiency performance index showed that in the colour and enzyme areas, there was an increase of 50 per cent and 20 per cent respectively. The culture area showed a five per cent improvement.
Water has improved 60 per cent in the colour area while cultures and enzymes improved 20 per cent and ten per cent respectively.
Oellgaardsaid the production of cultures was very energy and water intense, which explained the contrast in figures for colour and enzymes. Also there are now different regulations regarding the quality of the water, which means not as much can be recycled as in the past.
The report said that the amount of solid waste was reduced from 7,200 tons in 2007 to 3,800 tons in 2008, while its proportion of recycling remained at 30 per cent.