The Nordic meat company – which works in beef, lamb, pork and poultry verticals – said its strong reduction in year-on-year greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions was largely down to its decision to switch to hydroelectricity at its plants in Sweden and Poland.
Adopting hydroelectricity, which generates power through the force of falling or flowing water, has helped the company’s operations in Sweden and Poland reduce emissions by 42,000 metric tonnes (mt).
“We improved our performance in most areas in 2015,” said Vera Söderberg, HKScan’s corporate responsibility manager, who also specialises in environmental sustainability.
“We achieved a 35% year-on-year reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in 2015, which amounts to 83,000mt. This is a significant achievement for only one year. Two-thirds of the reduction came from HKScan’s own activities, and one-third is attributable to [a] new method of calculating emissions from electricity.”
Fossil fuel cut back
HKScan said its “greatest relative” year-on-year reduction in GHG emissions derived from stopping leakage of refrigerants, which totalled 64%. Heating emissions were also reduced by 7,000t, but there was no change in the emissions from transport and travel remained relatively the same when compared to 2014.
“HKScan has made an active effort to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy sources at its production plants during 2015, which has contributed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Söderberg.
“For instance, two of our farms in Estonia switched from fossil fuels to wood pellet burners, and one of our Estonian production plants has increased the use of animal and vegetable fats for heating. In Sweden, we started using biogas and district steam produced from renewable energy sources.”
More green improvement
HKScan is the largest processor of meat products in the Nordic region and has frequently said that moving to become a greener business is not just good for the environment, but good for business.
“Our entire group has made a systematic effort to reduce emissions of GHGs – and we plan to continue working even harder to improve,” said chief operating officer Aki Laiho. “Environmental responsibility is an integral part of our daily work. For instance, we are working together with our personnel to come up with new ideas for saving energy.”
HKScan has been monitoring its GHG emissions in accordance with the international Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) since 2014. This is a global standard use by governments and businesses to quantify, manage and report GHG emissions.