Arla Foods Ingredients has saved around 60,000 tonnes of CO2 a year and aims to help infant formula manufacturers cut their greenhouse emissions.
The ingredients company has achieved the savings by using energy from biogas. Meanwhile, it is investing in its dry blend lactose production capacity, in order to help infant formula manufacturers cut their emissions by as much as 25%.
The two initiative form part of its Green Ambition 2050, the sustainability strategy launched by Arla Foods, as it aims to become carbon net zero by 2050.
Since 2019, Arla Foods has received methane from a biogas plant which processes manure from Arla farms, as well as production waste. To date, green sources such as biogas supply over 30% of the energy needs of the company’s production facilities in Denmark.
Arla Foods Ingredients’ two largest production plants has two 4000 horsepower biogas engines that convert methane into electricity. In 2019, CO2 emissions from the two plants totalled 105,000 tonnes, representing a reduction of 62,000 tonnes.
“Arla Foods Ingredients has always been an example of a circular economy because we convert whey, which used to be considered waste, into high-value food and nutrition products,” said Henrik Andersen, CEO at Arla Foods Ingredients.
He added: “Now we’re taking new steps to reduce our carbon footprint and help protect the environment for future generations. Reducing our use of fossil fuels and investing in greener energy sources such as biogas is an essential element of this ambition.”
According to Arla, lactose is usually supplied in a wet blend which has to be heat-treated and spray-dried before packaging, which is a highly energy-intensive process. By using its dry blend lactose version, Arla estimates that customers will save as high as 24,400 tonnes of CO2, while also increasing their output.
Andersen continued: “Like us, our customers are increasingly focused on becoming more energy-efficient, and the use of dry blend lactose is a great way for formula manufacturers to reduce their emissions.”