Environmentally friendly factories and offices
Climate-neutral production by 2029
In our long-range strategy Marathon '22, we express our ambition for renewable energy: Vreugdenhil wants to have climate-neutral production by 2029. This is a major challenge, but taking the lead gives us a competitive edge and helps us reduce our environmental impact. In 2017, we studied which measures would be feasible over the next few years. We performed desk research and talked to some forty experts in companies, knowledge institutes and NGOs. We then had calculations done for the most promising measures to see how they would impact our company. We can conclude that over the next few years we will focus significantly on energy efficiency by means of process innovations, with electrification and the generation of green electricity at our own locations, in the chain or in the region. The infographic below presents all our measures and the percentage each measure contributes to climate-neutral production. In 2018, we will focus on decreasing energy consumption, solar panels in Gorinchem and Scharsterbrug, a plan for a wind turbine in Gorinchem and the development of a vision for energy-efficient drying techniques.
With our 2029 goal , we contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals formulated by the United Nations at the end of 2015, and more specifically to SDG 7, Affordable and clean energy. This goal seeks to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy by 2030.
Less energy consumption
Our energy consumption per tonne of product again decreased in 2017. We used 20.1% less energy per tonne than in 2005. In 2016, that figure was still 16%*. Our goal for 2020 is 30% less consumption than in 2005.
In Gorinchem, we consumed 8% less energy per tonne of product in 2017 than in 2005. This decrease was mainly the result of a significant increase in production in our new, more energy-efficient factory in Gorinchem. In 2016, testing the factory lines still consumed a lot of energy, while relatively little was produced. We are expecting a further decrease in 2018 by replacing air heaters and burners with more energy-efficient versions and by more efficient product changes.
In Scharsterbrug, we used 43% less energy per tonne of product in 2017 in comparison with 2005. The previous year, this was 37%. This major reduction has been achieved over the past few years through, for example, higher production volumes, innovations in the production process, and more energy-efficient installations.
* The conversion factors we used for 2017 are: 1 kWh electricity = 3.6 MJ and 1 m3 gas = 31.65 MJ
In 2017, our water consumption totalled 4.4 m3 per tonne of product. In 2016 this was 4.3 m3. The water and energy figures apply to the Gorinchem and Scharsterbrug sites, which together account for 99% of our energy and water consumption.
In 2017, 100% of our electricity was again green. 26% came from eleven wind turbines owned by seven of our dairy farmers through the purchase of their Guarantees of Origin (GOs). Due to higher electricity consumption in 2017, this proportion is lower than in 2016 (29%). With an incentive premium for green certificates we aim to encourage other dairy farmers to deliver their GOs to us, as well. From 2018 on, we intend to not only purchase wind GOs, but also GOs from solar panels that exceed our dairy farmers' electricity consumption. The remaining green electricity in 2017 came from European wind energy certificates. We generate a small part of our green electricity ourselves. The solar panels on our new sustainable office in Nijkerk (five stars BREEAM), for example, generate roughly a quarter of the office's electricity consumption. We are also working on solar power at other locations. We expect to install solar panels in Gorinchem and Scharsterbrug in 2018. All in all, our electricity consumption represents over 14% of our energy consumption. The rest is gas.
Nijkerk site receives 5-star BREEAM-NL New Construction certificate
In 2016, we moved into our new office in Nijkerk. Sustainable measures are insulation, thermal storage, solar panels, charging points for electric vehicles, use of rainwater for toilets, ergonomic office furnishings produced in the Netherlands, and natural ventilation. Our office is one of the most sustainable office buildings in the Netherlands: environmentally friendly and with a pleasant work environment. As proof of this, we received the 5-star BREEAM-NL New Construction certificate in 2017, which is the highest sustainability level of his quality mark. In 2017, only 12 buildings in the Netherlands had this five-star rating, with only 1 office ending above Vreugdenhil.