Palsgaard has won the Sustainability Champion prize at the Food Ingredients Europe Innovation Awards.
The Danish emulsifier specialist clinched the award after reducing net CO2 emissions from its six global production sites to zero.
In 2010, Palsgaard set itself the goal of completely carbon neutral production within ten years, and met it in 2018 – two years ahead of schedule. Over the course of those eight years, the company reduced its net CO2 emissions from 12,029 tonnes to zero. In total, its carbon reductions amounted to 56,175 tonnes, which is equivalent to the amount produced by 4,885 EU households in a year.
Palsgaard achieved its target primarily by changing the energy sources used by its factories. Strategies have included a switch from heavy fuel oil to certified biogas, and the use of renewables. At Palsgaard’s main site in Denmark, all electricity is sourced from hydro power, and indoor heating is powered by burning home-grown straw rather than oil.
Its factory in the Netherlands, meanwhile, has over 800 solar panels and has used only renewable energy (solar, wind and biogas) since the start of 2018.
As far as Palsgaard is aware, it is the only emulsifier manufacturer to achieve carbon neutrality but it hopes other companies will follow suit.
Palsgaard CEO Jakob Thøisen said: “We’re delighted to have been honored with this award. Climate change is the biggest challenge facing the world right now and sustainability is not only hugely important to us but to our customers too. The production of emulsifiers is highly energy-intensive because it requires very high temperatures and high pressure, but we’ve shown that it’s possible to go carbon-neutral. It’s fantastic for everyone working at Palsgaard that our efforts have been recognized.”
The Fi Innovation Awards celebrate companies and organisations breaking new ground in the food and beverage industry. The Sustainability Champion Award is given to the entrant that best demonstrates a measurable sustainability strategy championing environmental or social sustainability.