The milestone is five years ahead of its company target to achieve a zero carbon footprint by 2020 for all its production plants in the Netherlands, Mexico and Malaysia.
Heat recovery & insulation
Birger Brix, Group CEO for the Schou Foundation, Palsgaard’s owner, told DairyReporter, it was ‘immensely proud to have reached this milestone’.
“We’re particularly pleased to have proven that it’s possible even in an industry whose production processes are energy-intensive,” he said.
To celebrate, the firm held an event at its Danish headquarters in Juelsminde with guests that included politicians, local officials, business people, press and scientists on April 1.
The CO2 neutrality has been achieved by optimizing the energy consumption throughout the plant in the form of heat recovery and insulation, converting from heavy fuel oil to biogas, lighting optimization and by making use of certified wind power.
Palsgaard has also established its own straw-fired central heating systems, which have enabled the company to achieve a zero carbon footprint in Denmark five years earlier than planned.
'Climate challenge is enormous'
The reduction in CO2 emissions for 2015 alone amounted to 16,088 tons, which corresponds to the typical annual emissions of approximately 4,200 Danish households.
“One of the reasons we have a more efficient and energy-saving industry today, is because of companies like Palsgaard, which has now achieved CO2-neutrality,” said Lars Chr. Lilleholt, Minister for Energy, Utilities and Climate.
“It is quite impressive they have managed to reduce the company’s energy consumption.”
Anders Bjørn, PhD at the Technical University of Denmark, DTU, said the climate challenge is enormous and current political commitments are far from sufficient to solve it.
“It is encouraging to see Palsgaard prove that with an ambitious effort it is possible to combine energy-intensive production in this country with CO2 neutrality,” he added.
“It is also positive Palsgaard not only intends to do better in Denmark, but has a target of CO2 neutrality for its production sites abroad and is trying to reduce environmental problems from the palm oil they purchase."