Emmi’s Mittelland Molkerei on the path to carbon neutrality
The annual CO2 emissions of Mittelland Molkerei, which specializes in the production of milk, cream and butter, will be reduced by 5,000 tonnes from 2020.
This corresponds to 12.5% of the CO2 emissions produced by the 25 Emmi sites in Switzerland in 2017. Thanks to this measure, Emmi said it expects to achieve its CO2 reduction target of 25% or -35,000 tonnes – by 2020.
The manufacture of dairy products requires a large amount of energy. In Switzerland, the thermal energy consumption of all Emmi sites is around 180 gigawatt hours a year, of which 32 gigawatt hours are accounted for by Mittelland Molkerei, which specializes in the production of drinking milk, cream and butter.
Until now, this energy was primarily derived from natural gas, with the associated CO2 emissions amounting to 6,500 tonnes annually.
Mittelland Molkerei has reduced its energy consumption by 5% over the last five years; the next step is the replacement of fossil fuels with a renewable alternative.
Emmi already uses renewable energy sources at various production sites, ranging from solar energy to wood and district heating. Various options were also examined for Mittelland Molkerei, and a partnership was selected with the local district heating network provided by Fernwärme Wynefeld AG (FEWAG) and the Buchs waste incineration plant.
In order to connect the Emmi site in Suhr to the district heating network, a new, underground pipeline will be built by 2020.
Gas as a reserve
Mittelland Molkerei can cover 80% of the energy previously generated with natural gas using the heat from the FEWAG network. The remaining 20% will continue to be produced from natural gas during the winter months, when all of the district heating is used for heating purposes.
The associated reduction in CO2 emissions amounts to 5,000 tonnes annually, corresponding to 12% of the CO2 emissions produced by Emmi in Switzerland in 2017. Besides the conversion to district heating in Suhr, the most important measure in 2017 was the switch to hydroelectric power for all Emmi sites in Switzerland.