Greener Energy

Greener energy for a sustainable future 

Naturally, we need energy to power our production processes. We’re working hard for more of that energy to originate from greener, renewable sources, including biogas, solar and wind. 

In fact, we’ve committed to Arla Food´s overall sustainability strategy, “Green Ambition 2050”. 

That’s why, for example, we’ve invested heavily in biogas.
In Denmark, together with our parent company, Arla Foods, we receive the entire production of methane from a nearby biogas plant. The biomass processed by the bioplant primarily comprises manure from Arla farms, as well as production waste generated from our production plants.

At each of our two largest production plants in the country, Danmark Protein and Arinco, there are two enormous, 4,000-horsepower biogas engines – as well as two boilers that can use biogas. The engines convert methane produced from biomass into over 50 GWh of electricity1 each year, which is then sold to the grid. That’s about the same as 11,600 households would use.

Read more about our state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities.

The engines run hot, and the water used to cool them reaches a temperature of around 90° Celsius. We make the most of this as part of our circular bioeconomy business model, generating over 27 GWh of district heating in 2020 (equating to the consumption of around 1,500 households) and 13.6 GWh of steam (approximately 750 households).

We apply all this greener energy to power our production facilities. Danmark Protein, for example, can meet 40 percent of its energy needs in this way. 

What’s the positive impact on the environment? In 2019, total emissions from the two production plants was 105,000 tonnes. If biogas had not been available, we would have emitted a far higher volume of 167,000 tonnes. So overall, using biogas has meant a reduction in carbon emissions of 62,000 tonnes in 2019 alone – in other words, more than a 35 percent reduction.

Forecasted emissions for 2020 are 121,000 tonnes (reflecting increased production volumes). Without biogas, we expect emissions to again be far higher at around 180,000 tonnes. That’s another annual reduction of 59,000 tonnes.

Identifying and investing in greener energy sources such as biogas helps our parent company, Arla Foods, to meet its 2030 goal to reduce emissions by 30 percent - and to become carbon net zero by 2050. 

1. Electricity sold to the grid is included when calculating total emission reduction.