To produce our high quality cheese, proteins, flavours, we are highly dependent on a range of environmental assets and ecosystems, from stable supplies of water, to vibrant biodiversity. Conserving and, where possible, enhancing the environment in which we operate is a moral as well as a commercial imperative.
Our philosophy has always been to gain maximum value while causing minimal impact, an approach that is evident in all our processes. Through our Environmental Management System (EMS) and membership of Origin Green, we annually review our environmental impacts, to assess our risks and ensure we are carefully managing the areas where we make the biggest impacts. Our key impacts continue to be: the use of energy and resultant greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; the abstraction of water and discharge of effluent; and the generation and management of waste.
We have eight manufacturing sites around the world: our dairy and nutrition lines are produced in our Ballineen factory, and our flavours, extracts and essences are produced at our Synergy sites.
Despite production increasing by around 20% since 2017, we are pleased to have managed to reduce carbon emissions across the group by 11.7%.
Circular economy at Carbery Ireland
We aim to be carbon neutral by 2035 through decarbonising our existing energy sources.
Every Drop Counts – Water Conservation
Water is essential to production. We measure every drop we use to ensure it is used efficiently and appropriately. Through our every drop counts programme, we have reduced our water abstraction by approx. 25% which equates to 1.4 million litres per day.
We aspire to be a zero waste organisation, right across the company. Our activities to help achieve this include improving segregation of waste streams and the use of recycling, composting and anaerobic digestion.
We have seen a 14% reduction in waste across our Ballineen site since 2017.
Bio-composting in Ohio, USA
Coffee is a key ingredient in our Synergy Flavors site in Hamilton, Ohio. We generate around 20 tonnes of solid waste daily which is taken to a compost farm to biodegrade. After six months, the nitrogen rich material can be added to soil as a completely natural organic fertiliser.
We achieved ISO 50001 certification in 2014 for efficient energy management. This recognises our approach to operational excellence as an early adopter of new technologies.
- We produce bioethanol and this is used as a biofuel. In 2017 we acquired an International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) licence following a comprehensive audit.
- In 1982 we installed the first commercial Anaerobic Digester system to generate biomethane from our stillage waste in the bioethanol production process. This delivers 9% of our steam requirements on site.
- Finally, organic fertiliser is produced as the final by product of the production process. This is utilised by farmers throughout West cork.
Greening our workplaces
As an early adopter of technology, we are investing in state-of-the-art processing infrastructure and research partnerships such as the Dairy Processing Technology Centre (DPTC). We are committed to using and developing the best available technology to secure product innovation through efficient and sustainable processes, enabling us to deliver trusted dairy products and nutritional ingredients demanded by global markets.
Synergy HQ – Wauconda, Illinois
2019 saw the addition of 38,000 square feet of new office space at Synergy HQ. We wanted this new build to be as green as possible and it achieved a LEED Gold certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).
The new building was constructed using recycled, renewable, and low emitting materials and has solar panels and high efficiency boilers to reduce the carbon footprint of its energy use. Other initiatives include bike racks and dedicated parking spaces for more fuel-efficient vehicles. Inside, the building benefits from demand control ventilation and a highly efficient Variable Air Volume cooling system, as well as auto-control metering tap and flush valves.