We use resources such as water and energy to best preserve them for future generations and to guarantee protection for the environment, people and animals. In doing so, we focus on the constant reduction of resources consumed.
Protection of resources
The food industry is an energy-intensive industry. As one of the leading companies in the meat industry, we are aware how important it is to protect natural resources and save energy. We thus focus on three areas of activity: saving energy, the most effective use of energy, and high efficiency through production of our own energy. We invest in modern technologies and regularly review our energy mix to improve even further.
We are aware that substantial resources are used before the carcass reaches us, particularly during the animal husbandry stages. We have developed a new feeding concept in collaboration with the North Rhine-Westphalia Chamber of Agriculture. The ‘Animal-optimised, Nitrate and Soya-reduced Feeding Concept’ (TONISO) significantly reduces the nitrogen secretions in manure. It reduces the nitrogen content by up to 30 per cent. We also aim to halve the soya share in feed, specifically for piglets and in pre-fattening feed. This preserves resources in animal husbandry and reduces the quantity of nitrogen and nitrates entering the groundwater via fertilisers.
To ensure that we can use the necessary resources as effectively as possible, we use our findings from the certified environmental and energy management system as per ISO 14001 and ISO 50001. This enables us to implement a continuous improvement process. The specialist department communicates the results to the company management in the form of management reviews and defines alternative additional and new measures for saving resources. To be able to better analyse the consumption at the respective production sites, we have defined the balance limits.
As an international industrial company, we are aware of our social responsibility to handle resources carefully. Our claim is the avoidance and reduction of environmental pollution. On the basis of our environmental and energy management system, we can guarantee responsible handling of resources.
Our next goals
Through the increased use of regenerative energies we are working towards a significant further reduction in the consumption of primary energy. We use, for example, geothermal energy, photovoltaics, heat pumps and solar panels.
In the future, we will rely on renewable energies – e.g. with the installation of photovoltaic systems on the roofs of our production facilities. In doing so, we are striving to increase the share of electricity from renewable energies to 80 percent. In addition, we are promoting hot water generation using solar thermal energy. In the long term, we are striving for a 50 percent share of our own electricity and a 50 percent reduction in CO2 compared to 2010.
We have installed new exhaust air purification systems in numerous parts of the company, which are significantly more energy-efficient than the previous systems. We strive for the further use of oxidative processes for exhaust air purification. We want to ensure that no odors escape.
Transporting fresh food requires resources to transport the products, but also to cool them. It is therefore important to work as energy-efficiently as possible here. We are continuously working to reduce CO2 emissions. The renewal of the vehicle and trailer fleet and eco-training for drivers reduced CO2 emissions by 3%. Another 5% was achieved through traffic network and transport optimization.
What is the role of environmental protection at Tönnies?
We see environmental protection as a key factor in everyday operations at our company. To constantly optimise our processes, we record all environment-relevant usage and process data. We then evaluate this data as part of our environment and energy management system.
Questions on resource protection to Susanne Lewecke, Director of Environment and Energy Management at Tönnies
The media used are permanently recorded and compared to the production quantities. We analyse and correct deviations promptly and utilise as much waste as possible.
We test new environmental and energy technologies, e.g. in wastewater and sludge treatment, but also in exhaust air cleaning. In the field of water protection, our plants are secured so that no pollution of water or land occurs. We divide the water present on the sites into three areas: 1) waste water; 2) surface water: all surface water in the traffic areas is cleaned using a retention soil filter; and 3) roof drainage water.
To ensure maximum safety when storing hazardous substances, we use barrier systems. Tönnies input: how do these barrier systems work?
By using efficient aggregates in the field of refrigeration and compressed air generation, we achieve significant savings in energy. The intensive use of heat recovery systems offers great potential savings. Through our own energy generation and simultaneous utilisation of heat by absorbers, we can save a large part of our CO2 emissions.