Food and drink processors will need to use new technologies and creative business cases over the next few years to boost energy efficiency and meet green goals.
That's according to speakers from ABP Food Group and Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP), who will present at Food Manufacture's forthcoming webinar Lean & Green: Save Costs & The Planet, sponsored by ESB Energy.
"New technologies, such as heat pumps and biomass boilers will now become the new norm as we transition to a low carbon economy,"? John Durkan, environmental and sustainability manager at ABP Food Group, will say. "It's essential that we get the expertise and the innovation together to deliver those key infrastructure projects to enable a site to become net zero in five, ten, 15 years."?
Durkan will outline a joint project with ABP at an abattoir deboning and reprocessing facility. "It enables us to remove and recover heat from the refrigeration process, pass it across into potable water so we can use it on site.?
Reducing fossil fuel dependence?
"... That upgrade significantly reduces our carbon footprint associated with the site and reduces significantly our dependency on fossil fuels to generate the hot water that we need to clean and process our products."?
Durkan also says ABP is reducing the amount of brown electricity it purchases and has moved to green electricity in terms of procurement in Ireland and the UK from wind farms.
Sam Jones, head of climate and sustainability at CCEP will outline projects targeting efficient and eco-friendly energy and water use across its five UK factories.
Referencing the case for a 2021 - 2022 project to replace gas-powered forklifts with electric equivalents at its sites, which would deliver 'significant carbon savings', Jones will say: "I would encourage people to try to be really creative about how you put these business cases together.?
I've worked in sustainability for 12 years and always had the challenge of trying to meet returns on investment and typically two, three, four year timeframe for those in large organisations. That can be a challenge. Visiting the site at Wakefield there were some really interesting points made by the operators around how it proved their engagement, it was more comfortable, they enjoyed driving these trucks more. It's hard to quantify, but there's a value to that.?
"We think it's better from a safety perspective, because they have got more safety features that the previous MHE? [materials handling equipment] didn't have and also the charge time allows the MHE to last for a full shift, so we avoid issues and cost associated with changeovers from one vehicle to another."?
'Find an accounting artist'?
Jones says in a previous role, one finance director told him finance and accounting was 'an art, not a science'. "So anyone looking for this investment, try to find an accounting artist and not someone who is maybe too rigid with putting these business cases together."?
Addressing progress on the use of renewable energy to help power CCEP's plants, Jones stresses this is important not just for the climate, but also to help manage higher energy costs, which looked set to persist 'well into 2023'. It also helps ensure security of energy supply.
Neil Lawson, technical and operations director at ESB Energy and Tom Southall, policy director at the Cold Chain Federation, will address other energy saving and environmentally-friendly projects.
For full speaker bios and to attend the webinar for free, visit the registration page??.