Leading global food company, Danone, announced a NZ$40 million (approx. €25 million) investment in its Nutricia spray drying plant towards achieving carbon neutrality by 2021.1 This significant, industry-leading milestone will be driven primarily by the installation of a NZ$30 million (approx. €17.5 million) state-of-the-art biomass boiler that will reduce the plant’s CO2 emissions by 20,000 tonnes per year.2
Danone’s Nutricia spray drying plant is located at Balclutha, in the Otago region of the South Island. The plant processes raw milk sourced from eighteen local farms into powder that is used as the base for production of leading Infant Milk Formula (IMF) brands including Aptamil and Karicare.
Boilers play a central role in spray drying – the process of converting milk into a dry powder through the application of heat – with around 85% of the entire plant’s energy consumption coming from steam production. Unlike gas or the more common coal-powered boilers, Danone’s biomass boiler will be powered by sustainable wood fuels, which will be sourced locally, therefore delivering a positive economic impact.
According to Cyril Marniquet, Danone’s New Zealand Operations Director, “This significant investment, in what we expect to be New Zealand’s first carbon neutral plant of its kind, underscores Danone’s global ‘One Planet. One Health’ vision and the belief that the health of people and planet are interconnected. We share the New Zealand Government’s ambitions in delivering a low-emissions, climate resilient future. At Danone, we’ve set ourselves an objective of becoming a carbon neutral company across our entire scope – from farm to family – by 2050. It is through key investments like this one that we take a step forward towards reaching this ambition.”
To bring its ‘One Planet. One Health’ vision to life, Danone has defined its 2030 Goals3, aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including preserving and renewing the planet’s resources.
As part of its global journey towards carbon neutrality by 2050, Danone has also set intermediate targets – officially approved by the SBTi (Science-Based Targets initiative) – in line with the global measures necessary to meet the Paris Agreement objective of keeping global warming below 2° C. These targets include a 50% reduction in carbon emissions intensity across the company’s full scope by 2030. From 2016 to 2018, Danone already successfully reduced greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 15.6%4 worldwide.
State-of-the-art Biomass Boiler
Veolia, a global leader in resource management, will be responsible for designing and managing the construction of the biomass boiler, guaranteeing the future operation and performance of steam production.
Alexandre Lagny, General Manager New Zealand for Veolia said the company was excited to deliver the project as part of its global strategic partnership with Danone.
“Veolia has supported Danone with the development of the biomass project, aligning available biomass resources with optimal conversion technologies, while leveraging the company’s operational expertise to achieve the best possible environmental footprint for the site,” Mr Lagny added.
Danone’s investment in the plant also includes the installation of a new water treatment plant to more efficiently treat water waste, while ensuring compliance with Danone’s stringent global clean water standards5.
Nutricia production facilities in New Zealand
Danone acquired the Balclutha spray drying plant and its Airport Oaks (Auckland) blending, packing and canning facilities in 2014. Since then, the company has invested NZ$150 million (approx. €90 million) to double production capacity of finished infant formula products in New Zealand and transform its facilities in the country, enabling manufacture to Danone’s exacting global food safety and quality standards with a continued focus on sustainability.
1. ‘Carbon neutrality’ or having a ‘net zero carbon footprint’, refers to achieving zero net carbon dioxide emissions.
2. The emissions equivalent of removing 60,000 cars from New Zealand’s roads.
4. Based on a 2015 baseline measure. To learn more about Danone’s approach to carbon neutrality, visit https://www.danone.com/impact/planet/towards-carbon-neutrality.html
5. Danone has set mandatory internal standards on the quality of its water effluents in all sites that discharge wastewater – Danone Clean Water Standard (CWS). To learn more on our water stewardship, visit https://www.danone.com/impact/planet/protecting-water-cycles.html