Key Interview: Palsgaard Achieves CO2 Milestone

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20 Mar 2017 --- Global emulsifier/stabilizer specialist Palsgaard just last week announced that the company has achieved CO2-neutrality at its Mexican plant, thereby ticking off yet another production site on its to-do-list for achieving its planned global zero-carbon foot print by the end of 2020.

On 16 March Palsgaard‘s Mexican branch celebrated having achieved CO2-neutrality in 2016 with a well-attended event held at the company’s facilities in San Luís Potosí. Guests included the Ambassador of Denmark to Mexico, Mr. Henrik Bramsen Hahn, Ms. Ulla Blatt Bendtsen from the Danish-Mexican Energy & Climate program and Ms. Yvette Salazar Torres from the Secretariat of Ecology and Environmental Management, as well as local politicians, customers, scholars and employees.  

FoodIngredientsFirst caught up with Palsgaard CEO, Jakob Thoisen just before the announcement who discussed several of the goals and achievements the company plan to set in 2017. “We have a plan as a company to become CO2 neutral worldwide in 2020,” he says. The announcement comes almost to the date of Palsgaard announcing in 2016 that it had achieved CO2-neutrality at the company’s headquarters and largest production site in Denmark, a reduction in CO2-emissions of 16,000 tons, corresponding to 4,200 households. 

He comments further: “As far as I’m concerned we are the first company in Mexico within the food industry to announce C02 neutrality in, and the first foreign company so it’s a great success for Mexico that we have achieved this goal.”

Palsgaard Mexico has been working actively to achieve its goal since 2012 when the company first began installing solar panels on the factory roofs. Today, the 400+ solar panels generate 95% of the electrical energy needed to run the factory. 

Other projects, such as piping insulation, calorific energy recovery from steam condensates and reduction of energy consumption through LED lamps and by using natural light via translucent ceiling sheets have also helped to reduce the factory’s emissions. In 2016 the remaining CO2 emissions related to LPG Gas consumption and 5% of the electricity from non-renewable sources were compensated through the purchase of carbon off-sets through the provider MEXICO2 (Plataforma Mexicana de Carbono). In 2017, the company will continue working to diminish the CO2 emissions by improving the energy usage efficiency.

As it is, Mexico has a national target of having a 35% clean energy supply by 2024, so Palsgaard Mexico has not only reached the national target, but even better reached 100% CO2 neutrality 8 years ahead of time.

When asked if it is worth the efforts to focus so strongly on CO2-neutrality, Thoisen said: “Yes. Caring for the environment goes beautifully hand in hand with good business. In fact, if we compile all the things we have implemented so far; waste straw as energy source, solar panels, wind energy, bio fuel, savings on insolation and heat recovery – then we are talking about very good business. This as well because more and more of our customers are becoming environmentally conscious and they appreciate our efforts, because we can help them satisfy the needs and demands of the consumers.”

Palsgaard’s efforts to ensure sustainable production aren’t about to slow down, either. According to Thoisen, the company’s remaining plants in the Netherlands and Malaysia have already embarked on a similar process towards global CO2-neutrality by 2020.

Caring for the environment is high on Palsgaard’s agenda, not only within CO2-reductions but also within sustainable palm oil as the company has gone all-in and has made all the necessary adjustments in order to be able to offer its full range of palm-based emulsifiers as RSPO SG certified. Thoisen explains: “What we are seeing more and more is an increase in sustainable solutions, we can provide RSPO SG certified segregated palm, we are almost 100 percent fully segregated in Denmark. He says. “We achieved CO2 neutral last year, this is quite an achievement for us and we managed over the past years to do reduce our carbon footprint.”

Another aim for Palsgaard is fat reduction using emulsifiers. “Calorie intake and fat reduction can be achieved by adding our emulsifiers and stabilizer to products.”

“Salt sugar fat are the things people want to be having less of,” Thosien notes. “We focus on the fat reduction side with our products. We are able to make an ice cream with less fat, a traditional ice cream may have 10 percent of fat, but we can go down to 2 percent of fat and have the same mouthfeel as a full fat full bodied ice cream. We can take out all these calories for the benefit of the customers,” he adds.  

“We have some very ambitious growth targets set for the company,” Thoisen stresses. “As part of achieving these growth targets that we have set we are going to open application centers in four countries over the next year - we are looking to expand globally. We have just opened application centers in the US and China and still within this year we have further plans for application centers in Iran and Russia.”

“The potential market opportunities there for these application centers will allow us at Palsgaard to be able to serve the customers on location and so we can give to them the knowledge for food items that we have,” he continues, “Bakery, confectionery, dairy and lipid applications is where we see most growth in these countries specifically.” 

Celebrating the CO2-neutrality of its Mexican branch is not the only event on Palsgaard’s calendar this year as the company also prepares to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of founder Einar Viggo Schou’s invention of the modern commercial emulsifier, the Palsgaard Emulsion Oil. “Essentially, an emulsifier makes two immiscible things, such as oil and water, mix,” Thoisen explains. “Due to the success of Schou’s invention and our subsequent unique ownership structure Palsgaard is able to emulsify intensive industrial production and sustainability.” 

“Einar Viggo Schou was the original founder of the factory my in Denmark. This product still exists, the exact formula and nothing has been added or taken out,” he says.

“Not a lot of companies that can say that they are still owned by the originators. They created a foundation in 1957 and that same foundation has not been taken over by anyone,” says Thoisen. “It is still the original founder’s work. Companies usually get taken over and merged but we are still as independent as we were from the origin,” he concludes.   

by Elizabeth Kenward

Palsgaard A/S

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Emulsifiers, stabilizers & know-how put to work

Palsgaard A/S, the inventor of the modern food emulsifier, was established in 1919 – and we still have our headquarters where it all began: in a 600-year old manor house complete with moat and surrounding park, forests and farmland. Proud traditions of quality and craftsmanship underlie today’s broad product range, which includes high-performing emulsifiers and stabilizers for margarine, bakery, dairy, ice cream, soy, confectionery and fine foods as well as functional agents for polymer applications. Emphasis is placed on effectiveness, innovation and strict food safety procedures.

Palsgaard has served the global food processing industry for decades and our continued ability to serve our customers is ensured by the company’s status as a self-owning foundation with significant financial assets, which allows the company to take a long-term view with focus on experience, credibility and thorough know-how of customers’ processes and challenges.

CSR is part of our DNA

Sustainability and the use of pure raw materials have been close to Palsgaard’s heart from the very beginning. This is reflected in our production facilities around the world, including state-of-the-art factories in Denmark, Malaysia, Netherlands, Mexico and China, and in our commitment to global initiatives such as RSPO-certified sustainable palm oil. By partnering with Palsgaard you’ll be able to meet your customers’ demands for a sustainable business model on palm oil sourcing. Our certified emulsifier factories are able to deliver up to RSPO SCCS SG certified emulsifiers for the food production area you may prefer.

Already in 1908, long before "Corporate Social Responsibility" was conceptualized; Palsgaard's founder Einar Viggo Schou emphasized the importance of acting responsibly and caringly towards the company's employees and families - and the importance of extending this responsibility to society. His principles have meant that Palsgaard has worked with CSR as a core activity for more than a century. We are active in over 100 countries, bringing with us a strong sense of responsibility to act in ways that benefit local and global environments and which are in line with our founding principles.

We've set an overall target of becoming CO2-neutral by 2020. That’s an ambitious target for a company with energy-intensive production processes, but it's just another of the ways in which we care for our world.

Share our know-how

An important cornerstone in Palsgaard’s business is our well-equipped Application Centers in Singapore, China, USA, Mexico, and Denmark. The centers cover all the major food application areas, offering a uniquely personal service where specific needs and preferences - and the realities of local markets – are in focus.

Typically, a Palsgaard application center comprises a fully equipped industrial facility where realistic industrial pilot tests can be carried out. This unique setup facilitates proper up-scaling and vastly increases the likelihood of success in the marketplace.

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