Key Interview: Palsgaard Achieves CO2 Milestone


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

To contact our editorial team please email us at

Palsgaard A/S


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.

Related Articles

Food Ingredients News

Tate & Lyle expands food application lab in Mexico City

13 Apr 2018 --- Tate & Lyle has completed a major expansion of its food application laboratory and customer-facing facilities in Mexico City, to help manufacturers develop products that meet increasing consumer preferences for healthier, tastier food and beverages in Central America.

Food Ingredients News

Sugar taxes start to bite, but agile formulators have been prepared

03 Apr 2018 --- A controversial sugar tax billed as a new health-promotion levy by the South African government has just started. Designed to support the Department of Health’s aim to reduce the incidence of diabetes, obesity and related diseases, the levy is 2.1 cents per gram of sugar content that exceeds four grams per 100ml (the first four grams per 100ml are levy-free) and sugar content includes added sugar and other sweetening matter.

Food Ingredients News

Start-up focus: JUST’s innovation journey evolves beyond mayo

28 Mar 2018 --- Bay Area food start-up, JUST, is an innovator in the plant-based foods space. The company was founded in December 2011 by Josh Balk and CEO Joshua Tetrick, under the name Hampton Creek Foods, Inc. and is best known for its vegan mayonnaise and early work into the cultured meat space. The company, which recently changed its name to JUST, believes its brand of mayo shows it’s possible to produce plant-based foods that consumers love at prices they can afford, without relying on the egg, meat and dairy products that take a toll on the planet.

Business News

Weekly Digest: Givaudan reaches 2020 goal for water reduction, Fonterra CEO resigns

23 Mar 2018 --- This week, flavor house Givaudan, announced that it has reached its 2020 target for reducing water consumption three years ahead of schedule, Nestlé Waters North America has announced that its Cabazon and Los Angeles, California factories achieved an AWS Gold certification and Arla has scooped first prize of best butter brand at the biannual World Championship Cheese Contest for its product Lurpak butter. Elsewhere, Fonterra has announced that CEO Theo Spierings will leave his role at the company later this year and CEO of GEA, Jürg Oleas is not seeking to extend his term of office beyond December 31, 2019. Also this week, FrieslandCampina introduced a range of organic dairy and Symrise is looking to boost its operations in the West African market.

Business News

La Moderna unveils US$50m HQ facility in Texas, US

22 Mar 2018 --- Mexico’s largest pasta manufacturer, La Moderna, has unveiled its US$50 million United States headquarters and production facility in Cleburne, Texas. The new 150,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art production, manufacturing, and distribution facility marks the company’s first physical US property, and the beginning of its quest to expand its presence and market share in the US.

More Articles