Food Union invests in renewable energy to cut down carbon footprint of its dairy operations

NORWAY – Food Union, one of the leading ice-cream and dairy producers in the Baltic region, has announced investments in renewable energy to power ice cream and dairy operations in the Baltics and Norway.  

Normunds Staņēvičs, CEO of Food Union, Europe said that the investment is in line with the company’s commitment to seeking out alternative renewable energy sources to balance its energy needs even as it continues to grow.  

The company has already made substantial investments in renewable and recently transitioned two of its companies Premia and Isbjørn Is to renewable energy. 

Premia which is Estonia’s oldest and largest ice cream producer, recently celebrated its 100% renewable energy transition, a journey that included the installation of automated LED lights and the introduction of Fusebox virtual power plant solution to reduces electricity consumption.  

Its transition to 100% green energy is significant for the Estonian dairy industry as the company produces around 5,000 tons of ice cream annually and operates nine production lines. 

The transition to 100% renewable energy coupled with its power-saving solutions will reportedly reduce its factory and freezer warehouse CO emissions by more than 95% annually removing more than 2,800 tons from the country’s atmosphere.    

“Calculations show that the 2,800 tons of CO2 saved are emissions that should be offset by planting nearly 47,000 trees or the need for 4,000 people to give up one flight a year,” said Aivar Aus, Chairman of the Management Board of Premia. 

Isbjørn Is, a Food Union company based in Norway, is yet to achieve 100% transition like its Estonian counterpart but it is on its way there. 

The company invested in 360 solar panels which were then installed on its warehouse facility roof in 2019 to help the company reduce reliance on fossil energy. 

According to the company,  this investment generates 68,904 kWh annually — the equivalent of offsetting approximately 48.2 tons of CO2 emissions. 

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“At Isbjørn Is, we aim to grow our business locally while reducing the environmental impact of our operations. Utilizing renewable energy sources is a key ingredient in reducing our carbon footprint now and as we expand in the future,” adds Morten Kolseth, CEO of Isbjørn Is. 

Transitioning to green energy is probably the wisest choice that Food Union has made as it works on its growth strategy across Europe. 

This is because European Consumers have become increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of the foods they consume.  

Dairy farming is responsible for a significant release of GHGs certainly does not fair well in consumer’s eyes forcing a significant group to shift to alternative dairy products such as oat and soya milk. 

KPMG in a recent study ranked the alternative milk industry as one of the major threats for Europe’s dairy industry adding that it was becoming even more popular due to its environmental credentials. 

Investing in green energy and limiting the carbon footprint of its dairy operations will certainly pay off as it will help Food Union keep a European dairy consumer that is becoming increasingly environmentally conscious. 

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