NETHERLANDS/GERMANY – ofi (olam food ingredients) has operationalized two circular biomass boilers at its cocoa processing factories in Netherlands and Germany, which will help to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
Ofi, a global leader offering naturally good food & beverage ingredients and solutions, consists of industry-leading businesses in cocoa, coffee, dairy, nuts, and spices.
The boilers use cocoa shells, a by-product of the production process, as fuel to generate steam, which in turn powers the crafting of cocoa ingredients from ofi’s premium brand, deZaan, at its factories in Koog aan de Zaan, Netherlands, and in Mannheim, Germany.
Ofi, which operates in 49 countries serving over 8,000 valued customers globally, believes the boilers will be the first cocoa shell boiler of its kind in the country.
The boiler at Koog aan de Zaan was partly funded by a subsidy from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and took over four years from concept to completion.
The ingredient company said the boiler will help it reduce natural gas usage and CO2 emissions at the facility by 50%.
In 2022 alone, ofi said it used 8,000 tons of residual cocoa shells to generate green energy equivalent to using 3.4 million cubic meters of natural gas, helping cut absolute CO2 emissions at the facility by 23%. This is the equivalent of warming over 3,0002 Dutch houses per year.
As for the boiler in Mannheim, Germany, it has been developed through a joint venture with energy company MVV.
The boiler has the potential to provide up to 90% of the steam needed to power the facility, saving approximately 8,000 tons of CO2 annually. The new roll-out adds to the circular biomass shell boilers used in ofi cocoa factories in Brazil, Côte d’Ivoire, Indonesia, and Singapore.
Susanne Folkerts, Global Operations Head of Sustainability & Environment, ofi, said: “We’re taking action to protect the planet and unlock value for our customers so that they can offer their consumers more sustainable choices. From the support we give to farmers worldwide to how we turn their cocoa into high-quality ingredients in our processing factories.”
“These innovative boilers are key in reducing scope 1 and 2 emissions3 and making our Cocoa Compass ambition real. We’re also playing our part to accelerate the climate agenda of the EU Green Deal, in which moving to a more circular economy is fundamental.”
She added that the Group is thrilled to have been recognized by the Dutch government as a sustainability innovation leader and hopes that other manufacturing businesses are inspired to invest in circular biomass as part of their decarbonization journeys.
This latest investment in the two boilers forms part of ofi’s ambition for sustainable cocoa, Cocoa Compass, which sets ambitious goals – including a 30% reduction in natural capital costs by 2030.