SOUTH AFRICA – South African producers of First Choice dairy products, Woodlands Dairy, has commissioned a second biomass boiler that will further increase its use of renewable energy and reduce carbon emissions during dairy manufacturing.

According to the company’s sustainability manager, André Adendorff, the first biomass boiler was commissioned in 2016 with the main objective to reduce heavy fuel oil (HFO) and electricity usage to generate steam for the plant.

By changing over to a biomass boiler, we reduced our electric-boiler consumption by 40% and our HFO consumption by 83%,” he added.

“The energy impact of the second biomass boiler is estimated to be 10.7% more biomass utilised than in 2022 due to a milk intake increase of 3%, but there will be an estimated 31.0% reduction in HFO in 2023.”

André also noted that the nett environmental impact of these two energy sources is expected to reduce GHG emissions at Woodlands Dairy by a 1046 t/CO2e per annum or 3% of the current footprint.

“The second biomass boiler will further reduce our HFO usage by approximately 31%, and result in an increase in biomass of approximately 10.7%,” he noted.

“The obvious benefit of moving to renewable energy sources for steam generation is the impressive reduction in carbon emissions.”

Woodlands Dairy’s mission is to produce and deliver superior food products while honouring the company’s commitment to service excellence, integrity and conserving the environment.

According to the company, the commitment includes minimizing the impact on the environment by implementing an environmental management system that complies with the ISO 14001 standard requirements.

The certification ensures that adequate management controls are in place to minimize operational impacts on the environment, ensure legal compliance as a minimum and continually improve our environmental performance.

During the launch of the first biomass boiler, Woodlands’ CEO Lex Gutsche, noted that the company is focusing on the environment to tackle its footprint right through the cycle of the business from production to consumption through the reduction of operational impact and increasing recycling initiative.

Woodlands Dairy also promised to commission its own effluent plant and later look at the possibility of generating its own electricity in the future.

According to the Global Dairy Platform, the dairy sector is continually finding new ways to improve sustainability by increasing energy efficiencies, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing water, saving energy, and lowering operating costs for dairy farms.

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