Better Operations: Cutting our carbon footprint and upcycling our side streams

We create EXBERRY® Coloring Foods from fruit, vegetables, and plants using only water and physical processing methods, which ensures our colors are as natural as possible. To achieve our sustainability ambitions, though, we also need to optimize improve energy and water efficiency in our factories and lower our carbon footprint.

Targets for 2030

We’ve developed a sustainability roadmap for 2030 with four key pillars – better products, better operations, better agriculture, and better for people. As part of this, we’ve set ourselves five key targets to ensure our operations are as sustainable as possible. Taking our performance in 2020 as the baseline, our goals are as follows:

  • Improve energy efficiency across factories by 30%
  • Reduce the intensity of factories’ CO2-equivalent emissions by at least 50%
  • Reduce the intensity of CO2-equivalent emissions in intralogistics by 15%
  • Improve water efficiency in our factories by 20%
  • Ensure at least 75% of our side streams remain food ingredients

Factory focus

We’re looking at a variety of measures to improve sustainability in our factories. Our primary focus at this stage is reducing our reliance on natural gas, which we use to generate heat for several of our processes. Technological innovation and development are picking up pace, and electrification may provide a solution. We’re also exploring whether there may be alternative processing methods that could require less energy and water.

Filtration can deliver benefits across many areas, including yields, energy use, and water use. Last year, for example, a new filter enabled us to reduce water use by 20% in one of our plants.

Upcycling our side streams

Another important goal is ensuring 75% of our side streams are used for food ingredients. At present, approximately two-thirds of our raw materials are used to create our EXBERRY® color concentrates. The remainder is wet pulp, which contains solids and liquids that can be utilized for other purposes.

More than 90% of these side streams are currently used for animal feed and biogas, but by 2030 we want to find ways to upcycle three-quarters for human consumption. We already use a small proportion of our evaporated side streams for the standardization of our Coloring Foods, and we also offer EXBERRY® Caramelized Carrot Concentrate – a coloring ingredient created from the sugar of our orange carrots. We’re now exploring a wide variety of ideas to create further food ingredients from our side streams, from flavors to carrot-based molasses.

We know that innovation will be crucial to achieving our goals. While the targets we’ve set are hugely challenging, it’s only when you leave your comfort zone that you discover what is really possible.

To find out more about GNT’s ambitious targets, read the company’s ‘Sustainability Report 2021’ now.