Leaning green – powering our plants
The pursuit of sustainability at all levels, from farm to finished product, continues apace across Glanbia Ireland.
Our teams are continuously assessing the latest technologies and processes to ensure our facilities become ever more efficient and achieve our vision for sustainability. This innovative approach means we have improved energy efficiency and emissions by more than 40% since 2000.
However, we won’t stop there. We’re aiming for an additional 10% per tonne by the end of 2020, while at the same time processing a larger milk pool.
Our experienced engineers and managers run a proactive utility management programme that brings the excellence of our GPS processes to life, and also leans in to third-party energy efficiency providers for added expertise.
We employ Combined Heat and Power (CHP) technologies at our main manufacturing sites to maximise energy efficiency through the recovery of waste heat from electricity generation.
For instance, one of our latest systems installed at our state-of-the-art Belview facility is over 80% energy efficient, delivering substantial reductions in CO2 emissions. Two gas engines installed on-site generate 50% of the plant’s electricity needs, or 4 megawatts.
The new CHP system channels the waste heat from these engines to generate steam and hot water for use in the production process. This means the potential ‘lost’ heat has a useful purpose, with usable heat and energy generated in a single process. Capturing waste heat for use in production makes CHP an excellent fit in terms of our environmental ambitions.
Also at Belview, which is our newest site, the latest technologies can be seen at work to maximise energy-efficient water use and waste minimisation. The site uses reverse osmosis technology to recycle water and minimise fresh water usage.
Our Wexford site has also recently undergone a major refurbishment, delivering an improvement of over 50% thermal efficiency through the use of heat recovery, utilising Reverse Osmosis plants for concentrating whey and high efficiency boilers.