Energy analysis goes global
For many years, we have been systematically examining the energy consumed by our production facilities in Switzerland. In doing so, we have saved a substantial amount of energy and reduced our costs by several million euros a year. Those are two good reasons to apply the proven concept at our production facilities abroad. This spring, we began with Lactéos de Navarra in Spain.
The Kaiku Group in Spain is one of Emmi’s longest-standing foreign commitments. We have held a stake in Kaiku since 2005, and a majority stake since 2012. Our corporate headquarters in Switzerland and Kaiku work together closely and effectively.
Know-how transcends national borders
Spain is one of the first foreign operations to successfully apply the methods of the cost-saving and efficiency improvement programme Emmi Operational Excellence (EOE). These thoroughly positive experiences make the production site in Pamplona, with around 150 employees, the perfect pilot facility at which to apply the energy analysis methods that proved so successful in Switzerland.
Shrewdly assembling a project team
We made the conscious decision to carry out this analysis with our approved external consulting partner from Germany, who has many years of experience in the European dairy industry and of working with us. The project is being led by Bruno Brücker. The head of our production facility in Suhr, Switzerland, specialises in energy issues and is responsible for the focus area “Reducing greenhouse gases” throughout the Group. The incorporation at the site is being assured by Victoria Mendez, Quality Manager and EOE coach for our Spanish-speaking facilities. She makes sure any measures derived from the energy analysis are optimally integrated into the already established EOE process.
Energy consumption has priority
In the debate over climate protection, much currently revolves around the replacement of fossil fuels with renewable alternatives. In the real-life working environment, these visionary considerations must first make way for the dry, detailed analysis of all production processes. This eats up resources, but there’s no other way to go about it, since, after all, the most environmentally friendly (and cheapest) energy is that which is not consumed at all.
The analysis was carried out at the beginning of May and showed that it pays to examine energy consumption in detail. «The energy analysis identified annual potential savings of around half a million euros at our site,» says Victoria Mendez. «The required investments would pay off within two to three years.»
The impressive potential energy and cost savings come as no surprise to the project team. «Most of our European dairies have grown ‘organically’ over decades, and so too, then, have their installations and the whole supply network. When you consider everything systematically as a whole, there’s always the possibility of finding room for optimisation,» says Bruno Brücker. Even missing insulation and often heat recovery potential in the dairy process and from an energy perspective (steam, refrigeration and compressed air) are common topics.
For the workforce in Pamplona, the work starts now in earnest. «It’s great that the energy analysis also proposes concrete, feasible measures, many of which protect the environment and make our business even more profitable. We are therefore keen to begin the implementation phase as soon as possible,» says Silvia Alvarez, Head of Production in Pamplona.
Pamplona is just the beginning
For our energy professionals, too, the work is just beginning, with the next analysis due to commence in Tunisia in the autumn. The objective is to analyse the ten largest sites outside of Switzerland by 2020. This will form the basis for us to further reduce our direct CO2 emissions after this point.
At relatively low cost, the energy analysis is a decisive step forward for us in terms of environmental protection and Efficiency.
Head of Production at Lactéos de Navarra