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The district heating reduces our annual CO2 emissions by 5,000 tonnes. We are thus making an important contribution to achieving Emmi’s sustainability goals.

Bruno Brücker, Plant Manager Mittelland Molkerei, Suhr, Switzerland
Bruno Brücker,

Plant Manager Mittelland Molkerei, Suhr, Switzerland

We have committed to reducing our global CO2 emissions by 25 % between 2014 and 2020, from 140,000 to 105,000 tonnes. With the connection of Mittelland Molkerei in Suhr to the local district heating network, we are taking a major step towards achieving this target. Thanks to the move away from natural gas for the most part, the annual CO2 emissions of the company, which specialises in the production of milk, cream and butter, will be reduced by 80 % or 5,000 tonnes from 2020.

In 2014, our global CO2 emissions stood at 140,000 tonnes. In order to achieve a reduction of 25 % or 35,000 tonnes by 2020, we at Emmi are focusing on increasing energy efficiency at our production sites and using more renewable energy sources.

Swiss sites already heavily optimised

All our major production sites in Switzerland have been subjected to a professional energy analysis in recent years. As a result, Mittelland Molkerei in Suhr has been able to reduce its energy consumption by 5 % over the last five years. In the future, we would like to cover as much of the remaining energy demand as possible with renewable energy sources.

We already use these at various production sites, having invested in solar energy, wood and district heating at several locations.

Counting on local partners

Various options were also examined for Mittelland Molkerei in Suhr, and a partnership was selected with the local district heating network provided by Fernwärme Wynefeld AG (FEWAG) and the Buchs waste incineration plant.

Since 1982, steam has been generated from waste incineration in Buchs and fed into a six-kilometre long district heating network to which nine companies are now connected.

To reach our site in Suhr, the steam pipes have to be extended by a good two kilometres, with work expected to be completed in 2020. Since the new line will run right under the town of Suhr, local residential areas will in future also be supplied with environmentally friendly district heating.

Waste heat to be further utilised

With the expanded supply network, FEWAG will increase its heat output from 65 to 95 gigawatt hours, corresponding to the energy consumption of a small Swiss city. This exclusively comprises heat energy that is already produced in the incineration of waste. Thanks to the extended district heating network, this waste heat can be used to a greater extent in the future.

Important measure

Mittelland Molkerei can cover 80 % of the energy previously generated with natural gas using the heat from the FEWAG network. The remaining 20 % will continue to be produced from natural gas in winter, when all of the district heating is temporarily used for heating purposes.

The associated CO2 reduction amounts to 5,000 tonnes annually, corresponding to 12.5 % of the CO2 emissions produced by our 25 Emmi sites in Switzerland in 2017. Thanks to this measure, we expect to achieve our CO2 reduction target of -25 % or -35,000 tonnes by 2020. Besides the conversion to district heating in Suhr, the most important measure was the switch to hydroelectric power for all Emmi sites in Switzerland in 2017 (-14,500 tonnes) and for all sites in Europe in 2018 (-17,500 tonnes). And we are still on the look-out for further climate protection projects!