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Europe: Palsgaard reports health check on sustainability efforts in 2014

During 2014, Palsgaard said it has made significant progress in addressing environmental sustainability, a challenging ambition in an industry where production of high-quality emulsifiers tends to be energy-intensive, according to the company’s 2014 CSR repot.

The objectives include global CO2-neutrality by 2020.

In five years, Palsgaard has reduced emissions by 61%, and is on track to meet the 2020 target.

“We’ve more than halved CO2 emissions already,” said CEO Jakob Thøisen.

“Our footprint for 2014 is now equivalent to the emissions produced by burning 2,300 tons of coal, or from the electricity usage of 653 homes in a year.”

“Since 2009, we’ve already made cuts equivalent to powering 1,112 homes for a year,” he said.

“And we have more initiatives under way, too. At our plant in Mexico, for example, solar panels can now produce up to 85% of its electricity.”

International standards

Sustainability efforts at Palsgaard are in line with the principles of the UN Global Compact, which are integrated into the company’s Code of Conduct and general activities.

Reporting follows the Global Reporting Initiative’s G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines.

Through a formal supplier Code of Conduct, the company encourages sustainable sourcing among its suppliers.

For example, the company states it will use 100% sustainably certified palm oil by 2015.

In 2014, the Danish plant achieved RSPO Segregated (SG) certification and holds both SG and RSPO mass balance (MB) capability.

The certification of Palsgaard’s Malaysian emulsifier plant to the RSPO standard will take place in 2015.

Other initiatives benefiting sustainability continued through 2014 to capitalize on Palsgaard’s expertise by using emulsifiers, for example, to achieve up to 50% fat reduction in puff pastry margarines without affecting functional properties, as well as to reduce fat in a number of final food products.

The company is also using food ingredients being in a scientific project to improve nutritional uptake for people with Down’s syndrome.

Room for improvement

Palsgaard’s 387 employees worldwide benefit from flexibility, job security and personal development opportunities, reflected in a continued low rate of sick leave and high loyalty levels.

In the global process industry, workplace safety remains an area for improvement.

In 2014, a better system for registering near-miss incidents was established in Denmark, and further safety culture improvements planned for 2015 include a new evaluation system, a ‘nudging’ project and work routine adjustments.