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Resource efficiency

At Nordzucker, our approach to sugar production has always been guided by the need to use resources as efficiently as possible. By working in this way, we can increase production levels to satisfy present and future customer demand, while at the same time conserving and reducing our impact on the environment.

We undertake a range of measures to reduce and conserve the resources used in our entire value chain, from the way beets are grown to how sugar is delivered to our customers.

Minimising waste from production

We use all parts of the sugar beet, converting materials into valuable by-products such as animal feed, molasses and bioethanol. Beet soil and stones are sold as construction materials and lime is sold as lime fertilizer. As a result, our factories produce hardly any waste.

Sharing knowledge with growers

We have an ambitious target to increase sugar yields by improving farming efficiency. We work in partnership with beet growers to make sure that innovations and knowledge around effective farming techniques can be shared among all our farmers, boosting overall resource efficiency and productivity.

Reducing resource consumption

We strive to reduce our consumption of energy and natural resources. We do this in a number of ways – for example, by recycling water, optimising our power plants and boilers, and using all other materials efficiently. We are a net producer of fresh water, and sell surplus heat and energy to local grids.

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Reducing processing aids

We use a large quantity of limestone to purify sugar juice. We are constantly seeking to minimise our use of limestone, as well as other processing aids such as soda, antifoaming and anti-scaling, setting local reduction targets where relevant.

Technological innovation

We have a Technology & Innovation department responsible for developing new ways to improve resource efficiency in our sugar factory processes. New innovations currently in use in our factories include methods for extending the life of agricultural materials, as well as sensors in sugar centrifuges that reduce our use of wash water.

Impact

In the attempt for processing acids amount reduction, limestone consumption in our German factories was reduced from 2.47 per cent in beet feedstock in 2009 to 2.23 per cent in 2016.