Our energy strategy for reaching carbon neutral production
To drive ambitious emissions reductions in our own operations, we have devised a group-level energy strategy and set up a steering committee for decision making. To begin, we have decided to focus on two main levers: improving our energy efficiency and increasing the share of renewable electricity. Going forward as we roll-out our strategy, additional elements will be included alongside efficiency and renewable electricity, such as switching to low carbon fuels, electrification of systems as well as technology development.
Improving energy efficiency across our operations is one of the cornerstones of our energy strategy. This is particularly important given our high growth ambitions – we must constantly find ways to produce more efficiently to counter the emissions arising from growing production. During 2021, we mapped out all our operations globally to identify the largest potential for improvements in energy management. Additionally, we commissioned energy efficiency audits at two manufacturing sites in Europe to identify concrete energy efficiency improvement actions.
Increasing the share of renewable electricity is another critical lever to combat our emissions. In 2021, we took a major step forward in this area by signing two 10-year Virtual Power Purchase Agreements (VPPA) with the global renewable energy developer BayWa r.e. As part of the VPPAs, BayWa r.e. will build two new solar installations in Spain, bringing a significant addition of renewable energy to the European grid. The two new solar sites have a combined volume of 200 GWh of renewable electricity per year and cover approximately 80% of Huhtamaki’s current electricity usage in Europe. Going forward, we will continue with VPPAs also in other regions, the next one planned to take place in the US in 2022.
In addition to the VPPAs we will, wherever feasible, implement on-site generation of renewable energy, mainly through photovoltaic solar panels on factory roofs. Generating renewable electricity on-site is a cost-efficient way to reduce our GHG emissions associated with the electricity we would otherwise purchase from the local grid.