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Tapping into the energy saving potential

As the world moves towards a low-carbon economy, Chr. Hansen has entered into a strategic collaboration with the Danish energy company, DONG Energy, to tab into the sizable potential for energy savings and help further reduce the company’s climate footprint.

A global call for action

According to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate (IPCC), stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere will be critical for preventing the devastating effects of climate change where Chr. Hansen has its biggest production sites. In Denmark, all sectors are expected to contribute to the national target to reduce GHG emissions with 40% by 2020. In response here to, the Danish energy company, DONG Energy, is working closely with companies across a variety of sectors to help the industry identify opportunities to reduce emissions while contributing positively to the bottom-line.

Challenging status quo

Following years of moderate energy efficiency improvements at Chr. Hansen’s largest production site near Copenhagen. Chr. Hansen entered into a formalized partnership with Dong Energy in 2012 to challenge status quo and seek out new opportunities to tap into the energy saving potential.

By benchmarking our performance in collaboration with Dong Energy, we identified activities with a significant energy saving potential. The partnership enabled us to take a holistic approach to energy optimization and prioritize the low hanging fruits in the first round.

Lars Stern

EHS Manager Chr. Hansen Production Denmark

The first task was to conduct a complete mapping of the energy flows at Chr. Hansen’s biggest production site in Copenhagen and identify relevant energy saving initiatives. As an example: rather than cleaning the production equipment in hot water, hot acid and hot base, the project group looked into the possibility of cleaning them in cold water.

Clear targets – clear results

As a result of the collaboration between DONG Energy and Chr. Hansen, considerable energy savings have been achieved with learnings later implemented at other sites. Since the start of the partnership in 2012, Chr. Hansen has reduced its energy consumption by 15 per cent  at the company’s biggest plant near Copenhagen. This equals cost savings in excess of DKK 2.5 million, and CO2 emission reductions corresponding to the electricity and heat consumption of more than 300 typical Danish households.

"It is a strong advantage to have a steady energy partner, who knows the business and also takes responsibility for the long-term results”, says Lars Stern. “In addition to supporting the full process from mapping, to identifying saving potentials over implementation and documenting results, Dong Energy’s broad insights have enabled us to benchmark against other companies and thereby improve our understanding of how well we perform." says Lars Stern.

Jens Christian Aggerbeck, project manager from DONG Energy, adds: "In this project, we set ambitious targets and we took concrete action. Chr. Hansen benefits from the major cost reductions which contribute to maintaining the competitiveness in the Danish production because it's becoming far more energy efficient. At the same time, the collaboration helps address an important societal matter in terms of reaching the Danish targets for reducing CO2 emissions."

An ongoing journey

Together with Dong, Chr. Hansen continues to turn every stone to find energy improvements and a number of concrete projects are identified and ready to be commenced. With sizable production expansions planned, the systematic consideration of energy aspects in new investments will be a strong enabler for the company of future efficiencies.

Quick facts

20 %

EU’s ”20-20-20 plan” sets out to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with 20%, increase renewable energy with 20% and improve energy efficiency with 20% before 2020. 

40 %

In Denmark the national target is to reduce GHG emissions with 40% by 2020 with 1990 as the base year. This is currently the most ambitious target in EU.

22 %

Chr. Hansen has defined long-term targets on CO2 and energy reduction. From 2008/9 until 2012/13 Chr. Hansen has reduced its energy footprint per produced unit with 11% and the CO2 with 22%