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On 16 March Palsgaard’s Mexican branch celebrated having achieved CO2-neutrality in 2016 with a well-attended event held at the company’s facilities in San Luís Potosí. Guests included the Ambassador of Denmark to Mexico, Mr Henrik Bramsen Hahn, Ms Ulla Blatt Bendtsen from the Danish-Mexican Energy & Climate programme and Ms Yvette Salazar Torres from the Secretariat of Ecology and Environmental Management, as well as local politicians, customers, scholars and employees.
In his speech Ambassador Bramsen Hahn said that "Palsgaard has been a pioneer company for Danish companies and an example to follow in the use of renewable energy in its production processes, which has allowed them to improve their productivity and competitiveness. Palsgaard is demonstrating some of the values that Denmark has, such as efficiency, social responsibility and environmental awareness and is an example to follow for other companies that want to increase their energy efficiency and implement green solutions".
The announcement comes almost to the date of Palsgaard announcing in 2016 that it had achieved CO2-neutrality at the company’s headquarters and largest production site in Denmark, a reduction in CO2-emissions of 16,000 tons, corresponding to 4,200 households.
Palsgaard Mexico has been working actively to achieve its goal since 2012 when the company first began installing solar panels on the factory roofs. Today, the 400+ solar panels generate 95% of the electrical energy needed to run the factory.
Other projects, such as piping insulation, calorific energy recovery from steam condensates, reduction of energy consumption through LED lamps and by using natural light via translucent ceiling sheets have also helped reduce the factory’s emissions. In 2016 the remaining CO2 emissions related to LPG Gas consumption and 5% of the electricity from non-renewable sources were compensated through the purchase of carbon off-sets through the provider MEXICO2. Deloitte has verified that Palsgaard Mexico thereby has achieved a zero-carbon footprint for 2016. In 2017, the company will continue working to diminish the CO2 emissions by improving the energy usage efficiency.
As it is, Mexico has a national target of having a 35% clean energy supply by 2024, so Palsgaard Mexico has not only reached the national target, but even better reached 100% CO2 neutrality 8 years ahead of time.
"For us, social responsibility is part of our daily lives," explains Miguel Hidalgo, Managing Director for Palsgaard Mexico. "This declaration of CO2 neutrality is a clear example of our conviction, commitment and responsibility in contributing to caring for our environment",
Hidalgo continues "We don’t just talk, we act, and this declaration of CO2 neutrality is an example of the actions we take. We expect to be an example and motivator for other companies and institutions to undertake projects related to social responsibility. We are convinced that together we can contribute to the development of a better society and care for our environment".
When asked if it is worth the efforts to focus so strongly on CO2-neutrality, Palsgaard CEO, Jakob Thoisen states: "YES. Caring for the environment goes beautifully hand in hand with good business. In fact, if we compile all the things we have implemented so far; waste straw as energy source, solar panels, wind energy, bio fuel, savings on insolation and heat recovery – then we are talking about very good business. This as well because more and more of our customers are becoming environmentally conscious and they appreciate our efforts, because we can help them satisfy the needs and demands of the consumers."
Palsgaard’s efforts to ensure sustainable production aren’t about to slow down, either. According to Jakob Thoisen, the company’s remaining plants in the Netherlands and Malaysia have already embarked on a similar process towards global CO2-neutrality by 2020.
Caring for the environment is high on Palsgaard’s agenda, not only within CO2-reductions but also within sustainable palm oil as the company has gone all-in and has made all the necessary adjustments in order to be able to offer its full range of palm-based emulsifiers as RSPO SG certified.
Celebrating the CO2-neutrality of its Mexican branch is not the only event on Palsgaard’s calendar this year as the company also prepares to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of founder Einar Viggo Schou’s invention of the modern commercial emulsifier, the Palsgaard Emulsion Oil. "Essentially, an emulsifier makes two immiscible things, such as oil and water, mix," Thoisen explains. "Due to the success of Schou’s invention and our subsequent unique ownership structure Palsgaard is able to emulsify intensive industrial production and sustainability", he concludes