Barry Callebaut goes green with new biofuel energy source

By Catherine Boal

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Carbon dioxide, Fossil fuel, Barry callebaut

Swiss chocolate firm Barry Callebaut is joining the ranks of
environmentally-friendly businesses as it looks to 'greener' ways
of powering its processing facilities in Wieze, Belgium.

The chocolate producer is switching to renewable energy sources to drive operations at its largest chocolate factory. Concern over carbon emissions has heightened in the food industry over the last decade. Many manufacturers are now taking steps to implement more environmentally-friendly business models - tackling problem issues such as food miles, energy expenditure and packaging. Barry Callebaut plans to install a biofuel energy plant at the Belgium site. The 35-megawatt installation from renewable energy company Electrawinds will power the production of over 250,000 tonnes of chocolate each year. The biofuel plant will operate by burning stearin - a by-product of the palm oil refining process - and should produce a 70 per cent energy yield in comparison to the 35 per cent of traditional energy sources. Barry Callebaut CEO Patrick de Maeseneire: "The palm oil that will be used to produce energy will come from existing agricultural areas, meaning that the project will not cause additional de-forestation of the rainforest." ​Using biofuel in place of other energy options, will enable the company to significantly reduce its total CO2 emissions and render the Belgium factory carbon neutral. In addition, the chocolate maker will save on transport and distribution costs as well as lowering its consumption of light fuel oil. The new biofuel plant is expected to be operational by summer 2008

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