Carbon dioxide emissions at Heinz’s factories in Kendal, Cumbria and Kitt Green, near Wigan, have been cut by over 17,000 tonnes over the last four years.
That is the equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions from heating more than seven hundred million microwave meals, or from taking around 6,000 cars off the road for a year. The carbon savings were achieved by conducting a detailed study of Heinz’s production lines to understand how energy was being used.
Heinz’s energy managers working with Carbon Trust experts found that a great deal of energy was needed to heat cold water to rehydrate the dried beans. Energy is also needed to create the steam that cooks the beans in their cans.
Capturing and recycling the waste heat from these processes means that less energy is now needed to heat the water, which in turn has led to a drop in carbon emissions. Lower carbon emissions also means lower energy bills and Heinz has saved over 13% of its annual energy costs in its Kitt Green food-processing complex alone, over the last two years.
“There are huge opportunities to save energy and cut carbon emissions by changing the way we manufacture everyday products”, said Hugh Jones, Director, Solutions, the Carbon Trust.
“Re-engineering production lines to be less energy hungry is one of our most important industrial challenges. It’s great to see leading names like Heinz also taking a lead in creating a lower carbon world.”
Other initiatives that have helped Heinz to cut energy use and carbon emissions at its factories include improving the efficiency of its boilers and making design changes to production line machines. Heinz is also exploring opportunities to produce power from waste and use more renewable energy in a bid to cut the Company’s global carbon emissions by 20% on 2005 levels by 2015.
“The Carbon Trust has helped us take a more strategic approach to carbon reduction. As well as seeing some impressive results in the UK, we are successfully applying what we’ve learned across our global operations,” said Dave Woodward, President of Heinz UK and Ireland.”
Heinz’s Kitt Green factory employs 1,400 staff and produces more than one billions cans of food per year and around six million cans per day. This is 12% of the company’s global output.
Kitt Green produces 200,000 tonnes of Heinz Beanz each year, over 440 million cans.
The Carbon Trust has worked with thousands of businesses including 75% of the FTSE 100 and has saved the UK more than £2.5billion on its energy bills since 2001.