Balclutha: investing in innovation to preserve our planet for the future

A food revolution has started. People today want to know more about where their food comes from, how it was produced and the people behind the brands they choose every day.  Increasingly they also want to make food choices that are not only good for them, but are good for the planet too. At Danone, we want to accelerate this food revolution. From the ingredients we source to the processes in our manufacturing sites, we are constantly looking at ways to positively impact people’s health and to help preserve the planet’s resources. The latest step in this vision from our Specialized Nutrition businesses is a NZ$40 million investment in New Zealand in our Nutricia spray drying factory towards achieving 100% carbon neutrality at the plant by 2021.

The plant is located at Balclutha, in the Otago region of the South Island of New Zealand.  Using a special heat treatment, the factory converts raw milk, which we source from 18 local farms, into the dry powder that forms the basis of many of our milk formula products. It is this part of the process that drives almost all of the plant’s energy consumption.

Thanks to this investment, we will be able to install a NZ$30 million of the art biomass boiler. It will be powered by sustainable by-products of local forestry activity that may ordinarily go to waste. The new boiler will reduce the plant’s CO2 emissions by a huge 20,000 tonnes a year, the equivalent of removing 60,000 cars off the road.   

The products that the plant produces already help parents and carers in taking care of their children’s nutrition. With the new biomass boiler, the plant will also be helping to preserve the planet for their futures.

Cyril Marniquet, Danone’s New Zealand Operations Director, said, “This significant investment, in what we expect to be New Zealand’s first carbon neutral plant of its kind, underscores Danone’s global ‘One Planet. One Health’ vision and the belief that the health of people and planet are interconnected.”

The investment marks yet another milestone as Danone works towards becoming entirely carbon neutral by 2050. We have already reduced our greenhouse gas emissions by 15.6% worldwide and will keep finding ways to reach carbon neutrality.