Reducing our energy consumption through innovation

Becoming a carbon positive business in the next seven years means we have to rethink how we do things. At our cocoa and chocolate processing plant in Quebec, Canada, teams have come up with a new way to treat and preheat beans that reduces the consumption of natural gas. It has also brought some extra benefits to our commercial output.

Cocoa nibs, ie bits of fermented, dried, roasted and crushed beans, are broken down in our unique cold breaking system combined with a preheating method that uses steam power instead of natural gas. What’s more, by heating beans just before roasting, rather than earlier in the factory’s production line, less energy is lost. The two innovations – the cold breaking concept developed at our Louviers factory in France, and preheating, developed by our factory in Saint-Hyacinthe, Canada – are not only saving 12% in gas bills and associated carbon emissions, but because they’re more efficient, we produce more beans in a shorter time. We believe this is a first breakthrough of its kind within the cocoa industry.

Next steps

To move even closer to carbon-free bean processing, our next step will be to switch the preheating system from gas generated to biomass generated steam. This will help us to meet our group goals of reducing energy intensity by 20% by 2020 and becoming carbon positive by 2025.

 

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