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Saving energy in all areas of the supply chain

Suiker Unie started a highly successful energy-reduction programme several years ago. The sugar factories in Dinteloord and Vierverlaten are among the largest and most energy-efficient beet processing plants in Europe. Suiker Unie has set itself the target of achieving a 50% reduction in its energy requirement per tonne of sugar by 2020, relative to 1990 (Kyoto). Thanks to major investments in multi-stage evaporation and thermo-compression and also more minor initiatives such as the use of LED lighting, we are well on the way to achieving this target. 

Suiker Unie participates in the long-term energy efficiency covenant (Meerjarenafspraak Energie Efficiency/MEE) for EU ETS companies. This means that we make agreements with the government about which measures we intend to implement to further reduce our energy consumption. These efforts contribute to ensuring achievement of the national Agreement on Energy for Sustainable Growth.
A major project that resulted in a 14% primary energy saving was implemented in the factory in Dinteloord during the course of 2015 and 2016. This excellent performance earned us the first Energy Award from the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
 
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Both sugar factories in the Netherlands are equipped with a combined heat and power plant. This technology allows us to produce heat and electricity extremely efficiently. In fact, we produce more electricity than we need. The surplus is delivered to the public grid at an efficiency of more than 90%!
Our focus on saving energy applies to the complete supply chain process, not just the factories themselves. For example, we have made great efforts to reduce the transport distance for the sugar beets and our final products. In addition, we use CNG, a sustainable fuel, to the greatest possible extent. This contributes to reducing our carbon footprint.
Our beets are also cultivated extremely efficiently. The energy consumption and footprint per hectare have reduced substantially as a result. This is a win-win situation: lower costs for the grower and a reduction of our carbon footprint.

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