Key areas of activity
Environmental and energy aspects of production
When processing agricultural raw materials, our aim is to minimize resource consumption – including energy consumption – and potential environmental effects taking into consideration the highest quality standards. For us this means not only compliance with all statutory and internal regulations, but also continuously monitoring and optimizing our plant designs and production processes.
Energy and emissions
Südzucker's efficient production processes and modern energy management systems are first class. For example, co-generation systems and systems that are suitable for multiple energy sources underlie the company's above-average energy efficiency. A key building block in our operational environmental protection strategy is to increase the energy efficiency of our production processes. This enables us to reduce the need for fuel and at the same time cut emissions of air pollutants and climate-relevant greenhouse gases.
Water and wastewater
Water, the most important resource from a global perspective, is one of the many inputs to Südzucker Group's production processes.
Our production plants stand out because they reduce fresh water consumption to a minimum by drawing the necessary water from a circuit. Quite often, the water contained in the agricultural raw materials – sugar beets and apples consist of about 75 % and 85 % water respectively – is used in the processes. For example, a large proportion of the water required by a sugar factory is already contained in the raw sugar beets delivered to the plant. Overall, the water contained in the processed field crops can make the wastewater volume greater than volume of water withdrawal. Furthermore, heavy rainfall can also lead to greater water input.
Of the total volume of water withdrawal, 50% is from surface water, especially from rivers. This water is mostly used by the sugar factories' cooling systems; that is, the water is only used for process cooling, after which it is fed directly back to the discharge system.
Due to the company's integrated production concepts, the raw materials used are almost entirely converted to high-quality products.
The renewed significant reduction in waste volume is due to an across-the-board application of a uniform group program that distinguishes between products and waste. Accordingly, products such as press pellets, Carbokalk and grape pulp are no longer categorized as waste if they are subsequently refined to produce high quality feed or fertilizer.