Partnership for climate protection
Emmi and Amstutz Holzenergie AG are expanding their collaboration in the field of renewable energy. For products manufactured at the Emmen site, such as Emmi Aktifit and Luzerner Rahmkäse, solar energy will now be used to supplement the existing wood-chip-fired heating system. The source is 1,440 photovoltaic modules on the roofs of the Amstutz buildings, which produce around 500,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year.
On the basis of its netZERO 2050 vision, Emmi has undertaken to ramp up its commitment to climate protection. Among other things, direct CO2 emissions are to be reduced by 60% by 2027. The use of renewable energies is a strategic measure here.
At the traditional location in Emmen, more than 80% of the process energy required already comes from a wood chip facility. This was built in 2009 by Energie Wasser Luzern (EWL) on the site of Amstutz Holzenergie AG (Amstutz) and feeds the hot steam into the Emmi system via a long-distance pipeline. Now the proven partnership between wood heating pioneer Amstutz and Emmi has been expanded.
Joining forces for climate protection
Amstutz and Emmi have set up an association for own consumption (Zusammenschluss zum Eigenverbrauch – ZEV). This means that the energy generated on Amstutz’s roofs can either be used by Amstutz itself or sold to its neighbour Emmi. Albert Amstutz, Managing Director of Amstutz Holzenergie AG, explains: “For over 30 years, we have been a staunch advocate of the efficient use of domestic, renewable wood energy. We are pleased that our neighbour Emmi has been using environmentally friendly “wood steam” from our company for twelve years, and that we can now strengthen our partnership for a sustainable energy future with solar energy from our roofs.”
The 1,440 photovoltaic modules that cover the entire 2,700 square meters of roof space on the Amstutz buildings produce approximately 500,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity each year. Amstutz uses around 200,000 kWh for the works yard, the operation of the wood energy plant and apartments, while around 300,000 kWh are passed on to Emmi.
New cheese dairy building also being used
Group-wide, Emmi already uses almost 100% renewable electricity. Most of this electricity is purchased. This means that the 25 or so plants in Switzerland are supplied with 100% electricity from European hydropower. Emmi’s strategy is to significantly increase the production of its own renewable electricity over the next few years. For this reason, Emmi has decided to also install photovoltaic elements on the roof of the new cheese dairy currently under construction at the Emmen location. These are expected to provide a further 230,000 kWh of renewable electricity from 2023, taking Emmi a further step forward in its netZERO 2050 vision.
About Amstutz Energy
Albert Amstutz founded the company in 1987. The first large mobile chipper – a trailed machine with a feed size of 50×70 cm – was purchased already in the founding year. This makes Amstutz Holzenergie one of the pioneers of the wood energy sector. Today, in addition to several transport vehicles, a screening plant, rippers, etc., it also operates four large chippers mounted on trucks.
Another important area of business for the company since 2002 alongside the supply of wood for energy has been the planning, construction and operation of wood-chip-fired heating systems with local heating networks, also as a general contractor.
Emmi is a major Swiss milk processor. The company dates back to 1907, when it was founded by 62 dairy farming cooperatives around Lucerne. Over the past 20 years, Emmi has grown into an international, listed group. It has for many years pursued a successful strategy based on three pillars: strengthening its Swiss domestic market, international growth and cost management. Throughout its corporate history, Emmi’s keen awareness of its responsibility to society, animal welfare and the environment has been fundamental to its mission.
In Switzerland, Emmi manufactures a comprehensive range of dairy products for its own brands and private label products for customers, including leading exports such as Emmi Caffè Latte and Kaltbach. In other countries, its products – mainly speciality products – are manufactured locally. Alongside cow’s milk, it also processes goat’s and sheep’s milk.
In Switzerland, the Emmi Group has 25 production sites. Abroad, Emmi and its subsidiaries have a presence in 14 countries, 8 of which have production facilities. Emmi exports products from Switzerland to around 60 countries. Its business activities focus on the Swiss domestic market as well as western Europe and the American continent. Roughly half of its CHF 3.7 billion in sales – about 10 % of which stems from organic products – is generated in Switzerland, the other half abroad. Over two-thirds of its almost 8,700 employees are now currently based outside of Switzerland.