Contained in the Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2003, which has been published in Dutch, German and English, it outlines investments made in recycling water, an energy consumption reduction of 2 per cent and a €6 million allocation for environmental projects.
"We do what we say and we say what we do," claimed Tiny Sanders, chairman of Campina's executive board. "That's transparency. And this report is how we have chosen to account for our performance in 2003 from a social responsibility perspective."
Campina's says that its corporate policy is designed to reduce the impact of its activities on the environment, with the main focus in 2003 being on cleaner water and on using less energy. Campina says that the various investments made by the group have benefited the environment by, for example, reducing the environmental impact of production facilities in Torun (Poland) and recycling water used for rinsing purposes at the company in Winnica (Poland).
The extent to which waste water discharged by the group company in Stupino (Russia) can be purified was increased further during the year, while improvements designed to result in less pollution of the water used at our production facilities in Born and Oud-Gastel (both in the Netherlands) were also completed during the year.
However, despite all the efforts undertaken in respect of clean water, Campina was unable to prevent the amount of ground water it extracted in the Netherlands in 2003 from rising by 4 per cent to 3.1 million m3. The company blames technical problems at one of the production facilities.
Almost all Campina's production processes need to use energy in the form of electricity or heat. Campina's overall energy consumption fell in 2003 by a total of 2 per cent. Strict management and control of its energy use resulted in improvements in energy efficiency at several production facilities.
All Campina's activities abroad, just like those in the Netherlands, will be bringing their practices into line with ISO 14001 between 2004 and 2006. This will mean the establishment of a standardised environmental care system (covering quality control, working conditions and the environment) for all activities.
Other food manufacturers have taken steps to reduce emissions associated with their operations and achieve greater energy efficiency. Kraft Foods for example has just selected Rockwell Automation's Power & Energy Management Solutions (PEMS) team to develop and execute a sustained energy reduction initiative across all its manufacturing facilities in North America.
This multiyear initiative is designed to facilitate Kraft's understanding and management of how energy is used within its plants and help the company identify opportunities to reduce energy costs through lower consumption.
"Finding ways to reduce energy demand is fully consistent with our drive to achieve efficiencies in all aspects of our business," said Fred Sherriff, vice president of manufacturing technical services for Kraft. "It is also consistent with our efforts as a responsible corporate citizen to reduce the environmental impact of our operations."
Unilever is another food giant that has actively been looking at ways to achieve energy reductions. For example, a distribution centre in Coventry, UK, has been fitted with state-of-the-art insulation and energy re-use facilities and has produced savings in refrigeration costs of some 40 per cent compared with traditional designs.
Tighter environmental legislation is forcing manufacturers to clean up their act. The EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) is one of the policies being introduced across Europe to tackle emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases and combat the serious threat of climate change. The scheme comes into force on 1 January 2005.