Sustainable manufacturing: improving energy efficiency in Alfreton

Sustainable manufacturing: improving energy efficiency in Alfreton

Ferrero is committed to improving its energy efficiency through a series of responsible choices. Our aim is to minimise the environmental impact of our manufacturing and improve efficiency at every stage of the chocolate making process, everywhere in the world. In the UK, we are working on this at our site in Alfreton, Derbyshire. In 2016, the Alfreton facility received a prestigious “Silver” sustainability award from Marks & Spencer for its achievements across environmental sustainability, lean manufacturing and commitment to employees and ethical practices.

Our progress in Alfreton to improve energy efficiency has been met in a number of ways. Firstly, we are continually looking for advanced technology solutions to help us make responsible choices. For example, every light on site has been replaced with an energy efficient version since 2011. We have installed variable speed drives on larger motors, pumps and fans; and pipes have been modified with improved insulation. Compressed air systems, hot water boilers, steam boilers and chillers have also been upgraded to provide steam, heating and cooling for staff and the production line in a more energy efficient manner.

We know that water is a valuable natural resource and we are committed to using it in a more sustainable and responsible way. Leak management capabilities, pressure reduction valves, Cleaning in Place (CIP) systems, automatic sensor taps and hose pipe controls have already been put in place. We are continually researching more efficient cleaning methods and training our employees in an effort to further reduce water consumption and the volume of pollutants in our wastewater.

Alfreton is also serious about managing and reducing waste. We always aim to follow the Waste Hierarchy by preventing, reducing, re-using and recycling waste if possible, and recovering waste for energy if not. We are extremely proud that our plant has sent Zero Waste to Landfill since January 2012 and we currently recycle around 75% of our waste. This has been possible through the dedication and commitment of our employees to increase and improve waste segregation.

Ferrero has an objective of obtaining the ISO 14001 environmental management certification for the entire Group, and Alfreton’s certification audit is planned for 2019. In preparation for that, we are working to improve and enhance our current Environmental Management System (EMS) in line with the latest ISO 14001:2015 standard. An embedded EMS has many environmental benefits. These include increasing the involvement and engagement of our employees and achieving continual improvement through a strong Group commitment to environmental performance.

At Alfreton we recognise that each and every one of our staff has a role to play in improving the environmental performance of our plant. We are working to promote and embed a sustainability culture through behavioural efficiency and continuous improvement projects from the bottom up. The success of our efforts to improve efficiency and reduce environmental impact will come not just through advanced technology and processes but also through the dedication and passion of our employees. We believe that sustainability is not just a system, it’s a mindset.

To this end, we have empowered over 20 of our staff to become Going for Green Champions. This initiative has generated over 200 ideas as part of this initiative, more than 150 of which have been implemented, delivering huge electricity and water savings across the site.

Thanks to these continued efforts, everyone who works in Alfreton is contributing to a more sustainable future for our people, our community and our planet.