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Circular economy & environment

The companies of the Päijät-Häme Grain Cluster are pioneers in circular economy. The companies of the cluster strive to reduce the environmental impact of their operations constantly.

New purposes for side streams and new lines of business

New uses for the side streams of the food industry in the Lahti region and the resulting financial benefits are developed constantly.

The by-products of producing drinks are used in the production of bioethanol and as feed for livestock. Everything possible from cardboard to wood, aluminium and plastic is sorted at the Hartwall brewery. In addition to these materials, the brewery recycles all by-products of their operations, such as mash, excess yeast and spare liquids.

Mash, a by-product of brewing beer, has been sold to suppliers of feed for a long time. Now, new types of using mash in paper and paperboard manufacturing processes, where it can replace some of the wood-based fibres to an appropriate extent, are being developed.

The latest technology allows for using oat hulls, a side stream of Fazer’s oat mill in the production of xylitol, which is an excellent example of a modern circular economy innovation. The xylitol market is expected to grow, and Fazer targets Northern Europe and beyond with this plant-based raw material of Finnish origin.

The side streams of the oat milling process are also used in the Lahti Energia bio- heating plant, currently under construction in Fazer’s site in Lahti. The primary fuel of the new bio-heating facility is the oat hull mass supplied by the xylitol factory. Once ready, the facility will produce enough heat and industrial steam to serve Fazer’s entire factory area in Lahti: the mill, bakery and rye crisp production lines, as well as the new xylitol factory.

Oat hulls are used also in producing oat-hull bread bags that are used at Fazer Shop-in-Shop bakeries. As much as 25% of the material in this unique packaging innovation is made of oat hulls.

Fazer constantly develops the degree of processing its side streams so that no hulls go to waste and co-operates with the grain value chain to develop more environmentally friendly farming.

The Grain Cluster is also developing the recovery of carbon dioxide and new ways of using the carbon dioxide generated by the food and process industry.

99,8% waste recycling rate Hartwall

Heat from oat mill side streams Fazer

Sustainability based on local raw materials Viipurilaisen kotileipomo

Beer and whisky with renewable energy Teerenpeli

“Circular economy is no longer about generating as little waste as possible. It’s about creating profitable business from side streams.”

– Jarkko Arrajoki, Fazer