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CO2 footprint: Wiesenhof draws up its first certified emissions balance sheet

The production of one kilogram of chicken meat equates to 3.2 kg of carbon dioxide in the Wiesenhof budget 


Hamburg/Rechterfeld, 17 March 2010. The first company in the poultry branch to do so, the PHW Group has calculated the greenhouse gas emissions caused during the production of chicken meat for its Wiesenhof brand and had them certified. This product-specific carbon footprint (PCF) represents the greenhouse gas emissions which are caused directly and indirectly by a specific product.  


The results at Wiesenhof: The production of one kilogram of chicken meat causes approximately 3.2 kg of equivalent greenhouse gas emissions. These emissions are caused in the various stages of production: feed production, parent livestock breeding, hatcheries, rearing farms and processing plants including logistics right up to our commercial customers. The calculation of the CO2 footprint at Wiesenhof was intentionally based on very conservative estimates. In addition, the renewable energy produced at Wiesenhof was not offset in this balance sheet (photovoltaic systems, biofuel production using poultry fat, biogas systems). 


“As far as environmental and climate protection measures are concerned, we have already set a very high standard at Wiesenhof, but we still aim to become even more climate-friendly in the years to come”, emphasised Peter Wesjohann, Chairman of the PHW Group. The data compiled from the relevant plants delivered an excellent starting point for optimizing our production and transport processes even further. Wiesenhof currently sees the best opportunities for improving the emission balance sheet in the areas of energy and transport. The highest proportion of the emissions calculated comes from the rearing farms with 48.3%, followed by the feed mills with 32.9% and the slaughter and processing plants with 13.9%. The lowest share in the emissions comes from the hatcheries and parent livestock farms. 


As there is currently no generally accepted standard for the CO2 footprint in the food industry, Wiesenhof in cooperation with Gallehr+Partner, a consultancy company specialising in emissions issues, adapted an internationally recognised generic method for calculating the CO2 footprint of consumer products to the requirements of the food industry*). Wiesenhof then had this method certified by Deloitte Cert. The accuracy of the numerical values was additionally checked by TÜV Süd. 


Wiesenhof encourages alternative energy production

As early as last year, the PHW Group was taking extensive measures to reduce CO2 emissions in operative processes and also converted the roofs of poultry farms and plants by a commercialisation company from Hamburg in order to produce alternative energy. More than 80,000 m² have already been equipped with photovoltaic systems. This results in a saving of 8,000 tonnes of CO2 every year. 


Using the by-products accumulated daily in the slaughterhouses from the processing of the poultry, Wiesenhof also operates a biogas plant at its Möckern site. This means that the production waste is simultaneously raw material for energy and heat production. Around 450 households in the region are supplied with electricity from Wiesenhof Möckern. 


The PHW Group is leading the way when it comes to the use of alternative fuels. The Wiesenhof lorry fleet runs on SP-Power: a self-produced biofuel made from poultry fat. This results in a saving of 74,000 tonnes of CO2 every year for Wiesenhof. The biofuel SP-Power is produced from poultry fat and is a costefficient alternative to conventional fuels made from crude oil. SP-Power is produced and distributed by our subsidiary in Diepholz, GePro. The creative employees of this company developed this biofuel themselves. It is available throughout Germany. 

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