CONO Kaasmakers is the first climate-neutral guaranteed dairy organization in the Netherlands certified by the Climate Neutral Group. From 2020 CONO Kaasmakers makes climate-neutral cheese; with respect and care for the environment and the climate. Thanks to the sustainable design and the latest technologies, the cheese factory has an energy-efficient process. Climate-neutral cheese making has been achieved by saving and reusing the energy required for cheese making, generating green energy with dairy farmers and compensating for it.
Our cattle farmers have been working with the Caring Dairy sustainability program for more than 10 years to deliver sustainable quality milk. From 1 January 2020 we will also make our cheese as sustainable as possible. We have used our more than 100 years of experience with traditional cheese making to use as little energy as possible with the most modern techniques. We are using the most modern, sustainable technologies in order to be as energy efficient as possible. CONO will therefore remain a pioneer in the area of genuine taste and sustainability.
During the construction of the cheese factory, as many sustainable building materials and environmentally friendly building techniques as possible were used. Think sustainable glass for even better insulation and wood that lasts many times longer. Making environmentally conscious and energy efficient technology profitable was the motto during construction. This has been achieved through a sustainable ice-water installation with a very low energy consumption that cools the entire building and various installations.
Reuse of energy
A lot of water and energy is needed for cheese making. CONO Kaasmakers has made great strides in this area in the past ten years by clever innovation. An example: heat is needed to process the cold milk. The whey resulting from the process is warm and must be cooled down again. We now allow these two products to flow past each other through a plate exchanger in tubes. This warms up the milk and cools the whey. The residual water that remains after the cow's milk has been processed is largely used for cleaning the cheese factory.
In the cheese factory we go for operational excellence. In addition to energy-efficient machines, that is primarily a matter of behavior and choices. For example, preventing a failure or resolving it quickly is saving. No waste of milk and raw materials is also energy saving: simply make the best cheese with as few means as possible in one go. This tight combination of techniques and measures yields great benefits in sustainability.
Of our 440 dairy farmers, almost 30% generate their own green energy. From 2020, CONO purchases the sustainably generated electricity from dairy farmers. This is therefore solar energy and wind energy from North Holland dairy farmers. In this way CONO stimulates the energy transition within its own sector and has the objective that our dairy farmers generate sufficient electricity for the entire cheese chain.
To neutralize the last CO2 emissions that are still unavoidable, CONO uses CO2 compensation. This is done through sustainable climate projects elsewhere in the world. For this we work together with Climate Neutral Group. We are now doing this with a forest conservation project in Brazil, among other things. This project creates jobs, improves the environment and reduces CO2 emissions.