How Renewable Energy in Manufacturing Promotes Food Sustainability
Renewable energy is one of the key ways that food and beverage manufacturing can change to improve food sustainability. Click to discover more about how you can switch up your sustainable food offerings!
In the food and beverage industry, non renewable energy has been used for years. This includes energy sources that are finite, and will run out, including fossil fuels, plant matter, oil, coal, and more.
This has caused food sustainability issues across the food and beverage sector. That said, with so many visitors choosing sustainable food sources over the alternative, it’s time for change.
With global food sustainability becoming a major issue, sustainable food products are needed to balance things out. Your FREE ticket to the Leisure F&B Expo, will introduce you to all sorts of companies that focus on renewable energy within food and drink manufacturing.
Keep reading for some renewable energy facts, so you can come to our event with all the knowledge you need to make an informed choice about your refreshment options.
Renewable Energy Examples
The European Resource Efficiency Knowledge Center (EREK) has expressed faith that renewable energy has major potential across this industry. Particularly where heating generation is required, changes can be made to not only improve environmental impact, but also reduce costs in the process!
One of the main ways that food and beverage manufacturers can start using renewable energy is through on-site power generation. Some of the renewable energy types that can be used for this include:
Solar Energy in the Food and Drink Industry
Solar energy is an environmentally friendly source of power, harnessed directly from the sun’s rays. So how can this help out manufacturing within the food and drink industry?
Solar panels are ideal for helping you to reduce costs and boost profits! Firstly, solar panels may seem like a large investment but, once purchased, they do their job all year round, with no extra payments. So in the long run, costs will be reduced.
What’s more, cash flow will be increased, as accumulated energy can be stored in solar panels to be distributed across the grid! This is something that the grid, themselves, will pay for, helping you earn money in the process.
It’s a two-way street - more money for you, and an environmentally friendly alternative.
One of the great ways that solar panels can be utilised is through solar cooling. This is when heat from the sun is converted into useful refrigeration and air-conditioning technology. Naturally, this is ideal within the food and beverage industry, so is certainly worth utilising.
Geothermal energy is the use of heating and/or cooling pumps that harness heat from the ground. In the winter, this heat is used as a heat source, and in the summer, the heat is stored in the ground for later use.
This is an ideal energy source within the food and drink industry, particularly within the brewing world. In Japan, for example, sake is brewed this way, showing it truly can be done.
Biomass is any natural material which is utilised for energy production, or as a raw material in a production process. For example, plant or animal material, such as waste from crops, can be burnt for fuel, to heat up food products. For more information, check out Irena’s study.
Recapturing CO2 at Breweries
CO2 is the byproduct of the fermentation process, which is utilised in the brewing of drinks like beer and sake. With the problems of climate change, and too much CO2 making its way into our atmosphere, there are a few breweries which are attempting to capture this CO2. This is not just environmentally friendly, it’s also cost-efficient, as the CO2 can be put aside for future use in carbonated drinks!
Tackling Food Waste
Most organic waste makes its way to landfill sites and, although many argue that food and drink is biodegradable, food waste is accumulating quicker than it biodegrades. This costs millions of pounds to manage, alongside contributing to greenhouse gases. The food and drink industry can tackle this in numerous ways:
Converted Into New Food
Firstly, waste can be used as fertiliser within the agricultural sector (find out more from the FDF). Even better than this, though, food waste can even be converted into new food ingredients using a proprietary bio-process!
Another way that food waste can be tackled is through collecting the gas that’s produced when food waste decomposes in landfill. If not harvested, it will escape into the atmosphere, and is even worse for the environment than CO2!
To do this, the waste has to be pre-treated, and then separated into enclosed tanks, or anaerobic digesters, which harnesses the gas. The biogas can be used in a number of ways, including electricity generation, as well as heating and cooling.
Renewable Energy Advantages
In every one of these cases, a pattern forms; by utilising otherwise wasted energy, costs are saved, therefore boosting profits in the process. By saving food manufacturers and farmers time and money, otherwise neglected jobs, like equipment repairs, can be prioritised!
At the Leisure F&B Expo, on 6th & 7th November at the NEC, Birmingham, you’ll get the chance to link up with some renewable energy companies, who are using sustainable energy sources in their manufacturing processes. If you want to get face-to-face with these people, to discover their tips and tricks in switching to these energy sources, then get your FREE ticket today.
Change up your food and drink suppliers and service-providers this November, and forge a sustainable path to draw in more visitors to your attraction. We can’t wait to meet you!