In the context of production and energy, «avoiding» means to choose renewable energy sources and use them as efficiently as possible in order to reduce CO₂e (CO₂e denotes all greenhouse gases) emissions as much as possible. Greenhouse gases are all gases that cause climate change through the greenhouse effect. The best known are carbon dioxide (CO₂), methane and nitrous oxide.
The more CO₂e enters the atmosphere, the hotter our planet becomes – with severe consequences for our climate.
That is why HALBA uses energy from renewable sources: since 2011, HALBA has obtained 100 per cent of its purchased electricity from hydroelectric power stations. At its production site in Pratteln, HALBA uses a woodchip heating system to generate heat and solar panels to generate electricity. A heat recovery system catches some of the waste heat and channels it back into the production processes. Natural gas is only used to roast the nuts and cover peak loads. With this system, 95 per cent of the energy HALBA uses comes from renewable sources. In order to increase this percentage continuously and decrease its carbon footprint further, HALBA is planning to replace natural gas with climate-neutral biogas, so the proportion of biogas used will grow steadily over the coming years. At the same time, it is exploring the option of expanding its photovoltaic plant.
Another important factor in avoiding CO₂e emissions is to transport goods by means other than air whenever possible and use sustainable packaging materials: in 2021, only 1.1 per cent of HALBA’s total freight was transported by air. HALBA is dedicated to lowering its reliance on airfreight further and choosing alternative means of transport instead. It further strives to explore more sustainable alternatives to existing packaging materials and offer them to its customers. To this end, the company has established an internal innovation group that regularly analyses the latest materials in terms of their environmental impact and overall suitability. Since 2021, HALBA has been using an environmental balance calculator for its packaging solutions.
In relation to production and energy, «reducing» means setting up and adjusting production processes so that they release less greenhouse gases (CO₂e) – for instance, through energy efficiency measures.
In 2020, HALBA carried out a comprehensive analysis of all CO₂e-relevant process systems in this context. Among other results, this has yielded in the following measures for increasing efficiency and reducing energy consumption:
Cold management: Cold is required for specific steps in the chocolate production process, such as cooling the chocolate and operating conches (kneading and stirring machines). By adapting the process steps in the cold management system of its chocolate production, HALBA has increased its production efficiency and effectively reduced its energy consumption.
Heat recovery: Heat is required for specific steps in the chocolate production process, such as heating the pipes that transport the cocoa mass. HALBA uses heat emitted by the cooling machines for this purpose. Our goal is to increase our heat recovery rate continuously.
Some emissions are simply inevitable in our production. HALBA compensates for these emissions through carbon dioxide (CO₂e) offsetting activities within its own value chain. We annually measure our operational CO₂e emissions for this purpose. The measured value is composed of operational emissions and emissions related to purchased energy. An independent external audit by myclimate verifies our calculations.
To illustrate the way in which we offset our operational CO₂e emissions within our own value chain, take our reforestation projects in Honduras. They are carried out in compliance with the globally recognised, highly regarded Gold Standard. Another project is being implemented in Peru: on location, the emissions generated from the production of chocolate goods for HALBA customers that carry the Carbon Neutral Product label are offset to the Verified Carbon Standard.
Four trees must be planted to offset one tonne of CO₂e. HALBA has planted 398,434 trees since 2011. This amounts to around 99 trees a day, and each and every one of them can be located through GPS tracking. This means that HALBA has offset 79,240 tonnes of CO₂ in the past 11 years.
Verified Carbon Standard:
The Verified Carbon Standard is one of the world’s most widespread standards for verifying CO₂e offsetting projects. CO₂e offsetting projects compensate for greenhouse gas and CO₂e emissions.
The Gold Standard is one of the most high-quality standards for certifying CO₂e offsetting projects. In addition to compensating for CO₂e emissions, projects certified with the «Gold Standard» contribute to the sustainable development of their project region.
Carbon Neutral Product:
Before a product can be deemed carbon-neutral, the amount of CO₂e emitted as a result of cultivating, transporting, producing and consuming it and disposing of its packaging is calculated. In the case of carbon-neutral products, the calculated amount of CO₂ generated is offset, for example through reforestation projects.
myclimate verifies and calculates the carbon footprint of companies and climate-neutral (or: carbon-neutral) products.