At Bumble Hole Foods, we are committed to improving our sustainability credentials and becoming a carbon neutral business.
Due to environmental, social and economical reasons, the need to be innovated is a key strategic driver for us as a proactive company to becoming a fully sustainable business for our clients, customers and employees.
With a goal of becoming a carbon neutral company by 2035 we have already commenced our journey to net zero thanks to the engagement and commitment of our staff and energy partners Envirya Ltd.
Together we are developing an evolving energy action plan so we can achieve our ambitious goals.
Our first step was to understand the usage and drivers behind our energy consumption, identify the areas in which we could optimize, improve and how this fitted in with the wider UK targets and external factors.
We achieved this through implementing a bespoke sub-metering, monitoring and targeting system with strategically placed remote metering to allow real time visiualisation and detailed evaluation of our consumption profiles against production trends and demands.
By engaging with our staff and our partners we were able to develop a list of innovative energy conservation measures and circular economy projects which we have successfully implemented and continue to enhance for greater energy reductions.
To date, this has resulted in a reduction in utility costs of 34% compared to our 2021 benchmark.
Innovative Energy Conservation Measures
Steam system – through detailed metering analysis of gas and gas-oil energy data, using A.I. to map and forecast change scenarios we have now directly correlated this to our production volumes and interlinked this to our controls, so we are now able to switch off our gas oil boiler and transition operation on just one gas-fired steam boiler without impacting product or production, whilst saving energy and reducing our carbon emissions. Through improved insulation and utilising recorded data to change the CIP and wash down procedure we are now also able to switch off our steam system over the weekend with sufficient residual energy remaining in the system ready for production on Monday morning. Additional electricity saving were achieved through boiler pumps and fans being switched off during this period post monitoring management analysis and evaluation methodologies. This has given us an overall reduction in energy consumption by over 19% associated to steam generation thus reducing our carbon by 167 tCO2 per year.
Compressed air system – Following a proactive energy audit of our compressed system we identified numerous areas where energy efficiency could be improved. By integrating the finding with our monitoring system detected areas for leak repairs. By introducing timers, automated controls and replacing some of our 7.5bar compressed air system with several low pressure temperature controlled blowers, we improved the energy efficiency of the system by 52%.
CIP operation – using the data recorded, reviewing set points and run times and conducting various innovative A.I. trial simulations, we have managed to reduce the water and energy usage required to achieve the same level of hygiene standards as previous whilst reduce our environmental impact.
Breaker – we have installed a new breaker machine capable of processing a higher volume of eggs reducing the overall energy intensity of the process.
Pasteurisation and long-life product – we have developed and installed a new process line that allows us to pasteurise eggs in a more energy efficient way, reducing the amount of heat required whilst also producing a longer life product, reducing the amount of food waste in our customer’s supply chain.
Solar PV generation – Along with our new pasteurisation and long-life product line, we have installed a new 363kW solar PV array which accounts for over 15% of our electrical consumption and will reduce the associated carbon emissions by 1,241 tCO2e. This sustainable supply feeds into our new process, and with the intelligent metering and monitoring software the objective is to make our new product certified carbon neutral, which is not only a first but a step towards our vision of a net zero facility and company. As part of our ongoing mission towards carbon neutrality, we aim to increase the volume of solar PV installed on the site, coupled with dedicated battery storage so we can continue to expand our renewable generation on site. With the integration of innovative halix wind turbines on the roof apex, this will further supplement our energy reduction throughout the year to further enhance our vision of a sustainable site.
Heat pumps – By configuring our bespoke monitoring software we have been able to extrapolate our site thermal loads to develop holistic mapping, in order to degasifying our processes with the aim of utilising heat pumps. This innovative and technological integration encompasses carbon reduction as well as site sustainable energy. By aligning this with the government target of generating carbon free electricity this will mean our processes will become carbon neural as early as 2035.
Innovative Circular Economy Projects
Cardboard Egg Trays – By mapping our site gas consumption for previous year into our monitoring and targeting system we were able to visually identify direct correlation between production utility consumption which highlighted areas for innovative cost reduction projects. A key area where this data was translated into a circular economy project was the tray wash and disposal strategy. By focusing on limiting utility consumption and increasing our recyclability and plastic tray reuse methodologies we were able to eliminate the use of our incinerator whilst providing a raw material for another product and subsequently reducing our gas consumption by 76%.
Residual Liquid Egg Waste – During the egg breaking process, a small amount of residual egg remains in the shell which requires mechanical removal, however this can no longer be used for human food grade products. To eliminate this waste going to landfill, we now process this residual egg and provide this for fish bait mix for a third party. As for the egg shell, this is now in a state in which we can provide it for fertilizer applications for local farms. An alternative solution would be to upgrade this to a feed supplement which we could provide to our supply chain, reducing our overall carbon emissions and feeding into a circular economy.