Aurivo

Making more while consuming less


Aurivo is the largest indigenous agricultural co-operative in the west of Ireland


 

Over 27,000 tonnes of measured CO2 savings have been achieved between 2009 and 2015

 

Introduction

Aurivo is the largest indigenous agricultural co-operative in the west of Ireland, with a turnover of €420m and over 700 employees. Located throughout the west of Ireland, the co-operative has business activities in:

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The most energy intensive division of the co-operative is the dairy ingredients business, annually consuming in excess of 150GWh of energy. Aurivo’s dairy business is a global supplier of innovative, value-added, sustainable dairy ingredients and consumer foods solutions. They market their quality dairy solutions domestically through their portfolio of local, regional and national consumer food brands, and internationally by exporting butter and enriched milk powders to 46 countries worldwide.

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Approach to energy efficiency

Sustainability is now one of the cornerstones of Aurivo’s Operational Excellence initiative, having  seen the significant benefits that can be realised in operations by focusing on process efficiency, people development and supplier engagement. By involving all of their supply chain, Aurivo believe they can become a truly sustainable business. At the centre of the sustainability initiative is the goal to become a carbon neutral organisation. A multi-pronged approach is being used to achieve this goal, which includes decarbonisation through the use of locally produced biomass, and most importantly continuous improvement through ambitious energy efficiency projects. Such projects, delivered over the past number of years have included:

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Activity and savings achieved

Since the initiation of the sustainability program in 2009 over 27,000 tonnes of measured CO2 savings have been achieved (up to 2015). In achieving such considerable savings, Aurivo has fully utilised the supports provided through SEAI's LIEN and Energy Agreement Programmes. A member since 2006, Aurivo acknowledges that the supports and networking opportunities offered have been largely responsible for setting, and keeping, them on the right track in achieving their goals.

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One of the most significant projects carried out by Aurivo recently was the installation of a large scale biomass boiler for the supply of the site's thermal energy requirement. Up to this the site was consuming approximately eight million litres of heavy fuel oil (HFO) every year. This project provided an opportunity for a long-term, sustainable energy solution for the dairy ingredients business. Partnered with HSD Energy, the new 12MW biomass plant began operating in 2014 and was officially opened in May of that year by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny. After the initial settling down period, the boiler was fully operational and optimised in the spring of 2015 and since then has significantly reduced costs and emissions for the site. The use of wood processing waste and farmed forestry to provide fuel, illustrates a true example of the cycle of sustainability. The next phase of this project will see the installation of a 1.5MW CHP unit for the generation of electricity and thermal energy onsite. This project is currently in the investigation phase.

 

Conclusion and future plans

Aurivo understand there is a long way to go to become a fully carbon neutral organisation, however, they believe the foundations are very much laid for them to achieve their goals. The organisation is fully committed to developing their processes and people in order to ensure the least effect on the environment in which they operate. Involvement in programmes such as SEAI's LIEN and Bord Bia's Origin Green ensure that they keep a focus on these goals and at the same time have an open forum to share their experiences with other manufacturers. They will continue to work actively towards their next target, which is a commitment to reduce the onsite emissions from HFO by 60% by 2018.