Through the development and implementation of ISO 50001, the creamery has integrated energy management into its core business model.

 “There are four pillars to our sustainability programme: farm operations, milk collection, factory operations and community engagement. Our ultimate goal is to achieve carbon neutrality in the milk collection and factory operations.” JP Bourke, Energy & Sustainability Manager.
  • 10%

    Energy Savings in 2018
  • Structured Approach

    to Managing Energy
  • Energy Efficient Design Study


Tipperary co-operative is a farmer owned co-operative which processes approximately 350 million litres of milk a  year. They joined SEAI’s Large Industry Energy Network (LIEN) back in 2018 and since then have worked to improve their energy performance. The Tipperary creamery has succeeded in implementing energy efficiency measures that have resulted in over 10% energy savings. As active members of the Network the creamery has access to energy expertise built up over two decades. The Network host regular information seminars and provide access to other industry professionals who are managing energy. Support from a dedicated relationship manager has enabled Tipp Co-op to implement a robust energy management system and embed it within the organisation. For smaller organisations, this type of support is critical.

About the project

Key to the success of the energy upgrades at the creamery was the implementation of an energy management system, to a level where it could be certified to ISO50001. This transition required engagement from key stakeholders across the business who could support the implementation process. This process also involved carrying out an energy kaizen on their evaporation procedure.

The energy kaizen required a multi-disciplinary team across the site reviewing the operation of the plant. The objective was to identify low and no cost savings. This resulted in a site level energy saving of over 10% in Year 1 of their program.

An inclusive team approach was central to the project. World class energy management requires all site personnel including contractors to engage with the system. A functional energy management system will not exist through the efforts of a single person or small team without wider engagement of all personnel who work on site, who understand their impact on their energy performance. The project was an eye-opener for many personnel who previously didn’t know how much energy they used or where it was consumed. Engaging with operators as part of the process was both insightful and rewarding as they had loads of ideas on how to improve the businesses performance but previously did not have an outlet to highlight their thoughts.

What's next?

The next steps for Tipperary Creamery are to build on the achievements to date. This includes  deeper engagement with their milk suppliers to educate them on energy use and the environmental and cost impact of energy management.

Longer term, they would like to achieve carbon neutrality across the milk collection and processing elements of the business. This will require significant engagement with both internal (milk suppliers, board and factory personnel) and external (SEAI, Gas Networks Ireland and energy providers) stakeholders. 

About SEAI’s Large Industry Energy Network

The Large Industry Energy Network has grown and developed into one of the world’s largest energy efficiency networks. It’s primary aim is to support large business to take a strategic approach to energy management.

LIEN members are companies with annual energy bills of €1 million or over. LIEN currently has 200 member companies who employ 135,000 people in Ireland and spend €1.1bn on energy annually.

Energy Awards Winner

In 2019 they took home the top prize for Large Business of the Year at the SEAI Energy Awards. They impressed judges with their inclusive and long-term approach to improved energy management from a business and social perspective. The SEAI Energy Awards 2020 are now open for applications. Join Ireland’s ambitious energy leaders and apply now.