Waste chocolate helps Nestlé reach sustainability goal

By Laurence Gibbons

- Last updated on GMT

Nestlé uses excess ingredients from its Toffee Crisp and Rolo products to power its Fawdon site
Nestlé uses excess ingredients from its Toffee Crisp and Rolo products to power its Fawdon site

Related tags: Greenhouse gas emissions, Methane, Anaerobic digestion

Nestlé UK & Ireland has reached its target of zero waste to landfill at its Fawdon factory after using excess Toffee Crisp and Rolo ingredients to help power the site.

It is now converting 4t of waste and 200,000l of liquid waste into renewable energy and clean water at the factory in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

The waste is fed into its anaerobic digester, where bacteria decomposes the material and converts it into by-products such as biogas. 

The biogas produced fuels a combined heat and power engine, which produces 200kW of electricity, meeting about 8% of the site’s energy needs. 

Achieved target​ 

Andrew Griffiths, sustainability manager at Nestlé Fawdon, said the firm was proud to achieve its zero waste to landfill target thanks to the anaerobic digester. 

“The system allows us to convert a large amount of waste that would otherwise enter sewage, ​[be] used as feed stock or landfill systems and generate methane and other greenhouse gas emissions,” ​he claimed. 

The anaerobic digester has also improved the quality of the water discharged from the factory since it was launched a year ago, he claimed. 

The equivalent of 41 Olympic-size swimming pools of clean water has been released from the site in the past year. 

Greenhouse gas emissions at the factory have also improved, falling by approximately 10% as a result of the heat and power generated from the biogas produced at the Fawdon site. 

Commitment​ 

It was introduced as part of Nestlé’s commitment to achieve zero waste for disposal in 10% of its factories by 2015, a target achieved two years early in 2013. 

Across Europe, Nestlé is increasing its zero waste commitment, guaranteeing all its 150 factories do not send waste to landfill by 2020, it claimed. 

To help reduce its carbon footprint and improve the environmental impact of the Fawdon factory, Nestlé turned to UK-based renewable energy experts Clearfleau to build a bespoke industrial anaerobic digestion system.

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