Enzymes are proteins which are found in all living organisms and the environment. They act as catalysts and speed up biochemical reactions. The industrial use of enzymes has many environmental benefits that cannot be obtained via traditional chemical processes. They improve product quality and reduce production costs, waste and energy consumption. The amount of enzymes used industrially is very small compared to raw materials, but they have significant sustainability benefits.
Despite the many benefits, our products and operations do have their own carbon footprint, which we are actively working to reduce. You can find out more about the positive environmental impact of our products on our partner AB Enzymes’ website.
Enzymes are key enablers of bio- and circular economy. Industrial operators can effectively reduce their emissions by using enzyme technology. However, we use both raw materials and energy to produce our products, which means we also have a responsibility to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from our own operations. We are working towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals SDG 12 (Responsible consumption and production) and SDG 13 (Climate Action).
We have calculated the carbon footprint of our operations according to the GHG Protocol in collaboration with ClimatePartner GmbH and our partner AB Enzymes. The assessment accounts for Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions that originate from our operations as well as Scope 3 emissions from the purchase of raw materials and from the sale of products.
The combined carbon footprint of Roal and AB Enzymes’ operations was around 53,000 tonnes of CO2e between 2020 and 2021. This is equivalent to around 165,000,000 kilometres driven by car. Indirect Scope 3 emissions accounted for 81% of our carbon footprint in 2020 and 2021. Of these emissions, 57% come from raw materials and 20% from logistics. The remaining 19% of emissions come from our own operations and energy needs (Scope 1 and 2). Energy consumption accounts for 16% of these emissions. The rest comes from emissions from other parts of our facility.
We are constantly looking for new ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Our approach is based primarily on avoiding and reducing emissions, and ultimately on offsetting them. Our goal is to be carbon neutral by 2027.
By knowing where our emissions come from, we can focus our efforts on the areas where emissions reductions will have the greatest impact. Indirect Scope 3 emissions are the source of 80% of our value chain emissions.
Roal protects the ecosystems and biodiversity of the environment in which it operates, and uses natural resources in a responsible way. We have assessed the impact of our operations on the local environment. We comply with all the conditions and rules of set out in environmental permits and report on them. Noise and odour nuisances at the Rajamäki plant are monitored and any deviations are promptly corrected.
The aim of the circular economy is to keep raw materials and the materials and products made from them in circulation for as long as possible. At Roal, we systematically reduce the amount of raw materials and the resulting waste with the aim of finding alternative uses for by-products, waste streams and end-of-life products.
We rely on water for our production processes and for the safe cleaning of our equipment. The water used for cleaning also accounts for the majority of our waste water, around 85%. We are constantly looking for new ways to reduce water consumption in our product manufacturing processes. As part of our factory expansion, we planned ways to reduce the amount of waste water, energy and chemicals we use. A redesigned washing process, new cleaning chemicals for the production equipment and lower water temperatures made a significant contribution to achieving these targets. Investing in new water-cooling technology has helped us reduce water consumption in our manufacturing processes by 85%.
Finding new uses for waste and by-products from our operations has brought significant benefits to Roal and has helped to reduce our environmental impact. We closely monitor the waste treatment system we have developed for different waste streams. No waste from our production has gone to landfill since 2018. Around 95% of waste was recycled in 2021.
We cooperate with several companies to refine dry enzyme waste and product ingredients used for washing the equipment into raw materials for biogas production. We have been able to reuse more than 200 tonnes of organic waste each year, which previously went to landfill or incineration.
The downstream treatment in the fermentation process produces filtration waste, which also contains dead microbial cells. Composting filtered waste instead of alternative disposal cuts emissions by up to 90%. We have saved around 4,200 tonnes of CO2e per year by composting waste. Composted waste can be used to improve soil quality.