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Circular solutions are at the core of running a sound business, and we are working to identify new ways of minimising, recycling and reusing our waste. Our business builds on the production of food products from healthy animals and on not letting any animal life go to waste.

We take great care to use as much as possible of the slaughter animal for nourishing food. Then, we make sure that the inedible parts of the animal form part of a circular biosystem in which they are used for a number of other purposes. These include for instance the use of residual abattoir products for the production of meat and bone meal back into animal feed, whereas stomach and intestine contents are used for biogas production, delivering green energy to many households. Moreover, the small intestine lining from pigs is used to produce heparin, a blood-thinning medicine, while hides from cattle are processed into the finest leather.

Our abattoirs process some 84 per cent of the pig and some 95 per cent of slaughtered cattle is utilised for food and other purposes. We are now calculating a new baseline for animal waste for the period from January to December 2021.

Optimising waste streams

As part of a major waste optimisation project, we identified our waste streams at the production facilities in Denmark, Sweden, Poland and Germany in 2020/21. In addition, a new baseline was calculated in 2020/21, which we will use to prepare local action plans for how to realise our reduction and recycling targets at the production facilities. The work also includes finding suppliers that could receive the waste for recycling purposes.

In Sweden, we reduced the number of suppliers of waste management in 2020/21 from ten to three and divided the production facilities into two geographical regions to optimise transport distances. Similarly, in Denmark we have gone from using three to only one supplier, who receives the waste from all production facilities. In addition to optimising waste transport, we also ensure greater transparency and standardisation of waste management. We are now continuing this work by reducing the number of suppliers in Germany and Poland.

New applications of plastic waste in Denmark

About two thirds of the combustible waste from our Danish abattoirs and factories is plastic waste, and 90 per cent of the plastic waste is either mixed types of plastic or contaminated with meat juice and therefore unsuitable for recycling in the current Danish systems. In 2020/21, we made a new demand on our Danish waste management suppliers to provide a solution for how to reuse contaminated plastic, and we partnered with a supplier to further develop potential solutions.

Also in 2020/21, we replaced PVC plastic cores from our foil with more environmentally friendly plastic that may be reused.

Target

We will reduce the volume of suitable combustible waste from our production facilities by 40
per cent relative to 2020/21 and recover 80 per
cent of the waste by 2030.

SDGs

We support target 12.3 by minimising food waste in our production and supply chains as well as target 12.5 by reducing waste generation through prevention, reuse and recycling.

40%

Baseline 2020/21: 14,845 tonnes. The goal of a future reduction of combustible waste is based on a 2020/21 baseline.

25%

The share of waste used for material recovery was just under 25 per cent in 2020/21. The target is 80 per cent.