Clarified - what we mean when we use the word 'sustainable'
The concept of sustainability is a moving target. Not everyone intends the same meaning when they use it, and, as a society, we progressively learn more and push forward. At PB Leiner we are all for clarity, which is why we would like to share with you what we mean when we use the word ‘sustainable’. So you know what you can expect when you work with us.
First of all, we upcycle a raw material that might otherwise simply have been discarded. By upcycling the remains of animals slaughtered for the meat and fish industry, we make sure that we make the most of our resources.
The gelatin and collagen peptides we produce, are used for valuable applications in the food, pharmaceutical, and health & nutrition sectors. Did you know for example, that adding gelatin can make your croissants fluffier, your mousses airier, and gives that nice chewy bit to gummies? Moreover, gelatin can extend the shelf life of certain foods, hence limiting food waste. Gelatin is also the most widely used ingredient to make medical capsules, on account of its almost universal body-tolerance, combined with the fact that it melts at body temperature and displays useful elasticity and clarity features. Collagen peptides in turn can enhance bone and joint health, for example, and are used as part of the patient’s recovery nutrition.
And that is not all. The sludge sediment that remains after treatment of our waste water contains nutrients like phosphor and nitrogen which help plants grow. Those nutrients actually come from the plant feed given to the cows and pigs that are our source of raw material. And so today we are working on closing the loop: at several locations across the globe, we are working on ways to transform our sludge into a soil enhancer.
As part of Tessenderlo Group, we adhere to the group’s motto, Every Molecule Counts. It represents the unique attitude we have towards sustainability and innovation. In everything we do, we seek to further valorize the resources at our disposal. This counts just as much for the end products we make, which we constantly optimize, as it does for the by-products from our processes, which we consistently seek to repurpose as best we can.
Making our processes more sustainable
When it comes to our processes, we actively apply this philosophy that Every Molecule Counts as well. We are continuously working to improve every segment of our organization. For example, our production process uses large quantities of water, however we take great care to minimize our water consumption and to make sure it is properly treated before discharge so it has no negative impact on the receiving water body.
When it comes to energy, we continuously strive to optimize and decrease our consumption of electricity and heat.
This being said, continuous improvement will only get us so far. We are fully aware that radical change will be necessary in order to get in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. That is why we have initiated the project of actively rethinking our processes. A dedicated work group is setting out the beacons and how we will get there, and we are committed to making the necessary investments.