Sustainability high on our agenda

We see sustainability as more than just a trend; it is part of our DNA and our daily routine. In 1923 we started feeding our yeast a renewable resource, molasses, instead of grain – a change that would put less strain on the environment. This was long before sustainability work was widely adopted. We have continued on the path of a circular economy ever since.

Our products have a relatively small environmental impact when compared to other industries. Yeast is a natural and environmentally friendly product during manufacturing and application. With that said, we have taken it upon ourselves to continuously improve products and processes as a way of ensuring a high level of sustainability. We wish to take on a leading role in improving the circular economy and thus reduce our climate impact.

Our responsibility

Sustainability is high on the agenda within Orkla. Together with our sister companies within the group, we aim to contribute to solving global health and sustainability challenges.

In our sustainability strategy, we have set clear objectives for our work up to 2025, and we have highlighted five main areas; Nutrition and Wellness, Safe products, Sustainable sourcing, Environmental engagement and People and society.

Nutrition and wellness

A healthy diet is all about finding a balance between nutrition and exercise, both of which are crucial in decreasing the risk of disease, but also in improving quality of life. Recipes found on KronJäst’s website don’t contain more sugar, salt and fats than necessary without having to compromise on the flavour. We want to be an ambassador and inspiration for the joy that baking brings to the table.

Healthier food with patented ingredient

The EU is actively investigating ways to reduce its citizens’ intake of acrylamide, a potentially harmful substance formed when heating food products. Our patented product Acrylow contains asparaginase, a natural enzyme which reduces acrylamide by up to 93% in a natural way. Acrylow is used both by Orkla as well as by other food producers.

Safe products

Safe, high-quality products are important to us, our customers and consumers. Our production is certified to ensure and guarantee a high level of food safety.

Manufacturing quality throughout the process

Initial quality and safety assurance begin with the selection of raw materials. We do not produce nor sell any GMO products, and our yeast is kosher certified by Star-K. The yeast is free from all allergens found on the EU list (EG 1169/2011 with alterations). We follow strict guidelines throughout the entirety of the process – from raw materials to finished product – and we exclusively collaborate with distributors approved by Orkla.

Our product safety standard

As a part of the Orkla group, we are bound by the Orkla Food Safety Standard (OFSS) which is based on the international product safety standard from British Retail Consortium (BRC), covering all potential risks in our production. We hold a BRC certificate of the highest degree (Grade AA) and are members of Sedex, the largest international association working towards increased transparency in responsible sourcing.

Products from Jästbolaget undergo meticulous manufacturing processes and strict quality assurance before ending up in the hands of our retailers and consumers.

Sustainable sourcing

Sustainable manufacturing is all about meeting current needs without jeopardising those of coming generations. To contribute to sustainable development we find it important that the materials we use are manufactured responsibly, with care for people, animals, society and environment. A key part of this effort is a close collaboration with our suppliers to secure and develop sustainable value-chains. All suppliers are bound by Orkla’s ethical requirements, enforcing that manufacturing processes meet recognized international demands considering human rights, labour conditions, environment and anti-corruption. For more information, please read Orkla’s Code of Conduct.

From raw materials to packaging

The materials we use must have been sourced in a way that contributes to the preservation of natural resources. One step toward this is our firm position in the debate around palm oil. We were one of the first yeast manufacturers in the world to refrain from using palm oil in the production of dry yeast.

The packaging and transports contribute to how a product affects Earth’s natural resources. Thanks to our cold storage – finished in 2014 – we have eliminated the need for transports to external storage locations.

To minimise climate footprint we use reusable SRS-crates instead of corrugated cardboard boxes. This enables more efficient transport and reduced use of packaging materials.

About 25% of our yeast is distributed completely without packing material by administering liquid yeast from a tank or shipping container.

The climate footprint of yeast production is described in carbon dioxide emissions equivalents, see picture below. It is based on the climate footprint for raw materials and packaging as well as transport to the plant and production. Yeast production in Sollentuna leaves a low footprint as we use 100% green electricity and bio-oil.

Environmental commitment

The production and consumption of food generates one-fourth of greenhouse gas emissions and a considerable part of society’s water consumption. It is therefore important that we take responsibility for our environmental impact from a life cycle perspective. It’s our goal to contribute to a circular economy by making better use of raw materials and maximize the usefulness of recycled product waste. Throughout our organization we work towards reducing food waste, limiting energy and water consumption in our facilities, increasing the percentage of renewable energy and minimizing the use of cooling water.

Smaller climate footprint during production

By decreasing energy and water consumption, while putting more trust into renewable energy, Jästbolaget contributes to achieving the two-degree climate change target by doing our share of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Yeast generates heat during fermentation, heat which is suppressed using cooling water. As the yeast cools down the generated heat can be repurposed as indoor heating, while any excess is used for long-distance heating. The power output from the heat pump is about 30 GWh, enough to heat 1 500 houses. The cooling water is then returned to the groundwater through the lake Norrviken, improving its ecosystem with the addition of more oxygen.

Since 2016, we have also reduced our carbon footprint in heat production by 99% by replacing fossil fuel with biodegradable oil. Bio-oil is used to generate steam needed to sterilise the molasses, cleaning the facility and powering the drying equipment.

We exclusively power our facilities with electricity that is 100% renewable.

Circular economy – repurposing waste

To reduce yeast waste during production we aim to decrease rejection and unwanted variations, for instance by improving our use of raw materials and implementing smaller packaging solutions. The small amount of yeast post-production is used for biogas. Other waste products are also repurposed. The water remaining after the yeast has been separated from the fermentation fluid is turned into vinasse and potassium salts. Both byproducts are being used in agriculture as an organic fertilizer for e.g. sugar beets. Molasses is a waste product from sugar production, which we in turn use as a nutrient during the yeast production.

Personal commitment

Our environmental commitment permeates our organisation, from production processes to employees. Our employees take pride in their contribution to a better world and are well-aware that every little thing counts – such as everyday recycling of food, plastic and household waste in our canteen.

People and society

Sustainability is not just about the environment, but also about social aspects that affect society and the people who live in it. We have a responsibility for safeguarding the health and safety of our employees and respecting important human rights such as freedom of expression, freedom of organisation and the right to fair working conditions. By developing a healthy workplace and actively encouraging improvement work we can offer solutions to the challenges found in our value chain. Such work will strengthen our organisation and help us reach our business goals.

Well-being and a secure workspace

We aim to carry out our operations with zero injuries. This can only be achieved through effective risk management, a systematic focus on preventing injuries and work-related illnesses and the active involvement of all employees. As part of Orkla, we follow a common EHS standard and detailed guidelines to improve environmental, health and safety performance, intended to ensure continuous improvement based on preventive efforts. We make continuous efforts in trying to limit sick leave, for instance by offering wellness incentives and gym-access to all employees.

Caring for our neighbours

During fermentation, chemical structures such as sulfur compounds and higher alcohols are formed, resulting in scents coming from our facility. These scents and chemical compounds are harmless to human health and to the environment. However, in regard to society and our neighbours, we take actions to decrease the smell as much as possible.

Commitment that makes a difference

Long term commitments with a focus on sustainability and the environment are important to us. We care about sustainable initiatives that benefit society. We support the “Operation: Save the Bees” campaign, initiated by the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation in an effort to save endangered wild bees. Every third bite of what we eat has been pollinated by an insect. But a third of our wild bee species are close to extinction. Bees play an important role in Swedish food production and are essential in yeast production, seeing as we use beet molasses as a nutrient. Our facility hosts a selection of plants known to attract bees and bumblebees alike.

Sustainability – the road ahead

Working with sustainability is a continuous process that is well integrated into our long-term operations. Sustainability is the way of the future, and by activating the entirety of our organization, including our business partners, we are part of the change. All in order to make a positive impact on the environment, for us and for future generations.