The Energy and Water Sustainability Focus Group of Koppert is hard at work prioritizing and reducing Koppert’s consumption of natural gas, other fossil fuels and electricity. This includes using a green label greenhouse with sustainable technologies such as heat saving screens and heat pumps. One successful energy saving project is the rearing of Eretmocerus at the new green label greenhouse on the Molenweg near Koppert headquarters.
Eretmocerus is a beneficial insect that has been produced by Koppert for many years. The production of this macrobial formerly took place at Koppert’s 30-year-old greenhouse on the Hofweg. Significant energy savings have been achieved after production moved to the new green label greenhouse on the Molenweg which has the latest technology in terms of insulation, climate control and light transmission.
Enormous energy efficiency
‘The differences between the two greenhouses are so great that the Eretmocerus production team is now able to achieve an incredible 360% improvement in energy efficiency,’ says Robert Bergenhenegouw, Process and Information Manager for Overhead Insects. The figure is based on insects (in grams) per cubic metre of natural gas consumed.
‘This success is the result of a great deal of planning and collaboration between the Macrobial Department and the N&I Department,’ Robert explains. It has been calculated that the Macrobials Department uses approximately 58% of all the gas consumed within Koppert Netherlands. ‘We can now conclude that the efficiency improvements at the green label greenhouse on the Molenweg contribute enormously to the mission of the Energy and Water Sustainability Focus Group for an energy-neutral and fossil fuel-free company by the fourth Koppert generation.’
Green label greenhouse
In order to rear insects sustainably without using fossil fuels, it’s important to reduce the use of gas as much as possible. This means that the greenhouse must meet the strict certification requirements of a green label greenhouse. This is a greenhouse in which sustainable technologies such as screens (curtains in the top of the greenhouse) which keep out the cold from the outside and keep in the warmth from the inside are used as much as possible. ‘We have also chosen to generate part of the heat with a heat pump,’ Robert explains. This pump works on electricity and upgrades waste heat to a higher temperature. This technique is very efficient and means that heat can also be generated using electricity. A third important pillar is light transmission and light distribution. In the new greenhouse on Molenweg, the choice was made to use diffuse glass, a technique that distributes the light optimally. In addition, all of Koppert Netherlands' electricity is purchased as green energy.