First meat processer with a certificate on the CO2 Performance Ladder aims to produce less meat

Meat processer Bolscher from the Dutch city of Enschede has been certified on the CO2 Performance Ladder level 3 since 2018. The company is the first of its kind to work with the CO2 Performance Ladder on reducing its carbon emissions. In order to cut back their carbon emissions, the company invested in electric vehicles and energy efficient cooling systems, among other things. Furthermore, Bolscher seeks opportunities to increase its market share of vegetarian products. This too will lead to less carbon emissions.

‘Meat your veggies’

“When we, as a meat processing company, continue on the current path of meat products, then in a few years we will no longer have the right to exist”, says Roy Bolscher, director of Bolscher meat processing, in an interview with Dutch newspaper Tubantia. Earlier SKAO spoke to Jurgen Oosterwijk, who within Bolscher is responsible for the implementation of the CO2 Performance Ladder. He spoke about expanding the current product assortment of Bolscher with so-called hybrid meat products. With this idea in mind, the meat processing company created the product line ‘Meat Your Veggies’, that contains products made of 50 percent of beef or chicken and 50 percent of vegetables coming from rest streams.

According to prior research from PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, greenhouse gas emissions in the agriculture sector would be reduced by 25 to 40 percent when all citizens of the European Union consume 50 percent less meat, dairy and eggs.

A more sustainable meat processer

“The world population is growing and proteins coming from meat products will not be sufficient to feed the growing population. We are aware of the protein transition that will occur, much like the transition to clean energy that is already occurring. We must change our food pattern from animal based proteins to plant based proteins, for example proteins coming from legumes and nuts. These plant based proteins are less damaging to the environment. As a meat processer, we therefore must contribute to accelerating the transition towards sustainable proteins”, says Oosterwijk in an interview with SKAO. “It is quite complicated for a butcher to decide to sell less meat, but we cannot ignore the facts. The meat consumption will become less with the increasing urgency of climate change. A meat producer or processer can therefore never be completely sustainable, but it can become more sustainable. And therein, we see plenty of opportunities for the CO2 Performance Ladder.”

Emitting less CO2

Bolscher strives to cut back its carbon emissions by 50 percent in 2020 compared to the year 2015. The expansion of its market share in vegetarian products and processing less meat should contribute to achieving this goal. Moreover, the meat processer replaced all its wagons with electric vehicles. The company also makes use of the heat generated by the cooling systems to heat the water needed to clean the meat processing installations. To reduce the gas consumption of its product locations, Bolscher sees opportunities in heating pumps. These measures should lead to a CO2 reduction of 10 percent per year, according to the meat processer.