Valio Production’s waste management is based on sorting. Sorting instructions at our production sites have been adjusted according to locally available waste management services.
Waste management and packages
The company has succeeded in reducing the amount of waste disposed of as refuse by improving waste sorting and forwarding more waste to energy fraction.
Valio directs all faulty batches of fresh dairy products and products returned from shops to the A-rehu feed factory in Varkaus, where liquid products are separated from packages. Product waste is forwarded for use as animal feed in accordance with the EU’s animal by-product regulation. Unpacked batches not suitable for use as animal feed are forwarded for use in the production of biogas, also approved in accordance with the animal by-product regulation.
Valio products are packed in disposable consumer packages. In the domestic market, Valio liquid products are transported in reusable milk boxes, trolleys and dollies. After use they are returned to the dairy and washed before re-use. Obsolete transport units are recycled.
Valio Ltd has a 5% shareholding in Suomen Kuitukierrätys Oy, which assumed all responsibilities with regard to all spent fibre packages employed by product manufacturers, in accordance with the Finnish Waste Act in summer 2010. Suomen Kuitukierrätys Oy handles the collection of used fibre packages (e.g. beverage cartons), the practical arrangements with regard to their recycling, and the fulfilment of obligations in accordance with the Waste Act and Finnish Package Waste Decree.
35 513 tonnes of new packing materials were delivered with products in 2014, of which 24 360 tonnes were destined for the Finnish market and 11 154 tonnes went for export.
12 643 tonnes of beverage carton and 5 290 tonnes of plastic were delivered to the domestic market with products.
77,9 % of Valio packages for the domestic market in were made of material for which Finland has a functioning recycling system.
Raw materials and production volumes
Valio’s most important raw material is the raw milk that comes from its producers’ farms. We also use e.g. jams, purées and concentrates, and ingredients such as salt, sugar and vegetable oils.
Chemicals are employed in the cleaning and disinfection of pipes and equipment, and in whey processing. The environmental impacts of the acids and alkalis used are directed at the operation of waste water purification plants.
Under normal conditions, acids and alkalis neutralise each other naturally, or waste water is neutralised prior to the purification process. In exceptional situations, overly acidic or alkaline waste water may disturb a purification plant’s operation.
Valio plants’ refrigeration facilities use ammonia, which is toxic to humans and harmful to waterborne organisms if discharged, but is nevertheless commonly employed in large refrigeration plants.
In 2014, Valio took in 1 865 million litres of raw milk in Finland, of which 37.7 million litres was organic. A total of 1 775 million litres was used for the manufacture of Valio products.
In addition, a total of 12 100 tonnes of jams, purées and concentrates, and 23 900 tonnes of other auxiliary and raw materials, such as salt, sugar and vegetable oil, were used in production.
A total of 887 million kilos of dairy products and juices was produced during 2014.
Of the most important chemicals, 6 256 tonnes of 50% sodium hydroxide and 2 627 tonnes of 60% nitric acid were used. The ingredients plants’ processes consumed 3 974 tonnes of 33% hydrochloric acid.
The refrigeration facilities at Valio plants held a total of 154 tonnes of ammonia at year-end 2014, of which Valio was responsible for 115 tonnes.
The Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency, which supervises the large-scale use of hazardous chemicals, inspected 4 Valio plants in 2014, and no faults were found that pose a threat to safety.