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 or for the production of biogas, in accordance with the EU’s animal by-product regulation. Unpacked batches not suitable for use as animal feed are forwarded for use in biogas production, 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.
Responsibility for spent packages was transferred in full at the beginning of 2016 to the companies responsible for their production. Through an agreement made with Suomen Pakkauskierrätys RINKI Oy, Valio forwarded responsibility for its spent packages to the body representing the package producers, namely Suomen Kuitukierrätys Oy.
Use of raw materials
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.