Tight profit margins and rising energy prices create a strong case for energy efficiency in the food and beverage sector.
A focus on energy efficiency can also enhance customer loyalty and a company’s reputation for responsible environmental performance.
Additional benefits can be delivered through lower water and chemical costs, increased plant productivity and improved product quality.
Opportunities to save
Optimise the use of existing equipment
Improving real-time process data monitoring and benchmarking can reduce energy demand through optimising equipment performance, minimising heat gains and losses, enabling improved control of process temperatures and shutting down equipment when it is not required.
Improve the efficiency of existing equipment
A range of strategies can improve the efficiency of existing equipment through proactive maintenance, reducing heat loss, and optimising the conditions under which equipment operates.
Invest in process innovation and equipment upgrade
Improving food and beverage manufacturing processes and upgrading with more energy efficient equipment can yield substantial energy efficiency benefits.
Implement heat recovery
There are many waste heat sources in the food and beverage industry from which useful heat can be recovered and reused, yielding significant onsite savings.
Invest in low carbon energy supply options
A wide variety of alternative energy sources are being used cost effectively in the food and beverage industry, including anaerobic digesters, solar thermal and photovoltaics, thermo-chemical conversion and solar drying of grains.
For more information, see Food and beverage opportunities to save.
Supply chain collaboration is a key strategy for companies to determine the lowest cost options to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
For instance, the Australian Industry Group and Sustainability Victoria worked with businesses from 2 supply chains to identify the carbon reduction opportunities for two basic food products—a can of peaches and a tub of ice cream.
The pilot study demonstrated that substantial opportunities for carbon reduction arise from supply chain co-operation or through changes to product design.
A report based on this study outlines a life-cycle methodology to help businesses develop a life-cycle management approach with supply chain partners to become more energy efficient and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Food and beverage industry capability statements Australian industry capabilities
Case studies Sustainability Victoria
Agriculture in Victoria Agriculture Victoria
Farms and business: case studies and guides State Government of Victoria
Case studies Aginnovators
Smarter energy use on Australian dairy farms Dairy Australia
Industrial refrigration NSW Government
Energy Efficient Equipment Toolkit Food South Australia
Winery Energy Saver Toolkit South Australian Wine Industry Association