Barley at Ilmajoki
Barley at Ilmajoki
16.05.2019 - 11:58

Altia and the Koskenkorva distillery included on Sitra’s list of the most interesting companies in the circular economy

Altia (https://altiagroup.com/) and its Koskenkorva distillery have been included on the list of the most interesting companies in the circular economy compiled by the Finnish future fund Sitra (https://www.sitra.fi/en/). The Koskenkorva distillery is a pioneer of the circular economy, using 100 per cent of the barley it employs as a raw material. The distillery’s carbon dioxide emissions have reduced by more than 50 per cent over four years.

The most interesting companies in the circular economy is a list compiled by Sitra to showcase Finland’s most inspiring examples of the circular economy. Sitra is using the list as a way to challenge Finnish companies to meet the changing needs of the world. The list was first published in October 2016, and it has been updated three times since then. Altia has now been added to the list, thanks to the Koskenkorva distillery’s pioneering efforts in the circular economy.

“It’s an honour to be included on the list of the most interesting companies in the circular economy. At Koskenkorva, we have engaged in long-term environmental work for many years now, and the circular economy lies at the very core of the plant’s operations. We put the sidestreams of grain spirit production into commercial use, and with our own bioenergy power plant, the plant’s waste recycling and recovery rate has risen to 99.9 per cent,” says Altia’s CEO Pekka Tennilä.

In November 2018, the bioeconomy and circular economy of the Koskenkorva distillery earned Altia the Green Company of the Year award in The Drinks Business Green Awards.

The Koskenkorva distillery runs on bioenergy produced from barley husks

Altia’s Koskenkorva distillery uses 100 per cent of the Finnish barley it employs as a raw material. The barley husks which would not be used otherwise in the plant’s production are incinerated at its own bioenergy power plant, which produces steam energy for the distillery’s needs.

Thanks to the bioenergy power plant and renewable energy, the Koskenkorva plant has more than halved its carbon dioxide emissions since 2014. The decision to start using barley husks in energy production has improved the plant’s cost-effectiveness and increased its fuel self-sufficiency in the production of steam energy to roughly 60 per cent.

The Koskenkorva bioenergy power plant, which was completed in late 2014, uses barley husks as its principal fuel. Barley is peeled in the Koskenkorva plant’s grain spirit and starch production around the year. The Koskenkorva bioenergy power plant is the first of its kind in Finland in terms of its technology and fuel application.

All sidestreams are put into use – even ashes are used as fertiliser

In addition to grain spirit, the Koskenkorva plant produces starch and raw material for feed, both sidestreams of the production of grain spirit. Even the carbon dioxide generated in the fermentation process is recovered and used in greenhouse cultivation, for example. Barley starch is produced for the needs of the paper and paperboard industry, as well as the food industry and breweries, among others. The ash generated by the bioenergy power plant is used as a fertiliser in the fields of the surrounding area.

Further information about the The most interesting companies in the circular economy list and its criteria can be found on Sitra’s website.