Barley at Ilmajoki
Barley at Ilmajoki
01.04.2019 - 08:00

Altia’s year of corporate responsibility culminated in the Green Company of the Year award

Altia’s year of corporate responsibility in 2018 included the Green Company of the Year award, record-high use of barley at the Koskenkorva distillery, an increase in the waste recycling and reutilisation rate, and a decline in the average alcohol content of the products produced by the company.

The highlight of Altia’s year of corporate responsibility was the international Green Company of the Year recognition in November 2018. The award was granted to Altia at The Drinks Business Green Awards 2018. Altia received the recognition due to its bio- and circular economy work at the Koskenkorva distillery.

“The Koskenkorva distillery has engaged in long-term environmental work for a number of years now, and the plant is a forerunner in our industry. We are very proud of the Green Company recognition. Responsibility is a long-term trend guiding both Altia’s business and the entire beverage industry to an increasing degree,” says Pekka Tennilä, Altia’s CEO.

Altia reports its key responsibility events and corporate responsibility figures of 2018 in the company’s recently published Annual Report.

Altia launched several new low-alcohol or non-alcoholic products last year. All in all, the average alcohol content of the products made by Altia declined to 31.3 % alcohol by volume (31.7 %ABV in 2017).

The volume (litres sold) of organic products declined to 3.2 million litres, or by 11 per cent compared to 2017.

Altia is a significant buyer of domestic barley in Finland. In 2018, Altia bought 211.7 million kilos of barley for its Koskenkorva distillery, mainly from 1,500 farmers, representing around 15 per cent of the total barley crop in Finland and 33 per cent of the barley sold in Finland. 211.7 million kilos is the new record in barley use at the Koskenkorva distillery.

The Koskenkorva plant is based on circular economy. The plant is able to utilise every part of the barley it uses as raw material, and nothing goes to waste. The barley husk that would otherwise not be used in the Koskenkorva plant’s production is incinerated in the plant’s own biopower plant, which produces steam energy for the distilling process. Thanks to its biopower plant, the Koskenkorva plant has managed to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by more than 50 per cent compared to the 2014 base level, and the plant’s fuel self-sufficiency in the production of steam energy has grown to approximately 60 per cent.

Almost all the waste generated at Altia’s plants is reused as materials or energy. The company average waste recycling and reutilisation rate of the Koskenkorva, Rajamäki and Tabasalu plants rose to 99.7 per cent in 2018 (99.5 per cent in 2017).

In 2018, Altia made a new Baltic Sea commitment to promote the sustainability of the farming methods used in its beverage production. This new commitment is a continuation of the company’s cooperation with the Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG) since 2015. As part of the Baltic Sea commitment, Altia and selected contract farmers participate in the Carbon Action pilot project of the BSAG, the Finnish Meteorological Institute and Sitra.

The Carbon Action project studies how climate change and the eutrophication of the Baltic Sea could be mitigated by capturing carbon in soil through better farming practices.

In the autumn of 2018, six months after the IPO, Altia surveyed its new shareholders’ views on the company’s responsibility work.

“The most important areas of corporate responsibility mentioned by our shareholders were the quality and safety of Altia’s products, the circular economy of the Koskenkorva distillery, the work to protect the groundwater at Rajamäki, the development of packaging from the perspective of sustainability, and the supply chain’s responsibility. We will continue our responsibility efforts particularly in terms of these areas,” says Hannamari Koivula, Altia’s Corporate Responsibility Manager.

“In 2019, we are continuing our extensive and successful responsibility work. We will particularly focus on the development of Altia’s responsibility strategy and our long-term responsibility goals, and we aim to publish these during 2019,” adds Koivula.

Produced or imported beverages (millions of litres)95.193.890.0
Average alcohol content by volume (%ABV) of products produced by Altia31.331.731.6
Use of barley (millions of kilos)211.7206.0192.2
Reduction in the CO2 emissions of the Koskenkorva plant area compared to 201454%56%42%
Average waste recycling and reutilisation rate99.7%99.5%99.5%
Water consumption (1,000 m3)660.3663.41,136.0

For further information on Altia’s responsibility work in 2018, go to our Annual Report >

Further information: Hannamari Koivula, Corporate Responsibility Manager, Altia, tel. +358 40 581 9921, hannamari.koivula@altiagroup.com