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No-one can ignore the extent of the environmental crisis facing humanity. There is an urgent need to reduce our environmental footprint in order to preserve our planet for future generations. Puratos considers this as an opportunity to reduce the company’s carbon footprint, water consumption and waste generation. We have clear objectives: become CO2 neutral by 2025 and water balanced by 2030.

Our performances in 2020

Carbon footprint (greenhouse gas emissions given in CO2 equivalent)

  • Puratos was awarded a Grade B for reporting to CDP Climate in 2020: It is a recognition of our coordinated action on climate issues considering the average global food processing sector is Grade D. The CDP is the world’s most comprehensive collection of self-reported data, the world’s economy looks to CDP as the gold standard of environmental reporting. It enables companies to progress through benchmarking and comparison with peers. Less than 3% of the companies reporting worldwide are able to reach Grade A.
  • TOTAL 2020: gross emission is 111.000 tCO2e as gross. Considering Puratos is now sourcing 67% of its electricit from renewable on the market our net emission is 87.000 tCO2e which is 9% less than 2019 or 18% less than 2016. Puratos aim to purchase 100% renewable electricity by 2023. We have achieved 48% in 2018, 60% in 2019 and 67% in 2020 (100% Belgium, Spain, USA, China, Russia, Mexico, Brazil) and are aiming for 80% in 2021.

Water footprint

  • Puratos was awarded a Grade B for our first reporting to CDP Water in 2020: It is a recognition of our coordinated action on water issues.
  • Total 2020: water use is 1.8 million liters, 1% less than 2019 and 7% more than 2016 due to increase in production.

Our long term objectives

Carbon footprint

  • 2023: purchase 100% renewable electricity
  • 2025: make our direct operations carbon neutral
  • Compensating our unavoidable emissions through insetting programs is part of our 2025 objective to become carbon neutral.


Water footprint

  • 2030: Have a balanced and sustainable water management by reducing our own water consumption, improving the quality of our water discharge and reducing water risks in our production sites.

To become carbon neutral by 2025, Puratos aims to REDUCE its impact and COMPENSATE what we cannot yet reduce. A two-pronged strategy:

1) Our reduction goal, inside our fence, is to reduce by 25% our impact by improving our energy efficiency and producing renewable energy on site. 

  • In Belgium 2 permits were deposited to install a wind turbine in in Lummen and Belcolade. The first could supply 100% of Lummen annual electrical needs and the second 60% of Belcolade’s annual needs.
  • The on-going gas cogeneration project of Groot-Bijgaarden, with an investment of more than 2.2 million euros, is by far the largest energy saving project ever undertaken by Puratos. This project will produce 65% of the site’s electrical needs and 30% of the heat. In addition, the new margarine and fat lines were designed to be steam free (more energy efficient) so heating will directly come from the hot water network of the cogeneration.
  • Several solar panel projects opportunities have been identified on 26 sites, aiming to produce 10 to 30% of the site’s annual electrical needs. Already 6 projects are completed or on-going and 20 projects are in the study phase.
  • The solar panels project in Puratos China was inaugurated in November 2019. It is currently Puratos largest renewable energy project with a capacity of 912 kW, now supplying 25% of the site’s electrical needs.

2) Our compensation goal, outside our fence, is divided in 2 categories.

  • Purchase of 100% renewable energy
  • Recapture the unavoidable emissions through an innovative Insetting strategy. Puratos will support climate mitigation projects that meet a set of criteria and are implemented in our supply chain. Projects meeting the following criteria can be supported: energy efficiency, regenerative agriculture and, sustainable forest management including agroforestry in the Cacao-Trace programme.”


For the production of our products we need water. Even when there is no water in our product itself, we need water to clean our machines. So we need to use water smartly and when we discharge water, we should not pollute. Water balance is the concept where the amount of water that we give back to nature is equal to the amount of water used for our production.

In order to become water balanced, we have several action points we work on:

Water saving actions

Andenne is preparing a project to reuse the water discharge from our wastewater treatment plant.

The World In Their Hands

This project, planned for 2019-2020, should create a 30% reduction in site water consumption and therefore 5% of the total consumption of Puratos.

In the Belcolade factory, 20% of the site water consumption comes from the recovery of rainwater, this is the double of 2018.

Water treatment

Lummen has acquired a brand-new anaerobic reactor that doubles its processing capacity to support the increase in production volumes.

Andenne installed a fish pond at the outlet of its treatment plant to demonstrate the quality of the effluents discharged. Also in China, our production facility has a pond where you can see the fish swim as a visible proof of the water quality level.

Securing a sustainable water suply

Many water risks arise from external factors, such as local environmental conditions and, public water policy and management. Our aim is to support public water governance and to identify, quantify and reduce the quantitative and qualitative risks linked to water in our main factories. Nine production sites in high water stress areas, representing 55% of Puratos’ water supply, have completed a local water risk assessment to define an action plan. The sites evaluated included all Belgian sites, Mexico, Brazil, Russia and Pennsauken. A tool and a methodology on water related risks have been defined, allowing a transparent, structured and common approach.

In 2020 Puratos invested to upgrade our wastewater treatment capacity and to reduce our water consumption, with the ambition to reduce as much as possible the use of plastic, to stimulate the reuse of materials whenever possible and to sort waste fractions as optimally as possible in order to allow recycling. We aim to:

  • Become fully recyclable or reusable in terms of packaging materials by 2025

At Puratos we have developed several solutions that help consumers to reduce the amount of food they throw away.

  • Historically, one of the milestones for Puratos, was the creation of the first ever complete bread improver. This solution initiated a revolution in the baking industry and allows to prolong the freshness and shelf life of baked goods. Today it’s a major product for the group with more than 100 formulas, adapted to local needs around the globe. S500 is now sold somewhere in the world every 80 seconds. Bread improvers help our customers to control all the uncertainties within the bread production process and enables a consistent, premium result. Without an improver, losses on a production line are around 3%. With the help of an improver, these losses drop to 0,5%.
  • Sourdough allows the creation of great tasting breads, but that’s not all. The acidity of the sourdough and the presence of favorable microorganisms also increases the shelf life of bread.
  • We also have an entire series of non-dairy toppings. Compared to fresh cream for example, they have an excellent stability over time, leading to extended shelf life. These products also have a high tolerance to overwhipping, which increases efficiency and avoids unusable product.

Our ambition is to become fully recyclable or reusable in terms of packaging materials by 2025, with a deep focus on helping our customer reducing their environmental footprint. We aim to:

  • Replace non-recyclable packaging materials with recyclable packagings.
  • Avoid any ‘overpacking’ of our Puratos products while maintaining product quality and shelf life
  • Re-use packaging materials maximally where possible. 


Baking and chocolate making are among mankind’s oldest and most valued skills. We take great pride in preserving this heritage.

Annual Report 2020

Our commitments to you and to future generations