Hollebeekhoeve achieves CO2-Neutrality

09 July 2020

The Hollebeekhoeve is the first Belgian dairy company to operate certified CO2-Neutral. It reduces its own impact using short-chain principles and a biogas plant. The company compensates for emissions that it cannot yet eliminate with a climate project in China.

De Hollebeekhoeve called on the CO2logic climate agency to map its direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions. In doing so, it took into account its consumption and direct methane emissions from the animals, as well as biological processes in the manure and soil.

circular short chain

The dairy company from Kruibeke keeps more than 1200 cows and they are getting milked on site. This can save on transport and avoid the associated emissions. They collect the manure from all those cows to ferment in a biogas plant. In combination with solar panels, the company produces enough green energy for 15,000 families every year. They use the residual heat from the biogas plants to heat the buildings and to dry the residual fraction from the fermentation. That so-called digestate can then be used as fertilizer

The Hollbeekhoeve also has its own water purification station. The station is currently purifying wastewater so that it can be used again as cleaning water. There are already plans to upgrade the process to produce potable water for the cows.

Offset emissions

The dairy company’s measures reduce total emissions by a third. According to the company, becoming completely climate neutral is not feasible for the time being, because it cannot, for example, capture or prevent all methane emissions from the cows. The Hollebeekhoeve therefore complements its own efforts with a contribution to the Clean Cookstoves project in China. This has already bought 4,500 efficient ovens that burn non-edible corn on the cob and other agricultural surpluses instead of polluting coal.

“All these efforts together result in a decrease that can be compared to the emissions of more than 70 million driven car kilometers,” says François Apers, CEO of the Hollebeekhoeve: “In the coming years, we will continue our efforts so that we can reduce our emissions even further”