One fifth of EU greenhouse gases come from food production
According to the EU progress report on climate protection, greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union fell by 3.7 percent year on year, while gross domestic product increased by 1.5 percent. So something is slowly happening – but it is far from enough. CO2 emissions must be reduced much more if we are not to miss the ambitious climate targets. This also applies to the food sector. After all, 21 percent of the EU’s climate gas emissions come from food production. The CleanSmoke smoking process can contribute a lot to reducing this proportion.
When smoking with CleanSmoke, a stable smoke for the smoking chamber is freshly generated from primary smoke condensate using compressed air. This allows food to be smoked in a way that is both climate- and resource-friendly and low in pollutants. Educating consumers and the public about the potential of this pioneering technology is the goal of the CleanSmoke Coalition (CSC), a joint initiative of primary smoke product manufacturers, food producers and retailers.
The carbon footprint clearly speaks in favor of CleanSmoke
For years now, the EU has required the manufacturing industry to use only environmentally friendly processing technologies. However, this is not the case with conventional smoking. Compared to CleanSmoke, friction and smouldering smokers perform significantly worse. This is confirmed by a life cycle assessment conducted by the German Institute of Food Technologies (DIL). The EU has therefore awarded the CleanSmoke process the title of “Best Available Technique” for good reason.
According to DIL, CleanSmoke technology can save around 50 percent of energy and – based on the current energy mix – around 30 percent of climate gas emissions, based on the German market for smoked products. However, CleanSmoke is currently used in just one in ten smoked foods, which allows a reduction of 7.2 percent in energy consumption and eight percent in greenhouse gases. Sweden is already further ahead in this respect: the Scandinavians are regarded as pioneers in sustainability in numerous areas. More than 80 percent of smoked products in Sweden are now smoked with CleanSmoke. According to DIL calculations, the potential savings in Germany amount to around 600 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy. This would enable around nine million people to cook their food using a microwave.
Save climate gas from the production of 14,000 cars
If all smoked products in Germany were smoked with CleanSmoke, energy consumption would be around one billion kWh, according to the life cycle assessment. Of this, 97.6 percent would be attributable to the smoking process and 2.4 percent to raw material production. That adds up to about 228,000 metric tons of CO2-equivalent emissions. 2.5 percent of which is for raw material production. In conventional smoking, energy use and climate impact would be much higher. Around 1.6 billion kWh of energy would be consumed in the process, 18.2 percent of which would be used to provide the raw materials. And there would be 300,000 metric tons of CO2-equivalent emissions, almost 90 percent of which would come from smoking.
What benefit would CleanSmoke thus have for the climate? The atmosphere would be spared at least 72,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalents each year. That’s how much is produced in the production of around 14,000 mid-size cars.
But it is not only in the smokehouses that something can be done about climate change. The use of CleanSmoke also ensures fewer traffic emissions, since neither wood has to be delivered nor ash removed. The smoke condensates, on the other hand, have to be delivered comparatively less frequently. In addition, their production takes place under controlled conditions with the highest environmental protection standards. And they are then shipped worldwide by cargo ship in an environmentally friendly manner. CleanSmoke thus contributes to urgently needed climate protection throughout its entire value chain.