Oy Karl Fazer Ab
Group net sales (2015): €1,576.1 million
Net sales (Finland): €859 million
Founded: in 1891
Best-known brands Pihlaja (1895), Kiss Kiss (1897), Mignon (1896), Fazer Blue (1922), Fazer Alku porridges (2014)
Karl Fazer already knew it 125 years ago
Responsibility has always been at the core of Fazer’s operations. Celebrating its 125th anniversary, in October 2016 the food company opened a state-of-the art Visitor Centre that is a tribute to Finnish competence and environment. The energy solution for the centre is biogas made by Gasum from Fazer’s factory side streams.
Fazer has been hosting visitors for 60 years but decided to mark the anniversary year by updating the visitor experience concept to better respond to today’s needs. In October a modern Visitor Centre – Fazer Experience – open also in the evenings and at weekends was completed in conjunction with the Fazer head office and Vantaa production facility.
− We host an annual total of 50,000 visitors and value the fact that people want to visit Fazer. With the new centre our aim is to provide an inspiring, educational and happy visitor experience. We seek to reach 100,000 or even up to 150,000 visitors a year in the future, says Visitor Centre Director Anu Kokko.
100% Finnish biogas a perfect match to Fazer’s values
Fazer is a family business for which green values and local sourcing of raw materials play a key role. Therefore the new Visitor Centre was also built taking sustainable development values into account and using Finnish materials wherever possible. The centre was designed by top Finnish names.
Local sourcing was also an important criterion when the energy solution was chosen for the centre. 100% renewable and Finnish biogas produced by Gasum was a natural choice for Fazer and fits the Visitor Centre concept perfectly.
− We want to lead the way and try out new ways of doing things. In addition to heating the Visitor Centre with biogas, we have two electric car parking spaces outside the centre and are building solar energy solutions on the roofs of old buildings when renovating them. One step at a time, Kokko summarizes.
Outstanding even in international comparison, the Visitor Centre was designed by K2S Architects Ltd, with Mikko Summanen as the head architect. The exhibition experience was designed in collaboration with Fazer staff by Kivi and Tuuli Sotamaa.
From waste to energy
The relationship with the surrounding natural environment, respect for raw materials as well as responsibility, wellbeing and healthiness are important to Fazer. The energy solution chosen for the Visitor Centre – biogas – is also based on these values. This is actually not the first time for Fazer and Gasum to cooperate: Fazer’s ovens have been heated with gas for a long time.
− Our founder, Karl Fazer, was a nature lover, and responsibility thinking has been a company policy ever since the beginning even though the term was not in use 125 years ago. Our most important environmental issues are to do with energy use and waste, because our biggest environmental impacts arise from these, says Fazer Corporate Responsibility Director Nina Elomaa.
At Fazer the preferred term is actually not waste but material side streams as nothing is wasted.
– Some of the food waste is burned, some is turned into bioethanol and some is used to make the biogas we need, Elomaa lists.
All of the energy consumed for heating the Visitor Centre at the annual level, 500 MWh, is obtained from Fazer factory side streams. A total of 300 tonnes of waste is required to produce this much energy. Biogas is also used in the manufacture of Fazer’s Alku porridges.
− We do not, however, generate enough material that can be utilized in biogas production to cover all the gas used by the Fazer Group, says Elomaa.