A well-thought-out environmental policy is part of our business strategy
Raffinerie Tirlemontoise has been working towards a sustainable future for more than 175 years. Environmental policy is one of the pillars of this strategy. Our environmental policy stands for "making products of the highest possible quality with the lowest possible environmental impact". This policy is supported by the management and all our employees.
Environment covers many different aspects. Let's start with energy. It is important to know that our sugar factories (in Tirlemont and Grand-Wanze) are self-sufficient during the beet campaign: they generate all the energy they use. In fact, during each campaign they even produce too much: the equivalent of enough energy for 8,000 families.
We still strive every day to make our energy policy even more efficient. This is why Raffinerie Tirlemontoise is committed to working on reducing CO2 emissions in both Flanders and Wallonia. These agreements are always accompanied by concrete investments in order to achieve the intended result. This has enabled us to reduce our CO2 emissions in Wallonia by 60% since 2001.
In addition to energy, waste management also plays an important role in our environmental policy. We are proud to say that we do not produce any waste within our entire production process from beet to sugar! All by-products of the sugar go back to the land: the pulp is used for cattle feed and the molasses as a raw material for fermentation. The water from the actual beet (sugar beet is 70-80% water) is reused to wash beets.
Outside the production process we sort all our waste, both in the factory and in our offices.
In addition to these two major environmental pillars, we are also working on a number of other aspects. For instance, sugar beets are given their first clean in the field. This keeps a lot of soil in the field and saves us about 5,300 truck-journeys each year! In Tirlemont, we work together with Natuurpunt to manage our sedimentation basins. This way, we can ensure that these ponds are integrated as closely as possible into the existing natural landscape. In Longchamps we have a good relationship with the ornithologist society because sedimentation basins also attract rare birds and species!