Ohly supports sustainability credentials with carbon-neutral products and commitment to net-zero operations in Hamburg by 2030

ABFI Ohly, Hamburg, Germany Credit: Ed Robinson/OneRedEye

Ohly, a supplier of yeast extracts, yeast-based flavours, and culinary powders, has introduced their first carbon-neutral ingredients for the food and bionutrients markets, alongside a commitment to run their Hamburg production site as net-zero by 2030.

Ralf Fink, CEO of Ohly, commented: “At Ohly, we have a legacy of pursuing carbon emission reductions, and we are proud of our performance so far. Since 2018, we have already reduced our carbon footprint by around 25% for every kilogram of our product produced. Targeted investments and process optimisations were key to these great initial achievements. We’re now taking the next step by setting an ambitious target to build a portfolio of carbon-neutral yeast-based products and operate a net-zero production site in Hamburg, Germany by 2030. Our carbon reductions to date, and the collective determination of our dedicated people, give us great confidence to achieve this target.”

Roadmap to decarbonisation

As a first step towards decarbonising operations at their Hamburg site, Ohly has worked alongside carbon reduction experts at ClimatePartner to measure the total end-to-end emissions across their Hamburg value chain. Understanding this broader picture has enabled Ohly’s specialists to develop a decarbonisation roadmap. Within this roadmap, Ohly plans to take measures to avoid, reduce and offset the emissions created during the production of their yeast-based products with the end goal of achieving a net-zero operation at the Hamburg site by 2030.

Targeted investments in new and improved manufacturing processes at Ohly’s Hamburg site are vital to achieving this target. Carbon-saving activities are already being implemented, such as switching to 100% renewable electricity at the beginning of 2022. Ohly has estimated that in 2023, there will be around a 45% carbon emissions reduction per kg of product manufactured in Hamburg compared with 2018. Further measures will be implemented by 2030, leading to reduced energy consumption and decreased use of raw materials.

Achieving certified carbon-neutrality

To launch their first three carbon-neutral products, Ohly has invested in certified carbon offsetting projects before fully implementing its carbon reduction plans.

Jan Bebber, platform director of new business at Ohly, explained: “Innovative technological solutions hold the key to reducing carbon emissions. To compensate unavoidable emissions relating to our products, we are supporting a project that helps provide clean energy by installing landfill gas collection. This gas is turned into heat to help supply clean energy to pulp and paper milling in the USA. This avoids methane flaring into the atmosphere and reduces carbon emissions.

“To support our local communities in north Germany, we chose another project that protects the Rostock city forest, which stores vital amounts of carbon, nitrous oxide, and methane. The project helps regulate the water balance and preserve a habitat for rare species.

“The amount of carbon saved through these two projects equals the total unavoidable carbon emissions occurring during the sourcing, production, and distribution of our first three carbon-neutral products.”

Portfolio of carbon-neutral products

Ohly’s first carbon-neutral products are the natural yeast ingredient OHLY FLAV-R-MAX, yeast extract OHLY FLAV-R-BASE 19, and yeast-based bionutrient ingredient X-SEED KAF.

Flavour modulator OHLY FLAV-R-MAX delivers a umami flavour that masks off-notes of plant proteins and serves as a solution for salt reduction in meat alternatives. The yeast extract OHLY FLAV-R-BASE 19 balances overall flavour with a savoury note and masks off-notes in vegan dairy applications. Functionality and their carbon-neutral labels make them a choice for sustainable plant-based finished foods. These natural yeast ingredients are part of Ohly’s plant protein taste toolbox solutions which are suitable for vegan diets.

Yeast-based bionutrients ingredient X-SEED KAF provides nutritional components for maximising batch outputs of microbial fermentations. This helps Ohly’s customers in cultures, probiotics and biopharma segments to meet their carbon reduction targets by producing more with less.