Several factors combined make Snellman a pioneering company in its industry: a closed-loop process – whereas much recycled material is used as is possible – less plastic packaging, smart energy solutions and the use of biogas.
Snellman has its own in-house inventor. Not too many companies can make a claim like that! Markus Snellman devises ways to optimise processes, keep costs down, and above all, reduce energy consumption and make the company’s production as sustainable as possible. Heat pumps play an important role in the company’s sustainability strategy, and it has recently entered into a wind power agreement. By 2025, all the factory’s electricity will be “green”.
– For us, sustainability is about responsibility. It’s about being aware that our operations affect not only the factory and our employees, but society as a whole, says Markus Snellman.
He and his colleagues have worked hard for many years to steer production towards sustainability. Today, Jakobstad’s Granholmen factory operates under a closed-loop system, where as much material as possible is recycled. The principle is that nothing should end up in a landfill. The company’s use of biogas is a good example. Slaughterhouse waste is used as feed for fur animals, and the animals’ faeces are converted into biogas – “our brown gold”, as Markus Snellman puts it. Sludge from wastewater treatment plants is also used as raw material for biogas production.
– While the biogas is mainly used to produce steam for the factory, it also replenishes the site’s filling station. It can be said that Snellman’s use of biogas benefits the factory and the community.
Markus Snellman is open about what he does, and the company’s sustainability efforts are also no secret. He enjoys discussing ideas with others, sharing knowledge, and learning from like-minded professionals.
EU-funded project is in the starting blocks
One of his biggest challenges right now is energy storage. He dreams of a short-term storage system conducive to using “saved” energy at times when electricity prices are high.
– Peak load reduction would also be good from a societal point of view. A new EU-funded project is in the starting blocks, and although we are managing the project, the idea is for the results to benefit others too.
Another challenge for the food industry is the use of plastics. Innovative packaging of minced meat was a step in the right direction, but much remains to be done. It’s difficult to make use of recycled materials in the food industry, as the plastic must meet hygiene standards. However, new procedures are being tested and reviewed all the time.
Another matter to which Markus Snellman has been giving a lot of thought is local co-operation on spare parts.
– Someone else in the region may have in stock something that we need. A solution like this would benefit everyone.
Snellman – About us
Snellman is a family business based in Jakobstad. It is known for its high-quality meat and sausage products, with high meat contents and no unnecessary additives. The latest addition to the product range, their meatballs, have quickly become a customer favourite. Operations in Jakobstad include everything from sourcing and slaughtering to cutting, processing, and production. What started as a small sausage-making business run by two brothers, Kurt and Lars Snellman, is now a group with 800 employees.
This series of articles have been produced within the CIT-project (Circular Insights and Transition) which is financed by the European Regional Development Fund, The Council of Ostrobothnia together with all Development companies in Ostrobothnia.