Stefan Klebert, CEO
The burgeoning global population growth in the last several centuries with attendant demands resulting from industrialization has made the need for sustainable food production and environment-friendly processing an issue that requires immediate attention. Manufacturers worldwide are feeling the pressure of having to meet both increasing demands for their products, and ever-stricter environmental regulations. Committed to providing long-term, cost-effective, and ecologically viable solutions, GEA Group AG offers viable solutions that help customers both comply with regulations and increase their output dramatically. As one of the largest suppliers for food processing technology and related industries, GEA is a global group that specializes in machinery, plants, as well as process technology, and components. The enterprise also provides sustainable solutions for sophisticated production processes in diverse end-user markets that range from beverages and dairy farming to the chemical, pharmaceutical, and energy arenas.
GEA’s comprehensive service portfolio integrates the latest automation and control solutions that boost a production plant’s output and efficiency, reducing waste and minimizing resources used and the needed for manual intervention.
Committed to Sustainability and Zero Emissions
In June 2021, GEA Group AG announced that the enterprise is set on a commitment to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions along its entire value chain by 2040. “GEA is taking bold action to support the global transition to a net-zero emission economy. Our new climate strategy positions GEA as the leader in our peer group. We are pursuing the most comprehensive and ambitious climate strategy in the mechanical engineering industry,” says Stefan Klebert, CEO of GEA Group AG. “We are incorporating our entire value chain into this effort, tackling both direct and indirect emissions. And by doing so, we are taking clear action in line with GEA’s purpose: ‘engineering for a better world.’”
To reduce Scope 1 and 2 emissions, GEA is pursuing three primary initiatives. First, the company aims to gradually increase its utilization of renewable power to 100 percent within the next five years. To achieve this, GEA will make use of renewable energy certificates, extend its own green power generation and look into long-term power purchase agreements. Second, GEA will boost the energy efficiency of its global infrastructure with initiatives to modernize office buildings and production facilities, prioritizing the 29 most energy-intensive production sites covering 80 percent of total group-wide energy consumption. Thirdly, over time and where feasible, GEA will green its global fleet of approximately 4,300 company cars.
GEA also works to optimize its manufacturing footprint to achieve its high benchmarks for sustainability.
One of its new facilities in Poland is designed to produce its own energy by integrating photovoltaic panels on the roof and storing power in batteries which can be used to power fleet vehicles. In addition, a combined heat and power (CHP) system will be used to generate electricity and heat, which can be used to heat and cool the site.
On the Forefront of Vaccine Production
Amidst the corona virus pandemic, while laboratories around the world were working tirelessly to find a vaccine, GEA played a substantial role in combating the disease. GEA designs and builds modular plants and fully integrated systems that meet the extremely high demands of the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. A critical factor underlying the company’s success is its ability to swiftly translate new developments into marketable processes and systems that fully meet the complex requirements of biotechnological procedures. With access to some of the world’s most advanced manufacturing equipment and a wealth of expertise and experience to call on, GEA fundamentally understands the processes involved in vaccine production, the capabilities of the technologies employed, and the engineering required to ensure that clients can operate at optimum capacity with the least amount of maintenance.
Additionally, GEA’s teams understand the crucial processes involved in the planning phase, construction, and automation of turnkey plants and production lines. With its unique blend of expertise and experience, from early-stage research to commercial-scale applications, GEA supplies standalone machines or integrated lines that guarantee a high yield of valuable substances and operate efficiently, reliably, and economically.
Partner for Innovative Solutions
GEA provides sustainable solutions for sophisticated production processes in diverse end-user markets that range from beverages and dairy farming to the chemical, pharmaceutical and energy arenas
As the Earth gets warmer, it is vital to minimize post-harvest losses and manage the cold chain in an energy-efficient and planet-friendly way. GEA Group AG helped Bidfood Horeca Service, a leading food service wholesaler, by designing a new ammonia-based refrigeration system at their facilities in Belgium. The client had a clear goal: to recoup the extra investment over and above the initially planned budget by lowering energy consumption. GEA offered a highly energy-efficient solution. Understanding that GEA focuses on sustained success over the long run, Bidfood Horecaopted for GEA and its well-designed refrigeration system based on highly efficient V-series reciprocating compressors for ammonia. “We delivered and installed the whole refrigeration plant in this project. Besides the energy-efficient cooling part, there’s also a sustainable heat recovery system,” adds Tom Bressinck, GEA Belgium Sales Engineer. The ammonia absorber in the plant rejects its heat into a common condensing system, enabling recovery for both underfloor heating and defrost. This innovative design considerably reduces other associated waste streams, fans, and pump power. “We listened very carefully to his requirements and ambitions and brought our expertise to the table so that we could make well-informed decisions together,” adds Bressinck.
GEA is one of the world’s largest systems suppliers for the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical sectors. The international industrial technology group specializes in machinery and plants as well as advanced process technology, components, and comprehensive services. The company’s commitment to its clients and their businesses results in investing wholly in their objectives, risks, and future successes. GEA works in ever closer collaboration, providing ongoing systems audits and on-site support, in order to generate improved performance through innovative new service models. With more than 18,000 employees, the group generated revenue of more than EUR 4.6 billion in the fiscal year 2020. A major focus is on continuously enhancing the sustainability and efficiency of customers’ production processes. GEA plants, processes, and components help achieve significant reductions in carbon emissions, plastic use, and food waste in production worldwide. In this way, GEA makes a decisive contribution toward a sustainable future, fully in line with its corporate philosophy of “engineering for a better world.” GEA is listed in the German MDAX and the STOXX® Europe 600 Index, and is also among the companies comprising the DAX 50 ESG and MSCI Global Sustainability Indices.