Holland Malt achieves the world's first emission-free malting house in Eemshaven

Holland Malt begins the realization of the world's first emission-free malting house today in Eemshaven, Groningen province. Through a new, innovative heating system, it no longer relies on fossil fuels, biomass, or other energy sources causing harmful emissions for the malting process. This marks a significant step in its energy transition, with the system set to be fully operational by 2024.

Save first, then sustain

By completely shutting off the gas supply, the malting house reduces its CO2 emissions equivalent to the output of 14,000 households per year. Jos Jennissen, CEO of Holland Malt, states, "Malt is one of the key ingredients in beer. The malting process is energy-intensive, especially in the drying phase where significant heat is required. Heat traditionally generated by burning fossil fuels or biomass. It is precisely in this aspect that we see an opportunity for sustainability." The major innovation in the malting house's energy transition lies in reusing its own waste heat and the energy savings achieved through heat pumps. Jennissen explains, "We capture the residual heat from our drying process at 23 degrees and, through the heat pump, elevate it to the required 85 degrees. This allows us to reuse it for a subsequent drying process. The use of the heat pump results in a 67% energy saving. Of course, the heating system needs energy, which we source entirely from sustainable sources such as wind and solar energy. We save first to then become more sustainable."

Passing on something more beautiful

"As an industry, we cannot ignore the need to make different choices to combat global warming. We choose to contribute by establishing an emission-free malting process. The steps we take here can serve as inspiration for other companies. Together, we can make a difference," says Jennissen. Holland Malt's move aligns with the circularity ambition of its parent company, Royal Swinkels Family Brewers, to pass on the business in a circular manner. Jennissen adds, "As a family business, we think not in years but in generations. We want to pass on our business in an even more beautiful state. Therefore, we are continuously working on smarter and more sustainable entrepreneurship. The next step for Holland Malt is to look beyond our own malting process and explore how we can further sustain the entire chain."

Valuable collaboration

This sustainability project is made possible through collaboration with the Province of Groningen, Groningen Seaport, RWE Technology International, and the Dutch government. IJzebrand Rijzebol, member of the Provincial Executive of Groningen: "We are incredibly proud of this sustainable development in Eemshaven. The industry needs to turn green, and Holland Malt's initiative is a crucial step in that direction. As the province of Groningen, we gladly support this. Additionally, it serves as a good example for the rest of the world. Together, we are working towards a green, future-proof industry." The first major customers (brewers) have also joined this project, investing in the sustainability of the chain. From 2024, they will procure 100% emission-free produced malt from the malting house in Eemshaven. To commemorate the official start of the project realization, Holland Malt unveils its refined identity, including a new website today.