CP Kelco eyes holistic approach to sustainability

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29 Sep 2017 --- Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, CP Kelco serves customers in more than one-hundred countries with manufacturing facilities in the US, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, Germany, China and the Philippines and commercial offices around the globe. As well as giving food and beverage manufacturers the tools to create products that consumers around the world need and want, CP Kelco ranks sustainability as one of the top priorities in the company’s business strategy.

Earlier this week FoodIngredientsFirst featured a key interview with Steve Sullivan, Sr. Director, Supply Chain and Quality Management. You can read the full interview here. In a combined interview, FoodIngredientsFirst also spoke with Rodney Canada, VP, Environment, Health, Safety & Sustainability for CP Kelco.

“At CP Kelco, we are tackling sustainability the way many of our customers do – we are taking a holistic approach,” Canada says. “It’s not just about being able to reduce energy and water use. We look at sustainability in terms of how it touches the whole value chain of our company.”

“We start with our existing assets or plants, and work to make them more efficient – this is the more traditional approach to sustainability. We also look at how we are approaching capital investments and expansion plans, and incorporate sustainable design from day one into those projects to ensure their efficiency,” Canada explains. “Then, we also look at how to engage our supply chains in our sustainability strategy – how do we ensure that our suppliers are managing their facilities in a sustainable way, so we have confidence that they will be in business over the long-term and can provide the products we need?”

“We also look at engaging with our customers relative to their own sustainability strategies, by supporting their needs and goals,” adds Canada.  “Whether that is through water or energy efficiency, or providing products that can help address or improve their sustainability goals, we are proactively engaging with customers to further the value and impact of sustainability. Lastly, we are engaging our own employees, getting them involved in sustainability through volunteerism and philanthropy programs, which makes them an active part of our wider range of solutions and commitment to sustainability.”

“With our holistic approach to sustainability, we are willing and committed to moving beyond a traditional approach focused only on environmental aspects and to reach all aspects of our business,” Canada says. 

Over the past few years, CP Kelco has made significant investments in the organic expansion of its existing facilities, as well as the construction of a new peel processing plant in Brazil. Canada notes:  “We built a new plant in Brazil to provide dried citrus peel to our pectin manufacturing operations; we have also invested in adding and expanding production capabilities of our biogums plant in Oklahoma and also made several capital investments in our food gums plants in Europe.”

What are the main trends that allowed these expansions to take place over the past few years? “First is the demand for our products across both developed and emerging markets around the world,” claims Canada. “We believe the consistently high quality of our hydrocolloid products is at a higher level than many of our competitors, and this has driven growing demand for our products, leading to our need to expand.”

With many of CP Kelco’s products tied to the food and beverage industry and as the global population increases and focuses more on health and wellness, the industry’s demand for hydrocolloids in food and beverages continues to grow. He adds: “Our products are used in some food application segments which have been experiencing high growth, such as drinkable yogurts, alternative dairy beverages and protein beverages.”

“CP Kelco has a long history relative to occupational safety, food safety and quality performance, and now we are striving for that world-class standard in terms of sustainability,” says Canada. “It goes back to the family roots of our parent company, JM Huber Corp. – sustainability is a core value of the company and we are proud of our achievements to date. But, it’s important to us to advance further not only for the business, but for our employees, our local communities, and our customers, who are committed to achieving their sustainability goals. We view sustainability as a significant part of our business strategy going forward.”  

By Elizabeth Green

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