The Vulcan Project concept began when the team at Danone in Wexford had an ambition to become the first carbon neutral factory operating within the company’s baby nutrition division. They set themselves a challenge to find a new and innovative way to generate the heat required to run the factory. This would be achieved by using the principles that govern Danone Ecosysteme Fund, which aims to strengthen and expand the company’s economic and social environmental impact by contributing towards job creation, skills development and an increased access to micro enterprise. As part of its ambition to achieve carbon neutrality, a new woodchip boiler was installed to supply high pressure steam to the factory.
Parallel to Danone’s work, Kilkenny LEADER Partnership had been supporting a biomass value chain in Co. Kilkenny. This involved the sustainable supply of quality biomass from local farmers and construction of small district heating systems to heat community buildings. As a result, Danone and Kilkenny LEADER Partnership created the Vulcan Project. The core concept being the creation of farmer owned commercial entities to drive the harvesting, processing and marketing of timber. A number of these local producer groups have merged to develop into a sustainable business and are supplying a range of biomass and timber products for domestic, industrial and agricultural customers.Danone have also committed to purchase the wood fuel for their boiler from the forest owner groups participating in the project – thus providing an ‘anchor tenant’ to the start-up. Inspired by nature, fuelled by nature, powered by communities and funded by the public and private sector the Vulcan project is an ideal example of how a thoughtful approach can deliver environmental, economic and employment benefits for companies, communities and their partners.
- Danone Ecosysteme : http://ecosysteme.danone.com/projectslists/vulcan-supply-wexford/
- Kilkenny LEADER Partnership : http://www.cklp.ie/about/klp-projects/vulcan/