Muntons and its 100-year sustainable journey

Malt experts put sustainability into every ingredient. Muntons is a company you may not have heard of, but its ingredients are found in so many foods and drinks that you will find in your shopping basket

Muntons is a family run business, established in 1921, and Group Managing Director, Mark Tyldesley told me what makes the Suffolk based maltsters so special: “We’re a malt and malt ingredients business.  Essentially, we buy barley, turn it into malt and then sell it to brewing and distilling industries and the food sector. We’re in beers like BrewDog and lots of confectionary; it’s a fabulous business that many consumers will be familiar with, but they just don’t know it.”

It’s a business with sustainability at its core.

“It almost starts from a recycling background because malt extract is basically a by-product of the brewing industry. So, 99 years ago we could probably claim to have been a recycling business as it first started.”

Muntons has changed over the almost hundred years it has been operating and now sells its products both nationally and internationally. But the core manufacturing still needs the same basic process of heating up the barley with gas-fired kilns and then steam to process the malt into extracts.

Muntons Director of Technical and Sustainability, Dr. Nigel Davies, signed the business up to Science-Based Targets in order to tackle the emissions associated with this heat issue and to make a real difference to the planet by diverting woodchip from otherwise non-productive use.

“We’ve got a long history of work on sustainability. Since the 1980s, we’ve been working on recycling heat and using waste heat. The reason for Science-Based targets? Well, let’s focus on everything we can do about our carbon footprint.

“Our aim is to get our house and supply chain in order before we turn to offsetting and I think that’s where Science-Based targets really help. Our Director of Sustainability has what I think is a legendary presence in this field and has led us to win many national and international awards for sustainability, which has allowed us to positively influence many parts of our supply chain.

“The main carbon footprint for us is energy and barley. We were looking to address the energy side of things and that’s when we looked at biomass.” says Mark.

That led to a conversation with AMP Clean Energy and a pathway to massive energy saving, and a faster track to meeting our Science-Based Target and onwards to carbon zero.

AMP Clean Energy helped Muntons create a funded hybrid heat and power solution with the installation of a 15MW biomass boiler and gas CHP. The combined solution has helped reduce Muntons’ carbon footprint by 50%, saving 15,500 tonnes of carbon annually.

But more importantly, AMP Clean Energy not only helped to cut carbon, it took the risk and a long-term view, which Mark says was the only way the project got off the ground.

“On a spreadsheet we couldn’t justify the investment in biomass on a payback basis. We were keen to do it, but we were trying to find a way which made financial sense for us.

“AMP Clean Energy’s ability to take a long-term view on the capital, made our sustainability ethos achievable without impacting on the profitability of the business.”

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