Energy & Emissions

"To increase energy efficiency within our operations, and seek to reduce emissions along our supply chain."

Climate change is an important global issue and energy and emission reductions in food and grocery manufacturing will play a part in meeting Australia’s commitments. While the industry’s direct energy use is small and we contribute one per cent of Australia’s scope one emissions1 , our impact stretches into the wider supply chain such as agriculture, retail and consumers, and industry will work to reduce our energy use and emissions.

Energy is essential in the industry for manufacturing and transportation to provide safe and quality food and grocery products for Australian people. Increasing consumer demand for products with longer shelf life requires more energy for processing and storage. Energy consumption patterns also influence the industry greenhouse gas emissions. With the food and grocery manufacturing industry vulnerable to weather changes from climate change2, the industry is exploring energy efficient technologies leading to economic and environmental benefits

Energy Target

To reduce energy usage per tonne of production by by 10 per cent to 1.72 GJ per tonne of production by 2020.

Industry Performance

In 2011-12 the industry invested in technologies such as co-generation and tri-generation, in response to rising energy costs and moving towards low emission sources. This shift led to an increase in absolute gas consumption contributing to an overall increase in energy intensity for the industry. This resulted in a 5.5 per cent increase in energy consumption from 1.91 GJ per tonne of production to 2.01 GJ per tonne of production in 2011-12.

The consumption of energy sources such as coal decreased by more than 4.5 per cent on an intensity basis, while electricity and transport fuel remained stable in 2011-12. However, intensity of gas consumption by the industry grew by 13.6 per cent.
The survey respondents together consumed 21,268,211 GJ of energy which was 3.7 per cent of the energy consumed by the mining sector in 2010-11. 3



Emissions Target

To reduce carbon emissions per tonne of production by 20 per cent 0.22 tonnes of CO2-e per tonne of production by 2020.

Industry Performance

The industry has reduced its carbon emissions (scope 1 and 2)4  by 6.3 per cent, from 0.28 tonnes of CO2-e per tonne of production in 2010-11 to 0.26 tonnes of CO2-e per tonne of production in 2011-12.  This reduction in emissions was largely driven by an increase of low emission sources such as solar and gas, with a decrease in consumption of high emissions sources such as coal.

The total greenhouse gases (scope 1 and 2) emitted by survey respondents in 2011-12 were 3,615,859 tonnes of CO2-e which was only 0.65 per cent of the Australia’s total emissions in 2012 .



The survey respondents generated around 112,778 MWh of electricity through low emission sources such as solar panels, and implemented over 110 initiatives to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions within operational control and along the supply chain. Other initiatives included:

  • Reducing compressor losses;
  • Refrigeration upgrades; and
  • Heat recovery.

In 2011-125 through the Government’s Clean Technology Food and Foundries Program, AFGC members committed over $130 million in energy efficiency projects to help reduce the industry’s footprint.

Case Studies & Publications

2012-13 Energy & Emissions Case Study


1 Australian Greenhouse Emissions Information System, 2009

2 KPMG (2012). Expect the Unexpected: Building business value in a changing world.

3 BREE 2013, Energy in Australia 2013

4 Scope 1 emissions -the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere as a direct result of an activity, or series of activities (including ancillary activities) that constitute a facility.   Scope 2 emissions - the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere as a direct result of one or more activities that generate electricity, heating, cooling or steam that is consumed by the facility but do not form part of the facility.

5National Greenhouse Gas Inventory.