Energy and climate

Sustainability report 2017

Energy and climate

In its sustainability strategy, as part of M-Industry, Chocolat Frey AG has pledged to reduce its electricity, heat and water consumption, lower its CO2 emissions and increase its energy efficiency between 2010 and 2020.
In compliance with its long-term sustainability goals, the company sets annual interim targets and defines appropriate actions. Despite several measures being implemented, the annual targets around climate and energy (and water) for 2017 were only partially achieved.

Global greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity have been steadily increasing since pre-industrial times and are bringing about climate change. Almost 40% of global man-made greenhouse gas emissions are due to production, processing, transport, consumption and food waste disposal.

Chocolat Frey AG’s products are no exception to this and place a strain on the climate during development and disposal. Business activities make an impact, therefore reducing the company’s energy consumption and greenhouse gas production is a top priority. Chocolat Frey has therefore made binding commitments relating to climate and energy, based on federal and cantonal requirements, that have been agreed with the Energy Agency of the Swiss Private Sector (EnAW).


Company energy consumption and energy sources


Chocolat Frey’s entire energy consumption currently comes from the following sources:

  • electricity (including cooling energy)
  • district heating (heat energy, or steam)
  • fossil fuels (heating oil and natural gas)

Chocolat Frey obtains district heating from the nearby waste incineration plant in Buchs. All our heating processes are covered by waste heat generated from waste incineration.
District heating is inadequate for our roasters, as higher temperatures and a direct flame are needed for roasting. Our demand for fossil fuels is therefore dependent on the process or method used.


Energy consumption [MWh] 2017

Total energy consumption


of which electricity


of which heating oil (fossil fuel)


of which natural gas (fossil fuel)


of which district heating






The targets within our energy strategy are clear: we want to reduce our electricity and heat consumption per tonne produced. In systematic analyses we continually identify new potential for reductions, with the focus primarily on adapting our infrastructure and construction measures.

Thanks to various initiatives, we were able to save enough electricity to supply 270 detached family homes.



Despite our endeavours on all fronts, in 2017 we were unable to achieve our defined reduction targets per tonne of chocolate manufactured in terms of our heat and energy consumption.
While we recorded a slight reduction in our absolute energy consumption for electricity, the company is still a long way from its specified target and is not on track to achieve the consumption figures we set ourselves for 2020.
Specific heat consumption even increased by just under 6% compared to the previous year.



Implementation of climate and energy targets presents a really tough challenge for a manufacturing company like Chocolat Frey because target figures greatly depend on production volumes and the composition of our range. Market trends in the last few years mean we need to make an integrated assessment of the situation and review our climate and energy targets for 2020 and beyond. A new energy master plan is currently being devised, which should guarantee a targeted approach to energy and climate and the opportunity to set realistic and meaningful sustainable development targets.

We still need a considerable effort and investment to achieve our objectives.


The choices made regarding processes, equipment and infrastructure are core approaches to reducing emissions and consumption of non-renewable resources. CO2 emissions fell slightly in 2017, thanks to measures implemented to reduce energy consumption. At the same time, we are on the path to reducing our emissions in accordance with our emissions targets for 2020 defined with the Energy Agency of the Swiss Private Sector (EnAW).

For more than 30 years, Chocolat Frey AG has relied on district heating, indirectly reducing CO2 emissions. “Waste heat contains no primary energy and is regarded as CO2 neutral.” (Source: Swiss Federal Office of Energy waste heat factsheet)

Cooling chocolate products during the manufacturing process and storage requires an extensive cooling system. Some of the cooling agents currently used have a considerable impact on the climate. Against this backdrop Chocolat Frey has developed a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) exit strategy to reduce the greenhouse gas potential. The long-term objective of the cooling agent strategy is to run the refrigeration circuit exclusively using natural coolants.

As part of the coolant strategy, on the basis of a coolant register that it has developed, Chocolat Frey is undertaking to redevelop precisely defined cooling equipment via a multi-stage process by 2030, and in so doing reduce greenhouse gas potential by 80%.
2020: - 50%
2025: - 70%
2030: - 80%


Water and wastewater

Demand for water is increasing worldwide and many regions are already facing acute water shortages today. Even though Switzerland has a good water supply compared to other countries, water is still a relevant aspect of sustainability for us: in the year under review, Chocolat Frey AG consumed 90,589 cubic metres of water. The company’s annual water consumption could fill 452,945 bathtubs.

Water is used for cleaning, for example the cleaning of containers and, in particular, for cooling processes. Drinking quality water is required for cooling equipment to work smoothly, for which Chocolat Frey AG needs more than half the company’s total fresh water supply.
In 2017 this consumption was around 200 litres of water per minute.

Chocolat Frey would like to reduce its specific water consumption by 2% by 2020.
In 2017, the company missed its interim target. The positive target value from 2016 was affected by opposing developments and processes, for example the production volume fell, which had a negative impact on water consumption per tonne produced. Increased water consumption compared with the previous year was also due to the introduction of container-washing equipment. Containers are now no longer cleaned externally, but washed internally. Renovation of the heat exchange building during the plant optimisation process also resulted in increased water consumption.



Water supply and disposal

Chocolat Frey draws 100% of its drinking quality water from the Buchs municipality’s water supply network. Wastewater disposal is also carried out via the municipality. However, the water used for the cooling processes is not discharged into the sewer system as waste water, but mostly evaporates. Meanwhile, rainwater collected at Chocolat Frey can be used for toilet flushing.

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Who would have thought that Chocolat Frey AG’s industrial estate would provide green oases for animals and people alike?

Chocolat Frey offers natural biotopes and habitats for flora and fauna all over the site and in 2009 was certified as a particularly nature-friendly location by environmental charity Stiftung Natur und Wirtschaft.
Across Switzerland the foundation recognises companies, residential areas, schools, gravel extraction sites and recreational facilities that are designed bearing nature in mind. The Foundation believes that Chocolat Frey’s site is an outstanding example of nature-oriented design in a densely built-up industrial area.
To provide fauna and flora with valuable habitats, a great many natural elements have been created in this area of just under 23,000 square metres, such as an insect walls made of stones and logs, hedges, a pond and a wild bee hive.



  • Sustainability at a glance

    Acting responsibly, procuring raw materials sustainably and protecting the environment are values we live and breathe at Chocolat Frey AG. We want our business activities to generate added value for people and nature, and to achieve this have set ourselves ambitious targets.

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  • Industry

    Chocolat Frey AG fosters targeted growth with sustainable products. Efficient use of raw materials and the complete recycling of allmaterials used help avoid unnecessary waste of resources and close environmental cycles.

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  • Company

    Chocolat Frey AG is committed to equitable working conditions and fair pay, supports training and education, and is committed to the health and safety of employees at work. Chocolat Frey strives to maintain long-term partnerships with local producers, in the process taking people and nature into consideration.

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