Green Biscuits for Australia – CleanTechnica

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Whether you like coffee or tea, the morning cuppa with a biscuit of choice is part of Australia’s culture. Perhaps just as intrinsic as beer*. Or maybe not. Anyway, the main manufacturer of biscuits in Australia, Arnott’s, has made a major move towards green energy. That’s right, Arnott’s is going to be making green biscuits — 40 million kilograms a year of green biscuits. It will be like adding another 15,000 Teslas to Queensland roads.

Arnott’s group operates a 40,000 square meter factory in Virginia, Queensland. Just down the road, I drive past it on the way into the city of Brisbane. The factory runs eight product lines and three packaging lines, and employs more than 600 people. It was easy to pop out and get a picture of the company that brings so much comfort to people’s lives. 

Green Biscuits

No green biscuits for our Tesla on a Sunday. Photo courtesy of Majella Waterworth.

Of course, the politicians had to get involved. Wherever there is a baby to be kissed, a bridge to be opened, or in this case a free drink and a bikkie:

“Arnott’s biscuits have been part of the fabric of Australian society for over 150 years, and an iconic Queensland manufacturer for the past 75 years,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said. “As we transition towards a clean energy future under our Queensland Energy and Jobs Plan, we know more and more businesses are wanting to decarbonise their operations and offer consumers products made with lower emissions.”

The Queensland government is planning for 80% of the state’s electricity demand to be met from green sources by 2035 using a combination of hydropower, wind, and solar farms. Solar is well advanced, wind is starting to take off, and there are plans to use batteries and pumped hydro to store the excess. In the middle of the day, Queensland is already producing half of its power needs from solar. By 2040, the state is expected to have 10 times more renewable energy available.

“This eight-year deal for over 68GWh of renewable energy means Arnott’s are avoiding over 44,500 tonnes of CO2-e, the equivalent of taking 15,000 cars off the road,” the Queensland government states.

“This deal, which will mean Arnott’s will be 100% renewable by 2029, will help secure their business, and the jobs of their workers, as we move towards a net zero economy.”

As well as power coming from Stanwell’s extensive portfolio of utility-sized solar farms, Arnott’s is also covering its factory rooftops with solar panels — 1.3 MW of panels in Brisbane. Sydney-based CleanPeak will install systems at Virginia and also at the company’s factory in Sydney. This will be a total of over 10,000 solar panels across both sites.

“The Arnott’s Group Chief Executive Officer, George Zoghbi, said the renewable electricity agreement is the latest in a series of bold renewable projects across its Australian sites, that will allow it to accelerate its progress toward its net zero commitments ahead of target.”

“We’ve been manufacturing biscuits in Queensland since 1949 and at our Virginia site for more than 30 years. This exciting partnership will enable us to transition the way we source electricity for our Virginia site and significantly reduce our environmental impact,” he said.

Cameron Dick, Queensland’s Treasurer and Minister for Trade said that “Arnott’s had a first mover advantage in a market where consumers are demanding lower emissions products.”

“We know that consumers are demanding action on climate, including on retail offerings, so now Arnott’s products are not only made for locals, by locals, but are the biscuit of choice for the emissions and climate conscious,” Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Minister Mick de Brenni said.

Stanwell, traditionally a major supplier of coal-fired energy generation, is moving rapidly to renewables with a diverse generation portfolio. They have even installed EV chargers in rural towns that host their operations — like Kingaroy. Their pipeline of projects totals 2.1 GW.

“This extensive pipeline of renewable energy projects means that we can expand our renewable offerings for customers as Stanwell becomes a diversified and renewable energy provider,” Stanwell tells us.

Stanwell will supply over 68 GWh of renewable energy to Arnott’s, avoiding over 44,500 tonnes of CO2. This is equivalent to swapping 15,000 fossil fuelled cars for battery electric vehicles or planting 2,920 hectares of forest.

Arnott’s Group has manufacturing sites in NSW, Queensland, Victoria, and South Australia as well as New Zealand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, employing about 3,500 people. I’m looking forward to further news as solar is rolled out at these sites and more and more biscuits go green.

Green Biscuits

My favourite — Tim Tams. You can suck your coffee through them. Photo courtesy of Ken Evans.

So, whatever your favourite: Tim Tams, Monte Carlo, Scotch Finger, or Kingstons, you can enjoy a biscuit with your morning coffee (or in the evening with a good whiskey) with the satisfaction of knowing it was made with green energy. Saving the planet one Tim Tam at a time. Now, to work on all that plastic packaging….

Note that we also have green beer.



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