Since its establishment in 2009 in the central province of Nghe An, TH Group founder Thai Huong determined that development of a green and circular economy must be pursued in the group, with the set motto of Treasuring Mother Nature for all of its business and production activities.
|TH Group Treasuring Mother Nature through action
With many synchronous solutions and drastic actions, last year TH Group’s farm system exceeded the set plan when it raised the average greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction level to more than 20 per cent of the total direct and indirect GHG emissions per product unit.
In particular, TH Milk is supplying the market with hundreds of high-quality fresh milk products. In 2019 and 2020, the company achieved an average GHG emission reduction of 0.168kg of CO2 per litre of milk, lower than the permissible limit.
“In 2022, the total GHG emissions at the factory continued to decrease sharply to 0.103kg of CO2 per unit of product,” said Cao Minh Hoa, technical director at the company. “This is an outstandingly low level compared to the emission reduction results of dairy factories in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.”
In addition, the TH Milk factory is also converting the use of environmentally friendly fuels by replacing boiler combustion with fossil fuels into the use of biomass fuel with biomass furnaces. According to Hoa, the green fuel source that the factory is using is not only cheaper, but the exhaust smoke also becomes much cleaner and safer.
At present, the factory is operating two biomass furnaces. The steam generated from the furnace fully meets the needs for the entire production area to sterilise the filling machine, heat up water, and support the cleaning process of pipes and equipment throughout the production process.
Nguyen Van Hung, head of the factory’s Department of Dynamics, said that compared to the time when fossil fuels were still burned, the working environment of boiler operators is now much cleaner.
According to Hung, the fossil fuel sulfur ratio accounts for 3.4 per cent, so when burned at high temperatures, gas will be produced. If not recovered, it will escape into the air, and when in the rain, it becomes a type of toxic acid.
Now, the biomass furnace burns with biomass fuel and smoke is recovered for cleaning before being released into the environment. Smoke passes through the dust suppression system, then continues through a filter system. This system can retain 99 per cent of ash dust, preventing it from moving outside. Therefore, the exhaust smoke from the biomass boiler is cleaner than the smoke from a wood stove.
With many benefits, the conversion to biomass fuel has been quickly replicated in other factories throughout TH Group. Overall for 2022, the conversion has helped TH Group reduce its total GHG emissions by more than 85 per cent compared to 2021.
Meanwhile, TH Group has also continuously improved technology to minimise the amount of plastic in production. One of the biggest highlights is the group removing plastic bottle cap shrink film on all products.
Nguyen Van Nang, director of the Nui Tien Pure Water, Herbal and Fruit Juice factory under TH Group, said that in the past, bottled water products had to have a plastic shrink film over the bottle cap because previous technology still had limitations that cause dust or outside air to reversely penetrate inside, affecting product quality.
“But now, the bottle capping technology applied by TH Group has completely overcome this shortcoming. We no longer need to use plastic shrink wrap on the outside of bottle caps. With just this small change, the factory can cut down 40 tonnes of plastic every year,” Nang said.
Nang added that plastic reduction is also researched and applied in the bottle production process. Specifically, with the fruit juice bottle line, the plastic volume that was previously 14.5g per bottle has now been reduced to the lightest level of 12g per bottle.
The factory has also improved technology, reducing the thickness of the bottle label to only 35 micrometres. This is currently the thinnest plastic film in Vietnam. “Up to now, no other business has been able to make it,” Nang said.
By comprehensively applying technological solutions to reduce the amount of plastic in production, TH Group is now reducing the use of 500 tonnes of plastic a year. “Reducing plastic is not only economical and beneficial for production, but more importantly, it is a smart and environmentally friendly way of behaving,” Nang stressed. “Therefore, along with making quality products that are good for consumers’ health, workers at TH Group have always strived to translate the motto of ‘Treasuring Mother Nature’ into reality.”
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