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Fazer’s xylitol factory wins the “Circwaste – Towards Circular Economy in Finland” project’s circular economy award

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Fazer is The Food Experience Company, and by investing in innovations and foodtech, Fazer strengthens its focus on the sustainable food solutions of the future. Fazer’s strategic innovations were recognised on 22 April 2021 by the “Circwaste - Towards Circular Economy in Finland” project, coordinated by the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), which has granted its circular economy award to Fazer’s xylitol factory that produces xylitol from oat hulls. 

Innovations supporting circular economy represent the future

Foodtech plays an important role in Fazer’s transformation into a modern, innovative fast-moving consumer goods company in the evolving food industry. Fazer develops sustainable food solutions that can increase the well-being of both people and the environment.

The Circwaste project grants a perpetual award annually to a company, municipality, community or individual that has advanced circular economy by its actions. The project promotes the efficient use of material flows, waste prevention and resource management concepts. The aim is to pilot Finland towards a circular economy.

“In my choice, I ended up emphasising large-scale and advanced development of solutions. To be commissioned in 2021, Fazer's new xylitol factory, which will be using oat hulls, a side stream of the company’s own production process, as a raw material, demonstrates the potential of circular economy on an industrial scale. This will improve both the ecological and economic sustainability of production at the same time. In addition, the xylitol factory will create more than 30 new jobs in Lahti, which also improves social sustainability”, says Leif Schulman, Director General of the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), who has chosen the winner from among four finalists.  "Overall, Fazer's xylitol factory is a great example of a solution that we need to drive our society’s transformation towards sustainability.”

Fazer sees food as a solution. How we grow, produce and consume food has a significant impact on the environment, on society and on our well-being.

“Producing xylitol from oat hulls, a side stream of our oat mill, is an excellent example of innovation created by Finnish food expertise. At the same time, it’s a concrete food technology that helps develop food and a raw material for the future. It will support the sustainable development of both the business and the environment. Innovations and foodtech make our food system more productive, sustainable and healthier”, says Anna Nicol, VP, Xylitol Venture at Fazer Lifestyle Foods.

The global demand for xylitol is growing rapidly and xylitol from oat hulls is expected to spark interest globally. It is estimated that approximately 90% of the production of the xylitol factory will be exported to be used in a variety of businesses such as food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

Fazer first to industrially produce xylitol from oat hulls

Originally a Finnish innovation, the industrial production of xylitol began in Finland in 1975.

Fazer’s xylitol is made from oat hulls, a side stream of the oat milling process.

The xylitol factory is located next to Fazer’s oat mill in Lahti, Finland and is the world’s first fully backwards integrated xylitol factory, using state-of-the-art technology for the production.

The plant will produce the biomass feedstock for an associated, third party CHP plant that will supply renewable heat and power to Fazer’s site in Lahti, thus reducing the climate footprint of its operations.

The construction of the xylitol factory has progressed according to plan and test runs are underway. The actual production of xylitol will start in the summer 2021.

The factory will further strengthen Fazer's position as a forerunner in innovative plant-based products.

Further information:

Anna Nicol, Vice President of the Xylitol Venture, anna.nicol@fazer.com, tel. +358 50 383 7735

Taina Lampela-Helin, Communications Manager, Fazer Group, taina.lampela-helin@fazer.com, +358 40 668 4600

Hannele Ahponen, Communication Specialist, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), hannele.x.ahponen@syke.fi, tel. +358 50 3275 997

The Fazer media phone is open Mon–Fri from 8 am to 4 pm, tel. +358 40 668 2998, media@fazer.com

“Circwaste – Towards Circular Economy in Finland” is a seven-year EU LIFE IP project that promotes the efficient use of material flows, waste prevention and resource management concepts. All its actions contribute to implementing the national waste management plan and directing Finland towards a circular economy. Circwaste is a project of 20 partners and 10 funding organisations that is coordinated by the Finnish Environment Institute. Circwaste is funded in large part by the EU LIFE programme. The annual circular economy award was given to Fazer at a virtual “Sustainable growth in municipalities – funding and solutions” event on 22 April 2021.

Fazer Group

Fazer, The Food Experience Company, enables people to enjoy the best moments of their day. In 1891, the young Karl Fazer opened his first café with a mission to make food with a purpose – and a passion to create moments of joy for all the people around him. Shaping the next tastes, traditions and food experiences, Fazer’s vision is Towards Perfect Days. Fazer wants people to experience the Northern Magic it creates and builds on its strong heritage, consumer first approach and innovations to create the sustainable food solutions of the future. The Group focuses on fast-moving consumer goods, operates in eight countries and exports to around 40 countries. In 2020, Fazer Group had net sales of 1.1 billion euros and almost 8,500 employees. Fazer’s operations comply with ethical principles that are based on the Group’s values and the UN Global Compact.

Northern Magic. Made Real.