INEX

About us

Inex and sustainable entrepreneurship


Environmental awareness is becoming increasingly important, both at government and industry level and among consumers. Because the demand for dairy produce and foodstuffs will only increase, we will have to produce in a more sustainable way. At the same time, natural resources such as farmland and water are becoming increasingly scarce. Inex has expressed its commitment to take care of our planet. Our processes are permanently reviewed, resulting – so far – in the following realisations:

  • Energy saving in the dairy production process

The production of milk and the processing of milk into dairy products are very energy-consuming processes. The use of fossil energy sources (natural gas and oil) generates high CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions. This CO2, in turn, creates the so-called greenhouse effect, causing global warming. Inex is making considerable efforts to reduce the need for energy in its whole dairy production chain. Inex joined the Flemish Covenant on Energy Benchmarking. By joining this covenant, Inex took on the obligation to bring the energy efficiency of its processing plants up to top world-class level by 2012. We do so by adjusting our processes, among others by way of heat recycling, a more efficient cleaning of our machines and adjustments to our cooling plants to make them more energy-efficient. We also consider energy consumption when purchasing new machines. In 2011, Inex will build a mega photovoltaic installation on its factory roofs. This way, we will generate more than 1 Megawatt-peak (Wp) of solar energy, corresponding with 5% of our total energy consumption. In all, 5,500 panels will be installed.


 

  • Water saving

In the BBT (= best available techniques) for the dairy industry, the water consumption per litre of bottled product is set at 3.5 litre per 1 litre of finished product. At Inex, we use about 2.7 litre pre 1 litre of finished product. This is more than 20% better than the average industry score. In 2009, we succeeded in saving 0.8% of water per litre of finished product compared to 2008, such following the implementation of water-saving measures and a strict monitoring of our water consumption.


 

  • Air emission

Clean, fresh air is essential to man, plants and animals. In 2011, Inex will switch its steam production from petroleum to natural gas heating. Following this switch, no soot or sulphur will be emitted anymore. This will definitely reduce our emission of fine dust, an issue that no doubt will become one of the major challenges of the following decades.


 

  • Ecological milk transport

Because Inex is itself responsible for transporting the raw milk from farmers to the dairy factory, it continues to assume its responsibility to reduce the impact on the environment to an absolute minimum. Over the past 3 years, our entire fleet of tank lorries has been renewed by the deployment of modern and energy-efficient trailers with a larger capacity (27,000l) so that the number of kilometres to be travelled for collecting the same amount of milk could be reduced. Distribution was optimised by engaging to the extent possible conveyers with return freights (e.g. for the Netherlands with plants as return freight). This offers double profit, both ecologically and economically.












 

  • Food safety

By participating in the sampling plan Monimilk, Inex ensures the permanent monitoring of its milk to be processed for residues of pesticides, heavy metals and other contaminants, if any. Inex also applies the automatic
inspection guide 'dairy processing'. This guide was the very first in the whole food chain that was approved of by the Food Inspection Agency.

  • Packaging policy

Inex has a very comprehensive range of modern and environmentally friendly packaging lines. It was, among others, the first in Europe that offered consumption milk with a long shelf life in large packagings from 10l to 1000l.  For the Dutch market, we offer the specific 2l can of fresh milk. Inex is a founding member of Fost+. Fost plus promotes, coordinates and finances the selective collection, sorting and recycling of household packaging waste in Belgium. In France we are a member of ‘Eco-emballage’ and in the Netherlands of ‘Stichting Retourverpakking’. In 2011, all our marketed Tetra Brik and Gable top packaging products will be made using FSC-approved carton. The FSC label warrants the sustainable origin of paper because not only the forest of origin is checked but also the whole commercial chain up to the end consumer. This way, the end consumer can be absolutely sure that this paper comes from well-managed, FSC-certified forests (see www.fsc.be).

  • Healthy products

Milk is a healthy product by nature. Furthermore, Inex goes along with the trend for healthy products and is actively involved in the fight against obesity. Inex is the biggest school milk supplier of Belgium and, as such, has a social part to play. Year after year the sugar content off our products has been lowered thanks to a ambitious R&D program.

 

  • Biological products

Since a few months, Inex is taking the first steps to make biological products. At this moment, we’ve already successfully released 3 products.

  • Meadow milk

In order to provide an answer to the consumer's demand for the purchase of milk from cows that are not only in the stables, the “meadow milk” label was created. Meadow milk is milk from dairy farms where the cows spend at least 120 days per year and at least 6 hours per day in the pasture.

In practice, 92% of the dairy farmers apply grazing, this means that more than 80% of the milk collected by INEX is meadow milk.

In order to guarantee that the conditions are met, Inex, as well as its milk suppliers, is regularly audited.

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