Hong Kong-based food company Lee Kum Kee has received the LEED Platinum certification for its sustainability efforts. The 133-year-old sauce company is also turning its focus to promoting plant-based dishes. This is part of the company’s efforts to ‘contribute to the fight against climate change‘.
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The certification is a green building rating system: the most widely used in the world. Lee Kum Kee is the first company in the global fermented food industry to receive the Platinum certification.
Lee Kum Kee’s Xinhui Production Campus
The sauce company received the award for its production campus in Xinhui, Jiangmen, Guangdong province. This is home to Lee Kum Kee’s green soy sauce fermentation project. The campus features a solar power generation system and a geothermal heat pump system. Both earned full marks in the energy-saving LEED category.
The solar power system is installed on the soy sauce plant’s rooftop. This massively reduces electricity consumption. The geothermal heat pump system provides both hot and cold water for soy sauce fermentation. It uses thermostatic geothermal energy underground. This reduces greenhouse gas emissions and the consumption of electricity and water.
The production campus also has a 16,000-square meter wetland park. It treats 4,000 cubic meters of wastewater every day.
Typically, the Koji making process accounts for 80 to 90 percent of energy usage for a soy sauce production facility. This is the substance used to make soy sauce. Koji is made by combining a cultivated mould with rice, soya, wheat flour, or other foodstuffs.
However, by fuelling this traditional method of soy sauce making with renewable energy, Lee Kum Kee has shaved off 50 and 55 percent of its energy and water consumption respectively, compared with similar projects.
Sustainability at Lee Kum Lee
Tony Mok is Director of Global Manufacturing at Lee Kum Kee. In a statement to PBN he said: “It is a landmark achievement for Lee Kum Kee to attain the highest honor of Platinum status on its first entry to the LEED certification.
“Lee Kum Kee places a strong emphasis on sustainable development. It is committed to making sustainable upgrades to green manufacturing, packaging design, and transportation logistics.
“We will continue to adhere to the LEED standard when developing new projects and minimize the use of natural resources. Moreover, we will further increase the use of low-carbon energy in an effort to protect the environment.”
Lee Kum Kee Vegan Options
Committed to ‘contributing to the fight against climate change’, Lee Kum Kee is actively looking into releasing more vegan-friendly options.
The company already produces vegetarian stir-fry sauce: a vegan alternative to oyster sauce. It also produces soy bean sauce, mushroom bouillon powder, soy sauce, and vinegar. These are all suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
In January, Lee Kum Kee Europe teamed up with Celebrity Chef Ching He Huang to hold a ‘Vegilicious’ campaign. The campaign promoted 10 vegan recipes to encourage people to make the switch to plant-based food.
The company now also offers more plant-based dishes at its consumer and trade events.
Lee Kum Kee spokesperson, Dodie Hung said: “With some 200 types of products available in over 100 countries and regions, we love celebrating the diversity of culinary cultures and taste profiles. That is why we will continue to come up with new products: to help connect these wonderful food cultures. To us, it’s everyday delicious!”
“Being one of the major sauce and condiment brands, we must do our part to promote a healthy lifestyle and lighten our environmental footprint. Be it in our green production processes or in our new product offerings.”
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