Combined Annual Report and Sustainability Report 2018

Environmental protection at the production sites

DMK watches the impact of environmental protection along its entire value chain and is committed to making continuous improvements in environmental protection at its production sites. In this regard, the company makes the protection of resources an important concern. DMK works with an Integrated Management System (IMS) which combines the quality, health and safety, environmental and energy systems.

Environmental protection at the production sites

In the year under review, 20 sites were certified in accordance with the ISO 14001 Environmental Management standard. In 2017, DMK integrated the new requirements of the updated ISO 14001:2015 standard into the existing environmental management system at these sites. The DQS certification company confirmed compliance with the requirements at all the certified sites bar none, both in the year under review and in the previous year.

In order to keep improving its environmental management, DMK launched the implementation of an environmental database in the year 2018. The software, which was programmed specifically for the company, is intended to improve the transparency of goal and action tracking.

Below-average water consumption

Specific water efficiency shows the water consumed per kilo of raw milk input. Measured across all DMK sites, this was around 1.08 l/kg in the year under review. This does not include the ice cream production sites, because the raw material input at these sites is not milk-related. Compared to other German dairy companies, DMK falls significantly below the 2,05 l/kg identified in the “”Wasser/Abwasser 2017” survey of water and sewage conducted by the Association of the German Dairy Industry (MIV).

Average water consumption by diary factories

  • Averages according to latest "MIV- Umfrage Wasser/Abwasser 2017" on water and sewage

Absolute water consumption also continued to fall in 2018. This means that the company has taken another step closer to achieving the goal formulated in the DMK 2020 strategy of a 5 percent reduction compared to the year 2015. Clean water consumption fell group-wide by 40 percent compared to the base year 2015.

The projects to reduce water consumption implemented at the Hohenwestedt, Altentreptow and Holdorf sites also contributed to this in the year under review. For example, the introduction of recycling for cooling water and the treatment and reuse of the exhaust vapours for the CIP systems led to a decrease in the specific water consumption in Holdorf in 2018 from an average of 2.54 l/kg in 2017 to 1.67 l/kg in 2018. Compared to the year 2015, this comes to a reduction of around 40 percent.

Fresh water

  • DMK GmbH + min. 75% owned subsidiaries (excl. sanotact, sunval, MIG Herford, Roseneis and DOC Kaas); based on the readings of flow meters.

Sewage treatment modernised

The Europe-wide Water Framework Directive (WFD) aims to bring all European rivers, lakes, groundwater and coastal waters to a “good status”, and bundles a large number of individual EU directives on water law to this end. In the year under review, DMK invested in the modernisation of factory sewage treatment plants with the aim of treating sewage more effectively and energy-efficiently and thereby making an additional contribution to the WFD’s goals.


The new Düngeverordnung (German Fertiliser Ordinance), which provides new rules for the spreading of sewage sludge on agricultural areas, poses challenges for DMK. The company has developed sewage sludge concepts in this connection which, when implemented, will also ensure continuous recycling in the future.



  • DMK GmbH + min. 75% owned subsidiaries (excl. sanotact, sunval, MIG Herford, Rosen Eiskrem and DOC Kaas); based on the readings of flow meters.

New recycling routes

In waste recycling, DMK commits to collecting recyclables separately and directing them to the best possible recycling option. The waste monitoring and documentation systems introduced in the past have led to successful implementation of the new German industrial waste ordinance all at sites. At present, the company is working on the further development of its existing recyclable waste management. For this purpose, DMK introduced a recycling database at all factories in 2018 which allows for increased clarity in the analysis of data on waste.

The company has also developed a new recycling method for the mono APET occurring at three factories. In the past, films were converted into energy, DMK now directs chads (stamp scrap) and other waste of this material to higher-value processing: During the recycling process, the mono APET is recovered in several steps and treated in order to manufacture new films, thus helping to save resources. This allows a saving of approx. 800 t CO2 equivalent per year at the three factories. The project contributes to the DMK 2020 strategy goal of working on three innovative packaging concepts by the year 2020.


  • DMK GmbH + 75% owned subsidiaries (excl. sanotact, sunval, Rosen Eiskrem, DOC Kaas and Strückhausen)

Optimised immission protection

In the year under review, DMK engaged once more with improvements in immission protection and resource efficiency. For example, the company built two new energy generating plants with gas and steam turbines at the Edewecht and Zeven sites. The two new plants are already below the immission guideline values which will apply from 2025 onwards. Moreover, the company took steps to reduce sound emissions to protect the neighbourhood and employees. These include a noise protection wall at the Dargun site and the installation of noise protection baffles in the final packaging section at Georgsmarienhütte.

In 2017, the 42nd ordinance on the implementation of the Federal Immission Control Act (42nd BImSchV) concerning evaporation coolers, cooling towers and wet scrubbers came into force. The so-called “Legionella ordinance” addresses the hygienic care and maintenance and hygienic operation of such systems. In order to implement the ordinance in compliance with the law, DMK asked TÜV Nord to train just under 50 employees as “Hygienically expert persons”. On the cut-off date of July 2018, the company had implemented the 42nd BImSchV on time at all sites.

Specific energy consumption improved

Energy management at DMK is part of the Integrated Management System. All sites are ISO 50001-certified. The sites' energy officers meet regularly to share their experiences with projects and savings potentials. The Energy department supports management and works managers in assessing amendments to laws and ordinances such as, for example, the German renewable energies law (EEG) and the cogeneration protection law (KWKG), which may have considerable financial implications for the company.

The continuing high number of enquiries from customers about environmental and climate protection show that these aspects are becoming increasingly important when DKM is assessed as a supplier.

In the year 2018, DMK purchased less energy because of the changes in the factory structure and the declining milk volume. In relation to the milk volume, the specific energy consumption has therefore improved.

In the DMK 2020 strategy, the company set the goal of energy savings of 15 percent by the year 2020 compared to consumption in 2011. DMK achieved the interim goal which been set for 2018, which was to improve energy savings by 1.7 percent compared to 2011. By optimising existing processes and procuring energy-optimised equipment in the year under review, for example, the company saved a total of approximately 26 million KWh of energy. The second thermal buffer silo (W60) which DMK put into operation at the Altentreptow site in 2018 made a major contribution here. The thermal buffer silo saves energy in linked heating and cooling processes by thermal buffering, or intermediate storage. The newly built north boiler house at the Zeven site also brought significant economies. DMK Energy Management will go on continuously reviewing the feasibility and cost-efficiency of infrastructural and energy-saving projects at various sites.

DMK is currently gathering information for eco-balance purposes about its Scope 1 direct greenhouse gas emissions for production. At 189,988 tonnes, these were around 3.89 percent lower in 2018 than the previous year’s figure (DMK GmbH including 75%-owned subsidiaries, calculated on the basis of the volume of gas used in production).

DMK GmbH including all subsidiaries in which DMK holds a stake of at least 75 percent, excluding DOC Kaas. The basis for the gathering of data on direct energy from non-renewable energy sources is the actual quantities of energy consumed; the basis for the gathering of data on direct energy from renewable energy sources is the purchase of wood/conversion of wood consumption for biomass.

Direct energy consumption (kWh) 2018 2017
Total direct energy consumption 1.489.191.487 1.643.414.055
Of which, direct energy from non-renewable energy sources 1.483.917.412 1.629.212.626
Electricity 298.250.903 320.930.023
Natural gas 1.042.476.665
District heating 53.374.639 48.739.461
Diesel fuel/heating fuels refined from crude oil 86.079.879 94.677.224
Liquid gas 743.947 754.680
Heating oil 2.991.379 2.450.006
Of which, direct energy from renewable sources 14.274.075 14.201.429
Hydro power 392.036 518.868
Biomass 13.882.039 13.682.561
DMK GmbH incl. all min. 75% owned subsidiaries, excl. DOC Kaas. the data on direct energy from non- renewable energy sources is based on the actual quantities of energy consumed, the data on direct energy from renewable data sources is based on the purchase of/conversion of wood consuption for biomass. Hydro power at the Rimbeck site, biomass at the Waren site.

Research network for the Energiewende

DMK has taken part since 2016 in the “Kopernikus-Projekten für die Energiewende” research projects funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. In these projects, science, business and civil society are developing technological and economic solutions for the transformation of the energy system. DMK is engaged in the sub-project "SynErgie", working on the topic of "Cross-Commodity and Demand Site Management” amongst others. This sub-project focuses on industrial processes. Using model calculations, a study is now being conducted in this area to find out how efficient individual production processes and systems are and how they can be flexibly integrated into the energy market. The aim is to develop commercialisation potential for self-generated energy. DMK increased its commercialisation successes in 2018 with the in-house gas and steam turbine facility at Edewecht. In the current year, DMK will also incorporate a cold store into the modelling in order to generate commercialisation successes in times when energy prices are low. The company plans to extend this to further cold stores in the coming years.

More chapter topics

Milk production & processing