aerial view of large building
Integrated Food Projects is helping juice and smoothie company innocent realise creating a $250 million carbon-neutral manufacturing factory in Rotterdam. (Digital model).

New carbon-neutral drinks factory in Rotterdam for juice company innocent

The NIRAS owned company Integrated Food Projects has laid the foundations for juice company innocent’s new carbon-neutral drinks factory in Rotterdam.

26. Mar 2020

Integrated Food Projects is helping leading juice and smoothie brand innocent realise its ambitions of creating a carbon-neutral manufacturing factory.

Integrated Food Projects (IFP) is working with the London-based drinks manufacturer which is investing over $250 million creating ‘the blender’ factory in the Port of Rotterdam’s new Food Hub. Once complete, the factory will create 190 jobs and produce over 400 million bottles of chilled juice a year.

Integrated Food Projects is a British company that specializes in food and drink capital investment. The company was acquired by The NIRAS Group in February 2020.

Reducing carbon footprint of manufacturing process 

innocent – which has been seeking ways to bring the manufacturing network closer together – wanted to bring its operations largely in-house, step-changing its impact on the environment by taking miles off the road and reducing the carbon footprint of the manufacturing process.

The move means the company can reduce road miles travelled by around 25 per cent, since most of the fruit arrives by shipping container to the Port of Rotterdam. The blender will also use as little water as possible, and reduce, reuse and recycle waste that is created.

Future-proof sustainability

One of the biggest challenges facing the two teams was navigating the shifting landscape around sustainability, as Matt Carr, managing director at IFP, explains:

“Carbon neutrality is a moving target, so while green diesel and biomass energy were considered green fuels as recently as 2017, today they are not. This meant we needed to future-proof this factory, so that innocent would continue to uphold the high sustainability standards it had set out to achieve.”

Matt Carr emphasizes that one of the strengths of IFP lies in the partnership it forms with its clients:

“We like to work in this way, becoming fully integrated in the client’s business so we can understand their goals and challenges. It works really well – there is a fantastic project atmosphere and communication across the teams.”

The blender is in the early stages of construction. It is projected to open mid-year 2021 and create work for around 190 people in the Netherlands.

“Designing, building and operating a sustainable factory starts with a very dedicated and aligned team of partners with a shared vision on sustainability, targeting water, energy and waste reduction. Integrated Food Projects is an invaluable partner for us, as alongside engineering expertise, the team is able to provide independent consultancy on how the new factory should operate and where it should be built."

Chris Fielden, Group supply chain director at innocent


IFP adds value to NIRAS

According to Thomas B. Olsen, senior vice president of Process Industry at NIRAS, the project of creating a carbon-neutral drinks factory in Rotterdam shows exactly why NIRAS chose to acquire Integrated Food Projects earlier in the year.

“IFP is already playing a valuable role in the NIRAS Group. The expertise of IFP regarding business consulting and sustainable solutions also strengthens NIRAS’ positions within the food and beverage industry,” says Thomas B. Olsen.

“We are now able to offer our clients in the food and beverage industry a comprehensive package of food business consulting as well as advanced technical engineering solutions. The way that IFP and NIRAS work with our clients is also very similar. Our close dialogue and cooperation secure that we can deliver the right solutions and create values for our customers.”