New carbon-neutral drinks factory in Rotterdam for leading juice brand innocent

Ifp Innocent Blender 3

The NIRAS owned British company Integrated Food Projects is helping juice and smoothie company innocent creating a $250 million carbon-neutral manufacturing factory in Rotterdam. (Digital model).

The NIRAS owned company Integrated Food Projects has laid the foundations for a new $250 million carbon-neutral drinks factory in Rotterdam for leading juice and smoothie company innocent. The plant is 100 percent electrical and carbon neutral and can rely on its own energy supply.

July 3, 2020
  • SDG: #12, #13, #7
  • SECTORS: Food & Beverage
  • COUNTRIES: Netherlands
  • CLIENT: innocent

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.

Ifp Innocent Blender 1

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.

100 percent electrical and carbon neutral factory with its own energy supply

The central objective for the blender was to be a carbon neutral, 100% electric factory and this core value was at the heart of every decision that was made in the evaluation, design and build processes.

“We were focused on designing a factory that would be prepared for new technology and be built in a modular fashion so that any upgrades and changes could be made with minimal disruption, cost or wastage,” says Andrew Lyons, factory designer at Integrated Food Projects.

The Integrated Food Projects team was able to integrate a huge range of innovative technology to reduce energy consumption – allowing for the energy needs of the factory to be met by onsite, renewable sources.

The solution at factory ranged from reducing water usage through FluiVac product purging and line cleaning technology, to revolutionary heat pumps that create a thermically balanced system to reduce energy consumption.

It’s not only advancements in technology that IFP has factored into the blender’s design, the future demands from governments and society on the food and drink sector have also been assessed, as they will evolve to put a greater emphasis on sustainability.

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

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.

Innocent factory top of the class in sustainability

The close cooperation between NIRAS' Intgerated Food Projects and innocent has been an integral part of the the project 

“We worked with the Integrated Food Projects team throughout the evaluation and initial building process, and their input was central in our goal of delivering a site that operated as a sustainable, environmentally friendly factory," says Chris Fielden, group supply chain director at innocent.

According to Chris Fielden the blender is still in the early stages of being built at the moment, but it is likely to open mid-year 2021:

"We’re excited to create a factory that will be top of the class in sustainability and create a great place to work for around 190 people in the Netherlands.”

Ifp Innocent Blender 2

Facts about NIRAS Food & Beverage

NIRAS is a leading independent advisor and consultancy engineer to the international food and beverage industry when it comes to investments, projects execution, sustainability and production optimization.

Focusing on best practice, innovation and sustainable solutions NIRAS assists the industry to improve performance and securing operational reliability.

NIRAS works on food and beverage projects globally from offices in the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark and Australia.

Facts about IFP Group

IFP was founded in 2002 in Derby. IFP and its subsidiaries IFP Construction and SDA Design Consultants employs around 40 specialists who offer end-to-end food and beverage consulting.

IFP’s main competencies are business change, project management, process and civil engineering. The company is specialist in end-to-end CAPEX and OPEX projects in the food and beverage industry. IFP operates in United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Norway, and other international markets.

Read more about IFP.

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Get in touch

Thomas B. Olsen

Thomas B. Olsen

Senior Vice President

Allerød, Denmark

+45 3071 3961

Matthew Carr

Matthew Carr

Managing Director- Commercial

Kegworth, United Kingdom


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