LURA d.d. Zagreb

Dairy Sludge Goes Back to Fields: Turning an Environmental Objective into New, Profitable Business

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Courtesy of LURA d.d. Zagreb

Company Overview

The LURA d.d., founded in August 1999 by merger of the Lura Group member companies, is the leading dairy company in Croatia. It consists of the following factories: Factory Zagreb, Factory Bjelovar and Factory Zadar.

In period 1993 – 1999 LURA d.d. existed as LURA Group d.o.o. which consisted of Dukat d.d. (Factory Zagreb), Sirela d.d. (Factory Bjelovar) and Mljekara Zadar d.d. (Factory Zadar) in the form of the joint stock companies.

The company’s success and growth is based on top quality products, strong consumer orientation, and a highly developed distribution system.

The LURA d.d. is a modern, innovative and highly professional organization, applying state-of-the-art technology and systems to all parts of its business, including environmental protection and the rationalization of operating costs. It runs employee development programmes, encourages teamwork and aims at the highest standards of business ethics.

In 1998, the LURA d.d. established a central environmental department and produced and adopted its own Environmental Charter. In 1999 the company prepared and published its first environmental report, also one of the first in Croatia. All of its operational developments are planned and adjusted according to ISO 9000 and 14001. A programme of regular Environmental Reviews is in the process of being introduced - to be carried out annually by the Group itself and every two years by independent auditors. And the company’s Environmental Strategy 1999-2008 is in its final stages of development.

Background

In 1997, LURA d.d. management identified the wastewater from the Sirela dairy production plant as its top environmental priority. Sirela’s highly saturated wastewater was being emitted into the main sewer in Bjelovar and mixed with the municipal wastewater. The partly treated municipal wastewater is carried by a local stream into the river Cesma.

The company set as its first goals to achieve not only wastewater treatment in line with legal requirements, but also a significant and lasting contribution to the environment. During the various development stages - research, project design and investigations into potential partnerships - the opportunities for cost-savings and even getting a pay-back on investment in the short term began to emerge and were studied and evaluated.

At the same time, ideas were explored for extending the project to the recently installed new cheese line and eventually the possibility of actually making a profit, instead of simply continuing to pay disposal fees, came into play as a truly eco-efficient solution started taking shape. So an investment which had initially been based entirely on achieving environmental objectives took on all the attributes of good business. In the final project, the circle was joined; complete wastewater purification, full sludge treatment and the commercial production of compost.

A Truly Eco-Efficient Solution

Wastewater treatment

Sirela’s complete wastewater purification plant started operating on 1 December 1998.

This plant contains the equipment that carries out a balanced combination of physical, chemical and biological processes, which result in almost completely purified wastewater.

The following chart illustrates the effectiveness of the purification process.

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