Mondelez International is to invest €5m ($5.4m) in the energy efficiency of its Milka chocolate plant in Austria.

The US snack giant plans to add heat pumps that are lined up to reduce the gas consumption of the “traditional chocolate factory” by 65%.

The facility’s new pumps are expected to start working in the final quarter of the year.

Each of these pumps has an output of around 750 kW, which will “reduce gas consumption at the site by up to 65%, ” said the Cadbury brand owner.

Rene Grundner, technical manager at the factory, located in Bludenz in western Austria, Mondelez is “very pleased that this milestone is now becoming reality”

“With this sustainability project at our factory in Bludenz, we are making a contribution to the energy transition,” said Grundner.

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By GlobalData

The snacks heavyweight committed to a 2050 net-zero emissions target across its full value chain in November 2021.

Part of Mondelez’s efforts are its moves to install “energy-efficient technologies” and increase its use of renewable energies.

The group’s 2022 ESG report states some 39% of the energy used at its manufacturing facilities that year was generated from renewable sources, up from 32% a year earlier.

Mondelez is aiming to use only renewable electricity across its manufacturing sites by 2030.

The Bludenz factory started operations in 1887. It manufactures chocolate mass from raw cocoa beans for the production of large Milka chocolate bars.

A quarter of the chocolate bars produced are sold in the DACH region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), while the remaining chunk is exported to “over 30 different countries worldwide”.  The facility has approximately 300 employees.

Last week, fellow US food major Kraft Heinz announced it had signed an agreement to explore the development of a green hydrogen plant at one of its factories in the UK.