Poland’s biggest chocolate maker Mondelez to invest $1m in solar power at factories

Poland’s largest chocolate maker, Mondelez Polska, will invest $1 million (4 million zloty) in solar installations at its production facilities in the country.

The move is part of the renewable energy strategy of its owner, American confectionary giant Mondelez International, which last month reiterated its commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Największy producent czekolady w Polsce zainwestuje w naszym kraju milion dolarów https://t.co/Regh4bC6Sj

— Business Insider Polska 🇵🇱 (@BIPolska) January 11, 2024

The investment will see photovoltaic panels with a total capacity of around 3 MW installed at three of Mondelez’s seven production facilities in Poland and will be accompanied by a programme to reduce electricity consumption at the plants.

The first of the installations will be at the firm’s facility in Skarbimierz, southern Poland, and will be the largest such investment by Mondelez in Europe, with a total capacity of 999 kWp (kilowatt-peak of power)

It is also the first investment in Poland that has received approval for a direct power line connection between the installation and the factory under new regulations that came into force last September. This means that the electricity produced by the solar panels will go directly to the factory, rather than to the shared power grid.

The installation is expected to reduce the plant’s carbon footprint by almost 800 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. Two further installations will be built near the firm’s plants in Bielany Wrocławskie and Jankowice near Poznań.

Renewables generated a record 26% of Poland’s electricity in 2023, up from 19% the previous year.

However, coal continued to produce most of the country’s power, accounting for almost two thirds of the energy mix https://t.co/JQqfMkOK4I

— Notes from Poland 🇵🇱 (@notesfrompoland) January 3, 2024

“The investment of approximately $1 million is a key moment in our renewable energy strategy,” said Roman Sitko, CEO of Mondelez Polska, quoted by Portal Spożywczy. “It is also an expression of confidence in our Polish team and belief in the potential of the factories in Poland.”

Among the snacks produced by Mondelez in Poland are Milka chocolates and Oreo biscuits, as well as popular local products Delicje (chocolate-covered, jelly-filled biscuits) and Prince Polo (a wafer chocolate bar). The firm employs over 5,000 staff in the country.

Poland was the world’s fourth largest exporter of chocolate products in 2022, according to the International Trade Centre. That year, the country was also the world’s largest exporter of wafers and waffles, with just over 15% of the global market.

Poland has seen a rapid expansion in renewables in recent years, especially onshore wind and solar. In 2023, they generated around 26% of the country’s power, up from 19.3% in 2022 and 9.3% in 2015.

Google, Amazon, Mercedes and Ikea have appealed to Poland’s prime minister and parliament to support the development of green energy.

Otherwise, „the Polish economy is in danger of losing its competitiveness and attractiveness”, they warn https://t.co/ytVcdwwiT1

— Notes from Poland 🇵🇱 (@notesfrompoland) February 21, 2023

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Main image credit: Shubham Kumar / Pexels

Alicja Ptak is senior editor at Notes from Poland and a multimedia journalist. She previously worked for Reuters.

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