It is about the world we leave to our children.
Sustainability. What could be more important?
Since 2013, we have been baking completely fossil-free. Already in 1953 we started heating the bakery with recycled heat from the ovens. Sustainability has been a tradition for us since our family started baking crispbread in the early 19th century. It’s all about what we leave behind for our children, isn’t it?
Sustainability - a tradition
For Leksand Knäckebröd, sustainability is a tradition. This tradition should be preserved and developed for future generations.
– My great-great-grandmother Jakob Karin knew that resources must be conserved. And we continue in the same spirit almost 200 years later,” says Peter Joon, CEO and sixth generation master baker.
“There is always room for improvement”
Sustainability is something that can be done in two ways – by boosting you self or with humble self-criticism. Peter Joon chooses the latter.
The bakery has been fossil-free since 2013. Energy declarations have been going on since the 1980s. We are now showing our environmental impact directly on the packaging by indicating the CO2e number, which is becoming increasingly common on food products.
– It’s great to finally show how good we are. This is a really good figure. But we will be even better,” says Peter Joon.
– As a family business, we don’t look at quarterly economics – we look at centuries. My time as CEO is only for a short time and then someone else takes over. We need to think about what we pass on to our children.
Sixth generation of crispbread bakers
Peter Joon is the sixth generation of master bakers since Jakobs Karin started making bread in the first half of the 19th century.
Sustainability was a natural fit, with rye grown on local fields and a baking oven heated by trees grown in their own forest.
Like Jacob’s Karin, Peter is keen to make use of the surplus heat. Today, the bakery and hot water are heated by heat from the ovens. The heat is retained inside the bakery by building the walls twice as thick. For this, heat exchangers are used. The first one was already installed in 1953.
Real local rye
Farmer Anton Öhlund and his partner Michaela Johansson supply Leksand Knäckebröd with locally grown rye. Their farm is located in scenic Hedemora, just 45 minutes from Leksand.
– We deliver between 400 and 600 tons of rye to Leksand Knäckebröd every year. It’s hard work, because they have such high demands on sustainability,” says Anton Öhlund.
Third generation farmer
Anton Öhlund is the third generation of his family to farm in Hedemora. It was his grandfather and his brothers who moved down from Piteå in 1946. This is to enable cultivation for a larger part of the year than is possible in the north.
– They looked at a few different places and decided on Hedemora. It was a big journey, with all the animals being transported by train,” says Anton.
Rye is more difficult to grow
– especially with high requirements
Rye is challenging in itself to grow. If it rains at the wrong time, the harvest can fail, and the rye can’t be used to make good flour; it becomes animal feed instead. In Sweden, the demands on agriculture are high, but Leksands Knäckebröd sets even higher standards. This has made life more exciting for Anton Öhlund and his employees.
– They are a bit demanding at Leksands, they have a special list of requirements for how we should grow the rye,” says Anton.
Sustainable drying of rye
For Anton, sustainability is important. The drying of the rye is therefore done in a separate plant, which is operated with wood chips from their own forest. Once a year, 400-600 tons of dried locally grown rye are shipped from Hedemora to Leksand.
– The bread will be good. And it feels great that it is baked with my rye,” says Anton Öhlund.
Our sustainability journey
First heat exchanger is installed.
All investments are subject to life cycle analysis.
Leksands Knäckebröd becomes environmentally certified.
The bakery will be completely fossil-free.
We are introducing climate calculations on our crispbread.
How to bake fossil-free
Baking crispbread requires its heat in degrees, we won’t reveal how many, but it’s many hundreds. The excess heat from the ovens is then used to heat the premises and all hot water.
– The first heat exchanger was installed in 1953. “We have been completely fossil-free since 2013,” says Håkan Heineman, production manager at Leksand Knäckebröd.
Recovering waste from dough and bread
Sustainability is also about making use of it. The small amount of leftover dough and bread shavings that we can’t use or sell, we send to a nearby farmer.
– He has cows and they love crispbread in any form,” says Håkan.
The ovens in the bakery are heated with green and locally produced electricity, mainly from Trängslet in Älvdalen. In addition to recycling green electricity and disposing of dough and bread scraps, the walls are made twice as thick as they need to be. This way, the use of energy is minimized as much as possible.
What does the leaf on the package mean?
On most of our crispbreads there is a ‘leaf’ that tells you how much carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) such a package has created. That is, all greenhouse gases converted to the effect of carbon dioxide on the climate, from field to store.
Which for our blue round normal baked crispbread is 0.42 kg. And then we’ve taken everything into account. From the production of fertilizer for the fields, the cables that run the power to our bakery, the energy to make the paper for our packaging, the fuel for the tractors, the trucks…well, you get the picture – everything you need to make a climate-smart choice in the store.
How did we arrive at these figures?
To calculate the carbon footprint of our production, we enlisted the help of the analysis company U&We. They have extensive experience in helping companies with sustainability issues. This includes identifying the impact of the activity on the environment. Read more about our cooperation with U&We here.