Lee Kum Kee is a company with a long history of pioneering developments. Dating back 132 years, the sauce company has moved from strength to strength, building a trusted family business from the ground up using sustainable methods. Lee Kum Kee is still walking the walk today, in February 2020 receiving the highest LEED certification for the adoption of energy-saving methods.
LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a green building-rating programme. Lee Kum Kee’s green soy sauce fermentation project received the LEED-NC v4 Platinum certification, which is the highest level in the rating system.
LEED certification is the most widely used green building-rating system in the world and a globally recognised symbol of sustainability achievement and leadership. Lee Kum Kee’s Xinhui, China, production base has comprehensive energy-efficiency and environmental-protection strategies and is equipped with a solar photovoltaic power-generation system, geothermal heat-pump system, wetland park and waste-water- treatment facilities.
In particular, the solar photovoltaic power-generation system and geothermal heat-pump system earned full marks in the energy-saving aspects of LEED.
The solar photovoltaic power-generation system is installed on the rooftop of the soy sauce plant. Solar energy is directly converted to electricity by the semiconductor interface, thereby greatly reducing the consumption of electricity. The geothermal heat-pump system provides both hot and cold water for soy sauce fermentation via the heat exchangers and condensers. It utilises the thermostatic geothermal energy under the ground, thus reducing greenhouse-gas emissions and the consumption of electricity and water.
The wetland park, with an area of 16,000 square metres, will be capable of treating 4,000 cubic metres of waste water per day through natural ecosystems after completion. In addition, the grey water recycling system minimises water consumption with its high water-efficient design to reuse as much water as possible.
These facilities enable the green soy sauce fermentation project of Lee Kum Kee to achieve remarkable performance in various aspects of green building technologies such as sustainable development, energy, water conservation and environmental protection. Analysis through quantitative simulation shows that the project saves 55% more water and 50% more energy than general projects, and renewable energy constitutes 6% of its total energy consumption.
“Si li ji ren” and promoting green industrial practices
While the facilities have earned Lee Kum Kee LEED Platinum certification, what is also noteworthy is Lee Kum Kee staff’s commitment to green manufacturing. The 2,800 staff at the Xinhui production base all uphold the corporate core value of “si li ji ren” (considering others’ interests). This important principle runs through the very core of the business, encouraging its staff to adopt the “3Rs” strategy (reduce, reuse and recycle) to reduce waste through measures such as promoting cycling in the plant areas, using clean energy for staff shuttle buses, encouraging the use of recyclable paper and undertaking to reduce the weight of the glass bottles of products.
The production base in Xinhui is the largest of Lee Kum Kee’s production bases worldwide, with an area of 1.33 million square metres. In 2018, the Xinhui production base was accredited as a National Green Factory by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People’s Republic of China, the first enterprise in Jiangmen to receive this honour.
Lee Kum Kee will continue to adhere to the LEED standard when developing new projects, minimising the use of natural resources and further increasing the use of low-carbon energy in an effort to protect the environment and achieve sustainable development.
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