Turning waste into renewable energy

Veolia has developed the world’s first drying system for Dutch coffee roaster Douwe Egberts Master Blenders (DEMB).


At its Joure plant in the Netherlands, DEMB (formerly Sara Lee) was looking to reduce the cost of producing the vast quantities of steam needed to make instant coffee and liqueurs. Veolia set out to develop a cost-effective solution to support the plant's increasing production capacity while reducing its carbon footprint and meeting the critical challenge of recycling by-products from the production process. 



Following an in-depth study, Veolia developed an unparalleled, innovative drying and combustion system in which spent coffee grounds from the plant's processes are burned in a biomass boiler to produce steam. Veolia was also contracted to provide comprehensive technical management of industrial utilities including steam, compressed air and cold water in partnership with Veolia Water for wastewater treatment.

Wiebe Jongsma
DEMB Technical Director for the Joure plant in the Netherlands


 “Before the Veolia project, our two main energy sources were natural gas and coffee grounds on a small scale. Veolia has helped us save on natural gas by using more grounds. This has led to savings of between €1 and €2 million.”  


Key figures

  • 70% reduction in annual CO2 emissions from the plant, totaling 14,000 metric tons


Customer benefits

  • Lower energy bills and production costs
  • Recovery of a by-product from the production process
  • Reliable industrial utilities



  • Producing energy from biomass (a by-product of the production process)


33,000 t/y of spent coffee grounds used as an energy source

Smaller carbon footprint