Optimizing the energy intensity in the industrial, commercial, logistical and administrative operations by means of the promotion of a culture focused on efficient use and the migration to cleaner energy sources.
Risks and opportunities GRI 103-1
Grupo Nutresa could be exposed to financial, operational and reputation impacts caused by the variability in the prices of fossil fuels around the world, the possible temporal or permanent shortage conditions of some of them, and the climate phenomena that compromise the supply of electric power generated through conventional methods (hydroelectric and thermal power stations) and increases the interest in renewable energies.
Aware of these challenges, the Organization focuses on seeking a higher energy efficiency by means of the use of cleaner fuels, energies with a lesser environmental impact and energy self-supply alternatives, and by incorporating new technologies that contribute to the reduction of the energy intensity.
In 2016, several climate phenomena and fuel price variability occurred, causing risk situations related to the energy supply and the shortage of electric power. These situations drove the Organization to look for other negotiation alternatives for the purchase of electric power produced exclusively from renewable sources like hydropower and wind power.
The Organization’s response to the energy challenges is based on the establishment of defying goals for 2020, such as:
- A 25% reduction in the energy consumption per tonne produced.
- Achieving that 100% of the energy supply comes from cleaner energies.
Grupo Nutresa’s businesses have established plans for 2020 in order to achieve an energy consumption reduction by means of projects focused on new technologies, equipment upgrade and energy audits that allow to reduce the dependence on thermal energy from non-renewable sources, increasing the Organization’s share in alternative energies and, consequently, decreasing the greenhouse gas emissions.
The Organization will continue to promote the implementation of the energy efficiency principles in the logistic process, the incorporation of low energy consumption technologies in the new distribution warehouses, the exploration of transport projects using a more efficient fleet and/or vehicles powered by cleaner energies, driver training on energy efficiency practices, and the promotion of diverse alternatives of sustainable mobility among all the employees.
Success stories and acknowledgments GRI 103-3
The Chocolates Business furthered a project to acquire electric power from photovoltaic solar panels that will be installed at its main production plant in Colombia. An electric power supply contract was signed with a third party who is also in charge of constructing and maintaining the infrastructure, which will provide 300.000 kWh of clean energy per month, equivalent to 17% of this plant’s energy consumption. Thus, 5,5% of electric power will be obtained using solar energy in said operation.
Tresmontes Lucchetti’s powdered beverage production plant in Chile started a process of technological overhaul, equipment replacement and internal energy distribution process standardization that allowed to save 110.844 kWh year and contributed to the reduction of 3,2% of the total energy consumption.
Progress achieved in 2016 GRI 103-3
Reducing the energy intensity in the operations
Grupo Nutresa achieved an accumulated 17,1% reduction in the indicator for the consumption of energy (from non-renewable thermal sources and electric power purchased from the Colombian distribution network) in the 2010-2016 term. The indicator showed a 0,8% increase in comparison to 2015 due to the fact that the climate phenomena in Colombia affected the production of hydraulic energy. Additionally, multiple availability failures occurred in several power generation plants and in the natural gas supply for the production of thermal energy and the provision to the industrial sector.
To reduce the risk of electric power rationing in Colombia, the Colombian government led an awareness-raising campaign for the citizens to take responsibility for rationally using and saving water and electricity. The campaign was widely supported by the industrial sector through the ANDI (Colombian Industrialists Association), and Grupo Nutresa’s Colombia-based companies contributed to the cause with their full commitment and internal communication of related information.
As a measure for avoiding an electric power rationing, the Colombian industrial sector self-generated electric power by using the emergency plants at the production centers. Thus, the demand for energy from the network was reduced, but the consumption of liquid fuel (diesel) increased by 21,9%.
The specific electric energy consumption indicator (kWh/t.p.) decreased 1,1% with respect to 2015 and, for the 2010-2016 term, the accumulated reduction was 10,4%. The performance of this indicator is related to the implementation of technological overhauling projects, the use of LED lighting, the application of good operating practices and the conduction of energy audits. It is worth highlighting the good practices of the Cold Cuts Business in the optimization of the use of the cold generation systems and the smokehouses, which allowed to save 414.076 kWh and to obtain a significant improvement in its energy consumption indicators with a minimum investment (COP 14,4 million).
Reducing the use of thermal energy from non-renewable sources in the operations
The specific indicator for the consumption of thermal energy (kWh/t.p.) from non-renewable sources increased 1,7% in relation to 2015 due to the self-generation measures and the operating difficulties in some Businesses. For the 2010-2016 term, the accumulated decrease in the indicator for thermal energy consumption was 20%. It is also worth highlighting the effort that the Businesses have been making with regard to the technological update of the processes that involve the use of fossil fuels, as it is the case of the Coffee Business, which continues to work on the technological update of the roasting process at its production plants in Medellín, Bogotá and Ibagué. With this technological overhaul, the Organization has achieved a natural gas consumption reduction that totals more than 8.036 m3/year, which are equivalent to 780.058 kWh. Similarly, the Chocolates Business took advantage of the flash steam from its cauldrons and installed economizers that utilize the temperature of the combustion gases. This solution represented an energy saving equivalent to 1.4 GWh over the year.
Increasing the use of renewable energy sources
The energy consumption of Grupo Nutresa’s industrial plants in Colombia totaled 575,9 GWh and it mainly comprised the use of natural gas (56,1%), electric power (27,5%), and biomass and renewable energies (15,4%). The use of biomass in the Coffee Business is a management action that stands out because it increased 17,6% with respect to 2015. The use of traditional fuels (which include diesel, coal, heavy crude oils and liquefied petroleum gas) represented 1,0% of Grupo Nutresa’s total energy usage, exhibiting a 49% reduction in relation to the past year.
The energy consumption of Grupo Nutresa’s industrial plants in Costa Rica, Chile, Mexico, Peru and the Dominican Republic totaled 257,4 GWh, and it mainly comprised the use of biomass (39,7%), electric power (24,3%), natural gas (22%), and solid and liquid fossil fuels (14%).
In Chile, Tresmontes Lucchetti uses biomass made of coffee grounds, tea dust, wheat husk and wood chips to generate steam in its industrial processes. This biomass represents 55,9% of the energy usage of the production plants in Chile and Mexico. In Costa Rica, the Chocolates Business production plant has a new biomass-powered cauldron that uses wood pellets and generates 53,6% of the thermal energy consumed by this plant.
Green energy supply negotiation
Grupo Nutresa reached an agreement in the negotiation of the electric power supply for all its industrial plants and commercialization and distribution facilities in Colombia. Electric power is supplied under a long-term contract which ensures that 30% of the supply comes from green energy stations, such as small hydroelectric power stations, run-of-the-river hydroelectric power stations and wind farms. To guarantee the sustainable supply of this energy, said contract includes 532.800 RECs (renewable energy certificates), each one of which is equivalent to 1 MWh generated without CO2 emissions.
The electric power consumed in Colombia in 2016 totaled 158.2 GWh, which produced the emission of 34.918 tons of CO2eq. The emission factor of the national electrical grid (which consists of hydraulic and thermal energy) was 0.221 tons of CO2eq/ per 1 MWh. Thus, Grupo Nutresa anticipates that, in 2017, the green energy supply will prevent the emission of more than 34.000 tons of CO2eq.