WATER RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
Reducing the direct and indirect impact on the water resources across the entire value chain and mitigating the risks associated with shortage or deterioration situations regarding the quality of the resources as a priority for the Company’s operations and for the communities from its areas of influence.
Risks and opportunities GRI 103-1
The World Economic Forum ranked the water-related risk as the third with the highest global impact for 2016, warning that climate change increased the probability of modifications on rainfall cycles, extreme events and, therefore, on the safety of food production. It is estimated that by 2030, the demand for water will exceed the sustainable offer by 40%. Faced with this perspective, Grupo Nutresa proactively works on establishing a water-resource sustainability culture in its direct operations, in which it has the goal of reducing consumption by 30%, and it also works on the formulation of a management framework that involves agents from its value chain.
Within the management framework, the water-related risk assessment model consolidated by Grupo Nutresa in 2016 included biophysical, regulatory and reputational aspects. The objective consists in achieving that all production plants or operations know their specific risks and design action plans for mitigating those with the highest impact. This model calculates a risk factor, which is in turn used in the real price model that promotes the sustainability of this valuable resource.
Although the water-related risk is an important challenge, Grupo Nutresa trusts that the alliances with its stakeholders generate a positive influence in the conservation of water for the communities and direct operations, both in the short and long term. Moreover, the water-consumption reduction in the processes can also generate efficiency in the productivity and operational savings.
Grupo Nutresa recognizes the importance of the water resources for life in the planet, the well-being of the ecosystems and food safety. The Organization is also aware of the important role that companies play in the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals, which propose objectives related to the efficient use and conservation of water.
The water-resource management framework for the next years will comprise internal and external actions focused on promoting sustainable water consumption in the operations, communities and by the stakeholders.
The production plants will continue to implement the necessary measures to reduce water consumption per ton produced by 30% with regard to the 2010 consumption. Grupo Nutresa will develop the necessary technology not only to comply with the water disposal regulations, but to become a leader in terms of reuse and zero water disposal practices in all possible cases. In 2017, the Organization will start the plans for the mitigation of the identified risks, as well as the implementation of the model that allows assessing water-related risks and establishing the real price of water as part of the methodology for the prioritization of resources allocated to capital investments.
In the value chain, work will be carried out in specific projects for the sustainability of water resources as a fundamental component of the main raw materials.
As part of Grupo Nutresa’s commitment to the communities and stakeholders, both the communication and transfer of policies and successful practices will be strengthened, and the number of alliances with organizations and stakeholders will be increased with the purpose of working jointly for a sustainable management of the water resources.
Success stories and acknowledgments GRI 103-3
The Farallones coffee processing central plant, a project developed by the Andes Coffee Growers Cooperative and the Coffee Business, has allowed the coffee farmers to perform the coffee pulp-removal, washing and drying processes with a water-consumption reduction of 90%, going from approximately 35 liters to only 4 liters per kilogram of dry coffee.
Goal for 2020: Reducing by 30% the water consumption per Ton.
Progress achieved in 2016 GRI 103-3
The Cold Cuts Business, in its production plants in Medellín, Bogotá, Barranquilla and Caloto, saved 38.000 m3 due to the optimization of the cans sterilization process by recirculating the water from the cooling system and optimizing the water consumption in the thermal processes.
Furthermore, the Chocolates Business in Peru and the Coffee in Medellín saved 1.900 m3 in the lubrication of pumps and drag chains in the productive processes. The Coffee Business production plant in Ibagué saved 3.400 m3 through the reuse of water in soluble coffee extraction processes and the backwash of smoothing filters. In the Chocolates Business in Rionegro, 6.741 m3 were saved by recovering steam condensation from the gas cauldrons.
Water disposal management and sanitation
Among the main achievements in 2016, one that stands out is the compliance with the water disposal regulations that recently came into effect in Colombia. Significant investments were made in several production plants of the Cold Cuts, Coffee and Chocolates Businesses with the aim of ensuring the compliance with the water disposal parameters established in the regulations. Said investments totaled COP 5,7 billion. In the Cold Cuts Business, the treatment plants in Envigado, Barranquilla, Rionegro, Medellín, Caloto and Panama carried out the engineering and civil works stages in 2016 in order to complete the establishment of the treatment units in 2017. The Ice Cream Business production plant in Manizales is undergoing a revamping process with the incorporation of an anaerobic biological treatment unit.
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Model for assessing water-related risks and the real price of water
Grupo Nutresa proactively works both on reducing water consumption and on identifying water-related risks in its production plants in Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Peru and Chile. Thus, the Organization has consolidated a model for assessing water-related risks and another one for establishing the real price of water.
These models are articulated with the corporate operation framework and with the fulfillment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The fact of assessing the water-related risks of the production plants provides information that supports the decision-making process to reduce such risks. Consequently, estimating the real price of water allows to value a better and more accurate financial return of the initiatives related to water use efficiency, and to mobilize and boost the technological or social investments.
In 2016, Grupo Nutresa conducted a process to identify and value the water-related risks, which were classified as biophysical, regulatory-related and reputational. The process of assessing such risks allowed to estimate a numerical value that is established as a risk factor, which is specific for each production plant, includes the water-related risk externalities and is considered as a key aspect to determine the real price of this natural resource.
The real price of water should include, in addition to the materials, energy and manpower necessary for its collection, treatment and supply to homes and industries, those aspects related to the natural capital concept and the sustainability of the ecosystems that provide us with this precious resource.
The detailed explanation of the water resource management is published in the report prepared for the CEO Water Mandate, which is titled “2015-2016 Progress Report” (https://www.gruponutresa.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/ceo-water-mandate-comunicacion-en-progeso-2015-16-grupo-nutresa.pdf).
It is also worth highlighting the exercise performed in both 2015 and 2016, through which the Organization created a materiality matrix intended to establish the relevant matters for its stakeholders with regard to water resources. This matrix helps in the decision-making process and frames the water management for the coming years.
As part of its water resource management, Grupo Nutresa developed the model for assessing water-related risks and the real price of water.
Disclosure of policies and practices to stakeholders
Grupo Nutresa considera que las políticas permiten establecer un compromiso y definir una línea de acción hacia la sostenibilidad de los recursos naturales. Dicho compromiso se extiende, además, a los grupos relacionados y por esto hace pública su política de recurso hídrico y sus compromisos hacia la sostenibilidad del mismo en la cadena de valor, a través de alianzas estratégicas con Cuenca Verde y WWF.
Water resource management in the value chain
It is worth highlighting the results of the coffee processing project that was developed jointly by the Andes Coffee Growers Cooperative and the Coffee Business. This processing central plant reduces water consumption and improves the quality of the disposal water. Water consumption has been reduced by 90% in the coffee pulp-removal, washing and drying processes, going from approximately 35 liters to only 4 liters per kilogram of dry coffee.
The waste water treatment plant includes a physical removal system that removes the solids and an aerobic biological process that ensures the compliance with the parameters demanded by the regulatory resolution 631 of 2015. The coffee drying process must be performed through thermal drying (by using mechanical dryers known as guardiolas), which uses hot air obtained from the combustion of coffee hull (residue from milling the dry coffee beans), which guarantees the use of clean energies.
In addition to the foregoing, coffee growers perceive a better coffee bean price as they are paid an additional quality premium when their product meets the standards for being used for the Matiz coffee brand.