The energy supply in the regions where Grupo Nutresa operates is based on the availability of fossil fuels and on hydropower. Due to diverse risks, the energy transition is a fundamental part of Grupo Nutresa’s strategic plan for 2020-2030 in search for a low-carbon economy that is aligned with the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and contributes to containing the increase of the planet’s mean temperature at 2ºC or less.
- Instability in the availability of fossil fuels linked to increasingly complex geopolitical events due to the continued crisis in the Middle East.
- China’s and India’s increasing demand for fossil fuels.
- Oil extraction through non-conventional methods such as hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.
- Decrease in the oil and natural gas reserves in Colombia.
- Variability of the climate phenomena that affects the hydrological cycles, causing hydropower and wind power to have an additional risk due to the increasingly extreme meteorological events whose occurrence patterns have not been identified yet.
- Fossil fuel dependence that will be increasingly costly in environmental, economic and social terms.
- Seeking renewable energy sources with a lesser environmental impact.
- Delving into the control of processes with the aim of increasing the energy efficiency.
- Implementing new technologies for generating thermal energy.
- Reducing the use of electric power (25% for the 2020-2030 period).
- Reducing the pressure on resources such as hydrocarbons, minerals and hydrological.
- Contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
- Advancing in the search for a lower energy intensity and a lesser environmental impact of all the operations through:
- Execution of the plans formulated with the purpose of reducing the dependence on non-renewable energy sources.
- Increased use of alternative energies.
- Implementation of energy efficiency programs in the production processes.
- Technological overhaul and incorporation of new technologies with a lesser energy demand.
- Development of logistical processes that have a lesser impact.
- Construction and implementation of distribution centers based on energy efficiency principles.
- Expansion of the transport fleet with more efficient vehicles that run on cleaner energies.
- Training programs for drivers focused on the implementation of efficient driving practices.
- Promotion of different sustainable mobility alternatives among the employees.
From 2010 to 2020, the Organization achieved an accumulated reduction of 23,5% in the use of energy from non-renewable sources and electric power. Despite the sanitary emergency caused by the COVID-19 crisis, Grupo Nutresa attained a reduction of 1,0% with respect to 2019. This result was achieved thanks to the identification of the main energy consumption focal points, the execution of good operational practices, the development of new projects and the technological overhaul of processes.
Initiatives deployed in both Colombia and the strategic region:
- Implementation of energy optimization projects in the generation of cooling capacity in the Cold Cuts and Ice Cream Businesses.
- Installation of photovoltaic panels for the generation of solar energy in the Biscuits Business.
- Technological overhaul and optimization of the consumption of natural gas in the Coffee Business’s roasting process.
- Co-generation in the Pastas Business.
- Optimization of the steam production process using biomass in the Coffee Business.
- Transition to cleaner energy sources by the Chocolates and Pastas Businesses, and to cleaner fuels by Tresmontes Lucchetti.
- Expansion of the energy generation capacity using biomass in the Chocolates, Biscuits and Retail Food Businesses in Costa Rica.
Use of electric power in the operations [GRI 302-4]
In Colombia, the decrease in the electric power indicator was 3,1% with respect to 2019, and a 16,2% accrued reduction was achieved between 2010 and 2020. Part of this reduction in the use of electric power is associated with the declining lighting and air conditioning use patters due to the 2020 sanitary emergency and the work-at-home condition for most of the administrative-position employees, as well as the interruptions to the production processes in some of the Businesses due to the effects of the pandemic.
Energy used by the industrial plants in Colombia
- 55,8% corresponds to thermal energy from non-renewable sources –natural gas, diesel, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), coal and petroleum–.
- 27,3% corresponds to electrical power from the national grid.
- 16,9% corresponds to energy from renewable sources –biomass and solar power generated at the facilities–.
Non-renewable thermal energy
- 97,4% from natural gas.
- 2,6% from other fossil fuels.
Energy used by production plants in Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Dominican Republic, Peru and Chile
- 48,8% generated by means of natural gas, diesel, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), coal and petroleum.
- 31,4% corresponds to electrical power from the national grid of each country.
- 19,8% corresponds to energy from renewable sources.
Non-renewable thermal energy
- 66,4% from natural gas.
- 33,6% from other fossil fuels.
Transition to cleaner energy sources
Greenhouse gas emission reduction and a lesser social impact –contribution to air quality improvement– caused by the use of cleaner energies. It is worth highlighting that, over the past ten years in Colombia, the use of cleaner fuels –biomass, natural gas and electrical power– was increased by 11,8%, going from representing 88,2% of the energy mix to representing 98,6%.
Savings achieved by the Cold Cuts Business
As a result of the research project titled Study of the effect of critical factors of the use of thermal energy in steam autoclaves, the Cold Cuts Business saved close to 150.000 m3 of natural gas and avoided the emission of 300 tons of CO₂eq./year in the production of canned meat products.
Leading practices implemented by the Businesses
- Optimization of the processes focused on utilizing biomass in the Coffee, Chocolates Businesses and Tresmontes Lucchetti in Costa Rica.
- Use of solar energy in the Chocolates and Biscuits Businesses.
- Search for energy alternatives with a lesser environmental impact, both in their sourcing and use, and that also contribute to maximizing the possible reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
- In Colombia, the consumption indicator for thermal energy from non-renewable sources increased 0,1% in relation to 2019, and presented an accumulated reduction of 26,6% since 2010.
Green energy supply
- In Colombia, 162,5 GWh of this type of energy were consumed, thus avoiding the emission of 16.000 tons of CO2 eq.
- Tresmontes Lucchetti’s four production plants in Chile used 36 GWh of zero-emissions electric power, preventing the emission of 10.000 tons of CO2 eq.
- The Organization’s allies, Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM) in Colombia and Chilquinta in Chile, certify the green energy through hydropower and wind power projects.
Use of renewable energy sources
The energy transition from fossil fuels (coal, oil and its byproducts, and natural gas) to renewable sources (solar panels, biomass, wind turbines, etc.) makes it possible for in situ generation systems to be more common.
The drop in the manufacturing costs of solar panels and their related technologies due to the widespread development allow Companies to generate energy at their own industrial facilities. The following are some of the achievements attained in 2020:
- The Biscuits Business, in a partnership with the firm Celsia, started generating electrical power with the installation of 1.553 photovoltaic solar panels that generate 113.214 kWh/year of energy.
The use of biomass and solar energy represents 16,9% of the energy used in Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, the Dominican Republic, Peru and Chile, and 19,9% of the energy used in Colombia.