One step closer towards our Carbon Neutrality objective (2025)

12 Feb 2021

Article

Puratos has committed itself to ambitious sustainability goals: the company will become carbon neutral in 2025 and water-balanced in 2030.
To reach its carbon neutrality goal, the company has set up some very concrete projects.

Good for the people, the environment and the economy

In Puratos’ vision on sustainability, operations must become sustainable to have a future. And it can only be sustainable when everything you do is good for people, good for the environment and good for the economy. 

Concrete actions leading to carbon neutrality

Globally, Puratos already achieved 20% CO2 emission reduction compared to business as usual emitted 96,000 tons of CO2 last year, this means we already achieved 20% CO2 reduction. So what does Puratos need to reach zero emissions and become Carbon Neutral in 2025?
We need to focus on three dimensions: 

  1. renewable energy, 
  2. carbon compensation, 
  3. energy efficiency.
Farmer Karim

Renewable Energy:

Renewable energy is useful energy that is collected from renewable resources, which are naturally replenished on a human timescale, including carbon neutral sources like sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat.

A lot of different actions to use renewable energy are driven at Puratos among which, solar panels.

So far we have installed 25.000 m² of solar panels on production sites in 6 countries and have plans to do so on 24 other sites.

This will allow us to produce 17% of our electricity need on-site.  

On top of that Puratos already source 100% renewable electricity in Belgium, USA, Iberica, China, Mexico, Russia and Brazil. By 2023 we will be sourcing 100% renewable electricity for all operations.

Carbon compensation, capturing carbon by planting trees

Instead of merely compensating the carbon emissions, which could easily be done by buying certificates, Puratos chooses to plant trees.
Planting trees is an efficient way to capture carbon. We do this at the cacao plantations that are involved in our Cacao-Trace programme. Many farmers grow only one kind of tree: the cacao tree. But monoculture is dangerous in many ways. One of them is its impact on the soil, causing it to need more fertilisers and thereby increasing costs. The plantation also becomes very vulnerable to diseases.
Within Puratos’ sustainable cocoa programme, we convince and train farmers to start working via agroforestry: planting different tree species, also called shade trees, like timber, galip nut or pomelo trees, between the cacao trees and in some case adding vanilla or pepper plants.
This protects cocoa trees from heavy rains.  

Both Puratos and the farmer benefit from this agricultural model combining shade trees with intercropping.
The trees will capture CO2, helping Puratos to achieve its ambitious goal and the farmer benefits in three ways:

  1. The cacao trees benefit from the shade, reducing disease outbreaks and increasing biodiversity to enhance cacao pollination, leading to an increased production
  2. Extra sources of revenue are generated by selling the fruits, harvested from the trees.
  3. The trees fertilise the soil, reducing the farmers expenses on fertilisers

 

Over 140.000 trees planted in 2020

In 2020, Puratos planted 80.000 shade trees and 62,000 cacao trees in the Philippines, Vietnam, Mexico and Papua New Guinea.
In 2021 we plan to plant 150.000 trees including Ivory Coast in our planting programme.
By 2023, we aim to plant 300.000 trees a year.  Puratos supports its farmers' community financially and technically to plant the trees, thanks to the help of PUR Project (our partners).

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency means using less energy to be more efficient, for example investing in new and more efficient technology, energy recovery, utility and process optimisation, and good housekeeping.  

The gas cogeneration project of Groot-Bijgaarden, completed in August 2020 was an investment of  2,7 million euros and is by far the largest energy saving project ever undertaken by Puratos. This cogeneration is now producing 65% of the site’s electrical needs and 30% of the heat. In addition, the new margarine and fat lines were designed to be steam free (more energy efficient) so heating directly comes from the new central hot water network which is heated by the cogeneration. 

Read more about our commitments to the planet and how we aim to become CO2 neutral by 2025 and water balanced by 2030 on our website.