We are dedicated to creating a positive impact on society and we do not take this great responsibility lightly. With our commitments to you and to future generations, we are devoted to a holistic operating model, one that is sustainable, respectful and balanced. To this end, we are implementing plans to achieve CO2 neutrality, use water responsibly, and reduce waste.
Puratos has already succeeded in reducing its global CO2 emissions by 24% compared to business as usual (baseline: 2016). However, in order to reach zero emissions and become carbon neutral by 2025, we need to focus on the following three key elements.
When energy is used efficiently, less energy is required to do the same thing, and less energy goes to waste. Using new and more efficient technology and optimizing utilities and processes can help, as can energy recovery and good housekeeping. In 2020, Puratos invested in 13 energy efficiency projects.
For example, the smart hot water grid and gas cogeneration plant in Groot-Bijgaarden is by far the largest energy-saving project ever undertaken by Puratos. The cogeneration is now producing 65% of the site’s electrical needs, and 30% of its heat. In fact, the new margarine and fat lines, which were designed to be steam free for energy efficiency purposes, are heated directly by the plant’s new central hot water network.
Renewable energy is generated using carbon-neutral sources. This includes wind, rain, tidal, wave, and geothermal energy.
Here at Puratos, we know how much difference switching to renewable sources can make to the environment, which is why we are committed to increasing our use of renewable sources. So far, we have installed 25,000m² of solar panels across our production sites in 6 countries, and have plans to build more on a further 25 sites. This will allow us to produce 71% of own our electricity needs on-site. In addition, Puratos already sources 100% renewable electricity in Belgium, the USA, Spain, China, Mexico, Russia, and Brazil. By 2023, all our operations will run on renewable energy.
Instead of simply offsetting carbon emissions, which can be easily achieved by buying certificates, Puratos has made the responsible choice to plant trees. Planting trees is an efficient way to capture carbon. We do this at the cocoa plantations involved in our Cacao-Trace program, where many farmers traditionally grow just one kind of tree: the cocoa tree!
Taking into account the importance of biological diversity, we use our sustainable cocoa program to teach farmers to plant different types of trees, such as shade trees, like timber and galip nut trees, or fruit trees like the pomelo, between their cocoa trees. Both Puratos and the farmer benefit from this agricultural model.
The trees will capture CO2, helping us to achieve our ambitious goal, while benefitting our farmers in the following three ways:
We upgraded our wastewater treatment capacity, and we reduced our water consumption. We also completed and commissioned a new anaerobic reactor in Belgium and, a full new wastewater treatment plant in Vietnam, and we started the construction of another one in Indonesia.
Our water discharge to local rivers is safe for fish and good for the environment. To demonstrate this, we built several different fishponds across the world, to prove the quality of our water output, after wastewater treatment, and before release into rivers.
Here at Puratos, we want to help our customers reduce their environmental footprints, in addition to reducing our own. As such, we aim to have made all our inbound and outbound packaging materials fully recyclable or reusable by 2025. All non-recyclable packaging will be replaced, and we will avoid overpacking our products, while continuing to ensure product quality and shelf life. Internally, we will reuse packaging materials as much as possible.
Always taking our commitments one step further, Puratos has furthermore accepted the challenge of sourcing 100% of its cardboard and wooden packaging materials from sustainable forestry sources by 2025, in accordance with FSC and PEFC certifications.
In addition to packaging, we will also be focusing on the food and non-food waste generated during our manufacturing processes. Puratos has decided that by 2030, zero waste will go to landfill, and we will improve our sorting process to ensure that maximum value can be derived from every single material that passes through our possession.
Here at Puratos, we know how important it is to take good care of our planet. We reduce, reuse, and recycle as much as we can and have pledged to help preserve our forests and biodiversity. In addition, we aim to source all of our ingredients responsibly, ensuring minimum impact on planet Earth.
To manufacture high-quality ingredients for our bakery, patisserie, and chocolate industry, Puratos sources many different raw materials from around the world. We are 100% committed to responsible sourcing and make sure we collaborate and maintain an open dialog with the people involved in our supply chain.