Bimbo launches major environmental initiative

by Josh Sosland
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Bimbo Solar
At the Bimbo headquarters building in Mexico City, the installed system includes 308 solar panels that will generate 20% of the power used in the facility.
 

MEXICO CITY — Grupo  Bimbo S.A.B. de C.V. on Feb. 1 inaugurated “Bimbo Solar,” an energy self-sufficiency initiative. The company said in its first stage Bimbo Solar will consolidate 33 systems that combined generate 3.7 megawatts of power.

“This will avoid the annual emissions of 2,500 tons of CO2, which is equal to discontinuing the use of 3,115 barrels of oil or to planting 120 thousand trees,” Grupo Bimbo said.

At the Bimbo headquarters building in Mexico City, the installed system includes 308 solar panels that will generate 20% of the power used in the facility, Bimbo said.

On hand for the ceremonial launch of the program at the headquarters were Rafael Pacchiano, head of the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources; Odón de Buen, general director of the National Commission for the Efficient Use of Energy;  Marcelino Madrigal, commissioner of the Energy Regulating Commission; Magaly Flores, deputy director of Grids of the Federal Electricity Commission; Julian Willenbrock, co-founder and chief executive officer of Enlight, a solar panel supplier; Fernando Tovar, c.e.o. of Engie México; Daniel Servitje, president and c.e.o. of Grupo Bimbo; and Javier González Franco, general deputy director of Grupo Bimbo.

Bimbo Solar
 

“By incorporating this technology to our operations and the corporate building, at Grupo Bimbo we are taking another important step in our strong commitment to sustainability and the planet,” Mr. Servitje said.

He said each action taken is “cumulative, and all efforts count to take care of our environment. We should make sure that all progress will protect the natural heritage of the future.”

Mr. Willenbrock of Enlight said initiatives like Bimbo’s “foster a radical change in the way we use and generate energy in the planet.”

Bimbo said the initiative is part of its renewable energy strategy. The first stage of Bimbo Solar will supply the 3.7 megawatts of power to 24 sales depots, 7 branches of its El Globo pastry chain, the corporate headquarters and the Metropolitan distribution center currently under construction in Mexico City. The latter facility will be the centerpiece of this initiative — Mexico’s largest self-sufficiency solar power system and the second largest in Latin America, with 2.2 megawatts of power.

Bimbo Solar
 

Bimbo said the Bimbo Solar initiative is only the latest of many company efforts aimed at reducing its environmental footprint. Others include:

  • compliance with global initiatives such as the Paris Pledge for Action on Climate Change, which seeks to reduce emissions and keep global temperature increases to less than 2 degrees centigrade; the New York Declaration on Forests (United Nations) and most recently the Declaration of Support to the Cerrado Manifesto, in Brazil, to stop deforestation in the region;
  • the Piedra Larga Wind Farm, dedicated to Grupo Bimbo in 2012 and featuring 45 wind turbines and an installed capacity of 90 megawatts, supplying power to the company and a fleet of 350 electric distribution vehicles designed and manufactured by Moldex, a Grupo Bimbo subsidiary;
  • water footprint reduction by 29% since 2009; nine Bimbo plants have systems to catch, store and reuse rainwater; technology of all of Bimbo’s water treatment facilities has been modernized in recent years;
  • recycling of 95% of waste from its operations; eight plants have achieved zero waste to the landfills. “In addition to this, the company has pioneered the implementation of technology to manufacture biodegradable wrappers in Latin America and is the first company to include this technology in metalized wrappers,” the company said. “Their thickness has been reduced by more than 2 million kilos globally since 2010. The company also began a collaboration with ECOCE in 2017 for wrapper management;”
miscellaneous other programs, including training and development programs for small and medium enterprises; a global policy of sustainable agriculture; a global policy for palm oil; the implementation of pilot projects, together with CIMMYT (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center), for corn and wheat sustainable cultivation in Mexico. 
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