Bimbo seeks 'willing voices' for sustainable innovation forum

by Eric Schroeder
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Daniel Servitje, Grupo Bimbo
Daniel Servitje, chairman and c.e.o. of Grupo Bimbo S.A.B. de C.V., sees the forum as a way to reach a responsible agreement on climate change.

MEXICO CITY — Daniel Servitje, chairman and chief executive officer of Grupo Bimbo S.A.B. de C.V., is calling on business leaders, authorities and social activists to lend their voices to the COP21 conference set for Nov. 30 to Dec. 11 in Paris.

COP21, also known as the United Nations Climate Change Conference, is being held with a goal of reaching a responsible agreement on climate change.

“Climate change is one of the toughest challenges faced by our world today,” Mr. Servitje wrote in an Oct. 15 letter. “Paying attention to this issue requires that all countries adopt ambitious pledges to mitigate climate change during the COP21, a sustainable innovation forum to be held this December in Paris. From this point, it will be important to adopt policies and concrete actions in order to make these pledges a reality.”

Mr. Servitje said that by 2050, the world population is expected to exceed 9 billion people, and climate change is expected to lead to less water availability, threatening food safety in a number of countries. In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions effects, Mr. Servitje said companies must adapt to the various global warming impacts.

For its part, Grupo Bimbo has been working to minimize its impact on the environment by using supplies and resources with increasing efficiency, he said.

“We are convinced that our environment performance must go beyond regulations, setting an example of an authentic social commitment and striving for the well-being of present and future generations,” Mr. Servitje said. “One of the most effective ways of fighting climate change is to confront deforestation, protecting bodies of water and conserving biodiversity. We work hand-in-hand with our suppliers to minimize the risk of deforestation through our supply chain. Additionally, in 2014 we signed the UN Declaration on Forests, backing a global plan to reduce deforestation by half by 2020 and fight to eliminate it by 2030; and in 2015, we adopted a global policy of buying sustainable palm oil.”

He said Grupo Bimbo continuously has diminished its carbon footprint by improving the energy efficiency in its plants’ operations and in its distribution. Additionally, the company has significantly increased the use of renewable energies. He cited the Piedra Larga Wind Farm at Oaxaca, a state in Mexico, as an example. The Piedra Larga Wind Farm is the largest in the world built for a food industry company, and it supplies electricity to most of Grupo Bimbo’s Mexican installations and to a growing distribution fleet powered by electricity.

“We are constantly researching to increase our renewable energy supply in the countries in which we operate, such as with the pilot projects of solar and wind energy in the European Union, which (are) beginning at the end of this year,” he said.

In his closing comments, Mr. Servitje called on companies and countries to unite voices to request governments “set ambitious, clear goals, based on scientific and verifiable data to reduce carbon emissions.”

“Let us invite business leaders, authorities and social activists of our country, of the world, to add their willing voices to take advantage of the climate conference in Paris with the goal of reaching a responsible agreement, capable of creating transformative changes to ensure the future of our planet,” he said.

For more information on the conference click here.
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