In a context as competitive and complex as the present day, companies in Colombia need to be more efficient and demonstrate their commitment to the environment.
Buencafé, the only freeze-dried coffee in Colombia, has taken the leap toward guaranteeing a sustainable environment in the country’s coffee industry.
In 1999 the factory received the International Environmental Management Systems Certification ISO 14001 for the optimization of resources, the reduction of contamination, and the promotion of environmental best practices. Additionally, the coffee it produces holds specialty seals.
In its 48 years of operation, Buencafé has achieved important results in environmental management, highlighting its good waste management and use of cleaner energy sources, promoting the transition from crude oil to natural gas, thereby reducing the emission of greenhouse gasses.
The coffee industry daily consumes between 60,000 and 80,000 cubic meters (m3) of natural gas. In 2019, the consumption of natural gas reached 24.2 million m3, a figure that was reduced to 23.2 million m3 in 2020. This decrease complied with the implementation of a re-utilization model that from 26 years ago has used sediment (the waste resulting from the processing of coffee) and the husk (parchment that covers the coffee bean) as fuel for the generation of vapor in furnaces.
José Luis Ocampo, Buencafé Process Engineer, indicated that: “Biomass (sediment and husks) is ideal for the generation of vapor. From 2019 to 2020 we went from 16% to 20%. This signified a savings of $2.8 million, diminished greenhouse gases and avoided transportation to healthy landfills. Additionally, decreased ash (0.2% – 0.4%), compared to that emitted by carbon (10%) and the energetic equilibrium complements that of natural gas the use.”
Changes that Make All the Difference
Since 1990, Buencafé has used ammonia as a refrigerant, replacing freon gas which was retired because of its harmful effect on the ozone layer. From that same decade, the factory relied on special wastewater treatment (years before it was a requirement). The installation of LED lights, the collection of rainwater to be reutilized in the industrial process, and the use of solar panels to illuminate the administration area, are also changes which made a difference.
José Luis Ocampo insists on continuity and business growth. In the first semester of 2020 he reported historic sales of $78.4 million USD. This is also the success of his allies, among which stands out Efigas, which always backed him up. “During the pandemic, the factory didn’t stop. It stayed active. It performed very well in sales and production. With Efigas there were not setbacks. They were attentive to any need we had. They provided the commercial support, logistics for billing, and technical assistance visits,” emphasized Ocampo.
The Company is committed to its processes and now plans on a transformation to digital, characterized by an agile, and above all, sustainable culture, goals that are close to being achieved thanks to the Buencafé Energy Management Committee, formed in 2008.
Buencafé recognizes the importance of implementing measures that contribute to the care of the environment. Our history positions us as leaders in the care of our natural habitat. Our love for coffee pushes us to advance respecting our earth.
Article based on notes made for lapatria.com https://www.lapatria.com/actualidad/buencafe-se-ha-hecho-mas-sostenible-de-la-mano-de-la-energia-limpia-473068