Sustainability is a priority for our stakeholders.
For this reason, we are constantly searching for solutions and alternatives that have lower impacts on the environment and/or maximize positive impacts of the operation.
Guided by this purpose, we have identiFIed energy effIciency as a key goal, one of the material topics deFIned by the stakeholders.
Noise was also a material topic prioritized in the materiality workshop to be addressed in this chapter.
To work on energy efficiency, at Buencafé we designed measurement tools, both for CO2 emissions and economic savings, to assess how goals and targets are met. These indicators allow us to make comparisons and identify environmental impacts of sustainability policies.
This commitment to sustainability requires significant investments in state-of-the-art technology to reduce consumption of fossil fuels, such as natural gas, and replace it with alternative energies, such as biomass. In addition, the purchased evaporative condenser increases efficiency of the refrigeration process. GRI 103-1, GRI 103-2
To improve the natural gas consumption indicator for steam generation, we measured efficiency of the boilers in real time on the platform and developed the digital twin to simulate and monitor operational adjustments. In this way, we managed to reduce over 22.9 kg CO2eq per day in 2021.
In the roadmap that we have drawn up at Buencafé for emission reduction and decarbonization, monitoring the variables and indicators has been key. Therefore, through a judicious analysis of the available technology, we found the platform that allows us to manage this data. GRI 103-3
Thanks to the operational adjustments made in 2021, we improved the energy efficiency of the systems by 3.3% compared to 2020, reaching 36.3 kWh/kg of freeze-dried coffee.
For 25 years, in the factory we have used all the coffee grounds, a residue of the production process, as biomass to generate energy. In 2021, we increased the use of renewable fuels by 3% (biomass: coffee grounds and husk) vs. 2020.
Reduction in the different resources is due to greater efficiency of the systems, despite the fact that May and June were critical for production due to the so called national strike.
The investment to acquire biomass boilers has meant reducing by 36% the use of natural gas for steam generation. On the other hand, the expansion of the solar energy system from 5 kWp to 29 kWp substantially increased our use of renewable energies.
All our strategies and investments to improve energy efficiency have a positive and significant impact on GHG emissions. Below we share results of our purpose to reduce the emissions generated by the operation.
The gross value of direct greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (scope 1) in metric tons of CO2 equivalent was: 55,366 t CO2eq.
This calculation was made based on the emission factors for:
• Natural gas
• Roasted coffee
Reducción de las emisiones de GEI:
Given that the waste management process (coffee grounds and husk) for combustion in the biomass boiler generates noise at the factory, this impact was classified by stakeholders as a material topic.
This is why we have invested nearly COP 50 million (USD 13,358) in a silencer equipment, which allowed us to reduce the noise level by 2% in places that are sensitive to the community. We also designed a new dense phase technology husk discharge system to reduce noise emission.
Although the urban developments in the area came after building the factory, at Buencafé, as a partnering organization in development of the territory and the country, we work to manage possible impacts of the operation.
In addition, our commitment is to continue working to reduce noise. Thus, in 2022 we will assemble the new husk discharge system.
GRI 103-1, GRI 103-2
To evaluate results of the mechanisms applied to manage this impact, in 2021 we contracted noise measurement with a certified independent body, a decision that ensured compliance with current regulations.
At the same time, at Buencafé we keep an open communication channel with the community to listen to their needs. GRI 103-3
To date, Buencafé has not incurred in non-compliance with the regulations regarding noise pollution. GRI 307-1
On the other hand, to take care of water, we identified the impacts, challenges and opportunities to make water consumption more efficient, with initiatives such as harvesting of rainwater to be used in industrial services and reduce, as far as possible, aqueduct water requirements.
Aware that with heavy rains the intakes are clogged, we do more maintenance, because in situations of poor supply, the community is always prioritized. For the next few years, other water supply alternatives in the region are being evaluated.
Water withdrawal by source
Water consumption at Buencafé from the municipal supply:
In 2021, the total accumulated was 17,687 m3 of rainwater for industrial services, an amount equivalent to over 70 million cups of coffee, with savings of COP 40 million (USD 10,686). GRI 303-3
At Buencafé we are increasingly committed to circular economy. For this reason, we are implementing different strategies to continue increasing the percentage of use of the waste generated by the factory.
Thanks to the biomass boiler, we use 97% of the waste generated at the plant as fuel to replace natural gas, mainly coffee grounds generated in the coffee freeze-drying process. The remaining 3% is managed under the Zero Waste program.
Waste used in bio- ombustion: 97%
On the other hand, with our innovation advances to reduce the use of plastic and increase the use of more sustainable packaging, we have an increasingly better environmental balance in terms of waste.
Thanks to applying the Global Zero Waste standard
(with our certifcation process underway), it was
possible to characterize the solid waste that could
have a value, which made it possible to have the
necessary information to manage its use with
companies in the region.
Savings of COP 1.05 billion (USD 280,791) by diverting coffee grounds from landfill.
Results in 2021
Reduction of 11.1 tons of plastic use, by reducing the weight of some lids by 10%.
A percentage of the ashes generated in biomass combustion in 2021 was allocated to a company that produces fertilizers for agribusiness use, thus extending its productive life.
In 2021 we continued with a satisfactory performance in wastewater treatment. The indicator of 375 mg/l of biological oxygen demand (BOD) shows that we are fully complying with regulations, which require not to exceed 900 mg/l.
At the same time, we monitor new, more efficient technologies and evaluate what other alternatives can be implemented with the existing technologies.
Wastewater treatment at the plant to reduce pollution improved the BOD indicator, 375 mg/l, well below the maximum allowed by applicable regulations, 900 mg/l for discharge to sewerage.
This figure improved compared to 2020, which was 411 mg/l.
In 2021, at Buencafé we worked enthusiastically to develop eco-packaging and thus reduce our ecological footprint and be more in line with circular economy.
We share our progress in this matter.
Nearly 97% of waste from the
production process at Buencafé
is used as fuel.
Nearly 97% of waste from the
production process at Buencafé
is used as fuel.
The CHEP pallet scheme (multi-use
plastic pallets) reduced about 138
tons of single-use timber in the
In 2021, we reduced by 11.1 tons the use
of plastic by reducing the weight of
some lids by 10% and standardizing the
thickness of shrink wrap used for trays.