Grupo Nutresa works on the implementation and execution of effective environmental management systems based on the continuous improvement, the prevention and control of pollution, the protection of the environment, the eco-efficiency in its supply chain aiming to preserve biodiversity, and the reduction of the environmental impact of its products throughout their life cycle. The purpose of these actions is to make a positive contribution to maintaining a harmonic relationship between profitable growth and environmental performance where eco-efficiency is one of the main decisionmaking criteria.
Implementing actions in both the direct operations and the value chain with the aim of reducing food loss and increasing product recovery and reutilization in order to minimize the impact on society, and reduce the pressure on natural resources, as well as on the waste disposal systems.
Grupo Nutresa has taken on three commitments for 2030: reducing food loss by 30% per ton produced in its industrial operations; decreasing food waste by 50% per COP million sold; and the maximum possible monetization of traditionally inedible food.
To fulfill these commitments, the Company and its Business Units have made progress in the identification of food components or byproducts that are not being used in their products with the aim of proposing and executing initiatives that allow decreasing food waste and monitoring the fulfillment of the goals that have been set.
Reduced loss and waste in the value chain
Grupo Nutresa supports suppliers of cocoa, meat, milk, blackberries and cashew nuts in Colombia, and wheat suppliers in Chile with regard to the implementation of leading agricultural practices, leading livestock farming practices and good manufacturing practices, in addition to the adoption of quality and safety management systems. These processes directly contribute to enhancing the availability of food and reducing the losses by increasing the productivity of crops and plantations, lessening the impacts of diseases and pests, and improving the management of cultivation, storage and transport times.
Food banks, partners regarding food security
As part of the strategies focused on fighting hunger and the utilization of all foods suitable for human consumption, the Organization continued collaborating with the Global Foodbanking Network and the Colombian Food Bank Association (Ábaco) to achieve the professionalization of 29 food banks across the strategic region. The model intends to strengthen the food banks’ internal and institutional processes: project management, financial models, protection of the environment and quality management.
Development of capabilities in Colombian food banks
858,3 tons of food were delivered to 1.138.400 beneficiaries through the food banks in Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Ecuador. The actions carried out by the Organization were focused on developing capabilities regarding the hygienic handling and production of food and the adequate disposal of liquid and solid waste, thus strengthening the entities and people who, with their work, contribute to reducing hunger in the strategic region.
Also in collaboration with the food banks, the Company developed capabilities related to current legal regulations for the establishments in charge of handling products in any of the food chain links. The training activities included subjects such as food handling, hygienic manufacturing requirements, food safety and quality assurance and control, water sampling, and cleaning and disinfection processes with an emphasis on COVID-19 prevention.
In addition, Grupo Nutresa’s volunteer network contributed with food packages in a joint effort with the food banks in Mexico, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Peru, Panama, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Colombia through the “Tus Pasos Contra el Hambre” (Your steps against hunger) campaign. As a result, 8.229 families benefited from this strategy with 7.941 packages delivered, and the Company also encouraged volunteering efforts with the support from 2.851 volunteers for raising awareness during the World Food Day, understanding that it is necessary to build a future with enough nutritious, safe and affordable food for everyone.
Reducing the production of waste and increasing its recovery and reutilization in both the direct operations and the value chain by extending the life cycle of the materials.
Grupo Nutresa’s commitment to the optimal management of waste and packaging materials reflects on the actions and strategies the Organization has implemented, which have the objective of promoting circular solutions among the multiple actors of the production chain.
Consumption of packaging materials [GRI 301-1] [FB-PF-410a.1] [FB-PF-410a.2]
85,7% of the Company’s total packaging corresponds to closed-cycle materials, thus demonstrating its commitment to mitigating the environmental impact these materials may cause. Additionally, Grupo Nutresa prioritizes the use of materials with recyclable components that favor the circularity of its supplies and their efficient use. That is how 74% of the cardboard, 46% of the glass and 52% of the metal packaging materials used by the Organization in Colombia in 2021 included recycled materials. [GRI 301-2] [FB-PF-410a.1] [FB-PF-410a.2]
On another note, the Company continues working on the implementation of the design-to-value (DTV) methodology across all its Business Units, thus decreasing the use of packaging materials by 200 tons in 2021, for a total reduction of 3.016 tons in the nine years the methodology has been in place.
For the recovery and reincorporation of the packaging materials, Grupo Nutresa has its own solutions, such as the Nutresa Retoma” (Retake) Program, which has the purpose of collecting and transforming post-consumption plastic packaging materials into playgrounds for the benefit of the communities. This program is deployed both internally among the employees and externally with customers and consumers through Comercial Nutresa and Novaventa’s Entrepreneurs. In 2021, the Organization closed the cycle of 43 tons of plastic materials and delivered two playgrounds to a couple of schools in Medellín.
Grupo Nutresa is part of collective organizations focused on closing the cycle of packaging materials in Chile (Gransic) and Colombia (Visión 3030). Through these organizations, the Company contributes to consolidating these solutions at the countrywide scale working jointly with the multiple actors of the chain in order to increase the capacities related to the collection, sorting and transformation of the packaging materials. [GRI 301-3] [FB-PF-410a.1] [FB-PF-410a.2]
The Organization also reduced the waste that is sent to landfills and the security-cell waste by 24,3% in relation to 2020, which is equivalent to a total of 3.900 tons. This confirms the progress that has been achieved regarding the commitment to reducing the industrial waste disposed of into the environment to zero by 2030. In addition, with the multiple initiatives focused on waste incorporation and valorization, Grupo Nutresa mitigated the environmental impacts and efficiently used these supplies in several industries.
To establish the environmental impact of the packaging materials, the Organization has created the packaging eco-design manual and utilizes the life cycle analysis calculator. These tools allow evaluating the environmental impacts of the diverse types of packaging materials for a product within each stage of its life cycle: from the moment the raw material is obtained, to the end of its service life. These actions enable the Company to optimally use the resources during the design phase and determine from an early stage their possible impacts with the aim of defining actions that allow preventing or minimizing them [FB-FR-430a.4].
Implementing actions focused on minimizing the emissions discharged into the atmosphere. This is done by prioritizing energy efficiency, using alternative types ofenergy, implementing clean technologies and efficiently using supplies in the production, distribution and logistics operations.
Grupo Nutresa consolidated results aligned with its climate change strategy. The total energy consumption amounted to 941.231.502 kW-h [GRI 302-1] [GRI 302-3] [FB-PF-130a.1], , with a reduction of 0,9% in relation to the total consumption of 2020 (per ton produced).
In the context of the 2020-2030 goal of reducing the consumption of non-renewable energy by 25%, the Organization achieved a savings percentage of 5,52%. The electrical energy from certified renewable sources was, in turn, consolidated at 86%.
The fuel consumption by the Organization’s own fleet totaled 82.370 gallons of gasoline, 783.741 gallons of diesel and 104.503 cubic meters of natural gas, with a 39,4% from renewable sources.
Both the direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions amounted to 127.089 tons of CO2 [GRI 305-1] [GRI 305-2] [GRI 305-4] [FB-AG-110a.1] [TR-RO-110a.1, a.3]. With regard to the goal for 2030 of reducing by 40% the specific scope 1 and 2 emissions, the Company consolidated a reduction of 7,49% in its industrial processes. [GRI 305-5] [TR-RO-110a.2]
The air pollutant emissions totaled 214 tons of particulate material, 3,6 tons of SO2, 75,86 tons of NOX, 2,3 tons of VOC [GRI 305-7] [TR-RO-120a.1], and the emissions of ozone-depleting substances totaled 101,6 kg of CFCs. [GRI 305-6] [FB-FR-110b.1, b.2, b.3].
The Organization continues implementing solar energy systems and, in 2021, its installed capacity increased to 775.870 KWh/year (comprising the production plants of the Cold Cuts Business in Rionegro and the Biscuits Business in Medellín). In the field of the renewable electric power sourcing, Grupo Nutresa expanded its coverage in Costa Rica, Peru and Chile.
Moreover, in 2021, the Company offset 22.622 tons of CO2 as part of the process of maintaining the carbon neutrality for the Tosh, Livean, Zuko and Evok brands through forestry projects in Colombia, Chile and Costa Rica, among other. Additionally, the Tosh and Cordillera brands were acknowledged by the UNEP through its One Planet Network platform.
In the context of the climate change strategy, the Organization continued working on the incorporation of the guidelines established by the TCFD for the identification of risks associated with such issue. In addition, Grupo Nutresa participated in the Carbon Neutral Colombia program and in the development of the risk management tool of the National Planning Department (abbreviated DNP in Spanish).
Ensuring the sustainable origin of the commodities based on a model that allows keeping a balance between sustainability and productivity while maintaining the competitiveness of the sourcing processes
Grupo Nutresa has set a goal for 2030 that consists in ensuring that 100% of the commodities used by the Organization are supplied in a productive and sustainable way, thus successfully conserving biodiversity. This goal draws a long-term operation horizon that will materialize through the implementation of 16 work plans formulated for the same number of commodities that represent more than 80% of the Company’s volume of purchases.
Commodities with work plans.
The main focal point of the corporate strategy lies on the sourcing chain because that is where the main impacts of the food industry occur. However, the Organization created and published its Biodiversity Policy in 2021. It covers all its direct and indirect operations in the value chain and its objective consists in preventing or minimizing the negative impact on biodiversity, as well as contributing to the conservation and regeneration of ecosystems.
Click here to see Grupo Nutresa’s Biodiversity Policy.
Analysis of potential impacts on biodiversity [GRI 304-1], [GRI 304-2], [GRI 304-4]
Since 2015, Grupo Nutresa has been working jointly with the WWF on the in-depth analysis of the farming chains related to palm oil, and both meat and dairy livestock farming. The selection of these chains was based on the potential impacts on biodiversity, the ecosystems and all other environmental and social issues.
In 2021, the Company conducted an analysis focused on determining the presence of directly controlled operation centers that could be located near high-conservation-value areas (category UICN I-IV). The outcome of the analysis showed that, to date, none of the operation centers in all the geographies where Grupo Nutresa has presence are located in areas with such classification. The analysis will continue to be broadened over the coming years in order to perform the corresponding assessment in areas of production processes focused on cattle and swine integration.
Products and ingredients that improve biodiversity. Since 2015, Grupo Nutresa has been working on a project focused on promoting the research and development of new products, services and experiences to rescue ancestral alternative ingredients broadly excluded from the food chains. Within the framework of this initiative, around 350 ingredients with potential to be used were identified, 50 of which were fully described and 25 were prioritized.
Partnerships that preserve biodiversity
Cocoa, Forests and Peace, and Cesar Cocoa Project. In Colombia, the Chocolates Business became a signatory of the “Cacao, Bosques y Paz” (Cocoa, forests and peace) agreement and, through Fundación Nutresa, supports the development of the initiative titled “Comprehensive strengthening of the productive linkage of cocoa with a vision focused on the conservation of the tropical dry forest ecosystem in the Colombian state of Cesar.” Both initiatives seek to promote zero-deforestation production models that favor the protection and restoration of forests in the cocoa value chain. With this program, the Company was able to intervene 4.279,5 hectares with the delivery of 22.900 units of coca plant material for the rehabilitation or expansion of plantations, in addition to 78.375 trees for the reforestation, vegetative restocking and restoration of zones degraded by erosion or water resource protection zones. [GRI 304-3]
Minimizing the direct and indirect impact on the water resources throughout the value chain, and mitigating the risks related to shortage or deterioration situations regarding the quality of the resources.
In 2021, the Organization recorded a 1,85% increase in the indicator of water consumption per ton produced. Several geographies presented significant reductions in the volumes, which adversely affected the indicator rating. The sanitization and hygiene processes have been intensified, which has upped the consumption levels. However, Grupo Nutresa recorded reductions in several geographies: 27% in Costa Rica, 21% in the Dominican Republic, 7,8% in Mexico and 6,95% in the United States.
Moreover, it is worth highlighting multiple projects focused on water consumption saving and re-purposing throughout the industrial operations.
Thanks to its joint work with the stakeholders, particularly with suppliers, communities and governments, the Company has been able to safeguard the supply sources by implementing better farming practices and performing risk and opportunity assessment along several chains of the main commodities, as well as the management and stewardship of water resources in the industrial operations.
Water saving projects
In the mushroom processing plant of the Cold Cuts Business, the Company implemented a project focused on recovering autoclave water. This water is reintegrated to the withdrawn water tank and subsequently goes through the drinking water treatment system. In 2021, the total water savings amounted to 7.050 m3.
On another note, Grupo Nutresa also designed the strategy on dry washing inside the marketer facilities for several Colombian cities. For this strategy, the Organization hired a certified supplier that is authorized to wash the fleet of vehicles from some of the operations using biodegradable products and microfibers that require just 20 liters of water. This is a mixed model, that is, vehicles are dry-washed three times and undergo one more regular wash every month. Total water savings approximately amount to 2.923 m3 per year.
Water recirculation projects
In the production plants of Tresmontes Lucchetti and the Chocolates, Retail Food, Biscuits and Cold Cuts Business Units in Mexico, Peru, Costa Rica and Colombia, the Company carried out water recirculation projects that allow re-purposing the treated water into applications such as sanitary services, ramp washing and exterior green area irrigation. These solutions allowed saving more than 15.912 m3 of potable water per year.
Management of the impact related to water disposal [GRI 303-2] [FB-PF-140a.3]
Ensuring the quality and the parameters of the water disposal has been a priority focal point in all the industrial operations across all geographies where Grupo Nutresa has presence. That is why the legal compliance and the gap-bridging efforts in this regard have been reinforced.
It is also worth highlighting the start-up of the waste water treatment plant (WWTP) at the slaughter and processing plant of the Cold Cuts Business in Aguachica, Colombia. This system was designed with state-of-the-art technology to obtain extremely-high-quality water with the purpose of being able to recirculate up to 70%. Considering that Aguachica is located in a region that is under water stress, this initiative reduces the pressure on this essential resource. The total investment amounted to COP 8.622 million.
Lastly, the Organization conducted overhauling actions and improvements within the treatment processes at the production plants of Tresmontes Lucchetti and the Coffee, Ice Cream and Retail Food Business Units. In 2021, Grupo Nutresa’s total investment in treated wastewater quality improvement totaled COP 17.373 million.