The site has been certified by the Carbon Trust, an independent global climate change and sustainability consultancy, as carbon neutral, zero-waste to landfill and reducing water consumption, as part of Danone’s broader ambition to achieve water circularity.
Edson Higo, CEO of Danone Brazil, said, “Danone has had sustainability at its core since day one, as reflected in our investment into local communities, the commitment of our employees, and our collaboration with partners. We are proud that this work has been certified by the Carbon Trust with this triple certification in Poços de Caldas and look forward to the next steps on our journey to achieve zero net carbon emissions by 2050.”
In collaboration with employees and external partners, the company said it curbed carbon emissions by operating fully on renewable electricity, part of which is generated by the 1,500 solar panels covering parking lots and walkways at the plant. The remaining direct carbon emissions of the plant as well as those resulting from employee commutes have been fully offset by supporting conservation projects developed by BioFilica, a Brazilian company focused on forest management and conservation.
It also reduces water consumption and ensures water self-sufficiency. Danone said it aims to preserve water resources where it operates and ensuring water circularity in and around its production sites. The Poços de Caldas site has installed a rainwater collection and treatment system, harvesting around 4m liters of rainwater per year, to ensure the site is self-sufficient with regards to its water needs.
To achieve zero-waste to landfill, the production site has minimized its waste generation and then separated it into defined streams to maximize recycling and ensure 100% of all waste generated is recovered.
The certifications of the Poços de Caldas plant are part of a wider set of actions taken by Danone Brazil to meet its sustainability goals. These actions led to Danone Brazil becoming the first large food and beverage company in Brazil to obtain the B Corp certification in March 2021.
Higo said, “Danone Brazil’s B Corp certification and the achievement at our Specialized Nutrition production site are key milestones in our journey to meet company-wide environmental goals, but not the final destination.”