Sep 19, 2013, updated September 2013
Worldwide, Nestlé is committed to creating environmentally and resource efficient structures for its operations.
The new employee centre at Nestlé's plant in Chiapa de Corzo, Mexico, recently became the first building in Latin America to be awarded the prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Version three certification from the United States Green Building Council.
The transformation of the factory has allowed a substantial improvement in the future outlook for manufacturing a product with higher profitability.
In the course of the last six years (2006-2012) the factory has reduced energy use by 2.7 times, decreased water use by a third, and the CO2 emissions to the atmosphere were also reduced by 4.4 times. This was due to the change of equipment and process energy efficiency achieved by increasing the process speed, installation of 320 solar collectors for water heating. With the wind farm supplying 85% of the power, renewable energy use increased from 1 to 20%.
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Nestlé was the first food company in Mexico to meet almost all its electricity needs from renewable sources. Following the adoption of wind power (which now meets 85% of Nestlé Mexico’s electricity needs), the Chiapa de Corzo Coffee Mate factory has invested CHF 240,000 in a major solar energy project. This is a win for energy efficiency and GHG reduction, and another step towards the factory’s ultimate goal of zero CO2 emissions.
The result is a new water heating system of 380 solar panels, heat exchangers and pumps. This preheats water for the production process and reduces the use of steam – saving the factory 1,592 Gj a year (equivalent to 123 tonnes of CO2) and generating an annual cost saving of CHF 30,000.
In 2013, the project won a prestigious award from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the learning has been shared with solar energy projects in other Nestlé factories.
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