With an investment of R$220 million, JBS expands the use of biogas globally
In Brazil, the company has already implemented methane capture in nine Friboi facilities through the effluent treatment system
JBS, one of the largest food companies in the world, informed in a panel held today (02/12) at COP 28, that it has already invested globally more than R$ 220 million in biogas capture projects in its operations to generate energy in 14 factories in the United States and Canada, in addition to nine Friboi units in Brazil. The statement was made by Sheila Guebara, Climate Actions leader at JBS, during the panel “Energy Transition to Decarbonization: Solutions and Innovations”. Held in the Brazilian Pavilion of the conference, the panel debated the change from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the potential for Brazil to assume a globally dominant role in the decarbonization market.
In Brazil, the implementation of methane capture at Friboi facilities through the effluent treatment system has enabled the removal of more than 80 thousand cubic meters of biogas per day. “It’s a win-win process. Optimization gains, process improvements and operational gains from energy use in reducing emissions. This represents 65% of Friboi’s scope 1 and 26% of the company’s scope 1 in Brazil as a whole”, stated Sheila.
With an investment of R$54 million, the initiative has the potential to reduce the company’s scope 1 emissions by 65%. In 2023, JBS implemented a project in which 10 Swift stores in Brazil began to be supplied with electricity produced by biogas generators, a clean and renewable energy, produced through biodigesters that capture and process methane in the company’s production units.
According to the executive, there are ways to continue evolving. “Not everything is done. When we look at the pig farming chain, for example, we have the potential to treat pig waste in the transformation of biogas, but we have a lack of connections between demand and generation. Generation is in an area where demand is not. So, partnerships like we have done with Fiesc are essential, to help bring this together and see waste as a raw material for generating renewable energy and a circular economy”, he highlighted.
Globally, JBS has already invested more than R$220 million in methane capture projects in its operations. Projects of this nature in factories in the United States and Canada produce 190 thousand m³/d of biogas. This clean energy powers boilers and is used to produce electricity in the units, in addition to being sold to gas companies. These projects reduced external demand for natural gas, a fossil fuel, by 20%, and caused the company to stop emitting 650 thousand tons of greenhouse gases per year. The company intends to expand biogas production projects in both countries.
In Australia, JBS is investing in biogas projects in partnership with the company Energy360. The potential is to eliminate the emission of 60 thousand tons of CO2 and save AUS$2 million per year in natural gas expenses. The company also has plans for new initiatives in Mexico.
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The importance of public-private partnerships was the focus of the presentation by Marcelo Freire, former deputy secretary of Climate and International Relations at the Ministry of the Environment and now director of IVY Capital. “Public policy brought some tax incentives, but that wasn’t what changed the game. It shed light on the subject. Because the government and the public sector can help not only by injecting resources, but also by pointing out a direction. Because the business community wants to do it, companies are doing it, so not getting in the way and pointing out the path is very important.”
“Companies are engaged in the energy transition. But a recent study we carried out on the paths of the Brazilian business sector in these transformations showed that 64% of those interviewed expressed concerns about legal uncertainty”, said Ricardo Mastroti, representative of the Brazilian Business Council for Sustainable Development (CEBDS).
According to Sheila Guebara, JBS is committed to reaching 2030 with 60% use of renewable electricity. “Today, globally, we are at 43%, but when we look at some businesses like Seara, we have 60% of the renewable energy matrix, in a combination of electrical and thermal renewable sources. It is important to lead these processes”, she stated, also highlighting the work of Campo Forte Fertilizandos, a company launched last year by JBS to use all the solid waste that comes from factories aiming for 100% national production of fertilizers.
The round table, led by Carlo Pereira, CEO of the Global Compact, also included the participation of Karen Tanaka, climate action leader at Ambev; and Marina Mattar, director of corporate affairs at Unigel.
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