Agroamerica’s contribution to theconservation of the environment and its natural resources June 2012
What is a Green Economy? It means sustainability over the long term.• In the October, 2010 issue of The Harvard Business Review, Peter Senge ‐founder of the Society for Organizational Learning and a faculty member at MIT Sloan School of Management said: Companies that have survived for more than 200 years have a commonality in understanding of themselves as a human community first and a money making machine second. This is what makes them sustainable.• A Green Economy is one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. In its simplest expression, a green economy can be thought of as one which is low carbon, resource efficient, and socially inclusive (UNEP, 2010).
To produce more with less… A critical issue at hand • Accelerating population growth and climate change is causing an increasing scarcity of finite, natural resources. • Providing nourishment and food security for a growing world population which is expected to reach 9 billion in 2050, is a challenge for governments and global producers1. • Readily available arable land is also becoming scarce with an expected ¼ of an acre of cropland per person in 2050 versus the ½ acre we use today2. • Freshwater reserves are drying out, and the use of fresh water across the globe is exceeding the natural hydrological rate of recharge3. The question thus becomes: “How do we produce more and increase productivity by optimizing the use of available resources and create a sustainable future for generations to come?”1. FAO, 2010.2. Whitty, Julia (May/June, 2010). The last taboo, Mother Jones.3. WWAP, 2003; Johansson et.al, 2002; UNEP, 2010.
AGROAMERICA... Always one step ahead with our efforts which contribute to a sustainable environment and natural resource conservation.
In Agroamerica we protect more than 50,000 iguanas • We have one of the largest iguana reserves in the region of Puerto Barrios, Izabal, which protects more than 50,000 iguanas and provides them with the necessary care during their growth and development. Spiny -tailed iguanas are protected under The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES). • This special reserve is a sanctuary for the spiny- tailed iguana as well as a tourist site that educates the public about the preservation of the species and the surrounding flora and fauna. • For more information visit: http://www.iguanamission.com/
Water Efficiency and Recycling Efforts• We are one of the first companies in the region to invest in the latest technology for precision agriculture for over 11,000 hectares of our plantations, thus reducing water usage by 20% while maintaining yields, by implementing the Time Domain Reflectometry System–TDR- .• We’ve implemented the use of environmentally friendly materials for the protection of bananas. Agribon bags can be re-used up to 3 times versus plastic bags, which can only be used once. This results in a 66% savings of bags per year.• Teaching the younger generation about the importance of protecting the environment is key to our company, thus our private school for employees’ children has implemented a plastic recycling project that will generate a positive change in their communities.
Carbon Capture & Renewable and Clean Energy• We capture over 30,000 mT/year of CO2 in a project registered with the United Nation´s Clean Development Mechanism -CDM-. We are in the process of becoming carbon negative within 2 years, and we have already measured our plantations’ carbon footprint.• The biogas captured in the CDM project produces 2.5 MW/hour and with the implementation of the biomass boiler, we generate another 5.0 MW/hour, for a total of 7.5 MW/hour of clean energy for use in the extraction plant with the surplus sold to the grid to provide clean energy to the rural communities in Central America.• Over the next three years, our new CDM projects will generate an additional 22.5 MW/hour.
Renewable Energy Investment Project Agroamerica has invested in a renewable energy project in Central America with a company focused on the development, construction, and operation of these projects in the region.• With the 102 MW installed, this project will provide the total energy needed for approximately 400,000 persons and will replace 70% of energy previously produced from fossil fuels (mainly bunker).• It is located in rural communities who are directly benefiting through the rental of their land for right-of-way and turbine placement, in addition to indirect benefits like the growth of local economies.• This year, the creation of three (3) more renewable energy projects in Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Nicaragua will produce almost 120 MW in total.
We implement good environmental practices and hold certifications with global standards that improve the supply chain and care for the environment. CERTIFICATION LOGO ALWAYS THE FIRST!Rainforest Alliance All of our banana farms are certified RAC, and in 2010, Agroamerica became the first palm oil company in the world to become Rainforest Alliance certified.Walmart Ethical Standards We always comply with the requirements of our& C-TPAT customers.Global Gap All of our banana farms are certified Global Gap . We are always minimizing the detrimental environmental impacts of our operations.Business Alliance for Secure The first palm oil extraction plant and the first bananaCommerce company certified in the regionU-K KOSHER The first company in Guatemala to be certifiedRoundtable on Sustainable In 2010 we became members of RSPO and are nowPalm Oil working on the processes to become the first company certified in the region. Walmart is committed to buying only RSPO certified products from the year 2015 on.
Water Conservation and Reforestation Program• To conserve water, we maintain a reservoir that covers an area of 14 hectares. During the rainy season, we capture 13 million gallons of rainwater that we use to irrigate 950 hectares of our plantations throughout the dry months.• Reforestation: Thousands of trees have been planted to improve air quality, groundwater, and to create a protective barrier against erosion and flooding.• We reforested 450 hectares with native plant species and we have declared these forests as private reserves in the region. Since 2011, we have been members of the Private Natural Reserves of Guatemala Association -ARNPG-. We have more than 1,000 hectares of forest registered as private forest reserves. This land may not be used for agricultural production in order to preserve the existing wildlife.
Always one step ahead!Agroamérica is actively involved in events dedicated to Sustainability and Environmental topics Agroamerica’s status as the first palm oilArticle published in Climate Action, Agroamerica invited community leaders to company in the world to receive Rainforest 2011-2012 participate in a CRS National forum about Alliance certification is published in Guía environmental issues. Verde. Agroamerica donates plastic vats and organizes cleaning drives with public Fernando Bolaños, CEO of Agroamerica, school students in Escuintla. participated in the Global Dialogue of UNEP.
With our creative and innovative projects, we will produce MORE while using LESS. The greatest benefits within a supply chain are derived by extending one´s focus as far as possible upstream toward the raw materials, downstream toward the consumer, and then back again as the product and its wastes are recycled.
Conclusions• Agroamerica is always one step ahead, designing new and innovative ways to increase production while minimizing environmental impact, and at the same time, improving supply chain sustainability.• We have one of the largest iguana reserves in the region which protects more than 50,000 iguanas, an endangered species. We have also reforested 450 hectares with native plant species and have declared these forests as private reserves in the region.• We are one of the first companies in the region to invest in the Time Domain Reflectometry System–TDR- , which is the latest technology for precision agriculture that reduces water usage by 20% while maintaining yields. Also, during the rainy season, we capture 13 million gallons of rainwater that we use to irrigate 950 hectares of our plantations throughout the dry months.• We’ve implemented recycling programs such as the use of Agribon bags that can be re-used up to 3 times versus plastic bags, which can only be used once, for a savings of 66% per year; and a plastic recycling project in the company’s private school to teach the younger generation the importance of recycling.• We implement good environmental practices and hold certifications such as Global Gap and Rainforest Alliance in all of our plantations. Nowadays, we have set the goal of becoming carbon negative within 2 years after measuring our plantations’ carbon footprint.• Agroamerica has a strong sense of community, recognizes the importance of protecting the environment, and practices sustainability because we are sure that they are the keys to success now and in the future!