In the Philippines, the largest beverage company is piloting the use of biomass fuel in its operations with the aim to reduce the bottling plants’ carbon emissions and other environment hazards, said Coca-Cola Export Corp. Media Relations Manager Wally Panganiban.
“As the urgency of climate action becomes more apparent, a fundamental change is needed to the way the company operates without increasing its carbon footprints with the use of green technology such as biomass,” Panganiban told the BusinessMirror during a media tour of the Philippine Network of Environmental Journalists in its Ilocos plant. The biomass in the Coke plant is the first green fuel biomass in the region.
Panganiban said a biomass-fueled furnace is now in operation in the Ilocos plant, in Meycauayan, Bulacan, and Calasioao in Pangasinan. Coca-Cola plans to install similar furnaces in all its 23 plants across the Philippines for steam generation.
The biomass technology, which uses discarded rice hull, is a patented steam-boiler fired by gasification method invented by Jayme Ancla who is the owner and President of Amertech Industrial Ventures. The technology satisfies current supply needs of the bottling process on the site, he added.
“This technology used by the Coca-Cola will also contribute to environmental and social sustainability locally and globally reducing dependency on fossil fuel imports and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the steam production process of the plant,” Ancla said, adding that through this technology, about 2,730 tons of carbon dioxide emission is expected to be reduced annually from one plant. He said 365 kilos of rice hull are needed to generate one ton of steam.
Real Pedro, Ilocos Coca-Cola plant operations manager, said improving the environmental performance of the 6.9-hectare plant which was constructed in 1980 is a way to maintain the “green” momentum of the company and utilizing homegrown technologies in the community.
“Business and the environment matter for the company. Our operation in Ilocos and using the best possible mix of energy sources such as the biomass is being supported by the community and the local government unit,” Pedro said, adding that with the biomass energy source, the company saves as much as P1.5 million a year.
Pedro said Coca-Cola is also implementing other environment-friendly ideas such as recycling programs, water saving technology and energy efficient lighting.
The company, he said, focus their effort on water stewardship, sustainable packaging and climate and energy protection.
One of the biggest water treatment facility is also housed in Coca-Cola’s Ilocos facility. Pedro said with the plant’s water recovery system, the company saves at least 130,000 liters of water a week.
The company’s newest plant in Misamis Oriental in northern Mindanao, on the other hand, features green technology such as roof rainwater catchment systems, efficient lighting and other technologies that can boost revenue, employment and environmental sustainable, Panganiban said.
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