Nestlé goes solarFriday, August 09, 2019
BY ALEXIS MONTEITH
NESTLÉ Jamaica Limited has installed its first solar photovoltaic (PV) system at its Ferry Pen head office and distribution centre in Kingston.
This installation comprises more than 400 solar energy panels, and aims to contribute 30 per cent of the operational energy needs of Nestlé's site. Future Energy and Tegen Energy managed the recently concluded $36-million project.
The solar PV system allows the company to use solar energy to sustainably power the building's operations, aligned to Nestlé's commitment to switch to renewable energy and cleaner fuels. Nestlé believes that reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and taking other actions to mitigate the effects of climate change are necessary to help ensure the ongoing success of its business and those in its supply chain, as well as protecting the environment.
Nestlé Jamaica SHE, Quality, Security and General Services manager, Antoinette Johnson Peart, says that the panels could generate enough power to run up to 30 per cent of the full operation, the equivalent of energy supply to 80 single-family homes. She added that on high UV intensity days the system may surpass this.
“The ability to be less reliant on conventional electricity supply is a significant milestone the organisation wants to accomplish,” she said. “As our business grows and the costs of generating solar energy continues to be more economical, it will make sense for us to continue to increase the amount of renewables that we use in our business.”
Already, all the company's fossil fuel or greenhouse gas producing equipment are “greener”, according to Johnson Peart
“So we use Ultra-Low Sulphur Diesel for our power generators as well as natural refrigerants for our cooling systems,” she revealed.
Johnson Peart also emphasised that staff members across the organisation are involved in Nestlé Jamaica's environmental sustainability efforts.
“The organisation has an environmental management system and this will include achieving environmental sustainability targets such as the transition to cleaner energy and reduction on fossil fuel,” she explained. “The management system facilitates the demonstration of the company's commitment to environmental sustainability via international certification to ISO 14001:2015, which requires participation and input from significant internal stakeholders, that is every member of staff. As such, we work with all team members to provide action plans to achieve business relevant targets which include those related to environmental sustainability.”
The company will be benchmarking the panels' performance to determine how best it can continue to invest in more green energy generation.
“As global citizens, being in over 200 countries across the world we [Nestlé] are in a unique position to contribute to environmental sustainability by decreasing how dependent we are on fossil fuels, to allow our children to live in a greener and healthier world,” said Daniel Caron, country manager of Nestlé Jamaica. “We will continue to demonstrate leadership in this critical area. Clean energy is the future, and as we continue modernising and upgrading our operations to meet the demands of today's world, converting to solar energy will be at the forefront of that effort.”
Caron encouraged other companies able to undertake a similar investment to do so, stating, “in the end, it's a win — win, as your pocket will win, the business sector will win, Jamaica as a business community will win, and most importantly, the environment will win”.
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