CAPSA PROTECTS NATURAL SPACES AND RESPECTS THE ENVIRONMENT
Protecting natural spaces and the environment is another of the strategic areas in CAPSA’s CSR policy and aims to minimise the company’s impact on the environment. For this reason, CAPSA has undertaken multiple projects over the years to reduce the resource consumption and its associated environmental impact and to convert emissions and waste into new resources, either by incorporating them into its own process or as new materials for other processes, thus contributing to a new way of doing things by being committed to the circular economy.
All this begins with designing products and processes and ends in the best outcome for the impacts that cannot be reduced. The company’s goal is that the value of products, materials and resources (water, energy, etc.) remain in the economy for as long as possible, contributing to conserving the environment.
ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE
ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROJECTS
A lo largo de 2017 continuamos llevando a cabo proyectos de mejora de la eficiencia energética.
- Energy saving projects in compressed air generation. It consumed 1,646,000 kWh less electricity.
It reduced electricity consumption by 550,000 kWh in the pumping units.
- Condensate recovery projects to reduce natural gas consumption by 1,400,000 kWh.
All this, together with the emissions prevented due to saving primary energy in the cogeneration process; reduced 7,600 tonnes of CO2, which is equivalent to the emission of around 3,500 cars per year.
In 2017, CAPSA initiated the “RECUPERA” project in Granda factory (Asturias Principality) with the objective of maximising the energy efficiency of its steam generation process, reducing gas consumption to generate the steam required in the production process through an innovative waste heat recovery project. It is a circular economy project in the field of energy, since the energy that once dissipated into the atmosphere is now recovered as a new source of energy in other processes; thus decreasing fossil fuel consumption.
SUSTAINABLE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
An optimisation project was initiated in 2017 for the company’s sewage treatment plants in the Galicia factories, which will end in 2018.
The objective is to improve homogenisation of the discharge, install equipment to achieve better performance, reduce chemical product consumption and reduce potential risks of uncontrolled spills, thereby maximising the safety of the purification process.
Since wastewater purification is a process that inherently causes the emissions of odours, investments have been made into new deodorising equipment to avoid impact on the environment.
CAPSA’s efforts to improve its purification processes, with exhaustive monitoring of its purification management system, means that its discharges are a higher quality than what is authorised, emitting only 36% of the authorised pollution (expressed in COD kg discharged/authorised COD kg).
WASTE AND PACKAGING MANAGEMENT
In 2017, CAPSA recycled 94.6% of its waste by giving it a new life, using it as raw material for other processes and/or products.
It is also important to note that only 0.32% of its waste in 2017 was considered hazardous.
This year, the company BIOGASTUR began operations, of which Central Lechera Asturiana is a shareholder and main supplier. The objective of this plant is to provide a solution to the problem of soil and water contamination due to livestock slurry; transforming it into electricity of renewable origin and fertiliser for the soil. This plant is a pioneer in the circular economy, totally transforming this waste into new resources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Organic waste is also incorporated into CAPSA’s production process.
The containers put on the market are recyclable, contributing to developing a circular economy.
CAPSA is working on the environmentally friendly design of its containers to contribute to them becoming new materials.
This project is co-financed by the European Commission under the LIFE programme. In addition to CAPSA FOOD, this project led by Cetaqua Galicia with the collaboration of the University of Santiago de Compostela, has other partners such as EMUASA, ESAMUR and HIDROGEA.
With this prototype, the residual water generated in the Outeiro de Rei factory will be purified through a process using SIAM technology (Integrated Anaerobic Membrane System), obtaining quality effluent, which enables it to be reused as wash water, irrigation, etc. through a subsequent tertiary treatment.
CAPSA FOOD has collaborated on the design of this prototype, contributing its experience and knowledge in the classification and treatment of wastewater from the dairy industry.
During 2017, the prototype installed in CAPSA’s Outeiro de Rei factory was commissioned and the analytical control plans required for the operational control of the process were drawn up.
The ECOLAC project ended in September 2017. It’s purpose was to reduce the environmental impact of dairy products. Because more than 80% of a product’s environmental impact is determined in its design phase, a software tool has been developed in the project that helps the dairy industries to design products with a lower environmental impact, i.e. product ECO-DESIGN. Consumers’ purchasing motivations have also been identified in order to generate ‘sustainability claims’ and an in-depth study has also been carried out on their behaviour towards eco-designed products.
- ECOLAC software. A tool that enables environmental impact evaluation based on the Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) methodology.
The tool’s main benefits are:
- Environmental impact assessment using the methodology proposed by the European Union for calculating the product’s environmental footprint.
- It simplifies the collection of production data because the tool can be linked with the company’s other management systems (e.g. SAP) to obtain a direct data import.
- New eco-designed product. With the help of the new tool, a new yogurt prototype has been designed and produced using plastic with a lower environmental footprint, thereby generating less packaging waste. The production of this eco-designed yogurt consumes 4% less water and 2% less natural gas. The improvements that have been identified and implemented are:
- Replacing packaging material.
- Replacing packaging equipment.
- Optimised production cycles.
- Optimised transport routes.
- Consumer motivation. At the end of the project, several awareness-raising actions aimed at the consumer in terms of sustainability and eco-design were carried out through two informative articles in QUO magazine and on the Eroski Consumer website.