JBS reduces Friboi's direct CO2 emissions by 65 percent
JBS, one of the largest food companies in the world, is installing biodigesters to give a new destination to the methane emitted in its industrial operations: the production of biogas, a renewable and clean energy. The first phase of the initiative covers the nine largest Friboi units and will reduce scope 1 emissions from the business by 65%, which represents a 24.6% reduction in scope 1 emissions from all JBS activities in Brazil.
With an investment of BRL 54 million, this is the largest project of its kind in the protein industry in the country, reducing the environmental impact of its production process.
The biodigesters will capture the methane gas emitted by the company's operations and transform it into biogas, a clean fuel that has been gaining ground in the context of the global energy transition to a low-carbon matrix. Following the principles of the circular economy, biogas can be used on three fronts: to generate steam in the units' boilers, replacing biomass; as a source of electricity generation; and as fuel for the JBS carrier's fleet, replacing diesel or in a hybrid system. These applications make it possible to reduce Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (related to the use of electricity) emissions.
At this first moment, the project will be implemented until mid-June 2023 in nine Friboi factories in the states of São Paulo, Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso, Goiás, Minas Gerais and Rondônia. The Andradina units, which already had a biodigester system since 2021, Campo Grande I, Lins, Mozarlândia and Ituiutaba have already completed their works. The others are in the final stages of implementation.
“In line with circular economy actions, biodigesters will reduce our methane emissions and start producing clean and renewable energy. This project reinforces our view that agribusiness is part of the solution to address the challenges of climate change that the world faces”, says the corporate director of Sustainability at JBS Brasil, Maurício Bauer. Currently, almost 90% of the Company's electricity matrix in the country already comes from renewable energy sources.
Investment in biogas projects in Brazil is in line with JBS's commitment to become Net Zero by 2040, that is, to zero the net balance of greenhouse gas emissions throughout its value chain, reducing direct emissions and indirect and offsetting all residual emissions. Globally, JBS has been working to capture methane in its operations for decades.
Currently, 14 plants in the United States and Canada already have biodigester systems, producing 190,000 m³/d of biogas. This clean energy supplies boilers and is used to produce electricity at the company's units, in addition to being sold to gas companies. The projects in operation in the US and Canada reduced by 20% the external demand for natural gas, a fossil fuel, and caused JBS to stop emitting 650 thousand tons of greenhouse gases per year.
In North America, the Company intends to expand the biogas production projects in both countries and has plans to make new investments on this front in Mexico. In addition, in partnership with the company Energy360, JBS is investing in biogas projects in Australia, with the potential to eliminate the emission of 60 thousand tons of CO2 and save AUS$ 2 million per year in expenses with natural gas.
“Our investments in biogas are a clear demonstration of our ambition to be a transformation agent for a low-carbon economy, in line with our Net Zero commitment”, highlights Bauer.
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