In October 2014, we published our Environmental Policy, applied in tandem with the Algar Sustainable Program, to provide information about using resources efficiently, engaging associates, using cleaner technologies and improving energy efficiency. It also comprises initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in operations.
We rely on the Sustainability Committee, active in all companies, to reach our entire area of operation and engage our associates effectively. About 50 associates with the skills required by the activity and a talent for communications and people management monitor the effectiveness of these initiatives. They speed up the implementation of the companies’ environmental action plans and recognize the individual and collective contributions.
In 2014, we invested more heavily in environmental protection. Of the R$7.4 million invested, 79% went to preventive actions and 21% to waste disposal and treatment of emissions. The ICT segment accounted for 50% of this amount, and about R$3 million was invested in projects with cleaner technologies, such as LED energy efficiency project at Algar Telecom and the installation of photovoltaic panels at Algar Tech. The Tourism segment contributed 22%, or R$1.5 million, 79% of which went to prevention costs and environmental management. In turn, the Agro sector accounted for 21% of the total amount, 69% or R$873 million of which was spent on waste collection, treatment and disposal.
The Algar Group has become a sustainability benchmark in Brazil for its standards, principles and initiatives undertaken throughout the value chain. In the ICT segment, Algar Telecom was considered a Model Company in Sustainability in Telecommunications by the Exame Sustainability Guide for two straight years, 2013 and 2014. Rio Quente Resorts was also featured in the Exame Sustainability Guide in recent years – in 2013, among the 61 outstanding companies, and in 2014, as the Best in the Hotel Industry. (Learn more prizes in Awards and recognition).
Year by year, we have been monitoring energy consumption within the Group more and more accurately, which allows us to work in a more effective and targeted manner. We prioritize the use of energy from renewable sources in our activities to protect the environment and reduce pollution from burning fossil fuels.
Overall, the Group increased direct energy consumption by 25% year-over-year in 2014. However, it should be noted that it also increased the use of renewable energy sources by 62% while decreasing the use of non-renewable sources by 31%.
The Agribusiness segment, which accounts for 80% of the Group’s energy consumption, introduced biomass as an energy source at the plants in Uberlândia, Minas Gerais State, and Porto Franco, Maranhão State, thus reducing the use of non-renewable fuels. Algar Farming renewed its farm fleet by more efficient vehicles and reduced the consumption of diesel oil.
In ICT segment, we mostly use ethanol fuel in the fleet and undertake awareness-raising initiatives among associates. In addition, we have programs such as Carona Legal, which encourages carpooling to reduce fuel consumption. In Services, Algar Aviation decreased energy consumption 16% by reducing aviation fuel consumption in the same proportion owing to a drop in the number of flights and the sale of an airplane. Algar Segurança reduced energy consumption by about 38% mainly due to the measures adopted to optimize the use of vehicles, resulting in lower consumption by the company’s own fleet.
Concerning electricity, the initiatives to reduce power consumption range from replacing equipment, such as computer monitors and air conditioners, by more modern and efficient models and installing LED bulbs in a large number of offices to introducing photovoltaic panels. At Algar Telecom, we installed 28 photovoltaic panels in one of the company’s main sites, in Uberlândia, thus reducing by 60% its annual indirect energy consumption. At Rio Quente Resorts, we also installed thermal solar panels to heat shower water. Algar Farming also reduced power consumption significantly on its farms. The company recorded a 23% decrease in electricity consumption in relation to 2013, due to more efficient use of irrigation pivots on Gaia and Canada farms, in Minas Gerais State.
|Direct Energy-Gigajoules (Gj) 1 2 3||2013 (GJ)||2014 (GJ)|
|Non-Renewable Fuel Consumption||571,990.52||396,960.84|
|Type A Gasoline||38,874.28||35,953.22|
|Liquefied Petroleum Gas||5,342.97||5,376.40|
|Heavy Fuel Oil||414,356.88||246,785.03|
|Renewable Fuel Consumption||1,196,711.74||1,936,866.33|
|Total Energy Consumption||2,296,835.93||2,864,132.03|
|Indirect Energy-Gigajoules (Gj) 1 2||2013 (GJ)||2014 (GJ)|
|Energy from non-renewable sources||38,511.28||38,070.30|
|Type A Gasoline||30.192,67||27,216.95|
|Liquefied Petroleum Gas||373.37||308.45|
|Energy from renewable sources||9,181.02||11,213.12|
|Total indirect power consumption||55,490.82||49,497.71|
1 Data show mainly fuel consumption by cars used by consultants, officers and company associates, as well as taxis and third-party vehicles.. Data for Algar Agro, Algar Farming and CSC not available.
2 Data on energy consumption connected with associates’ business trips by air are not available because estimating power consumption based on mileage data (primary data) would involve a great degree of uncertainty.
Our commitment to managing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions serves as a guideline for our companies’ initiatives to incorporate sustainability into all our decision-making processes. This is how we manage risks and develop initiatives to reduce GHG emissions and offset their environmental impact.
The GHG inventory is our primary tool to find opportunities to reduce GHG emissions in our processes and operations. We use internationally recognized methodologies to measure our emissions. We collect data systemically by following the standards set forth by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s GHG Protocol; the IPCC 2006 Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories and ABNT NBR ISO 14064-1/2006.
We decided to adopt the operational control approach; therefore, we include in the inventory emissions from all organizations and production units we control, even if jointly with other parties. We have been measuring our GHG emissions since 2011 (base year 2010) through a process that involves from associates in technical functions to executives.
About 90% of our GHG emissions from stationary sources in 2014 were produced by Algar Agro so that the drop in emissions from these sources resulted from replacing boilers by biomass. This measure led to most of the reduction in the Group’s GHG emissions from stationary sources. Emissions from mobile sources also fell significantly by 22% mainly because we used mostly ethanol in our companies’ fleets. As a result of the increased use of renewable fuels, the Group’s biogenic emissions increased by about 66%. The rise in fugitive emissions was due to the increase in R-404a and HFC-134a refrigerants recharged into the new cold storage facilities of Rio Quente Resorts’ Food Production and Distribution Center.
In 2014, indirect GHG emissions from electricity purchased totaled 19,775.36 tCO2e, up 40% from 2013. They are directly connected with the emission factor of the Brazilian energy grid, which rose by 40% between 2013 and 2014. This increase reflects the greater share of fossil-fuel power plants in Brazil’s total power generation in 2014. The emission factor of Brazil’s energy grid is subject to seasonal changes. The lower reservoir levels fall, the greater the need to use thermal plants to generate power and, consequently, the higher the grid’s emission factor. As a result, even though the companies’ electricity consumption may drop, the decrease in emissions will not be directly proportional and may even increase.
|Direct Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Scope 1) 1 2 3||2013 (tCO2e)||2014 (tCO2e)|
|Total Direct Emissions (scope 1)||55,313.66||50,183.27|
|Total Biogenic Emissions||128,097.60||213,073.21|
Total Indirect Emissions (scope 2) 4
1 The following greenhouse gas (GHG) regulated by the Kyoto Protocol were taken into account: CO2, CH4 and N2O and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
2 CSC Algar and Unialgar recorded no scope 1 emissions. They produced only scope 2 indirect emissions due to the nature of their activities and infrastructure. All Algar companies’ direct emissions are included in the inventory except for emissions from Algar Farming’s vehicles and machinery, for which no data related to activity and consumption were available, use of fertilizers and livestock activities.
3 Biogenic-source emissions are related to CO2 removed from the atmosphere during photosynthesis; thus, we should consider them "carbon neutral". Emissions from non-biogenic sources are connected with CH4 and N2O emissions, which cannot be considered neutral because these gases are not removed from the atmosphere during the growth of biomass. All biomass consumed by Algar companies comes from sustainably-managed forests.
4 Includes CO2 emissions from generating the electricity imported by the companies. SIN’s [Sistema Interligado Nacional, or Interconnected National System] methodologies to calculate emissions does not consider CH4 and CO2 emissions. SIN’s emission factor, in accordance with the GHG Protocol guidelines, is provided by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. The methodology to determine the factor follows the UNFCCC methodological tool.
To offset their emissions, Algar Telecom, Algar Tech, Rio Quente Resorts, Algar Agro and Algar Farming, for example, make donations and produce seedlings of native species in their nurseries to plant forests, create agroforestry systems and recover damaged land, initiatives that help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Forests function as carbon sinks, or enhance “carbon sequestration”. Carbon sequestration involves photosynthesis, the process through which plants remove carbon, in the form of CO2, from the atmosphere and incorporate it into their biomass (tree trunks, branches and roots). Algar Telecom planted over 23 thousand seedlings in 35 hectares of damaged land between 2012 to late 2014. To strengthen the environmental preservation culture among associates, Algar Telecom and Algar Segurança give each new talent a seedling that must be planted to symbolize his/her responsibility toward the environment.
In line with Algar’s sustainability values, the Group’s companies seek to manage the solid waste generated by their activities more and more efficiently each day.. This improvement results, for example, from optimizing the use of materials and reducing consumption as a consequence, as well as reusing waste, in accordance with the guidelines set by the Sustainable Algar Program and our Corporate Environmental Policy.
The amount of recycled waste increased considerably by 133% between 2013 and 2014, which reaffirms the companies’ commitment to improving waste disposal and increasing waste reuse.
|Total waste generated (method/tonnes) 1||2013 (t)||2014 (t)|
NA – Data not available
1 The amount of waste generated by Algar, Algar Segurança, Algar Mídia and Algar Aviation was estimated based on the number of associates. The changes reflect the increase or decrease in that number in 2014
This event was launched by Instituto Algar in 2014. The idea was to engage associates from all the Group’s companies and collect 10,000 liters of oil and 5,000 kg of electronic waste, such as batteries. The scavenger hunt exceeded our expectations; in fact, the participants collected 29,000 liters of oil and 8,800 kg of electronic waste. In addition, over 5 tonnes of hazardous waste, such as fluorescent bulbs and batteries, were collected in the regional offices and disposed of properly.
The area in which the Rio Quente Resorts are located has a high biodiversity value. It is adjacent to the Serra de Caldas Novas State Park, in Goiás State, and has the world’s largest hot spring, with rich and highly diverse flora and fauna.
Rio Quente Resorts introduced the Natural Resources Management Program and the Program to Recover and Monitor Permanent Preservation Area, with the measures needed to restore the environmental functionality of areas affected by human activity, to undertake initiatives that help protect, and reduce the consumption of, the natural resources found in and in the vicinity of its area of operation. Over 12,000 seedlings have been planted since the programs were introduced in 2010. In addition, 605 seedlings of tree species native to the Cerrado Biome have been planted to regenerate the vegetation of a 17.8-hectare area of damaged land. Moreover, it has a Fauna Monitoring Program, which comprises a systematic semi-annual survey of fauna and flora. The company’s purpose is to learn about the local biodiversity and assess the biological potential of the area.
|Geographic location||17°46'26.90"S – 48°45'3.54"W|
|Subsurface and/or underground soil (sq. m.)||2,223,401.90|
|Size of operational site in sq. km.||78.38|
1 Protected area within the Company’s area
One of the hot issues currently is the conscious consumption of water, about which Algar has always been concerned. This concern is reflected in most of the Group's fixed assets, which are mostly built by using economical construction methods or techniques that allow reusing and obtaining water as alternative and sustainable practices.
The Rio Quente Resorts complex already had a water reuse system. In 2014, we finished the project to reuse thermal water by implementing a system that captures water discharged in Parque das Fontes [Spings Park], a total of 43.05 liters per second. The secondary water pumped into existing tanks. The water is then treated and used in the parks, hotels, laundry rooms and gardens. The gardens in parks and hotels are watered automatically, which helps produce water savings of up to 50% in relation to the manual system.
In turn, the Algar Agro uses groundwater, surface water and water from municipal supplies. Algar Farming’ farms have 37 authorized water intake points and 13 others are under analysis by SUPRAM (Superintendência Regional de Regularização Ambiental, or Regional Environmental Regularization Office). Algar Agro invested R$1 million in upgrading its Effluent Treatment Plant in Uberlândia, which is soon to be completed. Once it is finished, we will be able to reuse water used in internal gardens, for example.
To raise awareness among associates, customers and suppliers, UniAlgar ran a campaign in 2014, focused mainly on the use of water to clean the facilities and in the gardens. Algar Telecom’s CICA (Comissão Interna de Conservação de Água, or Internal Water Conservation Committee), responsible for identifying the units with higher consumption and develop initiatives to tackle waste, managed to reuse 2% of the water.