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Feb 1, 2023 12:11:44 PM4 min read

Solar panels: a new milestone in our aim for a sustainable chocolate value chain

The invention of electricity was undoubtedly a milestone for humankind, from which we have benefited over the last century. However, climate change and the environmental challenges facing the planet make it urgent to meet energy demand through a gradual transition from fossil fuels to clean and renewable energy sources. 

Discover this new initiative that put us closer towards the zero emissions goal. Browse the following menu:

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, it is estimated that by 2050, 90% of the world's electricity can - and should - come from renewable energies. Thinking about how to continue producing chocolate without affecting the environment, we prepared for the future, so we decided to bet on solar energy through our new project, “Sunflower.”

Operating from renewable energies in chocolate manufacturing… this is how!

The Sunflower project involves installing a solar panel system in the chocolate production plant in Bogotá. It is the first step towards using alternative and clean energy to produce our chocolate products. In this way, we contribute to reducing the carbon footprint generated by the consumption of traditional non-renewable energy. 

Project planning began in September 2020 and has been fully operational since December 2022 with the installation of 396 solar panels on a surface area of 1,200 square metres at the distribution centre of our production plant in Bogotá, with a total capacity of 238 kilowatts.

 

With this project, we aim to reduce 161 tons of our CO2 emissions per year and our energy usage by 275.000 kWh annually, resulting in a significant reduction in electricity-related operational costs.

luker net zero goal  decarbonisation

The panels have a life expectancy of 20 years. During this time, we will continue to work on improving this system to bring it to all regions and use of renewable energies to reduce our carbon footprint and achieve a successful energy transition within the company. To be fully operational, the project has the RETIE certificate (Technical Regulations for Electrical Installations) and the UPME (Mining and Energy Planning Unit) approval of the Ministry of Mines and Energy.

“In the long term, the idea is to install more solar panels in our chocolate factory to reduce the use of conventional energy to the least possible. Currently, we are analysing the possibility of expanding renewable energy to our cocoa plantations, transforming our supply chain into a more sustainable one and reducing our emissions year by year. Besides, we are digging into each segment of our supply chain to understand the challenges and possible solutions to become a Net Zero company”, says Andrea Camacho, Regional Head of Sustainability at Luker Chocolate.

Green energy for the cocoa supply chain

Our new Sunflower project is part of The Chocolate Dream: the collaborative plan of Luker Chocolate to build sustainable well-being in cocoa-growing communities and drives our objective of becoming a net zero company by 2030. An ambitious goal that fills us with pride and motivation.

We have made significant progress in recent years: during 2020 and 2021, we managed to reduce 16% of the carbon emissions we generate, from 47 to 39 tonnes of CO2 per million dollars sold, thanks to the modifications we made to the refrigeration technologies in our chocolate factory, which allowed us to reduce related carbon emissions by 52%.

In 2021 we achieved carbon neutrality in all our operations. By September of that year, our company signed the Race to Zero commitment, a global campaign led by the United Nations that aims to have zero carbon emissions by 2050.

According to the global organisation, "to avoid the most negative impacts of climate change, emissions need to be cut by almost half by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050". Moreover, reducing pollution and negative climate impacts could save the world up to USD 4.2 trillion annually by 2030".

Actually, one of the main benefits of the implementation of clean energies is their ability to harness and generate the most energy with the least amount of sun or solar radiation. This technology is considered the most efficient as it generates as much energy per square metre. Clean energy alternatives like this one are becoming increasingly popular: around 29% of electricity nowadays comes from renewable energy sources.

Dedicated to achieving the 'zero.'

Projects like Sunflower motivate us to continue our commitment to a sustainable and environmentally friendly supply chain, giving back to nature and contributing to environmental conservation in cocoa-producing regions.

Undoubtedly, this is one of the most significant challenges our company has ever faced and requires a collective effort to cut emissions as much as possible. At Luker, we are determined to do our utmost to achieve this goal, so we have set ourselves an ambitious decarbonization plan to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030, following the guidelines of the Paris Agreement.

In summary, using a solar panel system in the company's production processes is another step towards achieving this challenging goal. This way, we seek to transform our production processes, allowing us to produce the best chocolate based on sustainability and environmentally friendly practices to secure a better future for all of us. And this is just the beginning!

Find out more about our environmental sustainability initiatives here!

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