Importaco accelerates its energy transition strategy with the installation of 9,800 solar panels

03 Mar, 2023

  • The project has had an investment of 3.6 million euros and will reduce the company’s emissions by a total of 4,600 tonnes of CO2 per year.
  • The company has already reduced its energy consumption and emissions by 20% since 2018 and aims to reduce another 20% by 2023.

Importaco has invested 3.6 million euros in photovoltaic installations to achieve a 14% self-consumption of energy in its production centres. With this investment, 9,800 solar modules with a total output of 5,200 kWp will be installed. This project has been funded by Banco Sabadell via a sustainable loan linked to ESG objectives on reducing emissions and recycling industrial water.

For more than 10 years, Importaco has been committed to renewable energies and thanks to this new investment, its photovoltaic park will increase from 2,600 kWp to 7,800 kWp. All these installations will help reduce the group’s carbon footprint by 4,600 tonnes of CO2 per year.

“With this new investment in renewable energies we are taking a very important step in our decarbonisation strategy. Our aim is to find new alternative energy sources to replace the consumption of fossil fuels without affecting the quality of the product” said Toño Pons, president of Importaco.

The scope of this project is transversal to the group’s two business areas, nuts, and mineral water. The panels have been installed in the nut centres located in the Valencia region (Beniparrell, Carlet, Chella, Sagunto and Vall d’Alba), and in the bottling plants in Cortes de Arenoso (Castellón), Calera and Chozas (Toledo) and Bronchales (Teruel). In total, the rooftops covering 10 workplaces have been completed and are expected to be fully operational during 2023. The panels will provide the equivalent of the energy consumption of 1800 Spanish households every year. (1)

This initiative is part of Importaco’s Energy Transition Strategy, aligned with the roadmap set out in the EU’s European Green Deal. The objectives of this strategy include making 5 production centres zero-emission by 2025 and promoting the use of renewable sources such as solar energy. The company also has energy management systems in all its production centres, including ISO 50001 certification in the dried fruit, dried fruit, and popcorn centres in Beniparrell (Valencia).

Alternative energy integration

As well as the implementation of photovoltaic solar energy, Importaco has carried out an innovative pilot project for implementing solar thermal energy with the aim of substituting gas consumption with renewable energy. This project has been carried out at the snack centre in Carlet (Valencia) and has 16 solar modules with a thermal capacity of 290 kWt and a production potential of 305,000 kWh. The company is also studying new energy formulas such as biogas to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels such as gas.

Progress towards decarbonisation

Importaco aims to be Net Zero by 2050 and is developing a decarbonisation roadmap aligned with SBTi, an international alliance made up of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the United Nations Global Compact, the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF).

Some of the projects developed within this strategy include programmes to adapt to climate change and its consequences, such as the increased risk of flooding. In the field of sustainable agriculture, it is making progress in the application of integrated pest management techniques, the planting of lupinus luteus on neighbouring farms – a pulse plant that fixes atmospheric nitrogen and sequesters carbon – as well as cover crops consisting of ryegrass, oats, clover, and vetch to reduce soil erosion.

1: Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (Instituto para la Diversificación y Ahorro de la Energía) (IDAE). Report on Consumption in the Residential Sector in Spain.
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