Cargill avoided more than 1 million metric tons of fossil-fuel-based greenhouse gas emissions in 2015 by using renewable energy, according to the company’s 2015 corporate responsibility report. Renewable sources made up 14.1 percent of the company’s energy portfolio in 2015.
The company reached all of its 2015 environmental performance goals, achieving a 7.1 percent reduction in greenhouse gas intensity, a 6.6 percent improvement in freshwater efficiency and a 5.1 percent improvement in energy efficiency, all against a 2010 baseline.
Now that the agriculture giant has met or exceeded its 5 percent target in these three areas, it has established new goals for 2020. By 2020, Cargill aims to improve energy efficiency and GHG intensity by an additional 5 percent compared to the 2015 baseline. To reduce GHG emissions, Cargill operates energy-saving combined heat and power systems at 38 sites around the world, self-generating 15 percent of the company’s total power usage.
By 2020, Cargill aims to improve freshwater efficiency at its facilities by an additional 5 percent beyond the 2015 baseline. By that date, Cargill also expects to increase use of renewables to satisfy 18 percent of its energy needs.
The company captures biogas for use at many of its facilities around the world, including several of its palm processing locations in Indonesia and plants in Europe. Biogas plants that capture and use methane from wastewater treatment systems not only provide energy, they also reduce GHG emissions. Half of the biogas produced by the anaerobic wastewater treatment plant in Cargill’s Netherlands wheat processing facility is used to power the facility, saving 1,000 metric tons of CO2 per year.
Cargill is also on track to meet its goal of providing palm oil that is 100 percent traceable to the mill by the end of 2015 and sustainable by 2020.