JBS, one of the world’s largest food companies, has taken a step toward achieving its Net Zero by 2040 goal. The company is the first in the food sector to have an enterprise qualified to issue International Renewable Energy Certificates (International REC Standard / I-REC), which prove the generation of electricity comes from renewable and environmentally responsible sources.
A high volume of renewable energy certificates (REC) is being purchased, a trend that is expected to increase by as much as five times in 2022, according to Transparent Energy.
The certification was obtained through Biolins, a thermoelectric plant located in the city of Lins (SP), which belongs to JBS and uses various types of biomass as raw material for power generation, such as sugarcane bagasse, wood sawdust, and eucalyptus waste. The plant has an installed capacity of 45 MW and of the energy generated by the enterprise in 2021, Biolins can issue 113,400 certificates for the past year.
Officially issued in Brazil by Instituto Totum, I-RECs can be purchased by industries and commercial establishments to prove that they consume electricity generated by renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind, thermal, and biomass power. This allows certificate holders to neutralize the Scope 2 emissions, which takes into account indirect CO2 emissions associated with the purchase of electricity for their own use, contributing to the meeting of their decarbonization goals.
“This is an important milestone because it certifies that Biolins is environmentally clean and injects energy from a 100% renewable source into the National Interconnected System (SIN). This means that the holders of I-RECs issued by Biolins can prove that the energy consumed in their operations is clean,” says the Director of Sustainability at JBS Brazil, Mauricio Bauer. Currently, Biolins supplies 20% of JBS’s electricity needs in Brazil.
JBS Biolins was initially built to supply the entire industrial complex of JBS in Lins (SP) with steam and electricity. The complex brings together several of the company’s operations, such as Friboi, JBS Couros, JBS Biodiesel, JBS Ambiental, and JBS Hygiene & Cleaning. Its surplus energy is sent to the National Interconnected System.
“The plant’s operation has always taken sustainability into account, generating clean energy and steam from the use of biomass acquired as raw material from local operations and farms, such as sugarcane bagasse, orange tree chips, reforested eucalyptus chips, peanut shells, eucalyptus bark , rice hulls, and sawdust,” explains Lari Barbosa Junior, JBS Utilities Manager.
The qualification of JBS Biolins to issue I-REC certificates adds to the various strategies developed by JBS to meet its commitment to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. The Company’s initiative calls for the use of clean energy by its businesses around the world, with solutions that include the use of photovoltaic farms to supply its own stores, and the construction of plants to capture solar energy to supply its industrial units.
As part of the actions to achieve its Net Zero goal, JBS will invest $1 billion by 2030 to decarbonize its direct and indirect operations, with $100 million in research to develop solutions that make farming increasingly sustainable.