Packaging giant Smurfit Kappa has announced that it has installed a state-of-the-art solar panel system in its Colombian forestry operations.
The photovoltaic system will supply 50% of the energy needs of the nursery, the entomology and plant pathology laboratories.
The system, comprising 168 panels, will generate an estimated 78,000 kWh/year, resulting in cutting CO2 emissions by 29.7 tonnes annually.
CEO of Smurfit Kappa Colombia, Alvaro Henao, added, “The use of clean and renewable energy is part of our strategic goal of reducing CO2 emissions which we have made significant progress in through our use of biofuels for self-generation energy in our Yumbo plant, the use of natural gas in most of our operations, and the ongoing capture of CO2 from the atmosphere in our forestry plantations.
“This new milestone excites and motivates us to continue contributing to the construction of a sustainable future.”
The new system has been installed in the nursery to maximise exposure to sunshine.
Smurfit Kappa teamed up with energy provider Celsia to develop the photovoltaic system.
Ricardo Sierra Fernandez, CEO of Celsia, said, “We are happy to be allies with Smurfit Kappa Colombia, a company that is a leader in environmental conservation issues.
“Being able to connect the generation of solar energy to feed their needs in that incredible nursery they have in Restrepo, is another example of that leadership.”
Smurfit Kappa’s nursery in Columbia is equipped to produce up to 8 million pine and eucalyptus seedlings per year.
These are planted in the company’s plantations in the Colombian Andean region and also used in reforestation projects.
The entomology and plant pathology laboratories study and identify potential pests and diseases.
The solutions devised by the forestry division to tackle pests are natural and organic, Smurfit Kappa added.