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Grupo Bimbo makes green strides with Mexican wind energy

By Kacey Culliney , 31-Oct-2012
Last updated on 02-Nov-2012 at 09:25 GMT

Grupo Bimbo will power most of its Mexican operations with renewable wind energy generated from a new farm in the south of Mexico.

The bread giant’s CEO Daniel Servitje attended and spoke at the inauguration of the Piedra Larga Wind Farm in the state of Oaxaca yesterday. Felipe Calderon, the president of Mexico, was among the attendees.

The new wind farm is a result of a joint investment from the Mexican bread firm and Desarrollos Eólicos Mexicanos (Demex), a subsidiary of Spanish renewable energy firm Renovalia Energy. Grupo Bimbo has signed an 18-year partnership agreement that binds it to the wind farm as a consumer partner, while Demex is the investing partner.

The $200m wind farm will supply electricity to 45 facilities across Mexico, covering almost all of Grupo Bimbo’s operations in the country.

Daniel Servitje, CEO of Grupo Bimbo, said the firm’s long-term commitment to consume the energy generated would bring about social, environmental and economic benefits.

Green push

The 45-turbine strong farm will produce 90 megawatts (MW) of power and save around 180,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually - the equivalent to the CO2 absorption capacity of nearly five million mature trees.

“We are sensitive to environmental challenges; hence, we strive to contribute in an innovative way, seeking to reduce the environmental footprint. Piedra Larga is an example of it,” Servitje said.

“I am very motivated by the fact that our company, through the very professional work of our finance and engineering departments and our environmental initiative, has been able to take such a large step. The step of being today, the biggest food manufacturer that has moved towards renewable energy at a global level.”

“This area which was forgotten about for so long, today, thanks to its wind potential… will be an incredible contribution to Mexico and it will also offer great potential to its inhabitants and to Oaxaca,” he said.

Felipe Calderon, president of Mexico, praised Grupo Bimbo’s commitment particularly in light of current economic difficulties.

Grupo Bimbo only last week posted a net profit slump of 83% that it said was due to high raw material costs as well as a costly integration of Sara Lee operations. See HERE .

“We all win at the end of the day, Mexican or not, because when we find alternatives to stimulate economic growth and well-being without damaging the environment, in this way, we will build a world which will last forever; a world which is better to live in; a more human world,” Calderon said.