Sustainable agriculture efforts come to South Africa through SAB
Sustainability and conservation is an important topic around the world, and one affecting practically every sector of industry. Whether a business’s goal is garnering goodwill by going green, or simply saving some green by reducing energy and resource costs through conservation, efficient best practices are on everyone’s minds.
Last year global beer giant SABMiller announced ambitious new sustainability targets that the company plans to meet by 2020—targets including a reduced carbon footprint, reducing waste, and supporting more sustainable and responsible land use among its facilities and suppliers. Right now South African Breweries (SAB), an integral part of SABMiller, is moving forward with these initiatives through the launch of the “Better Barley Better Beer” program, which aims to help its barley suppliers develop more sustainable production methods.
According to a press release from SAB, the –created in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund for Nature of South Africa (WWF-SA)—enlists 102 emerging farmers tending to more than a thousand hectares of irrigated land in and around Taung, a city in South Africa’s North West province. The program will focus on education and improvements in issues like water reduction, ecosystem protection, defense against invasive plant species, and attention to soil health, with an overarching goal of improving carbon footprints.
“Supporting the growth of emerging, small scale producers and their migration into the mainstream agricultural sector is a critical area of focus for SAB,” said Thinus van Schoor, General Manager SAB Maltings and Hop Farms, in the SAB press release. “We are developing and supporting a sustainable, reliable and commercially competitive local agricultural footprint able to provide SAB with its total raw material requirement. This will help to create jobs, strengthen the local economy and build SAB’s supply chain.”
The program is one of mutual benefit for both the farmers and SAB. By growing more sustainably, the farmers will be able to boost profitability and strengthen production for years to come. On the other hand, SAB will be able to secure a stronger and more reliable supply chain. After all, grain is a key ingredient for beer production, and farmers in Taung provide SAB with around 7 percent of the total irrigated barley crop produced—they also provide SAB with around 10,000 tons of corn, or around 6 percent of the brewing company’s corn demand. The success of this project will be a success for both parties, and for futures in South Africa agriculture.
[SOURCE: African Business Review]
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.