After four years of assessments, Agropalma Group has identified two main sources of greenhouse gases (GHG): historical land use change and the palm oil mill effluents (POME) treatment systems, that generate methane. As historical land use change cannot be managed, the most effective option for Agropalma reducing GHG is to act on POME treatment systems, which account for more than 70% of its operational emissions. Therefore, we are committed to seeking the elimination of methane emissions from company’s POME, by executing the action plan presented below.
As illustrated in the pictures presented in this page, installation of new ponds in PARAPALMA and AGROPALMA mills has been concluded. It is important to register that CPA Mill is a small plant and technologies for methane elimination will be identified and assessed. In 2025, if there is no feasible technology for elimination of methane from this factory, Company will keep its commitment of seeking an alternative and, when it is identified/developed, adopt it.
|Install the new set of treatment ponds, adapted for consequent installation of methane capture/burning system, in PARAPALMA and AGROPALMA Mills.||2015|
|Install the new set of treatment ponds, adapted for consequent installation of methane capture/burning system, in CRAI/AGROPAR and AMAPALMA Mills.||2018|
|Install the new methane capture/burning system in PARAPALMA and AGROPALMA Mills.||2021|
|Install the new methane capture/burning system in CRAI/AGROPAR and AMAPALMA Mills.||2023|
|Install technology for elimination of methane in CPA Mill.||2025|
Regarding GHG emissions from field operations, the main sources is the historical land use change, that represented in 491,171.78 tons of CO2eq in 2019. Fuel consumption and fertilizers also contribute, but in a much smaller proportion (10-50 times less). In order to ensure that GHG emissions are managed also in the field, Agropalma Group is committed to make sure its plantations, as well as all FFB suppliers plantations: comply with the zero deforestation policy; do not plant on peat soils of any depth; apply only appropriate amounts of fertilizers; and keep the tractors and trucks used for harvesting and transporting FFB in good maintenance condition to avoid unnecessary increases in fuel consumption.
As registered in our sustainability reports, Agropalma calculates and discloses its greenhouse gas emissions balance since 2013. As shown in the chart below, the results fluctuate considerably year after year. The main causes of this variation are the changes in the calculation tool provided by the RSPO (RSPO GHG Calculator), the changes in productivity caused by climatic variations and replanting.
Our goal is to achieve a neutral emissions balance (0 tons of CO2eq/ton of CPO), which we have already achieved when we consider our 64 thousand ha of forest reserves as carbon sinks. However, regardless of the performance of the forest reserves, we continue to seek reduction of emissions by optimizing fuel consumption, optimizing fertilizer application and, in particular, by implementing the methane capture systems for palm oil mill effluents, according the action plan registered above. In 2019 our mills have emitted 0.200 tons of CO2eq/ton of FFB processed. Our target is to reduce these mills emissions to 0.1 tons of CO2eq/ton of FFB processed by 2025.
Climate change is something that concerns Agropalma Group. Our plantations are in located in the limit zone of minimum adequate rain precipitation. From 1983 to 2018, our plantations have received in average 2481 mm of rain with a yearly hydric deficit of 292 mm, what is still suitable palm plants. However, in the last 5 years (2014 – 2018), average rain was 2321 mm with a hydric deficit increasing to 438 mm. This situation had a severe impact in our plantations, causing a drop of up to 20% in our yields.
If this new rain patterns are result from the climate change and become permanent, company will face an important agronomic challenge. To mitigate or eliminate the damage caused by the fewer amount of rain, company have to implement three strategies: (1) improve soil chemical and physical conditions to allow palm roots grow deeper to explore water not available to them currently – already being implemented; (2) seek for genetic varieties more tolerant to higher hydric deficits; (3) as last resource, implement irrigation system – company already have a trial in 60 ha, testing 2 different technological options.