AgroAmerica strives for new and innovative ways to increase production, while reducing environmental impact and improving sustainability. We are committed to protecting indigenous wildlife and the environment. We conserve water & energy and use eco-friendly materials.
We aim to achieve the most efficient use of water resources and ensure availability of water through different technologies. We have invested in different techniques and technologies that have led us to save not only water but also energy, and which have contributed to improve the productive performance of plantations.
One of the technologies are 18 reservoirs. During the rainy season, we capture and store during the rainy season more than 386 million gallons of rainwater when climate conditions require it.
Other technologies in the efficient use of water in oil palm plantations are:
- Rain gauge or pluviometer
We also implement water use techonologies in our banana operations. Some of them are:
The results obtanied through technologies for the efficient use of water have been:
30% reduction in the use of water
5% reduction in the use of diesesl
7% production increase
In conjunction with a company focused on the development, construction and operation of renewable energy projects in the region AgroAmerica has invested in a project in Central America.
With the 102 MW installed this project will provide the total energy needed for approximately 400,000 people and will replace 70% of the energy previously produced from fossil fuels, mainly bunker.
The project is located in rural communities that benefit directly from the turbine and the income produced on their lands. They also benefit indirectly from the local economic growth that this generates.
This initiative has been extended to three more renewable energy projects in Costa Rica, Guatemala and Nicaragua with the aim to produce almost 120 MW in total.
Clean Renewable Energy
Through a project registered with and approved by the United Nations: Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), we capture biogas (methane) from water treatment lagoons.
The biogas captured in the CDM project produces 2.5 MW / hour and with the application of a biomass boiler we generate 5.0 MW / hour, for a total of 7.5 MW / hour of clean energy for the use of the extraction plant. The surplus is sold to the grid to provide clean energy to rural communities in Central America.
We have measured the carbon footprint in our plantations and are committed o the goal of becoming carbon negative in 2 years.
The UN grants Certified Emission Reductions-CER’s- or carbon bonds to industries that show investment in Clean Development Mechanism projects that use less harmful environmentally contaminant technologies.
We instill the importance of protecting the environment in the younger geneations. Our private school for our worker’s children has a plastic recycling project that will generate a positive change in the communities. The AgroAmerica central office has a paper recycling project.
We have implemented the use of environmentally friendly materials for the protection of the fruit. Our Agribon bags can be re-used up to 3 times vs plastic bags that can be used only once and harm the environment. These eco-friendly materials allow us to save 66% of the bags used in a year.
We support the Iguana Mission nature reserve, one of the largest reserves in the region. Located in Puerto Barrios, Izabal, this reserve protects more than 50,000 iguanas and provides the necessary care during their growth. Species of thorny-tailed iguanas are protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
Flora and Fauna
We’re committed to carrying out our operations using natural resources responsibly and contributing to the care of the environment. Within the AgroAmerica palm oil plantations there are natural ecosystems that support more than 53 species of flora and more than 76 species of fauna. These ecosystems are developed and coexist along with the our palm oil crops.
We are implementing a landscape-level approach to biodiversity conservation. The project will be carried out jointly with the NGO Solidaridad Network in the North Guatemala in the Natural Park ¨Laguna del Tigre¨. It is a pioneer effort to forge practical multiple-actor NGO, governmental, and private sector partnerships for supporting biodiversity conservation in Guatemala. We aim to reach the following objectives: a) to promote the strengthening of Guatemalan System of Protected Areas as the national biodiversity conservation priority in Guatemala; b) to ensure participation, consent, coordination, and direct involvement with CONAP as the leading institution with the legal mandate to administer protected areas in the country; c) to involve local communities as indicated by CONAP; d) to develop and implement strategies to mitigate the main threats currently facing the Mayan Biosphere Reserve and that put the effective conservation of emblematic habitats and species at risk. These threats include forest fires, the loss of forest cover due usurpation of state land for illegal livestock production and/or settlement, and related poaching and extractive activities associated with increased vulnerability of key species.
World Wildlife Fund Project
In 2015, we signed a MOU with WWF* to improve agricultural practices and reduce the use of agrochemicals. The objectives are to:
• Reduce the total toxicity of pesticides used in 50%, specifically fungicides, insecticides and herbicides used in the production of bananas, pineapples, palm oil, citrus and melon, in areas near the Mesoamerican reef and with high Risk of contamination.
• Reduce by 25% the use of fertilizers per tonne used in basic plantings and reduce the use of water in processing plants.
• Ensure the use of best agricultural practices in at least three of the export agroindustries. • Avoid the loss of organic matter in soils and / or increase it by 3%.
In our palm oil plantations nutrients are constantly applied to the soil by re-incorporating organic matter from the same crop such as rachis, sludge, soil, fiber and ash. This practice improves the nutritional content of soils, to obtain an adequate and sustainable production.