Chiquita Brands International, Inc. (NYSE: CQB) today dedicated its innovative Biodigester system at its Mundimar S.A. facility in Guápiles, Costa Rica. Joined by Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla, senior vice president for government affairs and corporate responsibility officer Manuel Rodriguez spoke about Chiquita's newest effort to promote sustainable operations and carbon neutrality.
"Chiquita's new Biodigester is at the forefront of our global sustainability efforts," said Rodriguez. "This technology enables us to harness the full energy potential of fruit materials that previously could not be captured. It provides a sustainable energy source for our facility, nutrient rich fertilizer for local farmers and filters processing water. It benefits our company, our communities and our planet. The Biodigester is the latest demonstration of Chiquita's global citizenship and our drive to incorporate sustainability into everything we do."
"For Costa Rica to continue being the environmental leader it has become, and to strengthen our international position as defendants of the environment, we need to work in alliance with the private sector, especially with companies that guarantee clean energy and environmentally friendly industrial processes. This is why I want to congratulate Chiquita for this new step on the right direction," said Costa Rican President Chinchilla.
Biodigester systems convert organic material into electrical and heat energy as well as produce valuable byproducts such as nutrient rich fertilizers. Specifically, Chiquita's Biodigester utilizes excess fruit material and processing water from its operations to produce energy that is used by its Guápiles facility and fertilizer for use by local palm producers and farmers. The unique "gravity utilizing" design of the Biodigester system allows for the circulation of processing water without using electricity, thereby creating a carbon neutral circulation process.
When commissioning the project, Chiquita insisted that the latest sustainable technologies be incorporated to ensure an optimal environmental impact was achieved. The Biodigester was designed by BioSinergia, an innovative company led by two graduates of EARTH University who devote their
professional practice to the construction of environmentally sustainable systems.
Since the early 1990s, Chiquita has been a leader and pioneer in sustainable development and corporate social responsibility efforts including water conservation, reduced plastic use, and biodiversity. Moreover, Chiquita was one of the first seven companies to join in the Costa Rican National Climate Change Strategy and has been a leader in developing globally recognized labor agreements and business practices that incorporate the core conventions of the International Labor Organization.
Source: Chiquita Brands International Inc.