ICAB for the Environment


ICAB for the Environment

Our contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals

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SDG target 2.4 By 2030, ensure sustainable food production systems and implement agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, help maintain ecosystems, strengthen adaptive capacity to climate change, extreme weather, drought, floods, and other disasters, and progressively improve land and soil quality

SDG target 7.2 Significantly increase the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030

SDG target 6.3 By 2030 improve water quality to reduce pollution by minimizing the release of chemicals and hazardous materials, halve the percentage of untreated wastewater, and substantially increase recycling and safe reuse globally

SDG target 6.4 By 2030 to substantially increase water efficiency for use in all sectors and ensure freshwater withdrawals and supply to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity

SDG target 12.4 By 2020, achieve environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water, and soil, in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment

SDG target 12.5 By 2030 substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse

Pollution prevention and climate change mitigation.

Due to the nature of the business, ICAB works seasonally, in the period from July to October, and consumes 80% of the energy in production. In winter it consumes about 10/15% of it. Thermal energy is derived mainly from natural gas, and is used to produce steam for sterilization purposes and, more generally, for production processes. For more than six years, a photovoltaic system with a capacity of 500 kW covering the Buccino plant, allows for coverage:

  • the 100% of the company's electricity needs in the November-June period because in winter, since production is stopped, the energy produced is used partly for self-consumption and partly sold to the grid;
  • about 20% of the company's electricity needs in the period from July to October, energy that is used for tomato production and processing activities and product packaging.

ICAB's goal is to increase this value to at least 60% by 2030.

ICAB is subject to theEuropean Union ETS, as our thermal power plant holds an installed capacity of 53 MW with a consumption of about 1.5 to 2 million m3 of methane. The power plant consists of three heat generators with economizer of which the last two were installed in 2017 and 2021.

The thermal power plant is subject to statutory audits, being subject to INAIL testing every two years. During the audit all valves are checked for reasons related to safety and, secondarily, energy efficiency. Boilers that are part of the thermal power plant are subject to pressure vessel regulations.

The three smokestacks are equipped with probes for continuous monitoring of CO2, combustion quality, and steam leakage; the relevant data are recorded on paper and kept at the company in case of inspections by the relevant authorities. The site is subject to Integrated Environmental Authorization (AIA), which provides for a series of additional environmental requirements and, in particular, with reference to atmospheric emissions, requires periodic analysis (as per the AIA monitoring plan) by an accredited laboratory, the results of which are then transmitted to the Campania Region.

Through this monitoring, it is therefore possible to prevent and mitigate potential negative impacts caused by the company, mainly related to the emission of CO2 from summer thermal production activities.
The company's lighting system is predominantly LED, with a total installed power of approx. 70%, with an energy conversion project started four years ago. A program to replace pumps used in production with new high-efficiency inverter pumps has also been initiated over the past six years. It is planned to complete the Replacement of all pumps by 2025 to ensure energy savings.

Energy parameter monitoring is calculated through an overall indicator that records water withdrawal, methane and electricity consumption, and wastewater discharges. According to the new regulations, companies will have to install new meters to record consumption for each line, but at the moment they are not yet in ICAB.

Diesel fuel is used for automotive purposes and partly for the generator set for periodic starts required by law. The company owns 15 diesel-powered trucks for transporting tomato boxes and four gas-powered trucks. To accelerate the drive toward more sustainable business operations, since 2018 ICAB has supplemented the fleet with 10 electric trolleys.

The Company has been implementing an ambitious investment plan since 2015, which has seen the commissioning of plants and machinery that have ensured excellent results in terms of energy and water efficiency and CO2 emission reductions. By way of example:

  • Purchase of a water purifier that reuses water in the tomato washing stage, achieving high water savings;
  • Purchase in 2017 and 2021 of two boilers equipped with an economizer placed on the chimney, allowing heat recovery;
  • Purchase of a new sterilizer in 2021, which is based on a sterilization technique not by bath but by steam jet, implying less water use and energy savings, as the machine is equipped with several inverters;
  • Purchase in 2021 of a new continuous concentrator that allows for lower water use and energy savings, as the machine is equipped with several inverters;
  • Reduction in the total number of pasteurizers per box (2 instead of 3) due to the increased capacity and efficiency of new installations.

Our activities contribute to the following SDGs: SDG target 2.4SDG target 7.2

The management of water resources

For ICAB, water has great relevance for industrial purposes, so it seeks to use water resources consciously and with a view to circularity. La Fiammante has been engaged for several years in environmental sustainability programs implemented by frequently updating its production process, from fields to distribution. All production areas are constantly monitored, through soil, water and fruit analyses.

The water, taken from the two wells authorized by the Province, is softened through a softener to remove calcium and, without further treatment, is then fed into the thermal power plant for steam production that powers the production facilities.
Another part, not softened, flows into the evaporator plants (concentrators) for cooling the products and washing the tomatoes. The tomatoes arrive soiled with soil and foliage so the first action that the company must perform, is to wash the raw material. The soil that is recovered, which was present until a few hours earlier in the production field, could theoretically be reused in agronomic use, but regulations assimilate it to waste and it must be disposed of as such. Sewage treatment plants are required to dispose of it in the form of sands or sludge. The Campania Region in 2021 took a first step forward by publishing a decree allowing its partial reuse, but hopefully more can be done in the future. ICAB has set up a purification and sanitization plant that allows recuperate the 50% of wash water and dispose of the rest as sand or sludge.

The portion of unsoftened water used for washing tomatoes is dirtier and, through a series of pipes, is sent to a treatment plant to remove impurities. The water purification process consists of an initial screening stage to remove coarse material (leaves and roots), the desanding stage, which removes the larger portions of soil flowing to a series of tanks designed to collect the precipitate, and the final flotation stage, which removes the finer particles and generates sludge that ends up in landfills*.

The water coming out of the floater is constantly monitored and the discharge then flows into the sewage treatment plant of the consortium that manages the industrial area where the ICAB plant is located. In fact, analyses of the discharge under the AIA monitoring plan are carried out. The water coming out of the floater is also partly fed back into production and used for the first washing of the tomatoes. It is then recycled according to a vision of judicious use of natural resources.

For consumption monitoring, a normalized KPI is generated with respect to production, which made it possible to appreciate a reduction in water withdrawal needs (-24%) in relation to the possibility of recycling part of the water discharged downstream of the purification process thanks to the plant installed in 2019.

Our agronomists work alongside farmers to foster their professional growth by promoting good practices to protect health and the environment such as water conservation in crops. We consider it crucial to take effective action on water conservation in the fields. Our efforts have been rewarded as there has been a reduction of about 3% in the water footprint of the La Fiammante supply chain over the past 10 years, and several farmers are installing probes and sensors to assess the right need of the fields in order to eliminate waste.

*The purification process can be seen at the following link: https://vimeo.com/802995053

Our activities contribute to the following SDGs: SDG target 6.3SDG target 6.4

The approach to waste management

The production process of canned tomatoes has a low environmental impact and does not generate toxic-harmful pollutants, but it has some critical issues related to sustainability. Among the most impactful items we must consider the consumption of water and pesticides in the fields, the production of waste and scrap in the processing, and energy consumption.

Given the daily quantities of tomatoes processed, ICAB produces about 2,000 quintals per day of waste and scraps and is implementing practices to decrease their production, but more importantly procedures to reuse some of them in a circular economy perspective.

The main wastes from production activities are:

  • Peels and seeds (about 300 q.l/day)
  • Plant stems
  • Potting soil (about 400 q.l/day)
  • Fanghi of first tomato wash (mud and stones), which constitute 70/75% of the total waste. They are immediately separated and sent to the landfill;
  • Fanghi extracted from treated water In the treatment plant that are pressed.

Then there are other types of packaging-related waste:

  • Aluminum
  • Plastic/Plastic Film
  • Glass
  • Cardboard

In the area of waste, we also implement measures in favor of circularity, undertaken to prevent waste generation in the organization's activities and upstream and downstream in our value chain to make it raw material for further production processes.

The husks and seeds are intended for livestock use, so they are given to livestock farmers in the Salerno area; they could theoretically be supplied to biogas plants, but priority is given to another sector that is fundamental to the area.

A compost is obtained from the plant stems, very similar to peat in some of its chemical and physical characteristics, which is used as a soil conditioner (fertilizer) for agronomic or floricultural uses.

Aluminum, plastics, films and glass are differentiated at the 100% and recovered for recycling.

Our activities contribute to the following SDGs: SDG target 12.4SDG target 12.5

Environmental indicators