Pilmico biofuel initiative honored at Manila Bulletin’s inaugural Sustainability Forum

Pilmico biofuel initiative honored at Manila Bulletin’s inaugural Sustainability Forum

Anchored by the overall sustainability strategy of the Aboitiz Group, Pilmico’s use of alternative fuel from its biomass boiler simultaneously makes for more eco-friendly operations while also lessening production costs for better operational efficiency. To represent the Group and the Pilmico team, Ginggay Hontiveros (center), First Vice President and Chief Reputation and Sustainability Officer and Yhol Colegado (left), Sustainability Manager receive the plaque of recognition from Manila Bulletin Publisher and former Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. (right).

It is impossible to look to the future without putting sustainability at the forefront of present action. That is why for Manila Bulletin’s inaugural Sustainability Forum, anchored on the theme “Beyond Green,” audiences learned best practices from sustainability trailblazers who have seamlessly integrated sustainability into their business operations.

The forum culminated with its highlight event last Thursday, November 24: a Recognition Night that honored programs and initiatives of organizations that have gone “beyond green”.

The Aboitiz Group was represented by its integrated agribusiness and food unit Pilmico with its Rice Husk Solutions initiative. Simultaneously reducing their environmental impact while also increasing operational efficiency, Pilmico developed a biomass boiler that extends the by-products purpose of rice husks as biofuel. This alternative fuel is then used to feed Pilmico’s feed production plants in Tarlac.

The biomass boiler generates steam to cook and sanitize the feeds by burning rice husks, which are by-products of rice production sources from partner rice mills.

Since starting the initiative in 2018, Pilmico has been able to reduce its bunker fuel consumption by over 60 percent.

Constantly innovating with sustainability in mind, Pilmico discovered other potential uses of the rice husks’ by-products, using the ash wastes from the husks as an alternative cement mix specially developed by Pilmico civil engineers. This alternative cement mix is used for the facilities’ construction needs, road perimeters, as well as concrete slats in Pilmico swine farms.

The waste ash (right photo) by-product is used by Pilmico to augment concrete mixtures. The mix is composed of 20 percent waste ash and 80 percent cement, together with necessary aggregates for concrete mixtures.

“It has always been important to us to find the right balance between responsibility over the impact we have on our stakeholders and profitability. One of those areas that we have made a real effort to find that balance is by actively managing the impact we have on the environment in our drive toward operational efficiency. We have found a few solutions to help us in this effort, and making the switch from a bunker-fired boiler to a boiler that’s powered by rice husks has been one that’s made a big impact by reducing our consumption of bunker fuel while achieving a lower overall production cost on our sites,” said Pilmico President and Chief Executive Officer Tristan Aboitiz.

“We will continue to push for the implementation of initiatives like this in the future, with the goals of remaining the partner of choice to our stakeholders and becoming the lowest cost producer in the industry,” Aboitiz added.

The Aboitiz Group’s Great Transformation growth strategy to become the Philippines’ first techglomerate involves taking advantage of modern technologies and, more importantly, institutionalizing a renewed entrepreneurial mindset. The Pilmico biofuel and rice husk boiler initiative is a testament to what the blend of technology and an innovation culture can produce.

In ensuring sustainability is a driving force for innovation, the century-old conglomerate can look forward to another century more of advancing businesses and communities. #

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