Montego Pet Nutrition (Montego) has reported a 300-tonne reduction in CO2 emissions in 2020 to date after utilising solar energy as a renewable energy source at its Graaff-Reinet based production facility.
According to Wilfred Cawood, Marketing Manager at Montego Pet Nutrition, this reduction is equivalent of planting approximately 9,000 trees to offset carbon emissions.
“As part of our mission of being South Africa’s best pet food manufacturer, Montego is committed to becoming a low-carbon company and sustaining the environment,” says Cawood. “We take our responsibility of establishing renewable energy sources in our business seriously, particularly as this relates to the local context and the challenging state of SA’s utility infrastructure.”
Investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency
Montego’s headway in energy efficiency follows a R22 million investment the company made toward a dedicated solar energy plant last year. The proudly local company completed work on the 843 kWp solar panel system, spanning 4,580 square metres of rooftop space in May 2019.
The nine-month project followed closely on the heels of a R70 million factory upgrade that was implemented in 2018 to meet local and international demand of its premium quality pet food, which boosted overall production by 30%.
“The boost in production and demand for Montego’s pet food and treats meant that a move to renewable energy sources was crucial for us. Not only do we believe it to be our responsibility to sustaining the environment, but solar energy also presented attractive cost efficiencies from a business standpoint,” adds Cawood.
Driving SA’s economic recovery post-pandemic
The move to clean energy sources is a growing priority in South Africa, particularly in the face of the country’s costly dependency on coal. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the damaging impact this has had on South Africa’s economy, a report released by South African National Energy Association (SANEA) also asserts that clean energy could also help drive the country economic recovery from the pandemic.
“Solar energy presents a viable solution to the growing energy demand and strain on South Africa power grid,” says Cawood. “South African businesses have a role to play in facilitating and innovating clean energy solutions, and developing the necessary infrastructure within communities.”