Climate solution involves the “universalization” of the Circular Economy

By Susana Carvalho, Executive Director of JBS Fertilizantes and Environmental.

The challenge we all have in the face of global warming is enormous. Climate change has already arrived and has shown what it is capable of causing in the economy and in the lives of all of us. The most recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, its acronym in English) published on August 9, shows that human influence is responsible for a rise of 1.07°C in global temperature. And he warns: governments around the world must make a great effort to obtain, now, a negative target for emissions, as just zeroing out polluting gas emissions by 2050 is insufficient to repair the damage caused.

Can we still change this scenario? I believe so. Based on science, well-planned sustainability strategies, strictly followed by companies and governments, we can transform our relationship with nature, transitioning to a low-carbon economy.

An efficient strategy to achieve this is the Circular Economy. It is a complete revolution in the current production model, the linear one, which consists of an “extract-produce-discard” cycle, depleting natural resources and generating a lot of waste. In its place, the Circular Economy emerges, which seeks to make the most of resources in cyclical flows.

At JBS Ambiental, our arm specialized in Circular Economy, waste from the Company's factories is transformed into value-added products. Among the projects, I highlight the “green floor”, developed from leftover plastic used to vacuum pack products in natura. Thus, a residue that would become garbage, because it cannot be recycled, ends up being used in the paving of JBS's own units throughout Brazil.

There is also the reuse of leather that comes from the livestock chain. With the innovative concept of Kind Leather, 100% of the leather that would otherwise be discarded is used to manufacture products for the automotive, furniture, footwear and artifact sectors.

In addition, the Circular Economy can – and should – also be applied in the area of energy. Fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas and oil are the main causes of the greenhouse effect and must be replaced by renewable energy sources. At Biolins, JBS's industrial complex, biomass is used from sugarcane bagasse, saw dust, peanut and rice husks, and eucalyptus chips to generate thermoelectric and steam energy. The unit has an energy generation capacity equivalent to 20% of what is used by all JBS units in Brazil. There is also JBS Biodiesel, Brazil's largest producer of biodiesel based on used frying oil and organic waste, with a current production capacity of 350 million liters per year. The Company has production units in Lins (SP) and Campo Verde (MT). Soon the third, in Mafra (SC), will be in operation. There are several examples around the world that we can cite. These are actions that serve as a stimulus for the adoption of new energy sources and encourage new strategies to transform all waste into sustainable and productive resources. A new green revolution is crucial for us to face climate change and make the Circular Economy the global productive standard is an essential part of that journey.

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