Florida Ice and Farm Company (Fifco), through its Florida Bebidas division, became the 1st company to be “Neutral Water” in Central America in 2012, by efficiently using this resource to produce its products.
Having this goal fulfilled, although ambitious, is not the limit for the corporation; it also aspires to be “Positive Water” in 2020. That is, it not only wants to use the resource efficiently but also wishes to return more water to the system from which it takes that water.
To achieve this, it will “harvest” rainwater, provide drinking water to communities that currently do not have access to this vital liquid, and protect water source recharge zones, explained Gisela Sánchez, director of Corporate Relations at Fifco.
This procedure is not new to the company. Since last year, its “Imperial Beer” brand became the 1st “Positive Water” on the planet, as it compensated and exceeded the water footprint generated by the production process of the alcoholic beverage.
This quantification is reviewed by the Center for Analysis of the Life Cycle and Sustainable Design of Mexico and verified annually by the Institute of Technical Standards of Costa Rica. During the process, Fifco discovered that it was responsible for only 11% of the Imperial water footprint, leaving the rest of the impact on the environment in the hands of its suppliers.
By minimizing the use of water in the manufacturing process, the beer achieved neutrality, but the greatest benefits on the environment came with the “harvest” of rainwater, the construction of aqueducts, and the production of water sources.
Currently, Fifco produces more beverages using less water, thanks to the incorporation of its water neutrality program in 2008. “Although the production in our plants has increased by 40% since 2007 in the beverage operations in Costa Rica, absolute water consumption has been reduced by 17% in that same period”, explained Sánchez.
Last year Fifco used 3.82 liters of water per liter of beverage produced. The company invests an average of 7.5% of its net profit in social and environmental projects every year.
This corporation has other environmental projects among its folders, such as being carbon-positive and not sending any waste to landfills but collecting additional waste.
It also aims to recycle 100% of all the bottles that it sells. Currently, it recycles around 69% of them. Fifco also wants its brands to be “Air Brands”. That is, to generate a positive impact on the environment.
On the other hand, the food and beverage operations, as well as the Musmanni bakery plant and the “Westin Playa Conchal Hotel”, part of “Florida Inmobiliaria”, are carbon-positive. “The initiatives of water protection and consumption reduction are a priority in our social investment agenda”, Sánchez added.
Fifco advocates for multiple environmental initiatives to make their processes greener. To achieve this, its main strategies can be summarized in this way:
• Transform the company into positive water, positive carbon, and positive waste.
• Recycle 100% of all the bottles it sells.
• Turn its brands into “Air Brands”.