Pet food maker’s R22m solar bet pays off
29 July 2020 | Web Article Number: ME202019953
MONTEGO Pet Nutrition has reported a 300-ton reduction in CO2 emissions in 2020 to date after utilising solar energy as a renewable energy source at its Graaff-Reinet production facility.
Marketing Manager Wilfred Cawood said this reduction is equivalent to planting approximately 9,000 trees to offset carbon emissions.
“Montego is committed to becoming a low-carbon company and sustaining the environment. 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,” he said.
The pet food manufacturer made a R22 million investment in a dedicated solar energy plant last year, completing work on the 843kWp 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 for its products, which increased 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.”
Cawood said the move to clean energy sources was a growing priority in South Africa, particularly in the face of the country’s costly dependency on coal.
He cited a report released by the South African National Energy Association (SANEA) which asserts that clean energy could also help drive the country economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Solar energy presents a viable solution to the growing energy demand and strain on South Africa power grid. South African businesses have a role to play in facilitating and innovating clean energy solutions, and developing the necessary infrastructure within communities,” Cawood said.