In 2011, the Kingsville, Ontario-based Mucci group of companies committed to reducing its corporate carbon emissions intensity by a minimum of 5% a year over the next five years.
The plan is part of Mucci’s greenERhouse commitment, of which the “ER” stands for environmental responsibility, employee responsibility and emissions reduction.
Last year, the company achieved a Carbonzero certification of carbon neutrality for 2011.
Certification, which takes place the year after the data is collected, signifies a company is contributing a net zero addition of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
In 2011, Mucci Farms was able to achieve this by buying carbon offset credits, which help neutralize negative effects with positive efforts.
In 2012, the company hopes to achieve carbon neutrality with no required credits, according to Jim Gallant, vice president of operations and engineering for Remasco, Kingsville.
Remasco is a Mucci-controlled corporation.
“We expanded one greenhouse by 15 acres and included a thermal energy curtain, which significantly reduced energy consumption and will hopefully allow us to achieve our 2012 carbon reduction target without needing to purchase any carbon credits,” Gallant said.
Mucci has added thermal curtains to two greenhouses, Gallant said.
Organics Unlimited considering solar panels
Mayra Velazquez de Leon, president of Organics Unlimited, San Diego, says the company is doing research using solar panels for refrigeration.
The company is in the early stages of looking into the option, which would offset the company’s energy use substantially, Velazquez de Leon said.
“Our expectations are that this will save us on electricity bills and allow us to use the energy we have right here,” she said.
There is no set timeline for implementing the solar energy, but it’s in progress as the company seeks to grow its business.
“We want to reuse what we have here,” Velazquez de Leon said.
“It’s a matter of trying to be more sustainable, and the refrigeration energy is one of the most important things to work on,” she said.