ESTANCIAS DEL LAGO – SUSTAINABILITY
Estancias del Lago is a leading sustainable agro-industrial complex dedicated to the production of milk powder. Our own milking yard has the largest area not only in Uruguay, but also in South America, with more than 13,000 milk animals and a daily production of 520.000 liters of milk. The company exports more than 21.000 tons of excellent quality milk powder to over 25 countries throughout the world.
In our processes, we substitute fertilizers and fossil fuels for renewable energies, minimizing the consumption of chemicals and greenhouse gas emissions.
• STRATEGIES FOR BEING ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY
We have an attentive and focused look towards the environment. Our company has a specific area for such purposes, where an environmental management program is carried out, comprising the controls, and monitoring for the water matrices, effluents, soils, drinking water, biodiversity, air, emissions.
We count with two energy efficiency certifications for the generation of biogas from 8 biodigesters. This biogas is transferred to the drying plant, replacing fuel oil and LPG in the steam generation boiler and drying oven. The fluid milk obtained from our three dairy farms at San Pedro, is sent through a pipeline avoiding the burning of fossil fuels for its vehicular transportation.
The effluents from the Dairy farm are conducted to a special treatment area. Firstly, they are located in a receiving chamber, concentrated and sent to the 8 biodigesters. After 30 days, this biodigestated effluent is transferred through pipes to the solid building, where the solid and liquid are separated using mechanical presses. The solid part is implemented as soil improver. The liquid part is used as fertigation in the fields. The biogas is transferred to the drying plant to feed the boiler and furnace.
In addition, EDL has an integrated management system that includes, among others, the ISO 14001 standard.
• ACTIVE PARTICIPATION AT GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS
For 2 consecutive years, Estancias del Lago has been submitted to the Energy Efficiency Certificates (CEE): This certification implies a monetary award granted by the MIEM due to the energy efficiency measures successfully implemented
• IMPACT ACTIONS FOR THE COMMUNITY
1. Adequate management of solid waste generated in production processes. Waste is managed efficiently, reducing final disposal in open dumps.
2. Our natural resources are periodically monitored. We control the environmental impacts of our main activities and take measures to mitigate them, also preserving the biodiversity of the area.
3. The company is strongly committed to efficiency in the use of energy. As mentioned before, since 2019 we have submitted to energy efficiency certificates
4. Regarding GHG emissions, they are minimized by reducing the use of fossil fuel, given by the substitution of LPG and fuel-oil by biogas from biodigesters, a product obtained from the anaerobic digestion of animal excreta. In addition to this, the raw material is conducted through a milk pipeline directly to the plant, avoiding the use of 17 trucks per day. This can be quantified in the non-use of 2,482 liters of gas oil per year, corresponding to a reduction of 6,701 CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.
5. Implementing free stall instead of the typical production system in Uruguay (pastoral system) represents a reduction of approximately 56% of GHG emissions.
6. The biodigestated effluents are used as natural fertilizer and the solid is also used as a soil improver. The use of chemical fertilizers is reduced.
• STRENGTHENING OF “NATURAL URUGUAY” CONCEPT
1. the generation of biogas from industrial waste, its reincorporation into the production system to be used as fuel in the steam generation boiler and in the drying oven of the production plant are one of our added value.
2. The irrigation of crops with green water, planned according to the feeding needs of our animals, supports the triple R concept: reuse, recycle, reuse.
3. The original and innovative idea of mechanically transporting the milk from the dairy to the industrial plant, eliminating trucking and consequently reducing carbon dioxide also strengthens the image of a natural country.
We can assert that Estancias del Lago fully applies the concept of Circular Economy: “It proposes a paradigm shift, where the linear economy of extraction, consumption and disposal is transformed into a model destined to reduce environmental impacts, optimizing, recirculating, dematerializing and exchanging materials, supplies and resources used in production, helping to reduce environmental impact ”
Note: Uruguay Circular 2021, a program carried out by MIEM, MA, ANDE, page Uruguay and UNIDO:
• GUIDANCE TO ENVIRONMENTAL TRAINING
The company has an integrated management system that includes, among others, ISO14001. Staff are regularly trained on these issues. In this framework, we take care of continually renewing posters, photographs, promoting awareness and generating discipline and knowledge to all our collaborators.
• – SUMMARY
Estancias del Lago was conceived from the beginning as self-sustaining company. Its circular economy implies the generation herd´s feed, producing milk of excellent quality. Three by-products are obtained from the waste treated in biodigesters: biogas, the liquid phase, and the solid phase. In this way, natural resources are renewed while respecting the “sustainability” factor. The original idea of transporting the milk from the dairy farm through a pipeline contributes to the overall concept described. The preservation of native species such as birds, mammals and fish are essential elements for our company to be recognized as green.