Waste management




Sustainability Workshop at Compañia Nacional de Chocolates.

Sustainability Workshop at Compañia Nacional de Chocolates.


To diminish waste generation and increase its use in order to reduce operating costs and mitigate environmental impacts, in both direct operations and in the value chain, by extending the life cycle of materials.

Strategy and Progress 2015

Strategy Progress 2015
Reduce waste in Grupo Nutresa company operations. ico_f_verde

For the period 2010–2015, a 8.4% reduction in total waste generation was achieved.

Decrease the production of ordinary waste that is taken to landfills. ico_f_verdeOscuro

Ordinary waste was reduced by 7.3%, reducing management costs for the businesses by disposing of it in landfills and increasing the useful life of these spaces.

Increase the waste recovery to extend the life cycle of materials. ico_f_verdeA

We achieved a 89.5% level of Waste recovery of the ones generated in Colombia.

Strengthen the integral management of hazardous waste generated by operating activities. ico_f_amarillo

Non–recyclable hazardous waste was reduced by 69.2% for the period 2010–2015.

Risks and Opportunities

Awareness activity of waste separation. Servicios Nutresa Medellín, Colombia.

Awareness activity of waste separation. Servicios Nutresa Medellín, Colombia.


Solid waste management has historically been performed through a utility provider in a model in which industries pay a fee for its disposal. Given that more and more tons of waste go into available landfills, Grupo Nutresa directs its resources to work on minimizing this impact on natural capital by implementing cleaner production strategies, eco–design and eco–efficiency in its processes, to reduce disposal fees and send the least waste possible generated by its operations to landfills.

Within the integral waste management carried out today, the Organization faces several risks that affect this material issue, associated with increasing waste generation, directly related to marketing strategies that are influenced in a pattern of increasing consumption. Another risk is the loss of value of the waste, associated with the constant training and education of the community to avoid missing opportunities to reuse and recycle waste that can generate value. Finally, inadequate management of solid waste or an increase in its generation may endanger the Company’s reputation and affect the image of its brands with consumers.

Future perspectives

The Organization established two goals around solid waste that imply challenges for its operations to ensure compliance. The first seeks to reduce its generation per ton produced; the second is to increase its recovery. Both goals are aimed at reducing the volume of waste sent to landfills, increasing the capacity of these spaces and reducing management costs.

2020 GOAL:

Another challenge in the coming years is associated with the change in Colombian environmental legal regulations regarding sewage water, since all plants in Colombia must invest in new technologies to treat wastewater. This process will generate surplus sludge that was not considered when defining corporate goals and that could ultimately cause noncompliance in the future. Therefore, Grupo Nutresa is carrying out projects to strengthen integral waste management and contribute to its minimization, thus complying with the policies and guidelines that the Government proposes in this matter.

Remarkable achievements

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Noteworthy is the reduction in volume and costs of sludge disposal in the Chocolate Business wastewater–treatment plant in Rionegro. This plant has a settling tank that disposes the sludge in an 8 m3 vector vehicle. This sludge was collected directly and, therefore, used to have a very high water content. Five drying beds were built, which permitted a 34% reduction in the weight of the sludge, once dehydrated on the drying beds. Also, a decrease in the carbon footprint associated with its transport was achieved, since 50 trips were required for 400 m3, with three tons of emissions annually, while – with the reduction of the weight of the sludge – only 25 trips are required, equal to 1.6 tons of CO2e annually.

Reduction of sludge volume in waste water treatment plant. Compañia Nacional de Chocolates Rionegro, Colombia.

Reduction of sludge volume in waste water treatment plant. Compañia Nacional de Chocolates Rionegro, Colombia.

Also outstanding is the use of organic waste from the production process in the Ice Cream Business in Bogotá. For this, modified emulsifier equipment was purchased, according to the conditions of the waste, making better use of the organic waste, which could be reprocessed for new product formulations. Thanks to this initiative, the generation of organic liquid waste from the process – which previously represented 52% of the total waste products in the plant – was reduced by 32%. This decrease also reduced final disposal costs and presented a better use of testing products.

Emulsifier for the use of organic waste. Ice Cream Business Bogotá, Medellín.

Emulsifier for the use of organic waste. Ice Cream Business Bogotá, Medellín.

icono estrella calidadFinally the use of expanded expanded polystyrene in exports of the Chocolate and Biscuit Businesses. This material was classified as waste in the Biscuit Business plant in Medellín; but it is the same material that the Chocolate Business uses at its plant in Rionegro to protect cocoa butter while exporting. With this knowledge, it was decided to recover these material, generating savings for the Chocolate and Biscuit Businesses of COP 36 millions/year and COP 15.7 milloions/year, respectively, as well as a 365 m3/year reduction in the generation of unusable waste.

Progress 2015

Separation of recoverable cardboard for its use. Novaventa, Colombia.

Separation of recoverable cardboard for its use. Novaventa, Colombia.


In Grupo Nutresa, material and waste management is not only managed in the light of compliance with the legal requirements applicable to the Organization, but it increasingly focuses on the implementation of cleaner alternatives to prevent contamination and improve integral waste management, thus reducing surpluses from production processes and other waste from its source of generation. For Grupo Nutresa, the care of resources and the increase in the useful life of landfills where each business operates is vitally important.

For this reason, all the businesses have integral solid–waste management plans in their production plants and offices, aimed at reducing generation and promoting separation at the source to increase the possibility of recycling, reusing or recuperating these materials. This reduces the Organization’s impacts on natural capital by extending the life cycle of materials that – once recycled – generate a much lower environmental impact.

Thanks to these efforts, for the period 2010–2015 Grupo Nutresa achieved a 8.4% decrease in total waste generation. Within this category, all surpluses from production processes, including ordinary waste, organic waste from processes, recyclables, composting and hazardous waste, are recorded.

Likewise, in line with the policy on the Prevention of Contamination and Adoption of Measures to Minimize the Generation of Ordinary Waste, in each of the operations, a 40.1% reduction of waste corresponding to this category was achieved. In addition to generating profitability for the businesses and contributing to the Organization’s financial capital, this result contributed to the objective of extending the useful life of landfills in the country, reducing the impact on natural capital.

Meanwhile, the waste recovery has grown in the last five years, with an increase of 10.8%, while maintaining the indicator above 85%, which contributes to the 2020 goal of reaching 90%.

This is achieved through proper separation at the source, which improves the condition and quality of the waste, and by establishing long–term partnerships with local authorized recyclers to ensure the extension of the useful life of these materials and avoid their ending up in landfills.

Total Weight of Waste G4-EN23 SDG 3 SDG 6 SDG 12

Waste classification inside the production processes in Colcafé. Medellín, Colombia.

Waste classification inside the production processes in Colcafé. Medellín, Colombia.