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103-2 | 103-3: Environmental compliance

Athena Foods is committed to the constant search for excellence in the management of the use of natural resources, fully complying with the pertinent legislation in each of the countries of which it operates. The Company maintains instruments that enable the proper management of water consumption, solid waste generation, liquid effluents and atmospheric emissions in all its units.

In addition, it adopts quantitative and qualitative data collection tools in order to better coordinate the monitoring and control of operations and enable those who oversee the environmental sector to maintain a more active management. The teams at each unit perform strict control of licenses and other environmental documents, in addition to monitoring KPIs: water consumption, effluent generation, liquid effluent quality, water quality of the receiving body, operating costs and revenues, and recovery of oils and greases in physical-chemical treatment systems.

Ongoing investments are made in improving indicators, as well as developing leadership training projects to incorporate social and environmental responsibility issues into decision-making.

The Plan de Gestión Ambiental (PGA), an environmental management plan, is in place in all units, establishing actions to control, correct, compensate and prevent the negative environmental effects and impacts of activities. In Colombia, the unit maintains a Plan de Ordenación Florestal, it is a forest management plan since it is located in an area of protected vegetation.

To ensure that all units operate in compliance with current legislation, frequent analyses of environmental aspects and impacts are promoted, resulting in a Risk Matrix, submitted to the pertinent authorities of the countries where the Company operates.

In 2019, several activities were carried out to raise employee awareness about the importance of waste management, which included video displays of the effluent treatment process and all employees and their families were provided with a kit containing recyclable materials. The employees and their families also visited Athena Foods’ industrial facilities and planted tree seedlings in the units’ premises.

103-2 | 103-3: Energy
In 2019, Athena Foods began to rely on an organizational structure of Engineering focused on primary issues, such as the management of the energy matrix of the Company’s units.

From that point on, great advances were achieved and improvements were made to the management with the implementation of new KPIs, standardized for all units and continuously monitored. In this way, it is possible to detect deviations and resolve them more quickly and assertively, and to plan actions to reduce electricity consumption, which is now measured in kilowatt-hours per ton of finished product (kWh/TPA).

Based on the specific requirements of each unit’s refrigeration and production system, the operating profiles and power consumption for each plant were defined. With this procedure it will be possible to optimize the electrical energy consumption over the next few years.

Team training and meetings were also held to further align best practices and improve monitoring in all units.

103-2 | 103-3: Water
For the responsible management of the use of water, an essential resource in the production process of Athena Foods, the withdrawal procedure is controlled by means of properly calibrated hydrometers. The units of Athena Foods have systems for groundwater and surface water collection and a minor portion of the water consumed comes from the public supply network.

The Plan de Consumo Eficiente (Efficient Consumption Plan) was introduced, which encompasses the adoption of new management indicators and methods of measurement. Water consumption is now evaluated in cubic meters per ton of finished product (m³/TPA) in order to allow a more complete and rational analysis of the use of the resource in production.

Monitoring of water consumption and the parameters of water quality, allows for performance comparison and the analysis of variables, allowing for the management and treatment of deviations.

In 2019, activities to raise awareness were intensified, especially with the creation of working groups made up of employees focused on identifying potential opportunities for reducing water consumption. In addition, training was provided and campaigns were conducted for plant employees regarding water conservation and resource-conscious management.

World Water Day
Every year, on April 22nd, World Water Day is celebrated. The theme for 2019 was “Every Drop Matters”. In all the units, training sessions and activities for raising awareness were held on the importance of using the resource efficiently and without waste.
103-2 | 103-3: Effluent and Waste
The Company has Wastewater Treatment Plants (STP) composed of primary and secondary systems in all its units. In some locations, a tertiary system, which is monitored by sampling allows to verify the effectiveness of the system and identify points for improvement.

One of the Company’s premises in this segment is to have the best primary treatment available so that the secondary does not suffer interference and thus reduce the anaerobic or aerobic efficiency of the system, thereby ensuring the removal of organic load above that specified in current legislation.

The parameters for measuring the quality of the treated effluent are established in accordance with the environmental legislation in force in the countries where Athena Foods operates and the IFC Performance Standards.

In 2019, several improvements were made and equipment was purchased for the effluent treatment systems of the units, including aerators, pumps, mixers, installation of flotation systems (DAF) and sludge collectors.

103-2 | 103-3: Effluent and Waste
The units of Athena Foods have a Plan de Gestión de Resíduos (PGR) (Waste Management Plan) that differs according to local requirements. Waste is separated by common, recyclable, and hazardous waste categories.

Common waste is removed from the plants by collection service and sent to the municipal landfill. The hazardous waste is collected by authorized licensed companies for proper treatment. Recyclable waste is sent to local cooperatives that promote material recovery. In 2019, 2,127,358 kilos of solid waste, including paper, plastic, cardboard and metals, were recycled.

Throughout the year, employee training and orientation were provided on solid waste sorting. During the Jornada SGI, toy making activities with recyclable material were held in all units of Athena Foods. During this activity, each participating employee created a toy together with their children. The toys were displayed at the unit during each week of the event.

El proyecto Revive fue desarrollado por Athena Foods en asociación con el Ministerio del Ambiente y Desarrollo Sostenible (MADES) en Paraguay. Entre las actividades realizadas por esta iniciativa cabe mencionar el entrenamiento realizado por los empleados de Athena Foods, sobre la importancia del reciclaje en las diferentes escuelas de la comunidad. En total, 15 instituciones educativas participaron en esta actividad, con la participación directa de 2.1 mil estudiantes.

La limpieza de los manantiales del Arroyo Mburicao y las orillas del río Paraguay también formaron parte de Revive y dieron lugar a la recogida de más de 42 toneladas de residuos sólidos que fueron separados y adecuadamente eliminados.

103-2 | 103-3: Biodiversity
103-2 | 103-3: Environmental assessment of suppliers
The Company is always alert to factors that may be triggered by climate change and likely to affect biodiversity. Deforestation and burning may cause increased greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and are commonly related to livestock activities, mainly due to territorial expansion. 304-2

The supply chain is a fundamental pillar in the relationship of the Company with organized civil society, as it ensures safety, transparency and quality of information in relation to the criteria for the purchase of cattle. The adoption of Sustainable Livestock practices allows for the continuous improvement regarding social and environmental responsibility through performance indicators and programs that certify the safety and traceability of products. With a high level of monitoring of its supply chain free of deforestation, Minerva Foods, with its subsidiary Athena Foods, is the company that most contributes to the fight against climate change, in the meat packing sector, through the mitigation of GHG emissions resulting from land use change.

Through a third-party geospatial monitoring platform (SMGeo), the criteria for illegal deforestation, overlapping indigenous lands and environmental preservation areas are verified for livestock acquisitions by Athena Foods located in the Paraguayan Chaco biome.

Since there is a lack of systems as of yet or public databases with information regarding property perimeters in Paraguay that would enable territorial analysis of livestock suppliers, a mapping procedure has been adopted using geographical coordinates obtained via GPS records taken at the property’s headquarters or gateway or from information registered at the Servicio Nacional de Calidad y Salud Animal (SENACSA).

With the coordinates informed on the SMGeo platform, the analysis is automatic, having the coordinate as reference to generate a buffer of 2 kilometers of radius, allowing to evaluate overlaps in the region.

Afterwards, the properties are classified as “ cleared without any overlaps” if they meet the social and environmental criteria established by the Company, or “ blocked with overlaps” if any non-compliance is detected. Currently, over 50% of Athena Foods’ supply chain in the Paraguayan Chaco, amounting to an area of over 699,000 hectares, is undergoing geospatial monitoring in a little over a year of the implementation of the project.

In 2019, the first independent audit of the monitoring system for cattle purchases in Paraguay was performed for the period of September 2018 to November 2019, in which the Company showed 100% compliance with the social and environmental criteria adopted.

The progressive evolution of the project can be observed from the results collected, whether through the development of country-specific systems for the national context of Paraguay, the use of geographic technology for a better understanding of the territorial occupation of the country, or the sharing of experiences among the stakeholders involved.

For the remaining countries that make up Athena Foods, the Corporate Sustainability team plans to map and implement geospatial monitoring in accordance with local legislation, making available public and official information to define the social and environmental criteria to be established for each country.

Gracias a los resultados obtenidos, se puede observar la evolución progresiva del proyecto. Se puede observar mediante el desarrollo de sistemas específicos para el contexto nacional paraguayo, la aplicación de tecnología geográfica para una mejor comprensión de la ocupación territorial del país y el intercambio de experiencias entre las partes interesadas.

En cuanto a los demás países que integran Athena Foods, la planificación del equipo de Sostenibilidad Corporativa contempla la mapeamiento y la aplicación de la vigilancia geoespacial de conformidad con la legislación local, poniendo a disposición bases de información pública y oficial para definir los criterios sociales y ambientales que se establezcan para cada país.

103-2 | 103-3: Emissions
The topic of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions is always present in the multi-stakeholder discussions, as well as in the SGI policy, which declares its commitment to reducing atmospheric emissions.

As a way of contributing to the mitigation of these aspects, the Company maintains strict social and environmental criteria. It is part of the Forest Conservation Agriculture Alliance and the Alianza para el Desarrollo Sostenible (Partnership for Sustainable Development) project, whose objective is to promote more sustainable practices for meat and soy production in the Chaco biome, and improve measures related to land use and increase the supply of products produced in a sustainable manner.

Since 2014, the Company has prepared the Greenhouse Gas Inventory (GHG) based on the methodology of the internationally recognized GHG Protocol and has used it as a management tool to guide improvements in the environmental systems and energy efficiency. The inventory consolidates direct emissions from sources under which the organization has control (scope 1) and direct emissions from the acquisition of electricity (scope 2).

In 2019, the overall result, taking into account emissions from Minerva and Athena, registered a 41% reduction in GHG emissions compared to the previous year, taking into account the gases regulated by the Kyoto Protocol. This achievement was due to improvements on the energy efficiency systems, improvement of the effluent treatment systems and the reduction in fuel consumption, among others. For the year, Athena Foods issued 90,872.57 tCO2e from scope 1 and 3,427.21 tCO2e from scope 2. 305-1 | 305-2

The shoulder is taken from the beef chuck or shoulder clod. Its tender texture is due to the fine fibers and interspersed marbling, despite having little external fat, which gives the cut unparalleled juiciness and flavor. It may be cut into steaks for the grill, cooked with herbs, or prepared in a wine sauce.