South Africa’s Tiger Brands (TBSJ.J) will soon roll out solar power at its manufacturing sites, kicking off a multi-million rand investment into sustainable energy, the country’s biggest food producer said on Wednesday.
Demand for sustainability has multiplied in the past few years as shareholders increasingly expect companies to take steps toward greater transparency and use cleaner energy.
Meanwhile, the country’s worst-ever power crisis is forcing companies not to rely on ailing state-owned utility Eskom for power that goes out for up to six hours, slowing production and crippling sales.
Onsite solar power and other renewable energies will be installed at 35 manufacturing sites across South Africa by 2030, beginning with four sites, which will generate 2 megawatts of power, providing at least a third of their power usage, Tiger Brands said.
Solar power generation at these four sites is expected to go online between the last quarter of this year and the first quarter of 2023.
The goal is to have 65% of the business’ electricity requirements at a manufacturing level across South Africa sourced from sustainable energy by 2030, Tiger Brands said.
This will be done through the procurement of power purchase agreements from independent power producers as well as other renewable energy options. Other than solar power, Tiger Brands is also exploring biogas, wind, batteries, and hydrogen amongst others, it added.
“Harnessing the power of natural energy sources is first and foremost about minimizing our impact on the environment and doing our part to reduce reliance and strain on the national grid so that more South Africans have access to the resource,” said Derek McKernan, Tiger Brands’ Chief Manufacturing Officer.