BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA – Menprom, a family-owned meat processing company, has received support from the European Union (EU) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which has enabled it to install solar panels in its factory, taking it one step further onto a green path.
Merima Dževdetbegović, Menprom’s chief operating officer (COO) said the company has been making efforts to move to greener production for some time now.
It started with the simplest step of replacing all lights in the factory with greener LEDs followed by the installation of a wastewater heat recovery system and air-to-water heat pumps to increase the energy efficiency of the factory.
The high energy prices in Europe prompted the company to think of alternative energy, and as Bosnia experiences quite a lot of sunshine between spring and autumn, solar power seemed like the obvious choice, the COO added.
To turn the company’s ambition into reality, Merima approached the EBRD for advice, since the local market lacked expertise and few businesses in Bosnia are familiar with solar energy, let alone use it for their energy needs.
The low usage of solar energy in Bosnia is due to a complicated legal procedure and insufficient financial support from the government, she stated.
Through its Advice for Small Businesses programme, funded in Bosnia and Herzegovina by the EU, the EBRD helped Merima undertake a comprehensive energy audit and install a series of solar panels that each produce 450 kWh.
On average, Menprom expects its solar panels to produce 30 percent of their overall energy use, which will lead to €40,000(US$ 41,803) worth of energy savings every year.
“This month 40 percent of our energy consumption came from our solar panels, and we expect this to be even higher in the summer months,” says Merima.
The company anticipates that solar energy will also reduce its annual CO₂ emissions by around 500,000 kg.
Menprom has projected this investment to be profitable in just two years since it took note of the opportunities a green transition could offer when no other company had taken a step before in the country.
The COO hopes Menprom will lead by example and motivate other companies to consider the value of investing in sustainability measures to follow suit.
Transition to green energy follows Menprom’s 2007 achievement of becoming the first company in Bosnia to successfully implement international food safety standards, as well as standards certifying its food as Halal.
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