TORONTO — Bimbo Canada and Renewable Energy Systems (RES) have reached an agreement under which Bimbo will procure renewable electricity from RES to offset 100% of Bimbo’s electricity usage in Canada.

Bimbo said it has signed two virtual power agreements (VPPAs) with RES, expected to be fully operational by December 2022.

“Bimbo Canada is committed to nourishing a better world through productive sustainability practices,” said Joe McCarthy, president of Bimbo Canada. “These agreements are the next big step in reducing our environmental footprint and becoming leaders in responsible stewardship of the environment.”

The agreements with RES have terms of 15 years and will support the commercial development of two renewable energy projects in southern Alberta — wind and solar — totaling 170 megawatts of installed capacity.

With the agreements, Bimbo Canada has committed to procure from RES the benefit of about 50 megawatts of renewable electricity, offsetting the electric consumption of its 16 baking plants, 14 distribution centers and 191 depots in Canada. RES Canada expects to finalize commercial development requirements for the wind and solar projects this year, with operations under way by the end of next year.  

“RES is proud that its Alberta wind and solar projects are helping Bimbo Canada meet its sustainability initiatives,” said Peter Clibbon, senior vice president of development at RES. “It’s a win-win situation with our projects delivering competitive wind and solar electricity to Bimbo Canada, while providing our host communities with long-term tax and landowner income.”

Grupo Bimbo since 2018 has been part of RE100, a global initiative led by The Climate Group and in partnership with Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). The company has committed to operating with 100% renewable electricity by 2025.

“The renewable electricity initiatives in our operations respond to Grupo Bimbo’s deep commitment that we have had for many decades globally with the planet and with present and future generations,” said Daniel Servitje, chief executive officer of Grupo Bimbo. “With this announcement, we have achieved another important milestone for the company on our journey toward becoming 100% renewable electricity by 2025.”

Canada is the second market, alongside the United States, in which Bimbo has entered VPPAs.

Bimbo Canada in 2020 exceeded its product waste reduction target by 18%, saving 4 million units of products from landfills. The company also eliminated 174 tonnes of plastic per year through several packaging optimization initiatives. More recently, Bimbo Canada signed a Canada Plastics Pact and earned its first Energy Star certification for the company’s baking plant in Hamilton, Ont.