from renewable sources
compared to 2015
Condensate is the hot liquid by-product resulting from steam energy that has been used in a heat transfer process. Condensate is warm water containing chemical additives that can be reused to produce steam, at just one-third of the cost of generating steam from fresh water and new chemicals.
In 2019, we maintained our condensate return rates at 95% at our textile and hosiery facilities in Central America and the Caribbean Basin, and we increased from 90% to 95% at our Bangladesh integrated facility, which translates into a substantial conservation of both energy and water.
As the largest contributor of renewable energy, the Company’s Biomass systems in Honduras and the Dominican Republic generate steam and thermal energy from burning agricultural and production waste within highly efficient boilers. These systems in combination with others allowed the Company to generate 44% of its total energy needs through renewable sources.
The Biomass process is considered carbon neutral because it prevents organic materials from entering landfills where dangerous GHGs would be emitted during the decomposition phase. The ash created during the process remains organic and serves as an effective fertilizer, with low levels of sulphur, for local agricultural processes.
Our heat recovery systems in our textile facilities use thermal energy, which is transferred from effluent to heat inbound water needed for our processes, serving to significantly reduce the amount of steam necessary to reach the required temperature. This works to both conserve water and reduce energy consumption. Since 2013, this process has allowed us to generate approximately 6,300,000 m3 of hot water from wastewater. In 2019, it contributed to the reduction of approximately 210,000 metric tons of steam.
To optimize our energy use, we have installed absorption chillers that capture thermal energy from within our steam to create cool water that drives many of our facilities’ air conditioning systems. This system generated the energy savings equivalent to avoiding the use of 2.9 million gallons of fossil fuels in 2019 with an overall power demand reduction of five megawatts, which represents a reduction that can power on average over 5,000 homes in the United States.