Baladna to further boost circular economy initiatives

May 12, 2023

Doha: Baladna has been adopting innovative, sustainable practices for high quality dairy production and a reduced carbon footprint that supports Qatar’s food self-sufficiency goals. Its circular approach to food security is turning waste into wealth, said an official.

Addressing the second day of ‘3rd Recycling Towards Sustainability Conference & Exhibition’ organised by Ministry of Municipality, Francis Higgins, Head of Sustainability and Communications, Baladna discussed about Baladna’s innovative journey of transforming waste into valuable resources, promoting food security and self-sufficiency in Qatar.

“Through its innovative solutions and recycling efforts the company has managed to create a closed loop system that not only minimises environmental impact but also supports the food security of the nation. By converting waste into resources, we are demonstrating that a sustainable, circular economy is possible and can contribute to a greener future,” said Higgins addressing the session entitled ‘Transforming Dairy Waste Streams: Baladna’s Path To A Sustainable and Circular Economy’.

Since 2017, Baladna has been at the forefront of sustainability in dairy production, continuously implementing innovative practices to protect our planet. “We now have over 24,000 animals and we provide 70 percent of dairy products for the market. Our goal is not only to provide high quality dairy products but also to contribute to the nation’s food security and self-sufficiency and one of the ways we do this is by embracing a circular approach to waste management in our operations – effectively turning waste into wealth.”

Giving an overview of the approach, the official explained, “Our multifaceted approach involves innovative waste management and recycling, nurturing circular economy, advanced wastewater treatment, tackling greenhouse emissions, multi stakeholder partnership and exporting our business model to support worldwide food security.”

One of the ways in which “we do this is with our solid waste and we have manure management process, this involves collecting the waste produced by the cows. We take solids from the liquids and we turn them into compost. This compost is used by local farmers and food producers as an organic fertilizer to grow vegetables and crops. By doing this we are promoting a low carbon sustainable agriculture practice in the country. So, we are also reducing our greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.

Baladna’s state-of-art composting facility aims to reduce emissions of the greenhouse gas methane from dairy waste management. “We have been able to reduce methane gases by a massive 70 percent and increase the compost quantity for sale by 30 percent. Our transformative approach to waste management reduces our carbon footprint and supports Qatar’s food self-sufficiency goals.”

Speaking about manure and solid waste management he noted that the facility is designed to treat around 47.9 kt of waste annually and produce about 12.16 kt of organic compost.

In addition to manure management, “we also recycle our wastewater, and this plays an important role in preserving scarce water resources in the region. We are able to recycle about 22,000 cubic meters of water and 12,000 cubic meters of that is put back into our system which is used for barn flushing, irrigation, floor cleaning, farm operations. The remaining 10,000 cubic meters is treated, then the Polishing Reverse Osmosis plant helps produce potable water for soaking and cooling systems,” Higgins said.

He added, “Our commitment to this kind of waste reduction and recovery extends not only to waste from farming operations but also to our product as well. We have an initiative with our waste management company SeaShore and we are targeting a 95 percent diversion of market returns from landfill into recycled waste. We anticipate that it will lead to a 56 percent reduction in overall waste handling cost and it will save us around 65 percent in CO2 emissions.

Elaborating on circular economy, he said, “As we learn more about waste management and the solutions, we can all begin to shift towards a more sustainable and circular economy. These kinds of sustainable practices fuel our circular, low waste business model at Baladna. We are able to contribute to waste reduction and resource recovery, reusing of waste but also combatting greenhouse gas emissions.”

He further said, “We are also partnering with Qatar Research Development and Innovation Council and currently working on a project with them to improve the quality of compost and reduce environmental impact further and exploring the possibility of animal feed vertically using hydroponics here in Qatar.”

“As we pave the way to a more sustainable, circular economy, we at Baladna believe it is essential to educate and inspire the young generation. We engage with young visitors from schools and teach them about the importance of composting and the role that it plays in supporting organic sustainable food choices. We believe that by fostering these kinds of environmental awareness programmes in the young people we are planting the seeds of a more sustainable future,” he added.


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