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Ensuring Resource Efficiency: Reducing Operational Costs Through Change in Firewood Purchasing Pattern

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Bakery Super Pão Campina Grande, Paraiba / Brazil

In brief

The bakery, Panificadora Super Pão, was founded in 1995 in the City of Campina Grande, in the State of Paraiba, Brazil. It currently employs 14 workers as follows: 7 in customer service, 3 in production, and 4 in confectionery. Its main products are bread, biscuits, cakes, and wheat-based products. The company owns a shop, but also sells its products in school canteens and offers buffet and coffee break services. It bakes its products in an old and rustic oven whose source fuel is firewood, which is stocked in large quantities near the oven. This attracts insects and blocks employees’ passageway to the oven. The entrepreneur started reducing the amount of stored firewood, which reduced environmental impact and resulted in cost savings through the fractionated purchase of firewood.

The challenge

The majority of the bakeries in the State of Paraiba bake their products in old and rustic ovens, normally firing a type of firewood called algaroba (prosopis juliflora Sw). At Panificadora Super Pão, the purchase and stock control of this firewood is based on estimations, and the load bought lasts about four months. The firewood is stocked in the backyard, near the oven, in the open air, which blocks the passageway of employees in charge of the baking process and attracts insects to the bakery.

Actions taken within the enterprise (after application of the PREMA GHK guide)

Purchase of smaller, “just-in-time” quantities of fire wood;

Standardization of the size of firewood pieces introduced in the oven;

Reduction in the use of pesticides used to prevent insects from coming into the bakery.

Economic benefits

Previous cost of firewood consumption per month

R$ 1,300/ truckload (NGN 650)

The firewood consumption in the bakery was around a truckload every 3 months.

R$ 5,200/year of firewood. (NGN 2600)

Investment

No investment.

Annual cost avoidance

R$ 1,300 (NGN 650)

Through the purchase of smaller quantities of firewood, it was possible to control the consumption in the baking process. Before the implementation of the GHK guide, a truckload was used every three months.  Today, the same amount of firewood lasts for four months, in other words, per year, the bakery reduced fire wood by 25%. This action was quantified and followed up for a year, which gave us precise figures of savings.

Environmental benefits

Through the fractionated purchase and chopping of firewood, it was possible to reduce fire wood consumption by 25%, thus lessening environmental impact. Another environmental benefit was the reduction in the use of pesticides. However, the savings in pesticides were not quantified.

Organizational improvements

The fractionated purchase of firewood allowed the company to reduce the stock. This facilitated the access of employees to the oven area and also reduced possible insect plagues, creating a better work environment for employees. 

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