BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The Victorias Milling Company, that is marking its 102nd anniversary, said that it managed to achieve a positive growth, despite the difficulties brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Its chairman, Wilson Young, attributed this growth largely to the VMC Sustainability Team that was established to effectively implement sustainability programs that increased performance levels from its various businesses.
Among the programs implemented was the VMC Closed-Loop Production System that became the company’s integrated sugar-based business sustainability model that maximizes the use of all input materials with very few waste products, Young said.
VMC President Minnie Chua said that under this set-up, a set of downstream products, including high quality ethanol from molasses, are used to make bioethanol fuel and rubbing alcohol, aside from producing granulated brown and refined sugar.
Wastewater released from the production of sugar is treated and recycled back to the factory, thereby reducing the reliance on external water sources, while organic by-products are returned to the field as fertilizer, Chua said.
“Using this business sustainability model, we have seen rapid growth across our areas of business with increased sugar, alcohol, and power production and efficiency of our operations,” Chua said.
She added that VMC will continue to “prioritize investment to improve operational efficiencies and environmental protection”, and cited the over P100 million infusion for environmental measures implemented last year.
Among the highlights was increasing alcohol production. Because of the high demand during the pandemic, the company donated huge amounts to local governments, public institutions and health facilities, not just in Negros Island but also in Panay and parts of Luzon, too. To address the pandemic at the workplace, VMC set up its own quarantine and isolation facilities as well as the Quarantine Tech Bay to allow APORs to spend their quarantine time productively. An isolation room was also established at the distillery, and telemedicine was launched to address Covid-19 preparedness in the workplace.*