Mercabarna and the ASSOCOME business association set up three new technical commissions in November to launch projects that affect food-estate users as a whole and which strive for sustainability and resource saving. Focusing on mobility, energy and water treatment, the three commissions join forces with the two that have already been in operation for years: Telecommunications –which includes the Fruit and Vegetable and Fish Wholesale Business Associations– and Health and Job Safety.
Resulting from the agreement reached on 7 November between Mercabarna management and the ASSOCOME board, the new commissions exemplify the now-traditional cooperation and commitment to dialogue between Mercabarna (public sector) and its business owners (private sector) in order to boost initiatives of all kinds that encourage the Food Unit’s development and improve the competitiveness of its businesses.
Making use of Mercabarna’s large number of cold-chain facilities, the Energy Commission is studying the creation of a specific infrastructures network that will enhance cold distribution among Food Unit companies. The initiative goes by the name of District Heating & Cooling, since it has been successfully implemented in different European city districts and seeks to cut costs and reduce CO2 emissions. Its objective is not only to be more respectful of the environment but also to adapt to future European regulations in this regard, which in certain countries result in sanctions for carbon dioxide gas emissions.
Mercabarna and ASSOCOME are also negotiating a joint contract project for power supply, a step already taken in telecommunications, to help reduce power costs for Food Unit companies.
The Mobility Commission is taking a multi-pronged approach: first, by improving and reorganising traffic on Mercabarna grounds, taking advantage of the future redevelopment projects for the Central Fruit and Vegetable Market and the Complementary Activities Area (ZAC), and second, by building new high-rise car parks.
Furthermore, together with Barcelona Activa, the Commission will endeavour to create awareness among companies with transport fleets so that they opt for more energy-efficient, less contaminating vehicles (hybrids, LPG- (liquefied petroleum gas), CNG- (compressed natural gas) or electrically-run).
Reducing water costs
With cost reduction in mind, the Water Commission is weighing the possibility of improving Mercabarna’s water supply network. It is also considering expanding the food estate’s water purifier service to a greater number of companies, as it currently serves basically the Slaughterhouse and the firms located there.
The Commission will also work on putting groundwater to uses other than simply street-cleaning on the premises.