Companies draw up plans for net-zero

WHILE there is a broad plan for the country to achieve net-zero – the target for the complete reduction in global emissions of carbon dioxide by 2050 – companies are also drawing up their strategies towards this end.

In their plans, they show a strong awareness and determination to reach this target and improve their environmental footprint; some have tapped into opportunities arising from this transition.

Nestle (M) Bhd’s sustainability actions, said its CEO Juan Aranios, are based on four focus areas:

> climate change; to reduce carbon emissions by 20% by 2025, halve it by 2030 and achieve net-zero by 2050.

> sustainable packaging and circularity; to reduce one-third of its usage of virgin plastics, ensure that 100% of its product packaging is designed for recycling and achieve plastic neutrality by 2025.

> sustainable sourcing; to achieve 100% responsibly sourced palm oil by 2023 as well as cocoa and coffee by 2025.

> water; to maintain good water resource management and continue to support communities in need of clean water.

Sime Darby Plantation Bhd (SDP), the world’s largest producer of certified sustainable palm oil, has developed a net-zero strategy that commits to 100% reduction in scope one and two (direct and indirect) emissions by 2050, with all unabated scope emissions balanced by an appropriate amount of carbon removals or offsets, said SDP chief sustainability officer Rashyid Redza Anwarudin. (scope three includes all other indirect emissions that occur in the company’s value chain).

SDP’s net-zero strategy has a three-pronged approach involving:

> acceleration of renewables programme; SDP will have more than 40 biogas plants across the country by 2030, which will address much of the emissions from mill effluent.

Up to 70% of SDP’s footprint for non-Flag (Forest, Land Use and Agriculture) scope one and two emissions come from methane produced from mill effluent. (non-Flag emissions include the processing of palm oil fruit into oil).

> land use transformation; SDP is expanding its existing reforestation, conservation and biodiversity initiatives – reforestation of non-productive agriculture land as well as large scale tree-planting as a nature-based solution to increase carbon sinks.

SDP has decided to reforest 400 ha of peat plantations in East Malaysia.

To date, SDP has set aside forest programmes of more than 40,000 ha with over 1.9 million trees planted.

> accelerating engagements with suppliers; addressing scope three emissions generated from third-party suppliers or others in the value chain, presents the greatest challenge to SDP’s net-zero journey.

SDP has achieved 70% compliance among third-party suppliers to achieve a deforestation-free supply chain.

For PMB Technology Bhd, the largest silicon smelter in South-East Asia, the amount of carbon emissions from its plants is predominantly dependant on the source of electric power.

PMB Technology is in a strong position as a high proportion of its electricity consumption is from a renewable source – hydroelectricity, said PMB Technology CEO Koon Poh Ming.

The transition to a net-zero economy will be metal intensive; all of the known technological solutions for this green transition – better buildings, electric vehicles and renewable energy – require vast quantities of raw materials.

By supplying the critical inputs needed for the green transition, PMB Technology can contribute significantly towards a low carbon future, added Koon.

Integrated engineering and energy solutions provider, Kejuteraan Asastera Bhd (KAB), which is listed on the Main Board of Bursa Malaysia, has expanded its business to include sustainable energy solutions (Ses).

The Ses segment of KAB is now contributing directly to alleviating the impact of global climate change and its impact on communities, with various projects spanning renewable and clean energy generation – solar, waste-to-energy and co-generation, said KAB managing director Datuk Lai Keng Onn.

KAB has a waste heat recovery project at Safran Landing Systems Malaysia Sdn Bhd, an aircraft parts manufacturer, which is expected to mitigate 98,280 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) from 2020 to 2030.

A solar photovoltaic system installed by KAB at SME Aerospace in Sungai Buloh is expected to prevent the emission of 29,458 tCO2e over 25 years of energy generation.

KAB had set up a board sustainability committee in 2021 to oversee its net-zero journey, established 2021 as its base year and commenced collection of annual data for scope one and scope two emissions while preparing further for scope three emissions.

KAB’s base year emissions are 1,756 tCO2e for scope one; 59.3 tCO2e for scope two, and this shall be its starting point where KAB will track the annual reduction until it achieves net-zero.

KAB will be setting a viable target year in line with its business growth and expansion.

In terms of climate change, Nestle, under its Project RELeaf, has committed to planting three million trees across Malaysia, and is well on track to achieve its target by 2024.

Since January, 2022, Nestle has fully transitioned into 100% renewable energy across all its operations.

Nestle’s Milo vans are now equipped with solar panels to replace fuel-dependant generators.

Renewable energy is increasingly used in all of Nestle’s factories.

The transition also involves innovative packaging design and more sustainable packaging that includes paper-based packaging and post-consumer recycled polymer resin.

Paper-based packaging is used for ice-cream stick products, Maggi Hot Cups and Milo 125ml UHT cluster packs, as well as high quality recycled resin bottles for all of Nestle’s ready-to-drink products.

Under its voluntary extended producer responsibility, Nestle has collected about 6,000 tonnes of post-consumer packaging waste.

In collaboration with Tetra Pak (M), over 50 million UHT packs will be collected in 2022 for separation, recycling and re-use.

Through its Farmer Connect initiatives, Nestle has engaged directly with local chilli, paddy and coffee farmers to ensure responsible sourcing in its supply chain.

Nestle’s Safe Water Safe Communities project aims to raise awareness on water conservation and improve access to water and sanitation among underserved orang asli communities.

All Nestle factory complexes have wastewater treatment plants to treat the wastewater that it discharges.

While big companies are focusing on their net-zero journey ahead, small companies should also be part of this global effort to tackle climate change all along their supply chains.

Yap Leng Kuen is a former StarBiz editor. The views expressed here are the writer’s own.

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