Making Green a Reality

The push for green initiatives is forcing the private sector to adopt

elements of green as part of their corporate strategy.

Companies

are beginning to incorporate them as part of their strategies to

improve branding and reputation. Many adopt green measures as they see

potential in savings in the long run.

Most of these companies are

Western-based but the YTL group seems to have a strong proponent in the

form of Ruth Yeoh, the group’s director of investment and daughter of

group managing director Tan Sri Francis Yeoh.

Georg Harrasser

… Using green technology products will last longer and provide less

carbon emissions.

“Businesses are one of the largest

contributors of carbon to the environment so we have the responsibility

to create and develop environments that are responsive to the current

and future needs of people and the planet,” she says.

“There are

ethical obligations we have to face to be part of the solution. We have

the opportunity to use our positions, influence, and connections to

affect changes at a higher level, including policy decisions.”

Yeoh

says the group has seen first hand how sustainability programmes and

policies have reaped outstanding results and helped saved an enormous

amount of resources.

She says

YTL has a two-fold strategy in pursuing green practices group-wide.

First, it has a strong monitoring system put in place to measure and

track energy usage. Secondly, they are pursuing and steadily increasing

renewable energy usage, wherever possible.

Some of the group’s

green initiatives include the Sentul Urban Revitalisation scheme where

they maintain a 35-acre green lung in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.

“That

project helps to improve residents’ quality of life. We have since then

adopted that strategy in all YTL’s residential property developments

(Lake Edge in Puchong, Lake Fields in Sungai Besi and Pantai Hillpark)

by reducing density, and having adopted building and design techniques

and guidelines based on sustainability.”

Waste management

In the power industry, YTL’s power stations are now using fly ash

(ashes recovered from waste gases) to reduce the cost of making

concrete, replacing cement which is expensive.

The utilisation

rate of fly ash has increased from 26% in 2003 to 78% in 2006 for one of

its power plants in Indonesia.

“All YTL’s cement plants are

designed to ensure that any kiln dust or air borne particulates

generated by the cement-making process are returned to the system. All

waste materials are sent for recycling where possible,” Yeoh says.

The group has also set up a carbon credits consultancy,

YTL-SV Carbon, to help companies go green.

YTL-SV Carbon

specialises in clean development mechanism (CDM) projects. Examples of

projects include biomass, biogas, and other clean energy from waste

arising from agricultural municipal, cement and industrial sources.

YTL-SV

Carbon also covered the development of technology to convert

traditionally harmful waste elements (such as Palm Oil Mill Effluent, or

POME) into environmentally-friendly resources.

Yeoh says in the

water and sewage services sector, Wessex Water Operations Centre is

among Britain’s greenest when it was completed in 2000.

“The

building is naturally ventilated, rain water is recycled, hot water is

solar-heated, and heat pump technology has been employed. The Centre was

also used as a test bed by the British Research Establishment (BRE) for

its Breaam 98 for Offices, an environmental assessment method for

office buildings.

Reducing CO2

In the telco sector,

DiGi Telecommunica-tions Sdn Bhd head of corporate responsibility,

Vimal Kumar says spearheading green technology was imperative, given the

impact that local businesses have on the environment.

“The ICT (information and communication technologies)

industry is set to become the major contributor of carbon dioxide (CO2)

emissions by 2012, surpassing even the aviation industry.

“In

Malaysia, it is estimated that currently 585 tonnes of CO2 are emitted

for every 1GwH (gigawatt per hour) of power generated. This is a clear

indication that steps must be taken to reduce CO2 emissions, especially

as our consumption of electricity is ever increasing,” she says.

In

2008, DiGi launched its Deep Green Programme to address energy

efficiency within the company’s business.

“Our ambition is to

reduce our business-generated carbon emissions, namely reducing our CO2

footprint by 50% by 2012 (from 2008), as well as making available

solutions to reduce our shared climate impact with our customers and

suppliers.”

Under its Deep Green initiatives, DiGi has achieved

several milestones already, says Vimal.

“In terms of our network

and IT, we have converted 20 sites powered by diesel-based gen-sets to

on-grid electricity, which resulted in CO2 savings of 2,500 tonnes.

“We

also saved 600% of our Technology Operations Centre pre-construction

demolition costs by incorporating recycling as a key consideration in

our vendor selection process.”

Vimal adds that DiGi has also

conducted numerous programmes internally to increase the awareness level

of its employees.

Green roofing

In the building

component sector, Frankfurt-based Monier group, specialist in roofing

solutions has, over the years, pursued a strategy of what it calls green

roofing solutions.

In the tropics, its products are made to keep

out the heat, while in the colder climate, its roofing solutions are

geared towards insulation during winter months and to provide a cool

solution during the summer period.

Monier Sdn Bhd (Asia Pacific)

chief executive officer Georg Harrasser says the company has adopted

this “green” direction for years because the group saw the “green wave”

coming years ago.

As a result, the group has seen a greater rate

of growth of its green technology roofing components compared to other

products within the group. Concrete and clay roof tiles contribute to

more than 60% of the group’s worldwide sales of 1.5 billion euros (2008)

but it is the roofing components (22%) that are experiencing the

greater rate of growth.

Harrasser defines its green technology

roofing components and tiles as those that will have a longer lifespan,

both functionally and aesthetically, and with qualities that provide a

cool interior and with less carbon emissions. On this score, concrete

tiles have the least green house effect (in carbon dioxide equivalent of

1,542kg per 160 sq metre roof), followed by metal roofing sheets

(3,295kg) and clay roof tiles (3,404kg).

“In Asia, the standard

for roofing solutions have become more demanding from developers and

home owners building their own properties. Because air-conditioning and

water heater take up more than two-thirds of a residential household’s

electricity consumption, the demand is for a cooler interior. In a

commercial building, air-conditioning forms more than half of the

electricity bill,” says Harrasser.

“Generally, other than a

non-leaky roof, consumers – both developers and home builders – are

going for green solutions,” he say.

To Guinness Anchor Bhd (GAB)

supply chain director Peter Vogtlander, implementing green technology in

the company’s day-to-day operations make good business sense.

“Green

technology provides us the opportunity to improve our operations by

looking at improvements from a different prospective. Employing green

technology could lead to higher efficiency and lower cost of

production.”

Vogtlander says GAB has incorporated several

measures to reduce its carbon emission. “We have switched from using

fuel oil to natural gas and renewable gas, mainly biogas, generated from

the anaerobic treatment of waste water at our treatment plant. The

switch to these more environmentally friendly alternatives has greatly

reduced our emission of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

“We

have also improved the performance of our refrigeration plant with

frequency control motor for compressor and condenser, resulting in lower

electricity usage. We continue to reduce energy consumption and our

impact on the environment through the upgrading of plant installations

and process improvements.”

Vogtlander says GAB is currently

looking at creating more awareness among its staff on the application of

green technology for their household.

Source : The Star by Thean Lee Cheng and Eugene Mahalingam

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