Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Businesses Play a Fundamental Role in Driving Sustainability

December 3, 2021 | 6:04 pm
"Post Cop-26 Agenda - How Business Can Close the Ambition Gap" conference on November 29, 2021. (Photo Courtesy of APRIL Group)
"Post Cop-26 Agenda - How Business Can Close the Ambition Gap" conference on November 29, 2021. (Photo Courtesy of APRIL Group)

Jakarta. A virtual conference on Monday zeroed in on how the private sector plays a fundamental role to pave the way for sustainability.

Talks on sustainability issues are taking place more than ever as the world races against time to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) by 2030. The world is also now facing a climate crisis. And there is an increasing need to transform to a lower carbon, more circular, and nature-positive economy.

But the government cannot do this alone. It takes commitment from all stakeholders, including businesses.

“The pandemic as well as the Cop-26 summit in Glasgow are a wake-up call for most companies in Indonesia and the government,” Former Research and Technology Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro told a conference themed "Post Cop-26 Agenda - How Business Can Close the Ambition Gap" on Monday.

The government has made efforts to encourage businesses to embrace sustainability. Bambang said, “the Financial Services Authority requires publicly listed companies in Indonesia to submit ESG [environmental, social, and governance] reports that should reflect their sustainability efforts.”

In his remarks, Bambang also praised pulp and paper producer APRIL Group for its flagship sustainability commitment APRIL2030. The APRIL2030 is a decade-long commitment that encompasses concrete actions to drive sustainability, including a net zero emission target by 2030.

“If there are more companies doing the same as APRIL2030, the idea that SDGs should be achieved not only with the government effort, but done collaboratively with the private sector can be achieved,” Bambang said.

Anderson Tanoto —the managing director of APRIL’s parent group Royal Golden Eagle—  reiterated that the Covid-19 pandemic should not stop businesses from embracing sustainability.

“Sustainability cannot take a backseat despite the pandemic,” Anderson told the same conference.

APRIL hopes other Indonesian companies demonstrate strong commitment towards sustainability. 

“We see this as an opportunity. As the Indonesian government [kicks off] the G-20 presidency, the awareness on sustainability and climate is continuously increasing,” Anderson said.

“We are working with Kadin [the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce] to further bring more companies to come together and have awareness on the emission reduction plan, and [set] targets to work towards a more decarbonized economy in the next ten years,” he added.

Meanwhile, APRIL is continuously working to achieve its APRIL2030 goals. Launched last November, APRIL2030 rests on four pillars: Climate Positive, Thriving Landscapes, Inclusive Progress, Sustainable Growth. 

As part of the APRIL2030 agenda, APRIL is aiming to set up 20-megawatt solar panels at its operational site by 2025, and thus far has installed the first one megawatt.

Anderson also unveiled APRIL’s plans for a more ambitious product emission intensity reduction target. The APRIL2030 agenda initially aims to bring down its product emission intensity by up to 25 percent.

“But we are now looking at closer to 40-50 percent of emission reduction through newer technologies by reducing power consumption of our production, as well as looking at various aspects of carbon capture,” Anderson said. 

Renewables —particularly biomass— currently accounts for 80.2 percent of APRIL’s power generation. Whereas the remaining 10-15 percent comes from gas and fossil-based sources. 

“We would like to increase that biomass capacity further and eventually reduce fossil-based energy generation,” Anderson added.

According to global environmental policy advisor Erik Solheim, businesses like APRIL are leading on sustainability. 

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