As one of the founding members of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), IOI Corporation Berhad (IOI) recognises the importance of environmental protection to safeguard the future of our planet. Climate change is one of the biggest threats to our planet and we are committed to monitor and reduce our potential contributions to the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
We have adopted both the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) and RSPO PalmGHG methodologies to proactively monitor our GHG emissions and take practical steps to reduce GHG emissions in our palm oil production to lessen the impact on climate change.
Sustainable Cultivation and Processing
Our oil yield per hectare is approximately 50% higher than the nation’s average which has a positive impact towards mitigating climate change as less land is required in our production of palm oil. Best agronomic practices and efficient land utilisation led to higher productivity, hence reducing usage of chemical fertiliser and pesticide, and improving energy efficiency that results in lower GHG emissions.
Green Energy and Waste Management
IOI’s plantation operations produce a vast amount of biomass by-products. Palm biomass such as pruned fronds, old palm trunks and treated palm oil mill effluent (POME) are recycled back to the soil as natural fertilisers. Other forms of biomass such as shells and empty fruit bunches (EFB) are used as renewable energy source to generate steam and electricity for mill processing. This green energy is able to sustain 98% of our mills’ energy needs.
POME is a by-product of our mill activities. Raw POME is highly acidic and has a high biological oxygen demand (BOD) level. POME is treated at the mill to bring its BOD level within the permissible level for land application. We have adopted the application of greentubes to remove solids in POME, thus reducing its BOD level. The BOD level of our POME is within the acceptable limit as required by the Department of Environment. The lowest BOD level recorded is 23 parts per million (PPM) in 2015.
In addition, IOI has a 15 megawatt (MW) biomass co-gen power plant at its refinery complex in Sandakan, Sabah that uses kernel shells and EFB from its own mills to satisfy almost all the steam and electricity requirements of the complex.
IOI’s latest RM30 million investment into the installation of a 6.5 MW co-generation plant in Prai, Penang is expected to boost total energy efficiency to above 90% as opposed to conventional power generation systems and other co-generation systems that are capable of only 39% and 75-85% respectively. This green initiatives is estimated to cut energy costs by at least 40% while significantly greening the environment by reducing emissions of harmful gasses such as carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrogen and sulphur oxides.
Methane Capture Facilities
Methane emission from the treatment of POME is a large contributor to the total operational emissions. IOI has successfully commissioned two biogas plants in Pukin Palm Oil Mill, Johor and Ladang Sabah Mill, Sandakan to capture methane gas and mitigate GHG emissions from POME. They are expected to contribute an estimated GHG reduction of 120,000 MT of CO2 per year. By 2018, we expect to commission two more biogas plants for a further reduction of 140,000 MT of CO2 per year.
Our operations and quality assurance teams are in constant collaboration with external researchers and consultants to explore alternative and innovative means to reduce GHG emissions. We have been using greentubes, which is a form of geosynthetic fiber; to reduce the BOD content from POME. IOI is currently undertaking a study of these greentubes, in hopes to demonstrate positive results in methane reduction.