Fighting climate change
Climate change may be the biggest challenge of our times. Fighting climate change requires urgent and decisive action. We are committed to reducing the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions – which contribute to climate change – from our operations.Oil palms, like all plants, absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Yet, we recognise that emissions resulting from land use change and cultivation associated with palm oil production such as nitrogen fertilisers contributes to climate change. Our commitment to forest conservation, zero development on peatland, and our zero-tolerance policy on burning represent our biggest contributions to reducing GHG emissions. In addition, the results of our research to reduce the risk of N2O emission and NH3 volatilization related to the use of nitrogen fertilisers are also transferred into operational stringent procedures. We also harness technology to research and develop innovative ways to tackle climate change.
Climatologists advocate a two-tier approach to tackling climate change – mitigation and adaptation.
Reducing the flow of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Learning to live with, and adapt to, the climate change that has already been set
One significant source of GHG emissions comes from Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME), the wastewater from processing fresh fruit bunches (FFB). POME emits methane if left untreated. We compost POME and repurpose it as fertiliser.
Another way we are reducing GHG emissions is through methane capture. We have built biogas facilities to capture waste methane gas at three mills across Central Kalimantan, Jambi, and Riau. The resulting biogas is harnessed as an alternative energy source to generate electricity for our mill operations.
These facilities reduce between 40 to 55 percent of GHG emissions where they are sited.
The increasing occurrence of extreme weather phenomena like El Niño – a result of climate change – can lead to severe drought. We are exploring adaptive measures to future-proof our agribusiness.
Climate-resilient seed stock
Climate change increases the threat of drought and diseases. The team at SMART Research Institute (SMARTRI) is developing climate-resilient seed stock that is more drought-resistant and disease-resistant. They are also looking how oil palm seedlings are able to adapt to higher carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere. Our team from the Plant Production and Biotechnology (PPB) division is also researching additional methods to select for seeds and clones that are drought-resistant.
Managing our water footprint
Water is a vital resource for our operations and the communities where we operate. We recognise that water availability is an increasingly important issue in the face of climate change. We are developing strategies to minimise our water footprint. We are now exploring ways to optimise water use in our plantations, through the use of advanced technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI).