Keppel group's green efforts saved it $60m last year

In January, Keppel Bay Tower became the first commercial development in Singapore to use renewable energy to power all its operations, including tenants' offices. Last year, Keppel Corp's green measures are estimated to have saved the equivalent of 4
In January, Keppel Bay Tower became the first commercial development in Singapore to use renewable energy to power all its operations, including tenants' offices. Last year, Keppel Corp's green measures are estimated to have saved the equivalent of 44 per cent of the group's total energy consumption.PHOTO: KEPPEL

Companies can do well by doing good, as Keppel Corp has shown.

It saw its green efforts bear fruit in the form of some $60 million in savings last year, thanks to sustainable initiatives across the group.

It published its sustainability report yesterday, which laid out its results in going green and its goals going forward.

Keppel chief executive Loh Chin Hua said in his message to stakeholders that although the coronavirus pandemic is dominating the spotlight now, long-term sustainability is also vital.

"While Covid-19 is currently the focus of media and public attention, climate change remains one of the most serious challenges facing the world today. Like Covid-19, it transcends borders and can fundamentally transform the world as we know it. Unlike Covid-19, its impact may be even greater, more devastating and longer lasting," he said.

"For companies, Covid-19 has underscored the importance of looking at long-term risks, having comprehensive business continuity plans, and ultimately of building sustainable businesses that remain resilient amidst adversity and can respond nimbly to unexpected developments."

He reiterated that environmental sustainability is a key consideration in the company's business decisions. Environmental stewardship is now also a key strategic thrust for the group, which means combating climate change, using resources efficiently and reducing the impact on the environment.

He added that Keppel will avoid highly pollutive businesses such as coal-fired plants and focus more on renewables and gas, which is considered to be one of the safest and cleanest fossil fuels.

For example, renewables and liquefied natural gas-related solutions made up more than 60 per cent of new orders secured by Keppel Offshore & Marine last year.

This unit focuses on rig design, construction, repair and upgrading, ship conversion and repair, and specialised shipbuilding.

Keppel will also include an internal carbon price in the evaluation of all major investment decisions. For existing businesses and assets, the company will focus on enhancing energy efficiency, including harnessing renewable energy where possible.

Demonstrating a focus on environmental sustainability has also been woven into the performance appraisal of senior management.

SUSTAINABILITY AND RESILIENCE

For companies, Covid-19 has underscored the importance of looking at long-term risks, having comprehensive business continuity plans, and ultimately of building sustainable businesses that remain resilient amidst adversity and can respond nimbly to unexpected developments.

KEPPEL CORP CEO LOH CHIN HUA, in a message to stakeholders.

Last year, green measures, such as those implemented at Keppel Land's Green Mark-certified developments, are estimated to have saved 862,264 gigajoules of energy, which is equivalent to 44 per cent of the group's total energy consumption. This also translates to an estimated $60 million in cost savings, and an avoidance of approximately 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

Cumulatively, the group has saved about $210 million over the last five years.

It has also achieved an average reduction of more than 30 per cent in carbon emissions intensity from its 2010 baseline.

The group also invested $9.6 million in social causes last year.

Mr Loh said: "We will put our engineering capabilities to work on solutions to combat climate change and, in the process, also create new business opportunities for the group."

Keppel Bay Tower is the first commercial development in Singapore to use renewable energy to power all its operations, including its tenants' offices in the building. It has done so since January.

The company is also exploring innovative and greener solutions, including high-rise green data centres and floating data centre parks.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 27, 2020, with the headline 'Keppel group's green efforts saved it $60m last year'. Subscribe