Greenhouse gas emissions reduction is the key agenda of COP26 meeting by United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Glasgow on 31 October to 12 November 2021. At COP26, Thailand demonstrated its commitment along with the international members and its readiness to step up its efforts, by pledging to achieve Carbon Neutrality by 2050 and Net Zero GHG emissions by 2065.
On its part, SCG targets Net Zero GHG emissions by 2050 and reduction of net GHG emissions of scope 1 and 2 by at least 20% by 2030 compared to the base year of 2020 inclusive of its business activities in and outside Thailand.
SCG stands ready to collaborate with all stakeholders in addressing climate issues, central to national and global priorities.
Greenhouse Gas Scope 1+2
SCG uses natural resources and energy in production processes, with direct emissions (scope1) at approximately 90% and indirect emissions (scope 2) at 10% from energy purchasing. Direction emissions originate from two parts namely chemical processes of cement production (calcination) and fossil fuel use.
From 1997 after state parties signed the Kyoto Protocol committing to emissions reduction, the international community recognized the urgency of climate change and the problem with limitation of energy sources. Against such backdrops SCG Energy Transition Towards Net Zero embarked on the path of renewable energy in earnest. From the first move in 2001 of turning used rubber tire into alternative fuel, SCG sought to consistently improve its ability to use alternative energy. These include from-agricultural waste to biomass using oil-palm shell, rice husk, straw, sugarcane leaf as material, Waste Heat Power Generation (WHG) in production process, and biogas production from waste-water treatment process.
Key achievement of SCG’s renewables pursuit in 2012 is Refuse-Derived Fuel (RDF) undertaking. A waste segregation plant was built at community dumpsite, where material recovery process yield fuel bricks to be used to replace coal in cement kilns. The undertaking reduces emissions as well as waste generation, setting circular economy in motion for sustainability.
Energy efficiency through improvement of equipment and process efficiency forms another component of its backbone strategy. SCG supports employees to take part in thinking and developing energy-efficiency projects by submitting proposal to the Energy Award Contest.
SCG arrived at a milestone in 2016 on the solar energy front, with solar as renewable with high potentials across Thailand, and representing hopes for energy security in the future.
Thailand has the potential of high solar radiation intensity – at 18.2 megajoules per square meter per day. Notably in Saraburi province the intensity rate averages 18.5 megajoules per square meter per day – higher than national average. SCG has thus formulated policy and advocated for solar as clean energy source, and major contribution to emissions reduction and mitigation of global warming.
SCG consistently has installed and increased its solar energy output. To date, it reached total capacity of 114,176 MWh, reducing GHG emissions by 57,077 ton CO2 per year. Solar power generation systems have been installed on ground, rooftop, and floating in reservoirs. Installation of “floating solar farms” utilizing wells and ponds around factories is most challenging so far of all types of surface, requiring innovation to accomplish the feat compared with working on rooftop or ground.
“Floating Solar Farms” originated from the observation of water surface as unutilized space. Tapping into Chemicals Business’s expertise with plastic material, we invested in developing the appropriate type of plastic buoy to serve as foundation for solar panels. The buoys must withstand intense sunshine while staying buoyant accommodating the weight of panels.
Another key consideration is environment friendliness, with lifecycle of 25 years and materials recyclable. Installation guideline prescribes 30% spacing between buoys to allow for adequate sunshine for water organism.
Chemicals Business pioneered innovation of buoys dedicated specifically to floating solar farms in Thailand. The pilot site was the reservoir of SCG Headquarters in 2018 and from there it served as prototype for other factories including Chemicals Business’ factory in Rayong, Srisangtham Temple in Ubol Ratchathani province, Mae Than Mine in Lampang province, Amata City Industrial Estate in Cholburi.
The solar farm energy generation project expanded to cover other factories of SCG alongside the drive to install solar rooftop systems. The experience and expertise led to SCG Solar Roof Solutions as a service for residential and other buildings in 2019. In light of COVID-19 pandemic forcing most people to stay home, total demand for solar solutions in 2020grew three folds from 2019.
With renewables in trend and in high demand, SCG sets up a new business called SCG Cleanergy Company Limited to offer integrated services built on SCG’s knowledge, expertise and potentials, with a view to promoting clean energy and drive GHG emissions reduction.
Net Zero Emissions by 2050 is difficult but not impossible. Getting there takes commitment and determination, the need to have appropriate policy and implementation roadmap.
A key Thailand policy is the aspiration for Bio-Circular-Green Economy (BCG) which is recognized as the pathway towards resource and environment security and driving the Thai economy to grow sustainably.
Circular economy operates on make-use-return principle to maximize resource use, and SCG has long adhered to and practiced the circular way. This is also compatible with SCG’s energy management to increase the proportion of refuse-derived fuel and waste-to-energy output. In the latest project, SCG operates a system to buy agricultural waste from areas around factories such as rice straw, sugarcane leaf, corn husk as materials to make energy pellet to substitute coal. The scheme generates income to farmers who previously disposed of farm waste by open burning which emitted greenhouse gas and harmful PM2.5 which emerged environmental challenge for Thailand in recent years.
Green Economy, conducting businesses with less harmful impact on earth, SCG focuses on research and development, and using technology and innovation to strike the balance of sustainable development, with economic, social and environmental consideration. These are demonstration in a wide range of SCG on renewables, solar energy, and technology to enhance energy efficiency in all aspects of factory.
From the time when technology assisted human, we are now in an era where technology can replace human through automation, robotics and AI Machine Learning that can ensure precision performance of machineries plus more energy efficient compared with human supervision.
Furthermore, green economy includes transition from fossil fuel to electrification, primarily electric vehicles. SCG pioneered Thailand’s first EV Mixer Truck to deliver concrete. Running on clean energy, green and non-polluting, the truck reduces PM2.5 and PM10 by 45 grams per trip and reducing GHG emissions by up to 26.5 ton CO2 per annum per vehicle. This is deemed advancing and enhancing the construction sector with green solutions in line with SCG’s vision of business aligned with the ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) principle and its commitment to reduce GHG emissions scope 3 in upstream and downstream transportations.
The challenge going forward has to do with investment in GHG emissions reduction technology may affect short-term performance because of the high cost of technology. Equally challenging is multi-sectoral collaboration among the state, citizens and society to realize net zero goal collectively.
At COP26 in Glasgow, SCG President & CEO, Roongrote Rangsiyopash expressed SCG’s commitment. “At the heart of the matter is joining of forces of all sectors. We all must do our parts, gradually through actions and plans to reach different milestones, developing innovation and technology to transition from fossil fuel to renewables, which is extremely challenging.”
The transition is not easy, but it is inevitable. SCG is ready to join everyone in facing up to the challenge.