Experts may differ on the definition of ‘Zero Waste’ but one thing they all agree upon is that it means different things to different industries.
When we were children growing up, elders used to say, “Waste not, want not.” Meaning the wise use of one’s resources will keep one from poverty.
In recent years however in the light of global warming, climate change and sustainability this philosophy has expanded into the concept of ‘Zero Waste’, which has emerged as a key solution for a low-carbon economy. It represents a shared vision for the future that’s good for people, the planet and profits.
The popular concept of Zero Waste refers to the elimination and management of wastes and calls for wastes to be treated as valuable resources. It is a philosophy that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused and little or no trash is sent to landfills and incinerators. But as we explore further in this article, we shall see that this is a ‘narrow’ interpretation of this concept which leads to limitations. Continue reading “Piercing the Veil of Zero Waste: What does it (really) mean for the Palm Oil Industry?”
The new blessings of climate change for the palm oil industry.
Climate change mitigation measures are bringing surprising new opportunities and benefits to the palm oil industry – strengthening the bottom line and nudging it towards a more positive image.
Although climate change supporters continue to highlight the shortcomings regarding practices of the palm oil industry this has not deterred the world demand for palm oil from growing. Ironically today it is the same “climate change” call, that has surprisingly turned the industry into a beacon of hope. Among a barrage of measures climate change is driving, one is for traditional fuels to be replaced, at least partially, by biofuels as a source of clean energy to reduce carbon emissions. And it is this growing world demand for biofuels that has today made the world realise that the palm oil industry is not all bad news. Nay, it may well hold an important key to combat global warming. Continue reading “Surprise blessings from Climate Change challenges – for the image of, and new opportunities for, the Palm Oil industry”
Biomass Residue and Renewable Energy, Resource Efficiency at Palm Oil Mills
Apart from palm oil, biomass residue and the renewable energy derived therefrom are among two important products, sometimes overlooked, of palm oil mills in the oil palm industry. It is imperative that palm oil mills are recognised in the context of national resource efficiency for efficient utilisation of these products in order to maximise their contribution to the industry and national economy.
Despite the energy-efficient cogeneration technology currently employed at palm oil mills, most of the prime biomass residues at palm oil mills is presently consumed merely to provide heat and power to its processes. A truly energy-efficient design of a palm oil mill incorporating readily available innovative technologies can reduce its biomass residue consumption to less than half of the present consumption. The biomass thusly saved could be utilised elsewhere for useful purposes. In addition to large quantities of surplus prime biomass conserved at the mill for export, surplus electricity can be more efficiently generated within the mill for export to the grid, where grid access is available. Continue reading “Palm Oil Mills, in the Perspective of National Resource Efficiency”