Climate change and resource scarcity are becoming more pressing issues. Sembcorp is committed to playing our part in enabling a low-carbon and circular economy. We aim to maintain the highest standards of environmental management, reduce our greenhouse gas emissions intensity and grow our portfolio of low-carbon energy assets, while innovating our business solutions to support a circular economy.

Climate Change
As an energy producer, our power and steam generation activities release GHG emissions that contribute to climate change. Events and actions by governments in response to climate change pose potential regulatory, technological, physical and reputational risks to our businesses. One such significant development was the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, which countries accounting for over 88% of global GHG emissions have ratified. However, we recognise that in spite of these challenges, we are also uniquely positioned to leverage opportunities that have arisen from actions in response to climate.

As part of Sembcorp’s Climate Change Strategy, we have identified the climate-related risks and opportunities material to our Energy business as follows:

• Changes in policy and regulation: Increasingly, governments are adapting their policies and regulations as part of country-level strategies to reduce emissions and support the transition to a low-carbon economy. Increasing global adoption of cap-and-trade schemes and carbon taxes will accelerate current trends favouring renewables, which in turn can significantly impact the future profitability of our assets and investments

• Changes in technology and customer demand: Falling costs and improved performance of new and emerging technologies such as photovoltaics, energy storage, smart grids and downstream technologies including electric vehicles and decentralised generation, are bringing about significant changes in the energy landscape. As a result of these technological changes, the needs of our markets and customers will change

• Weather disruption: Physical environmental risks, such as extreme weather linked to climate change, may cause disruptions to our assets and operations, and to the economic value chains and communities in which we operate. Exposure to physical risks varies widely across our operating geographies and across our businesses, from our power assets to our desalination plants

• Stakeholder expectations: Our stakeholders are increasingly focused on the impact of climate change and how we respond to climate change-related risks and opportunities. As a responsible corporate citizen, we recognise our obligations towards our stakeholders. Maintaining our stakeholder relationships is critical to our licence to operate and essential to protect our business reputation.

Our climate change public disclosures are guided by the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

Resource Management
Global population growth and urbanisation have led to unprecedented demand for critical resources. This has underscored the need for us to consume resources responsibly, while pursuing innovations that support a circular economy. As an integrated energy player and a provider of water and waste management solutions, our innovative solutions help others on the journey towards sustainable development.

Operationally, achieving optimal energy and water efficiency are also business drivers for us. Maximising our efficiency and optimizing our operations reduces our consumption of natural resources and our impact on the environment.

Local Environmental Protection
As a result of the products and services we provide, our operations have varying direct and indirect impacts on the environment. These include the discharge of effluent and disposal of waste, as well as the release of air pollutants into the atmosphere. Any improper or non-compliant emission, discharge or disposal may result in harm to the environment and public health, and threaten our long-term viability.

Climate change
The table below sets out our management approach to climate change issues guided by TCFD recommendations.

For more information on our Climate Change Strategy please visit the Reports & Policies page  in the Sustainability section of our website.

Resource Management
Sembcorp provides solutions in energy, water and waste management that support a circular economy and help minimise the use of resources.

In addition, we are committed to innovation and undertake various initiatives to improve operational efficiency in our energy and water plants. We collaborate with institutions of higher learning, research institutes as well as private sector players to explore solutions. To further encourage innovation from bottom up, Sembcorp’s !DEA Awards Programme also recognises innovative ideas and efforts across the Group.

Energy management
Our power business generates electricity and steam. To ensure our energy assets generate energy efficiently, we invest in the latest technologies when developing new plants as well as retrofitting existing ones. We proactively pursue optimisation to improve our efficiency while reducing emissions. Energy efficiency parameters are embedded in our plant operation management systems and are monitored daily. A technical forum discussion is held monthly for our global energy operations to facilitate best practice case studies and sharing of operational and efficiency issues.

Water and wastewater management
Our water business comprises industrial wastewater treatment, water reclamation and seawater desalination. Through these services, we are able to provide solutions to issues related to water scarcity as well as water pollution.

Sembcorp’s comprehensive suite of water solutions is able to integrate water supply, wastewater treatment and water reclamation into a closed loop for our customers. This approach minimises liquid discharge and reduces environmental impact while conserving water resources. In treating industrial wastewater, we apply innovative technologies to treat multiple streams of industrial wastewater we receive from our customers. We leverage different wastewater influent profiles to optimise the wastewater treatment process. In doing so, we reduce both energy consumption and chemical use in our treatment process. In some of our plants, we further channel a proportion of treated water for reclamation, and the reclaimed water is supplied to our customers for their industrial processes. In Singapore, our NEWater plant produces reclaimed water that helps meet Singapore’s potable water needs.

Our large-scale integrated power and desalination plants use multi-stage flash distillation and reverse osmosis to provide high-quality water to industries and households in water-scarce areas such as Oman and the UAE. Our desalination plant in the UAE uses waste steam from our power plant as part of its water production process.

Energy plants use large amounts of water for cooling purposes. A majority of our energy plants use seawater for cooling purposes, to minimise the use of freshwater and groundwater. In some of our power plants, we further employ closed loop cooling water systems to minimise water drawn from the ocean.

Waste management
We aim to apply a circular approach across our businesses. We operate energy-from-waste plants in Singapore and the UK, where energy is generated from waste. In our coal-fired power plants in India, fly ash is generated as a by-product of the combustion of coal. We channel the majority of this fly ash to vendors who recycle it into cement and bricks.

In our industrial wastewater treatment operations, we actively look to reduce the volume of sludge generated as a by-product of the treatment process. Where feasible, our sludge disposal vendors convert non-hazardous sludge into products such as bricks and plant fertiliser.

Local Environmental Protection
We are committed to integrating environmental protection and stewardship into our operations, in the belief that sound practices and performance in this area can help mitigate environmental risks while contributing to a sustainable future.

We adopt the Precautionary Principle in our approach to managing environmental risks, carefully assessing the potential environmental impacts from our operations and applying appropriate control measures to minimise them. In particular, we are focused on keeping our atmospheric emissions below legally acceptable levels, avoiding any pollution from effluents or disposal of waste and hazardous substances, preventing spills and environmental incidents, and monitoring our environmental noise.

We are guided by the principles and practices set out in our Statement of Commitment to Environmental Protection and Environmental Protection Management Guidelines. We also aim to fully comply with all applicable environmental regulations and requirements.

We integrate environmental considerations as a priority in our planning for all existing and new operations, products and services. We conduct environmental assessments in accordance with national and / or international standards and methodologies. These include environmental and social impact assessments, environmental baseline studies and pollution control studies. Recommendations from these assessments form part of our management of health, safety and environment (HSE) risks, and these recommendations are incorporated into the planning, designing, construction and operation of new plants.

We apply stringent controls to the management of waste generated by our operations and strive at all times to adhere to discharge and emission limits set by local authorities. We implement containment measures to minimise any direct impact on the environment and the surrounding community.

Our Group HSE Management System’s Incident Investigation and Reporting Requirements allow us to take systematic steps and actions in response to HSE incidents and near misses, to prevent recurrence. Our Integrated Assurance Framework (IAF) sets out the three lines of defence that ensure compliance to our operating standards, and that such standards are effective.

For more information on our IAF, please refer to the Governance page


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