Resource Efficiency and Pollution Prevention

Boustead recognises that environmental stewardship is critical not only to the preservation of natural resources but also the long-term sustainability of our varied businesses. Concerted efforts are made to move towards circularity and ensuring we do not pollute the air, land or water bodies around our operations in order to maintain a healthy environment for local communities as well as ecosystems.

Hazardous Waste Management

Hazardous waste could cause serious health and environmental issues if not managed correctly. Recognising the fact, we have stringent controls to ensure that all hazardous waste generated by our operations are disposed of in accordance with the Environmental Quality (Scheduled Waste) Regulations 2007 in Malaysia and Government Regulation No. 101/2014 on Hazardous Waste Management in Indonesia.

We are working towards environmentally sustainable management of hazardous waste by reducing the generation of such waste and exploring ways to safely reuse and recycle hazardous waste in our operations. Meanwhile, waste that needs to be disposed of is stored safely in designated areas before being collected by licensed third-party contractors.

Strict adherence to internal guidelines contributed to zero non-compliance resulting in significant fines or non-monetary sanctions.

Wastewater Discharge

Wastewater discharge, or effluent, is potentially hazardous as it could pollute water bodies surrounding our operations upon its release. In line with our commitment to enhancing quality of life as well as to protect the environment, we adopt a systematic and effective wastewater discharge management system.

All businesses within the Group adhere strictly to our policies and procedures which are guided by the Environmental Quality (Sewage and Industrial Effluents) Regulations 1979 in Malaysia and the Regulation of the Environment and Forestry Minister Number 5 of 2014 concerning Quality Standards for Pharmaceutical Industry Wastewater in Indonesia.

Wastewater is treated before being discharged, and our discharge is appropriately monitored. Overseeing the entire process are personnel who have undergone Certified Environmental Professional in the Operation of Industrial Effluent Treatment Systems (CePIETSO) training provided by DOE, amongst others. Adding to this, we ensure our treatment systems are well-maintained.

Samples of our discharge are analysed at laboratories at regular intervals to ensure metrics such as Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) and Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) are within parameters set by the Department of Environment (DOE). In addition, we have invested in R&D to identify solutions to reduce our effluents.

We are pleased to announce that, throughout 2021, the Group had zero non-compliance incidents related to wastewater discharge involving significant fines or non-monetary sanctions.


POME treatment pond in Sungai Jernih Palm Oil Mill

Air Emissions

As with wastewater discharge, we ensure that our air emissions do not have any negative impact on surrounding communities. All our operations comply with the relevant regulations, such as Malaysia’s Environmental Quality (Clean Air) Act.

Underlying our commitment to clean air, the Group has invested in air pollution control systems to monitor the quality of air emissions at our sites. We have also made it compulsory for relevant employees to go through proper air emissions management training, including the Certified Environmental Professional in Bag Filter Operation (CePBFO) course offered by DOE.

Among our operations, our mills have the most significant impact on air quality. Accordingly, our Plantation Division has been investing in increasingly effective technologies to better manage emissions. In 2021, the Division completed the installation of five units of Electrostatic Precipitators (ESP) in its boilers which are able to trap dust particles as small as 2.5 microns. As at end 2021, a total of nine mills nationwide have been equipped with ESPs at a cost of RM22 million, and the process is ongoing at the remaining 10th mill. At the same time, another wet scrubber has also been installed.

For the year 2021, we recorded zero non-compliance pertaining to air emissions resulting in significant fines or non-monetary sanctions.

Water Management

Water scarcity is an increasing concern, with more than 1.1 billion people across the world suffering from lack of basic clean water supply. The UN’s SDG 6 calls for businesses to increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and industries as well as to ensure sustainable withdrawal of freshwater to address this issue.

Understanding the importance of using water sparingly, we have taken steps to enhance our efficiency levels by modifying and enhancing various processes across our operations that consume water. We strictly monitor water leakages and fix these immediately to prevent waste. We have also taken on a more sustainable approach by recycling wastewater where possible.

Evaluating our water usage patterns, we have identified the Plantation Division as being the Group’s highest water consumer. This is primarily attributed to the extensive use of water in the mills. To reduce its purchased water consumption, the Division collects rainwater in various water catchment areas and reservoirs that are utilised to help meet the needs of the mills. Meanwhile, at other sites, we have installed rainwater harvesting systems, and use rainwater for suitable domestic consumption.

Meanwhile, our Pharmaceutical Division has instituted various water recycling initiatives, and recycled 3,633 m3 of water in 2021.

To inculcate awareness of the importance of conserving water, training sessions are conducted for our employees on effective water management. We also extend our awareness programmes to guests and visitors at our hotels, resorts and malls.

Energy Management

Energy efficiency is imperative as we move towards a lowcarbon economy. We place great emphasis on the strategic and sustainable management of energy including exploring the use of renewable and cleaner energy sources to manage our operating costs and reduce our environmental footprint.

During the reporting period, our Plantation Division was the highest energy consumer within the Group, followed by our Property & Industrial Division. Of note, 99.7% of energy consumed by the Plantation Division was from renewable sources, primarily biomass, which is converted into energy utilised by the boilers in our mills.

Waste Management

In line with the UN SDG 12, we are committed to ensuring sustainable consumption and production. As far as possible, we seek to reduce the use of materials across our operations while minimising waste sent to landfill, by reusing, recovering or recycling. Our Plantation Division represents our principal source of general and non-hazardous waste – mainly biomass by-products made up of EFB. In 2021, the Division generated a total of 210,890 MT of EFB, fronds, decanter cakes, boiler ash and dewatered sludge cakes. Under its Zero Waste Strategy, however, much of this waste was reused.

EFB is used for mulching to retain soil moisture and to reduce dependence on synthetic fertilisers; and in 2021, the application of EFB for mulching covered 8,581 ha of plantation land. Palm fronds were placed between palm rows to improve soil fertility and prevent the loss of nutrients and leaching of fertilisers. Decanter cakes were repurposed as organic fertiliser, while mesocarp fibres and palm kernel shells were used as renewable fuel feedstock for the steam boilers at our mills.

Our Pharmaceutical Division’s Reduce, Reuse and Recycle (3R) initiative to minimise waste resulted in a total of 772 MT of waste being diverted from landfills. The utilisation of recycled packaging materials in some medical and pharmaceutical products also resulted in waste avoidance of 215 MT.

In our Property & Industrial Division, UAC Berhad continued on a project embarked on in 2020 to recycle cement board off-cuts, which sees 1,369 MT of off-cuts being recycled by an appointed partner.