Nissan and IVL broaden green footprint
published : 24 May 2023 at 22:16
The Japanese car company Nissan Motor Thailand and the global chemical manufacturer Indorama Ventures Plc are helping governments shape a cleaner future by producing more zero-emission cars and adopting eco-friendly manufacturing.
Executives of the companies shared their insights on Wednesday at the Bangkok Post ESG Conference 2023. ESG refers to environmental, social and corporate governance standards that can lead to business sustainability.
Both companies have carbon neutrality goals, which represents a balance between carbon dioxide emissions and absorption.
Nissan plans to replace petrol-powered cars with electric vehicles (EVs), while Indorama expects to decrease its carbon footprint in the production of chemical-derived products.
As it rolls out new EVs, Nissan is not only focused on electrification technology, but also considering how its cars can help fight urban air pollution and offer benefits to households.
“I have lived in Bangkok for two years. It’s a great, vibrant place, but it is also congested. Let’s be honest — we have to combat pollution challenges,” said Masao Tsutsumi, vice-president for for marketing, sales, aftersales and dealer network development of Nissan Motor Thailand.
EVs can help improve air quality in cities, he said.
Improving the environment is important because 2.1 billion people live in Asia-Pacific cities and the projection is by 2050, two out of three people in this region will live in cities, he said.
EVs are proving popular in Thailand as people are concerned about environmental issues, he said.
According to Nissan, the company reported a 33% increase in Thai drivers who are interested in EVs, compared with five years ago.
Among non-EV owners in the country, 43% would consider buying one in the near future, said the firm.
Prior to 2021, EVs were not visible on Thai roads, with EV sales making up less than 1% of the total industry volume, said Mr Tsutsumi. EV sales increased to 3.1% of the market last year.
Nissan launched its first mass-market EV in 2010.
“Some people ask if I have a problem charging my car, or if there is a shortage of charging stations,” he said.
Nissan uses “e-Power” technology, which allows vehicles to be charged by a gasoline engine. Mr Tsutsumi said it allows for an EV driving experience without using an EV charger.
“We believe e-Power technology is ideal for Thailand as a transition before moving to full-battery EVs,” he said.Nissan is cooperating with the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand to conduct a vehicle-to-grid test to see how EVs can supply electricity for other purposes at homes and in communities.
Mr Tsutsumi said this effort highlights Nissan’s “beyond mobility” concept of EV development.
TOWARDS CARBON NEUTRALITY
Indorama Ventures reports that its greenhouse gases were reduced by nearly a third following massive investment in innovation to increase its capacity of PET bottle recycling and decarbonisation technologies, said founder and group chief executive Aloke Lohia.
These efforts are needed amid strong concerns over climate change, blamed for causing drought, flooding and other natural disasters across the globe, he said.
Under its Vision 2030 plan to fight global warming, the company will continue to cut coal usage and increase utilisation of renewable power.
Indorama has allocated more than US$8 billion to increase biomass feedstocks to 2.4 million tonnes and recycled feedstocks to 3 million tonnes.
According to the company’s plan, it targets recycling 50 billion post-consumer PET bottles every year from 2025, allocating $1.5 billion to divert PET waste from landfills back into the circular economy.
PET is the most commonly recycled type of plastic in the world. Six out of 10 PET bottles are currently recycled.
The company, which is the largest recycler of PET in the world, recycles about 30 million bottles per year.
Indorama estimates it can prevent more than 1 million tonnes of waste from being buried or burned, reducing 1.65 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.
“Our state-of-the-art recycling facilities in Thailand and across the world play an important part in creating a circular economy for PET bottles. They put Thailand at the heart of a future global circular economy,” said Mr Lohia.
“ESG is not a single role or function at Indorama, but rather a mindset. Every day, we feel we are responsible to our planet, our staff, our customers and our shareholders.”
He said he admired the Thai government for taking more serious actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30-40% and setting a long-term goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.
Mr Lohia also lauded the Thai Food and Drug Administration for the removal of blockage on recycled PET for food and beverage application, following a three-year collaboration between the government, IVL and key customers.