TAKING THE GREEN ROUTE
In tandem with today’s lifestyles reflecting a go-green approach, the Group is doing its part by making strides to
reduce any adverse impact on the environment. The Group has implemented a variety of measures to conserve energy and water in both its business and operational activities. The initiatives which have been carried out include:-
- reducing electricity consumption and improve energy efficiency, the operational hours of the lights and airconditioning system in Ta Ann building and the operation sites and mills are carefully monitored and controlled
to conserve energy.
- reducing, reusing and recycling wood waste to turn it into energy through our biomass co-generation power plant.
- reducing energy consumption by re-cycling paper and paper products.
- treating the waste water of palm oil mill before its discharge to the watercourse, e.g. river or drain through biological treatment system.
- continually improving our management practices at all stages, from land preparation and cultivation down to the production process in line with our plantation development, where pre-operation assessments, High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF) and environmental impact assessments are carried out prior to work commencement in new coupe.
- practicing of reduced impact logging (RIL) in our reforestation operations to minimise damage to the environment.
Environmental Management System (EMS) is embedded at our plywood mill to monitor areas that affect safety, the environment and environmental laws and regulations, including land protection and forest rehabilitation, waste management, recycling, reuse and eco-efficiency, conservation of water, energy usage and emissions. The EMS allows us to collate and audit data to report on environmental performance and to provide a basis for improvement in our management practices. The plywood mill adopts international environmental management standard ISO 14001 as a benchmark in assessing, enhancing and maintaining the environmental integrity of EMS.
Another initiative is to engage with HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad in formulating our forestry policy and embedding the bank’s forestry policy into our policy and approach for sustainable forest management. Sustainable Management Committee (SME) has been set up to implement sustainable forest management practices in accordance with our forestry policy.
|HCV demarcation in progress
High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF) study is a mandatory requirement before entry of any new coupe whether for tree plantation, logging or before work commencement in new oil palm plantation. Land clearing exercise involves carefully planning and demarcation of areas to be left for protection such as riparian buffer zones, steep areas, cultural values and local community “reserves”, identification of flora and fauna to be preserved, identification of gene pools and salt licks /apan entelit. Precautionary or mitigation measures to reduce the biodiversity impact are incorporated into project design and monitoring based on the assessment carried out by the third party consultant.
As an industry leader, we remain committed to the continuous improvement of forest stewardship and maintain our internationally-recognised third party certifications. Our plywood mill passed the twice yearly surveillance audits for the ‘CE marking’ for its product, an European product marking and certification system that guarantees our products comply with all applicable European product safety, health and environmental requirements within the CE marking system.
In addition, our plywood division further secured verification from an independent certifying body, SGS for the Timber Legality & Traceability Verification (TLTV) Chain-of-Custody (CoC) under a Statement No. SGS-TLTV/COC – 0039.
With this legality verification programme, traceability of our raw material input is assured. Our plywood division also obtained the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) standard for its plywood products. PEFC is an International certification programme for sustainable forest management and based on standards developed by independent environmental protection organisations and the forest industry, our customers and society at large can rest assured that the wood used is from sustainably managed forests.
Ta Ann’s value-added eco-products quality has met the Japan Agricultural Standard (JAS), a standard that is well accepted by the Japanese and European markets. These achievements are the result of our active pursuit of manufacturing products that are environmentally friendly.
Ta Ann Tasmania continues to receive harvested timber from native forests and plantations managed by Forestry Tasmania and certified to the Australian Forest Standard endorsed by PEFC. The Australian and Tasmanian governments signed an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) on 7 August 2011. This agreement provides for the verification of high conservation values in some of the areas managed by Forestry Tasmania. The IGA also provides for an interim conservation area and legislation of any new conservation reserves by 30 June 2012. This legislation is currently being considered by the Tasmanian parliment, and proposes certification of productive forest areas under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The legislation is based upon an agreement between the Tasmanian forest industry and major environment non-government organisations, known as the Tasmanian Forest Agreement 2012. Ta Ann Tasmania receives certified timber supplied in accordance with the IGA and the Tasmanian Forest Agreement 2012.
FOREST MANAGEMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY
The Group’s commitment towards forest sustainability is reflected in our progress in sustainable forest management in the forest concession area held by our subsidiary, Borlin Sdn Bhd. The implementation of sustainable forest management would be a step-wise approach towards gaining forest management certification. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with WWF-Malaysia in Global Forest and Trade Network (GFTN) on 8 December 2009 was mutually revised in August 2011 to retain Ta Ann Plywood Sdn Bhd and Lik Shen Sawmill Sdn Bhd, our wholly owned subsidiaries, as Trade Participants.
Regenerating our forests through tree planting is one of our efforts towards promoting a greener environment. In 1999 when Ta Ann Group was formed, we embarked on a mission to establish a sustainable resource base to meet our future raw material requirements. This is achieved through Licence for Planted Forest (LPF), a state sanctioned and approved development programme to replenish forest resources through the renewability of harvesting and replanting of approved forest tree species. The Group holds three (3) LPF licenses with a combined gross area of 313,078 hectares. Through concerted efforts of the plantation management and staff over these years, we have planted over 32,000 hectares of Acacia, Kelampayan and other local tree species as a base for our renewable and sustainable forest resources for the manufacturing of environmentally friendly products.
Our reforestation division has also obtained a verification statement from an independent certifying body, SGS (Malaysia) Forest Sector Monitoring Programme for documentation and implementation of the replanting programme in our endeavour to enhance the renewable forest resource.