Sarawak Energy Steps its Efforts on Sustainability

State utility builds up internal team of sustainability protocol assessors

KUCHING, 4th FEBRUARY 2015, WEDNESDAY : Sarawak Energy is further intensifying efforts to incorporate sustainability into its project and operations life-cycle. As part of this, the state utility trained its first team of in-house sustainability protocol assessors at a workshop recently, using a globally recognised standard.

The initiative is an essential step towards ensuring its hydropower projects are implemented and run in accordance with guidelines set out by the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol.

The protocol is a framework to assess sustainability at all stages of project implementation and is a consistent, globally-applicable methodology.

The adoption of the protocol is on a purely voluntary basis and goes beyond legislative requirements.

Speaking at the workshop closing, Sarawak Energy’s Chief of Corporate Services Aisah Eden said that the company signed a ‘Sustainability Partnership’ with IHA in 2011. This was an integral part of the company’s commitment towards sustainability in hydropower project development and operations.

She said this was aligned with Sarawak Energy’s vision for sustainable growth and prosperity for Sarawak, by meeting the region’s need for reliable, renewable energy.

“This training is also part of our own internal capacity development process. The ultimate goal is to form a competent pool of sustainability protocol assessors capable of conducting an internal assessment in accordance with IHA protocol. Six Sarawak Energy staff will undergo additional training to prepare them for an accredited assessor role, to ensure they fully understand the protocol so as to be the reference point for other assessors,” she said.

Aisah added that one of the objectives of the protocol assessment was to identify the gaps and weaknesses as well as to develop an action plan to resolve them.

The workshop and training session was conducted by sustainability specialists Simon Howard and Douglas Smith from the International Hydropower Association (IHA). The 18 participants were exposed to the protocol’s background, structure, content and methodology.

“I was impressed with the participants’ enthusiasm and their capability to apply the protocol, and with Sarawak Energy’s plans to embed the protocol into their business,” said Smith.

The team was made to understand the benefits the protocol brought to their business and how it could be incorporated into management and reporting systems, to enable them to mobilise and manage future official protocol assessments.

Sarawak Energy has been a member of IHA since 2010. As a sustainability partner, Sarawak Energy is committed to implementing its projects in accordance to the guidelines set out by the protocol.

Sarawak Energy aims to harness the state’s competitive edge in hydropower as a clean and renewable energy source to meet future demand and drive energy intensive industries. In line with this, the State Utility intends to do so by incorporating sustainability measures in its process.

Sarawak Energy Chief of Corporate Services Aisah Eden hands over a certificate to one of the participants as (from left) Sarawak Energy Manager for Sustainability Mohd Irwan Aman, sustainability specialists from IHA Douglas Smith and Simon Howard look on.

Sarawak Energy Chief of Corporate Services Aisah Eden speaking at the workshop’s closing. Also seen in the picture are sustainability specialists from IHA Douglas Smith and Simon Howard (far right) look on.

Sarawak Energy Chief of Corporate Services Aisah Eden speaking at the workshop’s closing.