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Climate Change – examples of business achievements in 2015

Olam Wood Products
Olam’s subsidiary Congolaise Industrielle des Bois (CIB), invested in a co-generation plant at its site by the small town of Pokola in rural Northern Congo which has been operational since March 2015. Previously the community and 5 mills had to rely mainly on diesel.

Using the waste wood pieces, trim ends and other biomass from the saw mills, the co-gen plant produces hot water and 4 MW of electricity which goes to CIB operations and to Pokola.

This has created savings of about 8,000 litres of diesel per day, which is the equivalent of taking 120 tankers off the road per year. It has reduced the use of diesel generators in Pokola by 85%. Some of the ashes are used in the soil composition for the seedlings in a cocoa nursery to support the Government’s Cocoa National Development Plan. By helping communities to become cocoa farmers on already degraded land, the Plan is helping to diversify the economy in the region, while reducing illegal encroachment into the forest. CIB is the implementation partner, and from June 2014 supplied 1.6 million cocoa seedlings to 377 cocoa farmers in 51 villages.

CIB co-gen plant in the Republic of Congo

Olam Palm

As outlined in the Land section of this Report, the international High Carbon Stock Study Group published its Science Study Report in December 2015, in which the Technical Committee presented Olam’s Mouila landscape as a case study to guide an HCS+ process suitable for forest-rich nations – Olam was the first company to field-test the HCS+ methodology. Considering all our palm plantations in Mouila, the HCS Study Group concluded that our palm project will be at least climate neutral, if not carbon positive (i.e. net fixation or removal of 4.8 million tonnes of COequivalent from the atmosphere) over the first 25 years of the project.

Olam Spices and Vegetable Ingredients (SVI)


In 2015, Olam SVI launched the Sustainable Plant Initiative (SPI), a behavioural change based sustainability programme within Manufacturing. Results for 2015 included:

  • More than 1,500 employees from 6 U.S. processing facilities, being trained on how to reduce their Water, Waste, and Carbon footprint in the workplace and in the home
  • A total of 18 goals, in all 3 focus areas, were set amongst senior leadership and plant employees
  • The Las Cruces, New Mexico plant won 2015 ‘SPI Plant of The Year’ award. Plants were scored on 5 key areas:
    • Demonstration of leadership
    • Monthly meeting attendance
    • Sustainability training and employee education
    • Data entry
    • Progress on sustainability goalsSVI tomato processing in California

Plant specific highlights:

  • The ‘Reduced Mill Spillage’ goal at the Firebaugh plant (onions) resulted in an overall 45% reduction in scrap volume, with projected savings of US$110,000. (The milling occurs when onions are turned into granulated onion powder.)
  • The ‘Recycling Improvement’ goal at the Las Cruces plant (chilli peppers) led to a 15 metric tonne reduction of CO2 in 1 month alone
  • The ‘Recycling Improvement’ goal at the Williams plant (tomatoes) led to an 80% increase in recycling and US$97,000 in reduced spending
  • The ‘Carbon-Air Leak’ goal at the Lemoore facility (tomatoes) led to the development of an air leak detection team that dedicated 120 hours from July to December 2015
  • ‘Energy and Carbon Improvement’ efforts at the Williams facility (tomatoes) conserved 1,406,736 kWh of energy