Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability

GEC Boosts Contribution to Solar and Wind Energy Projects

General Electric Company (GEC) has announced that its GE Energy Financial Services unit has invested US$100 million in a 127-megawatt solar farm situated in Arlington, Arizona. The project is likely to generate “hundreds of constructions jobs” and produce enough electricity “to power 213,000 homes and displace 515,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions per year”. The unit has invested more than US$8 billion in renewable energy, with its funding commitments for solar projects now close to US$1.4 billion. The unit’s portfolio now includes 48 power plants in six countries worldwide.

GEC has also announced a contract with project developer Energiekontor for four wind power generating projects comprised of 41 turbines. The projects are expected to increase GEC’s clean and efficient energy production by generating almost 250 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year. GEC will be using optimized trailing-edge serrations on its 2.75-103 range wind turbines, which have low noise emission levels.
GEC’s media release #1 (1 March 2012)
GEC’s media release #2 (1 March 2012)
(Source: GEC)

BASF Releases 2011 Report, Announces New Targets

Chemical company BASF has released its 2011 Report (undated), which includes BASF’s environmental and social performance in 2011.

BASF has also announced its new environmental, health and safety targets. The company has pledged to increase its worldwide energy efficiency by 35% by 2020, compared to its original goal of 25%. As well, BASF is seeking to decrease its greenhouse gas emissions per ton of sales product by 40%, previously set at 25%. In 2011, BASF emitted around 61% less air pollutants, and emissions of organic substances to water decreased by approximately 74%, nitrogen by 87% and heavy metals by around 61%. The company will measure its performance in the area of occupational health through the use of a “Health Performance Index”, which comprises five criteria, namely “reported cases of occupational diseases, medical emergency planning, first aid, preventive medicine and health promotion”. The company aims to reduce the number of work-related accidents by 80% and transport accidents by 70%, by 2020. Overall, BASF has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 42% since 1990.
Further information from the BASF
BASF’s media release (24 February 2012)
(Source: BASF)

Caesars Sustainability Report

Caesars Entertainment (Caesars) has released its Sustainability Report 2010-11 (undated).

Key highlights of the Report include:

  • “that the company is on track to meet [its] 2007-2013 carbon-reduction goal of 10% for [its] US resorts”, as announced in 2010;
  • the launching of a number of environmental impact reduction initiatives, including a program to install 65,000 light-emitting diode light bulbs by 2012 and rolling out a CodeGreen Scorecard to its US resorts, which, amongst other things, generates facility-level performance data on key environmental impacts;
  • implementing a CodeGreen at Work program, which provides grants to employee groups for creative environmental initiatives in the workplace; and
  • Caesars volunteers contributing more than 173,000 hours to community-and-environment-related initiatives.

(Source: Caesars)

Lego Parent Company to Invest €400 million in Wind Farm Project
Europe, Middle East and Africa

Lego Group (Lego) has announced that its parent company Kirkbi will invest approximately €400 million in the construction of a new wind farm off the German coast, owning a third of the wind farm’s production of electric power upon its completion in 2012. The 77-turbine wind farm is being built as a joint venture between Dong Energy, the Oticon Foundation via William Demant Invest and Kirkbi. The company’s long-term goal is to produce enough renewal energy capacity to meet all of its energy requirements by 2020. Additionally, Lego is increasing investment in its resources for energy efficiency in production by 5% each year. In 2010, the company reduced the consumption of gas used for heating its Czech factory by 17% by reprogramming the thermostats, a result achieved despite the fact that the factory was expanded by the addition of an extra production hall and a doubling of office capacity.
Lego’s media release (23 February 2012)
(Source: Lego)

Energy Giant Fined for Under-reporting Carbon Emissions
Europe, Middle East and Africa

BBC News reports that ExxonMobil has been fined £2.8 million for failing to report carbon dioxide emissions from its Mosmorran chemical plant in Fife, although the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) said “there had been no direct environmental impact”. Reportedly, in its 2008 report to SEPA, the energy giant failed to account for 33,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide. The fine is reportedly a “mandatory consequence of breaching the [European Union] emissions trading scheme”. An ExxonMobil spokesperson reportedly stated that the errors were identified by the company’s internal system and were “immediately reported to [SEPA]“.
BBC News: ExxonMobil fined ‘record’ £2.8m over carbon dioxide emissions (19 February 2012)
(Source: BBC News)