BAT Nigeria announces massive investment in Solar Energy
Leading consumer goods company, British American Tobacco (BAT) Nigeria has restated its commitment to addressing climate change and environmental management issues, while delivering a positive social impact and ensuring robust corporate governance across its operations.
This was contained in a statement issued by the multinational organisation on the occasion of this year’s World Environment Day in Lagos, during which the company also highlighted some of its achievements and plans in the areas of waste and water management, reduction in Co2 emissions and transition to renewable energy sources in its operations.
Specifically, the company used the occasion to announce that it is implementing a 1 MW Solar Panel renewable energy solution (without backup battery storage) that would complement the existing gas engine-powered supply at its Ibadan factory.
The project, which will consist of the installation of 1,900 polar panels, will generate a cumulative energy of 1,400,000 KWh annually, representing about 6percent of the factory’s annual power requirement which would be injected directly into the company’s energy mix.
To achieve this, the company is making a significant investment of about £1m over the next two years on the project, which will reduce its carbon emissions (by the equivalent of 992 tons annually) taking the company closer to its target of 100percent renewable energy source and carbon neutrality by 2030.
Speaking on this investment, Area Director, BAT West and Central Africa, Yarub Al-Bahrani, said: “BAT Nigeria’s Sustainability Agenda is integral to our Evolved Group Strategy and reflects our commitment to the principal focus area of reducing the health impact of our business. This is underpinned by excellence across our other Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) priorities. We are committed to reducing our climate impact, taking care of biodiversity, and rethinking our means of consumption.”
According to Bahrani, “The investment we are making in renewable solar energy in Nigeria aligns with our commitment captured aptly in our purpose to build A Better Tomorrow™ and is in line with our ESG target of being Carbon Neutral in scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030.”
Already, the company has recorded an impressive 23.7percent reduction in scope 1 and 2 emissions, when compared with the 2017 baseline, among a number of other achievements, including 100% recycling of waste generated at her Ibadan factory with zero waste evacuated to landfill, 26.2percent reduction in water drawn and 4percent water recycled as well as the ISO140012015 environmental certification of the Ibadan factory, among others.
Commenting on the company’s achievements and the theme of this year’s World Environment Day, External Affairs Director, BAT West and Central Africa, Odiri Erewa-Meggison, said: “This year, the world celebrates 50 years of the initial Stockholm Conference with the theme ‘Only One Earth’. It is once again an opportunity to reiterate the need for mankind to live sustainably in harmony with nature and for BAT Nigeria, we are proud of the achievements we have made so far and are committed to continuously push for new ways to reduce our resource use, preserve the natural environment, improve the lives of farmers and communities, and uphold robust corporate governance standards.
“In 2019, we began partnering with local recyclers to implement the recycling of waste material such as paper, plastics and cigarette waste. Some of the end products which are on display at the sustainability show corner in our Ibadan factory shows that beyond repurposing waste material, the initiative is also creating new capacities among implementation partners and employment in the local community.”
Sustainability has been central to BAT’s business and ethos for decades. In 2021, the company was recognised as a sustainability leader for the 20th consecutive year in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, being the only tobacco company to be included in the prestigious DJSI World Index representing the top 10percent of ESG performers.
The business is accelerating progress across its ESG priorities to create a sustainable Enterprise of the Future and in 2021, signed up to the UN-backed Race to Zero Campaign, which aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.