“Driving greener operations.”
Rethinking to reduce environmental impact.
Composites Technology Research Malaysia Sdn Bhd (CTRM) was incorporated on 20 November 1990. Besides its core business of manufacturing aerospace composites, the company also manufactures non-aerospace composites and offers laboratory testing and calibration services.
In its efforts to reduce its environmental impact, CTRM established the Sustainability Steering Committee (SSC) comprising its Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer. Together with senior managers and departmental heads, the SSC ensures the company’s sustainability strategy encompasses United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) and G4 Sustainability Reporting Guideline (Global Reporting Initiative –GRI) so that the tenements are effectively incorporated into all areas of business.
Through its green initiatives, the company has had positive impacts on the environment, particularly in the reduction of electricity usage, air pollution, and landfill usage.
Enormous amounts of energy are used in a wide variety of processes, all of which are scaled up for maximum intensity. From small steps of replacing conventional lighting with LED bulbs in 2016, CTRM has progressively explored bigger and diverse sustainability initiatives, which have resulted in million-ringgit cost savings without compromising product quality.
CTRM has embraced renewable energy solar photovoltaic within its manufacturing plants and have installed a building management system to monitor energy consumption. The next phase will introduce renewable energy to the rest of the main buildings with a capacity of 6MWp, a target saving of 5.5 percent from total Tenaga Nasional Berhad bills.
By reducing electricity consumption of up to 7.9mil kWh per year, the atmosphere is spared from 5,600 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to almost 142,000 trees that would have had to be planted to absorb emissions. Changing the combustion source from liquefied petroleum gas to natural gas has also helped to reduce emissions. Aside from carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide emissions have also been reduced.
Waste management efforts have brought about a 14 percent reduction in the money spent on waste disposal at landfills. The major contributor of produced waste is the use of carbon fibre composites. As per the environmental legislation in Malaysia, the generated waste composite material is collected, segregated and safely disposed of.
Due to the way it is manufactured, up to half of aircraft production materials are scraped. However, in late 2019, CTRM initiated discussions with a Japanese company who has been developing lightweight parts for automobiles and motorcycles using recycled carbon fibers, in order to address the possibility of recycling CTRM’s carbon prepreg waste into automobile components.
Other waste management activities include annual awareness campaigns to reduce, reuse or recycle plastic and paper. CTRM’s green initiatives have not gone to waste, with its foreign customers positively commending the company’s contribution towards sustainability.
Lastly, the company is guided by the Green Procurement Program whereby products, services and processes are selected to promote the four ‘R’ strategies, namely rethinking requirements to reduce environmental impact such as changing raw material used in production to a safer and less hazardous material; reducing material consumption; recycling material / waste; and reducing energy consumption. Vendors too have to abide by a clear set of guidelines that defines the main principles underlying vendor business activities in the areas of the environment.
The company’s participation in DRB-HICOM’s Sustainability Annual Report are also quite substantial, particularly on managing energy use which has been the main reference for the Group’s Sustainability Report for submission to Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad in meeting the statutory requirements.
Apart from its main business objective to deliver its quality products on time and capture new markets, the financial gain of cost savings has created a positive impact on the company’s revenues. Meanwhile, other elements of the environmental initiatives have also contributed to the company’s other key strategic objectives covering operational excellence, research and training, people development, and supply chain excellence.
“CTRM’s waste management efforts have brought about a 14 percent reduction in the money spent on waste disposal at landfills, which, when you consider the magnitude of their contracts, is more than just a strong start to their green initiatives.”
Shanggari Balakrishnan, Chief Executive Officer, MORS Group
“All companies struggle with quantifying the return on their sustainability investments. With regards to compliance this is a straight forward issue. With regards to areas of competitive advantage, however, companies need to link sustainability to a business case. It is inspiring to note that a Malaysian company seems to be leading the way in the Asian aerospace composite manufacturing sector in this regard.”
Dr. Jayanthi Desan, Lead Jury, ACES Awards