As a rapidly growing industry with a large land footprint, palm oil producers have an important role to play in reducing GHG emissions and limiting the environmental and socio-economic risks posed by climate change. REA intends to make a material contribution towards this common goal.
REA has calculated its carbon footprint annually since 2011 using the RSPO’s PalmGHG tool, of which the group was one of the earliest adopters. This tool uses a lifecycle assessment approach, whereby all of the major sources of GHG emissions are quantified and balanced against the carbon sequestration and GHG emissions avoidance linked to palm oil production by a specific palm oil mill. The net GHG emissions are expressed per tonne of product produced (CPO and CPKO), as well as per hectare of oil palm planted. This is known as the GHG emissions intensity.
Land use change and emissions of methane from palm oil mill effluent (POME) are the biggest sources of GHG emissions to REA’s carbon footprint. Between 2011 and 2014, REA achieved significant reductions in the GHG emissions intensity of its operations. This is largely attributable to the installation of methane capture facilities at the group’s longest established palm oil mills in 2012. Not only do these facilities reduce the volume of this potent GHG which is released to the atmosphere by the anaerobic digestion of POME, but they also convert it to electricity. This in turn reduces the need to use diesel powered electricity generators, thus further reducing the group’s GHG emissions.
Contribution of each GHG source and sink to REA's carbon footprint in 2014