The United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals are broken down into 169 targets and 231 unique indicators. Although framed for governmental responses, many of these targets and indicators are readily applicable to companies – particularly those seeking to address (as many are) the SDGs as part of their wider ESG programme. In this series of Briefing Notes, Sustainable Capital will draw on examples from some of our clients to illustrate how selected SDG targets and indicators are being addressed.
SDG 12 ‘Responsible Consumption and Production’ includes the following: Target 12.2 By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources, Target 12.4 By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment and Target 12.5 By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse.
Altech Chemicals is seeking to address SDG 12 Targets 12.2, 12.4 and 12.5 in its production of high purity alumina (HPA) which is used for the sole purpose of manufacturing LEDs and Lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles, supporting
the development of the green economy. Altech has developed a unique HPA production route and plant design enabling resource efficient sourcing, reduction of chemical waste and solid residues, and energy efficient production processes, reducing its carbon footprint significantly compared with its peers. Altech Chemicals follows internationally recognised environmental standards and practices including the Equator Principles and International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability. Altech has developed an Environmental Management System (EMS) in accordance with ISO 14001 which includes management and monitoring programs for air emissions, wastewater emissions, solid wastes, dust and noise.
Altech Chemicals Limited is aiming to become one of the world’s leading suppliers of high purity alumina through the construction and operation of a processing plant at Johor, Malaysia. Feedstock for the plant will be sourced from the Company’s 100%-owned kaolin deposit at Meckering, Western Australia.
It is important to remember that not all SDGs and certainly not all targets and indicators are relevant to every company. Companies are, in fact, pretty much free to choose which of the SDGs, targets and indicators are most relevant to their activities – the important thing is to be clear about this. There is, however, one caveat, to wit, the SDGs, their targets and indicators are not tradeable; companies cannot offset one SDG against another. Honesty and integrity is, after all, a key element of the G in ESG.