ACEN scales up waste management

Danessa Rivera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — AC Energy Corp. (ACEN) is scaling up its waste management program which it piloted in its 120-megawatt (MW) solar plant in Alaminos, Laguna by replicating this in all its project developments in the country.

The company first implemented a circular approach by putting up a sustainability hub in the Laguna solar plant’s construction site.

Through the sustainability hub, ACEN diverted away from landfills a total of 32,540 kg of plastic collected from the solar panel packaging materials – or the equivalent of about 25 compact sized cars – to be upcycled into eco-bricks and utilized in building the solar plant facilities.

“This pilot plastic waste conversion project will allow us to close the loop and reduce the environmental impact in our construction sites and host communities. With the success of this first run, we hope to replicate this program in our other project sites as we continue expanding our presence in the country and abroad,” ACEN vice president and corporate communications and sustainability head Irene Maranan said.

“Sustainability is fully integrated in our company’s strategy and vision of achieving 5,000 MW of renewables by 2025,” she said.

Citing the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, ACEN said the global demand for plastic would continue to grow and likely double in the next 20 years. However, only nine percent of the total plastic produced is recycled today, and it is estimated that eight million tons of plastic leak into the environment.

Packaging is the largest application of plastics globally, creating a growing societal pressure for companies to adopt circular models with no waste.

ACEN is exploring to extend this circular approach within its project locations by developing eco-hub recycling facilities, which will soon be implemented in Ilocos Norte in partnership with the provincial government. The company is constructing its third wind farm in the province, the 160-MW Balaoi and Caunayan wind project in Pagudpud, which will be the largest in the country once completed.

To expand its circular approach, ACEN looks to forge partnerships with the local community through the segregation of garbage, and the setting up of collection points in sari-sari stores, groceries, market and shops where plastic products are usually found.

These partnerships aim to provide sustainable supply chains with community involvement, a key objective of the eco-hub recycling facility.

Since 2018, ACEN has invested over P300 million in sustainability projects focused on environmental and community initiatives.

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