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WWF Lauded Great Giant Pineapple’s Blue Economy Initatives

WWF urges govt to support ‘blue economy’ initiative

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Sat, March 09 2013, 9:18 AM

Located in a 32,000-hectare site in Terbanggi Besar, Central Lampung, a plantation company has taken green initiatives to a whole new level with its zero-waste principles.

As one of the world’s largest fully integrated pineapple plantations and processing facilities, PT Great Giant Pineapple (GGP) is the only company in the country to have applied the “blue economy” initiative, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Indonesia.

The blue economy initiative encourages companies to not only reduce emissions but also generate more profits by being environmentally responsible.

Ruslan Krisno, GGP director of the sustainability development division said that the company had basically started to apply the concept in 1984, five years after the company was established.

“During the first years of operating, the company received mounting complaints from neighboring communities, because it didn’t process its waste and had caused environmental damage,” Ruslan said.

“Therefore, we started to develop the cattle-fattening business in 1984, where the cows are fed with the residue of the pineapple processing,” he said.

GGP was established in 1979 and first started out as a cassava plantation. The complex now comprises a pineapple plantation, pineapple factory, tapioca factory, cattle fattening, bromelain enzyme factory, liquid organic bio-fertilizer plant, composting plant, biogas plant and co-gen plant.

The company produces a total of 510,000 tons of pineapple per year, and the products, including canned pineapple and pineapple juice concentrate, are exported to over 50 countries in Europe, North America, South America, Middle East and Asia Pacific.

Great Giant Livestock (GGL), the cattle-fattening business located within the GPP plantation area, has a capacity for 30,000 cows and also processes pineapple peel into cattle meal for internal use as well as for export products to overseas markets.

Didiek Purwanto, GGL operational director, said that the company also developed a fertilizer plant utilizing the manure from the cattle, to be used in the pineapple plantation.

“We tried to utilize every single thing that came from our factory, not only for the sake of the environment but also for the company’s efficiency as well,” Didiek said.

The company also established a biogas plant to process liquid waste that came from the pineapple factory and the tapioca factory, to generate electricity for the plantation complex.

“Within the past 1.5 years, we have succeeded in replacing 15 percent of our coal usage with biogas to generate electricity,” Ruslan told The Jakarta Post.

Ruslan said that the company aimed to reduce coal usage in its power plant by up to 30 percent and replace it with biogas energy in 2016.

“Even though we haven’t calculated the total benefits by applying this concept, I believe we have saved billions of rupiah with this concept,” he said. “Basically, sustainability helps this company to achieve efficiencies and generate more revenues.”

WWF Indonesia marine affairs communications manager Dewi Satriani said that the government should make incentives available to companies that have applied similar concepts.

“We hope that the government will soon open its eyes and give incentives to companies that have applied blue economy concepts like GGP,” Dewi said. “Not only to appreciate them but also to encourage more business practitioners to apply the same concept.” (nad)