Sunseap's first sustainability impact report shows positive impact on environment

Sunseap's first sustainability impact report shows positive impact on environment

Infographic of Sunseap's sustainability impact report (image: courtesy of Sunseap)

April 13, 2020

Sunseap Group Pte Ltd (Sunseap) today released its first sustainability impact report which shows that the solar energy generated by the company produced a positive impact on the environment resulting in more than 58,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) avoided in 2019. This is equivalent to growing more than 959,042* tree seedlings for ten years.

Sunseap is among the first private companies in Singapore to embark on the voluntary sustainability report exercise which was implemented amidst a challenging environment posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, including having to quickly replace in-person workshops with online video conferences and implementing other social distancing measures.

Sunseap's initiative aligns it with companies listed on the Singapore Exchange which are required to publish an annual sustainability report. Sunseap's report also includes its GHG Scope 3 emissions from air travel, which is typically not part of the standard scope included by many companies in their carbon disclosures.

Sunseap's impact report, done in consultation with Paia Consulting, a Singapore-based sustainability consultancy, forms the first phase of the overall sustainability report on how Sunseap integrates ESG issues into its operations. The full sustainability report will be completed in Q2 2021.

Findings from Sunseap's impact analysis show that it had generated 116 tonnes of GHG from air travel, 15 tonnes from non-solar electricity to power its dormitories and used 2,896 cubic metres of water for its offices and dormitories last year.

Sunseap's own office operations are powered by 100% solar energy, helping it to avoid 84 tonnes of carbon emissions. After deducting its own consumption from air travel and non-solar electricity, the nett effect to the environment is 47 tonnes of GHG, largely due to the high carbon emitting nature of air travel. Based on the results of the report, Sunseap has pledged to cut down at least 40% of its travels by air in order to achieve carbon neutrality, even when travelling is permitted again after the pandemic has ended.

During the same period, its business of generating solar energy for corporate and retail customers resulted in a total 58,160 tonnes of carbon emissions avoided. Of this, an estimated 32,500 tonnes of carbon emissions avoided came from its solar leasing business, which generates solar energy for its corporate and government clients, and an estimated 25,660 tonnes of carbon emissions avoided from retailing solar energy to mass market and corporate consumers through the open electricity market. This is equivalent to Sunseap growing 961,688* tree seedlings for ten years for its corporate, government and retail customers.

Mr Lawrence Wu, Sunseap's President and Executive Director, said: "It was a challenging few months as we worked hard to produce the impact report amid the Covid-19 pandemic but we are glad that we are finally able to present our results and demonstrate leadership in this respect amongst all companies in Singapore. At Sunseap, we are focused not only on delivering superior financial returns to our shareholders but also on making positive contributions to society and the environment."

*Conversion is based on the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator:

Sunseap has already started making adjustments to reduce its air travel. Even before the Covid-19 outbreak, the company had begun conducting meetings with its overseas partners through tele or video conferencing where possible to reduce its environmental footprint.

It has also been encouraging its partners and vendors to turn to more environmentally friendly alternatives. As conventional energy is used to power Sunseap's dormitories, which are managed by external vendors and contribute to the non-renewable electricity consumed by the company, it has been encouraging the vendor to consider cleaner forms of energy such as solar.

Mr Frank Phuan, Sunseap's CEO and Executive Director, said: "The sustainability report exercise demonstrates our commitment to environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards and our desire to be as transparent as possible with our stakeholders in how we operate our business in a sustainable manner. We hope our impact and sustainability report can influence our partners and vendors to review how they too can be more socially responsible in the conduct of their business."

"The Covid-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented challenges for many companies wanting to go green as their businesses are impacted by the current economic climate. Even for ourselves, we had to quickly adjust our processes and strategies to the new measures in order to ensure the well-being of our staff. However, we encourage companies to press on and look ahead at a greener future. The sustainable changes we take now will have a positive impact in the long run, environmentally and financially."

Ms Carrie Johnson, Director of Paia Consulting, said: "We are delighted to support Sunseap as they take the lead to be more transparent about their carbon emissions and ESG performance. We will be working closely with the company to find opportunities to improve processes and develop practical solutions which they can take to become more sustainable."

Sunseap is one of the largest clean energy solutions providers in the Singapore with almost 300 MegaWatt-peak (MWp) of contracted solar energy projects in Singapore alone. It accounts for more than 50% of the installed solar capacity in Singapore with more than 168 MWp of solar systems completed on over 1,500 buildings including public housing estates, as well as commercial and industrial buildings.

Under SolarNova 4, a tender called by the Singapore government last year, Sunseap will install more than 70 MWp of solar panels on the rooftops of housing blocks and other government sites.

The group, which also supplies tech giants Apple and Microsoft with renewable energy for their entire local operations, provides residential customers in Singapore with access to certified solar energy through the open electricity market to reduce their carbon footprints.

Outside of the Republic, Sunseap has built one of the largest solar projects in Vietnam, a 168 MWp solar farm in Ninh Thuan Province. It currently has a total and projected capacity of 1.7 GigaWatt-peak consisting projects that are in operation, under construction and in development in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as a strong pipeline of projects in China, Taiwan, Japan and other parts of Southeast Asia.

About Sunseap Group
Sunseap Group is a leading solar energy system developer, owner and operator in Singapore, with over 400 MegaWatt-peak (MWp) of solar energy projects contracted, of which more than 168 MWp have been completed on more than 1,500 buildings in Singapore including public housing estates, as well as commercial and industrial buildings. It operates through five key units: Sunseap Leasing, Sunseap International, Sunseap Energy, Sunseap Engineering and Sunseap Solutions.

Sunseap Leasing is the first and largest solar leasing company in Singapore. Sunseap International targets markets in the Southeast Asian and Pacific regions. These include solar farm in Vietnam with more than 170 MWp, and solar projects in Cambodia, China, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand and Malaysia. Sunseap Energy provides renewable energy solutions utilising off-site arrangements by drawing on solar systems within the Group’s portfolio of distributed generation assets. Sunseap Engineering provides engineering, procurement and construction as well as operation and maintenance services for PV projects. Sunseap Solutions focuses on energy efficiency solutions by providing services such as energy audits, lighting retrofitting and green roof systems.

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