EU-Malaysia’s biomass initiative bearing fruits

The EU-Malaysia Biomass Sustainable Production Initiative (Biomass-SP), a Malaysia-EU joint-effort to develop the country’s biomass industry, has proven to be fruitful when 14 local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) received top recognition for having successfully implemented various environmental improvement initiatives.

Started in 2010, Biomass-SP’s objective is to groom Malaysian biomass SMEs to move up the value chain by innovating new products and processes based on the principles of sustainable consumption and production (SCP).

“Out of the 14 biomass SMEs, three companies received top honours and were awarded the EU-Malaysia Sustainable Biomass SME Recognition Award by the EU Ambassador to Malaysia Luc Vandebon for their dedication and hard work in implementing SCP,” Biomass-SP technical adviser Datuk Leong Kin Mun said.

“The three companies, namely CE Technology Bhd, Greenearth Intl Holdings Sdn Bhd and MTS Fibromat (M) Sdn Bhd have successfully put in place their best practices incorporating SCP concept in their business operations as green entrepreneurs,” he told Business Times in an interview here recently.

Leong said the award was the outcome of the EU-Malaysia Biomass Entrepreneurs Nurturing Programme (EUM-BENP), which is one of the major initiatives under the Biomass-SP, where the three companies had been selected to participate prior to the award.

Under the EUM-BENP, selected SMEs received business and environmental coaching activities such as access to financing, partnership with EU companies and green procurement among others, he explained.

Meanwhile, the remaining 11 biomass SMEs include biotechnology-based companies, producers of solid biomass fuels, palm-based industrial solvents, biofuel, as well as companies undertaking fuel-switching activity.

They were recognised for the successful implementation of various environmental improvement initiatives inclusive of ISO 14001:2004 EMS and Eco-Labelling Certification.

“These successful SMEs will serve as industrial role models for the other SMEs that wish to make paradigm shift in profiting in business while improving environmental performance,” Leong said.

Biomass-SP is a development cooperation project funded by the EU under the SWITCH-Asia programme, which aims to promote SCP among SMEs and consumer groups in Asia.

It is jointly promoted by the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology, the Association for Environmental Consultants and Companies of Malaysia, the European Biomass Industry Association, and the Danish Technological Institute.

Biomass-SP brings together SMEs involved in biomass supply chain, government agencies, research institutions and universities as well as financial institutions that are involved in promoting biomass industry.

“Biomass-SP has come a long way since its inception in 2010. Over the years, we have had the pleasure of meeting and working with biomass SMEs that are involved in various sectors such as bio-energy, agriculture, eco-products and bio-chemicals.

“Through close communication and consultations with multi-stakeholders, we are able to identify specific issues and information gaps to address these challenges and opportunities for SMEs,” Leong said.

He said Biomass-SP has so far managed to reach out close to 3,000 stakeholders to promote the biomass sustainability model.