Earlier this year, Kimberly-Clark Corporation switched on one of Singapore’s largest solar energy installations at its manufacturing facility in Tuas, which produces Huggies diapers and baby wipes. 7,730 photovoltaic panels mounted on its roof will generate 3.5 Gigawatt hours of clean energy, enough to power up a thousand three-bedroom HDB flats for a year.
With this investment, renewable energy will now replace 15 percent of conventional energy use at the plant, reducing Green House Gas emissions (GHGs) by approximately 1,600 metric tons per year. This is equivalent to removing nearly 350 passenger cars from roads annually.
Kimberly-Clark’s Tuas plant has a long track record of reducing its environmental footprint. In 2016, it launched an in-house wastewater treatment plant that recycles 75 percent of the water used in its wet wipes production. Since 2017, it has partnered with Ngee Ann polytechnic researchers to find utility for material waste generated during its production process, as part of its broader efforts to re-use or recycle 100 percent of its waste.
At a ceremony held to inaugurate its solar roof, Achal Agarwal, President, Kimberly- Clark Asia Pacific, said “Our manufacturing operations in Singapore have long been recognized as a leader in environmental protection. Switching on this solar roof marks a new milestone in our sustainability journey and accelerates our progress towards our goal of achieving a 20 percent reduction in GHG emissions globally, by 2022.”
Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Singapore’s Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, was the guest of honour at the inauguration. He said, “I am glad to see enterprises such as Kimberly-Clark Corporation step up efforts to adopt renewable energy. Sustainable development is not just central to the mitigation of climate change and protection of the environment. When thoughtfully incorporated, it can benefit business operations and reduce costs in the long run.”
The solar roof panels were installed in partnership with Singapore-based solar energy provider Sunseap, which has played an instrumental role in the development of many grid-connected PV systems, pioneering the solar energy movement in Singapore.
“We are pleased to work with Kimberly-Clark in their efforts to go green. As the leading integrated clean energy solutions provider in Singapore, we encourage all companies to look for ways to be environmentally friendly in their business. There are various measures companies can take to reduce their carbon footprint including tapping renewable energy for their operations and going paperless in their day-to-day work,” said Frank Phuan, CEO and Executive Director, Sunseap Group.