Indonesian entrepreneur Sukanto Tanoto heads a $15 billion operation: the RGE Group of natural resources, energy, and agricultural production companies he founded more than 40 years ago. As the chief executive of a major player in the global market, Mr. Tanoto has focused on practicing good environmental stewardship. With a corporate philosophy centered on doing good for not only the company, but the country and local communities as well, Sukanto Tanoto has directed his constituent companies to maintain environmentally sound best practices throughout every aspect of operations. He has instituted several corporate initiatives specifically devoted to developing alternative and renewable sources of energy to meet continuing heavy demand, both from growing Asian markets and his own production facilities.
For example, Woodfibre LNG, a subsidiary of Pacific Oil & Gas is currently exploring the possibility of establishing a liquefied natural gas (LNG) transport hub near Vancouver, British Columbia. In addition, Mr. Tanoto’s AsiaSymbol in China has served as a leader in setting up an urban sewage reclamation system for its pulp mill; the new project addresses the containment of pollutants and provides treated, reusable water to drive mill operations.
The developing world particularly needs such initiatives in the 21st century, as emerging markets such as China and India continue the rapid and large-scale build-out of their industrial and manufacturing infrastructure. Such development is also accompanied by massive population shifts and an increasing demand from a growing consumer class. If countries such as China are to meet their ongoing energy needs within this framework, they will need access to non-traditional sources, such as LNG, biomass, wind, water, and solar power.
In 2012, renewable energy products supplied close to one-fifth of global energy needs. Renewables continued to claim an increasing share of the world market throughout 2013, although recent years have seen some national governments wary of supporting their use as part of official policy. If renewable and alternative energy sources are to fulfill their potential, companies such as those under Mr. Tanoto’s direction will be among the leaders in showing others the enormous benefits and advantages of sustainable power.