Roaring towards a sustainable future

Rizal Faisal

Since launching in May 2018, the Future Energy Lions (FEL) Brunei network is already making a difference through concrete projects, in-house learning sessions and engaging with schools and communities.

The group, whose mission is to be a catalyst for sustainable solutions for Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd (BSP) and Brunei, is aimed at Brunei Shell employees who want to connect, contribute ideas and build capabilities in alternative energies and sustainable solutions for BSP.

It is championed by Farida binti Talib, BSP Commercial Director who said, “I am proud to be the sponsor of Future Energy Lions Brunei. The network contributes to BSP’s strategic intent to ‘sustainably generate cash for our shareholders and grow Bruneian businesses and capabilities’.”

FEL started as a Global Shell network founded in the Netherlands in 2014. It investigates the business potential of new energy and low-CO2 ideas by acting as an incubator to deliver new projects and business models. It boasts more than 1,200 members spread across four continents and has connections to the global New Energies team.

The international FEL chapters aim to create employee awareness about global developments and how Shell can best act. To date, FEL Brunei has done just that, by already hosting seven “Lunch and Learn” events, five external events to raise awareness and by helping to deliver concrete projects through BSP’s Environment Cadence.

ABOVE & BELOW: Future Energy Lions (FEL) members during a beach cleaning campaign; and the FEL 2019 Committee in a group photo. PHOTOS: FEL

Farida binti Talib

Reaching out to communities

FEL Brunei works from a grassroot level to embed an energy-savvy mindset and has engaged primary and secondary schools on how to help create a cleaner future. For example, some 350 pupils took part in an engagement set up in collaboration with BSP’s Construction-HSEQ Network, at St Margaret’s School in Seria. There, FEL shared a video on the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Ecoschool programmes and gave practical tips and advice on how to reduce plastic use, how to identify different types of recyclable plastics and the locations of recycling centres.

The network also aims to raise awareness around new energies, such as solar power, more widely. FEL Brunei arranged a site visit to Seria’s ‘Tenaga Suria’ solar photovoltaics plant for its members, where they learned about the 12,000 m2 farm which houses exactly 9,234 solar panels, using six different types of Solar PV panels. It has an installed capacity of 1.2 Megawatts and generates about 1,344 MW/h per year – enough to reduce CO2 emissions by 940 tonnes a year. It is a first step on Brunei’s path to increase the share of renewable energy in total power generation mix to 10 per cent by 2035.

Putting theory into practice

Volunteers continue to work closely with BSP’s Environment Cadence team to deliver seven ongoing projects in the four key categories of Energy Efficiency, Community and Education, Sustainability and Green Energy.

In addition to raising awareness through visits, one project aims to reduce the number of commuter cars on the road between BSP’s head office and the capital.

A proposal generated in a workshop for commuters set up by FEL Brunei aims for more carpooling with the aid of an app for matching drivers and passengers – ‘Faxi’ – which is now available for download in Brunei via the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

“BSP alone has around 700 commuters on the road. It takes four people to fill an average car – if we can actually get four people into each car, think of the impact we can have on the environment through lower carbon emissions and less fuel wastage,” said BSP Senior Operations and Drilling Manager and a FEL Brunei member Fendy-Aliman.

Back at BSP Head Office in Seria, to further strengthen its presence as an ally of the environment, FEL Brunei has signed the well-known ‘Adopt a Beach’ pledge in partnership with the Last Straw Organization to take ownership of a 500-metre section of the Panaga Beach, pledging to keep it clean through regular beach clean ups.

In May, FEL launched a ‘Low Carbon Hero Challenge’ which provides the chance to lower one’s carbon footprint. While most people are aware of climate change and environmental issues that threaten life on Earth, many may feel helpless towards preventing it unless governments and big corporations act. However, FEL Brunei said that “everyone can contribute towards environmental preservation by reducing their individual carbon footprint!”

Eco-Festival

The FEL hosted its first Eco-Festival at Brunei Shell Recreation Club, Seria last Sunday with the ambition of uniting communities towards ‘Satu Impian’, the one dream for a greener and better future.

The group collaborated with Panaga School, Brunei Shell Recreation Club and the Collective Arts to organise the festival, bringing together non-government organistaions (NGOs) including ReefCheck Brunei, eco-vendors, food vendors and speakers.

A sapling planting event was also organised with a goal to plant 90 trees, in commemoration of FEL’s sponsor, BSP 90th anniversary celebration.