BMJ Is Moving Ahead with Water Sustainability
Over the decades, many things have transformed in the tobacco industry following the concerning threat of environmental damage. Society has become more aware of the long-term impacts of the business on the environment and demanded for better environmental management.
In response to the challenges faced in the tobacco industry, the Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forums (GTNF) provides a space for experts around the world to exchange ideas and views on how the industry could become more environmentally friendly.
“In Focus: Sustainability” is a virtual forum by the GTNF that invites global practitioners from the tobacco industry, especially the ESG/Sustainability department personnel, to discuss the key topics in the transformation and sustainability of the businesses in the tobacco and nicotine industry.
This year, BMJ has the honor to participate in “In Focus: Sustainability”, a sustainability seminar held by the Global Tobacco and Nicotine Forums (GTNF). BMJ’s Innovation Director, Liem Khe Fung, participated as one of the keynote speakers along with many other notable speakers from reputable companies. Focusing on the importance of water sustainability, Mr. Liem emphasized BMJ’s initiatives thus far and the challenges of investing in a proper sustainability strategy.
How does BMJ pursue water sustainability?
As a market-leading company, BMJ has the responsibility to fulfill the global demand while maintaining sustainability, especially in the tobacco industry.
Fundamentally, water is the most essential material in the papermaking process, including at BMJ. For example, up to 99.9% of the material mixture during the web forming process is water, and in the drying process, water is also used to generate steam to dry the web. Water is especially vital to support the livelihood of the business—quoting Liem, its life and death depend on water.
However, the decline of the clean water supply has become a global threat to the environment, society, and businesses alike. Companies are expected to take action and tackle this concerning issue. Many turn their focus on sustainability and devise plans to implement sustainable water management effectively and efficiently, including BMJ.
BMJ values water greatly and thus, the company has taken extensive measures to keep water consumption in check. Several efforts that BMJ has made to reduce water consumption as well as reuse and recycle water include:
Adopting technology that enables less water usage in the papermaking process
Using recycled water as much as 20% of BMJ water requirements
Targeting at least 50% of BMJ’s freshwater requirements to be supplied from recycled and reused water by the end of 2022
BMJ is aware that natural water that is utilized belongs not only to the company but also to the community around us. People in the community have the right to access clean water to support their daily lives. Therefore, we install and use a secure wastewater treatment technology to restore clean and safe water back to its source. On top of that, we continue to be taught through a charitable act of providing clean water to the surrounding community, one of them is the people of Gempol Tengah Purwadana Village, Telukjambe Timur, Karawang, Indonesia. Our wholehearted commitment is carried out to preserve clean water for the people to fulfill their everyday needs.
Nonetheless, another concern arises: the high cost of water due to water recycling could constrain the company, leading to the loss of its competitiveness. Investing in sustainability might become quite a challenge for businesses striving to make the world a better place. BMJ, however, sees the challenge as a drive to another eureka moment that will bring more impact on our business and also our communities.
“Sustainability becomes critical for a business or company to stay competitive,” said Mr. Liem. “In the next 10 - 15 years, the company cannot survive without a proper sustainability strategy.”
It is indeed imperative for BMJ to keep on being a sustainable company to stay alive in the business. However, it is the balance between our business operations, the environment, and the lives of the people in the community that becomes our core goal. We hope that our initiatives can benefit all around us.