Unitrade is committed to progressively transitioning to a zero carbon or net carbon neutral operation by 2050. Towards this end, it continues to undertake strategic measures to reduce its carbon emissions by decarbonising its operations. .

The use of solar energy commencing from October 2022 is one tangible measure taken towards reducing carbon emissions, notably Scope 2 emissions. The use of electrified cranes as opposed to diesel-powered versions reduces diesel consumption and thus Scope 1 emissions. Going further, the provision of EV charging stations is aimed at encouraging employees to transition to using EVs and this indirectly plays a role in reducing Scope 3 emissions. .

In showcasing its commitment towards combatting climate change, Unitrade in FY2023 has adopted the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure (“TCFD”) framework. The objective of TCFD adoption is to enable Unitrade to leverage a proven, best practice framework in developing a comprehensive approach in tackling climate change and Unitrade’s contributory impacts. .

The use of the TCFD framework compels Unitrade to develop a systematic, time-based strategy that enables effective governance and oversight of climate change related issues and considerations, understanding of Unitrade’s risks and opportunities in relation to climate change and the development of comprehensive action plans and methods with the progress achieved measured against set KPIs and targets. .

As the Group begins its pursuit to combat climate change in its own capacity, it has taken to monitoring its operations’ CO₂ emissions and emissions intensity, where feasible. The Group’s current emissions are within the limits set by the DOE.

Unitrade’s carbon emissions primarily come from energy consumption originating from diesel consumption (Scope 1) and electricity consumption (Scope 2). Our emissions data is shown below:

Unitrade consumes both direct and indirect energy sources. Direct energy primarily comprises fuel, specifically diesel consumed by its fleet of motor vehicles and also to power forklifts. In FY2023, the installation of 9 units of electricity-powered overhead cranes at enclosed warehouses have enabled reduced diesel usage. However, certain warehouse operations and handling off off-site items still require diesel-powered forklifts. Back-up generators that run on diesel are also used to produce electricity in the event of power outages at warehouses and other operational sites.

Given that one of the group’s core businesses is logistics and deliveries, strategic management of the vehicle fleet is essential towards reducing fuel consumption, emissions and also in reducing energy costs. Some strategies instituted with regard to fleet management include:

  • Reducing idle engine running as much as possible
  • Careful route planning and scheduling to reduce probability of fleet vehicles being stuck in traffic jams and to reduce travel distances and times
  • Regular upkeep and maintenance of vehicles to ensure optimum fuel efficiency
  • Phasing out older vehicles with newer, more fuel-efficient models
  • Progressive addition of electric vehicles – three internal combustion engine-based vehicles replaced with three EVs

Given the importance of electricity supply in powering multiple warehouses to store products overnight, as well as our office and factory environments where our employees work, Unitrade is cognisant of the efficient management of its purchased electricity. Since October 2022, indirect energy comprises mainly electricity derived from solar as well as electricity sourced from the national grid. The distribution ratio between these two sources is approximately 50-50%.

With the installation of solar photovoltaic panels in October 2022, Unitrade has produced 333,084 kWh of solar derived electricity, with 224,970 kWh being consumed for its own operations and the balance sold back to the grid. The utilisation of solar has avoided 332 CO2 tonnes in carbon emissions, while providing a savings of RM146,462 in avoided electricity costs.

Unitrade also emphasises energy saving measures as part of its approach to managing energy consumption. With regard to electricity-saving initiatives and strategies, Unitrade practices the following:

  • Sensor based operations for lights, air conditioners and electrical appliances, which will power down automatically at set intervals.
  • Constant reminders to employees on practicing energy saving measures
  • Installation of motion detectors in all toilets and common areas no later than FY2024.

In FY2023, five EV charging stations were installed on site for EVs. Staff are encouraged to use EVs or hybrid vehicles.

In FY2023, there has been a noticeable upward trend in recorded fuel and electricity consumption, indicating a cumulative energy consumption of 7,561 gigajoules (GJ). The observed rise in fuel and electricity usage can predominantly be ascribed to the revived economy and heightened sales activities in contrast to the preceding two years, which were adversely impacted by the pandemic.

Unitrade ensures that it closely monitors its water consumption in pursuit of stronger ESG compliance. The Group acknowledges that water is utilised on multiple levels of the Group’s business, and therefore manages its water consumption based on industry best practices.

The Group also encourages water-saving initiatives among its employees, including the act of turning off water appliances such as taps, after use. Going forward, the Group plans to enact more water saving initiatives that would better conserve Unitrade’s overall water usage, given that water is a finite resource that needs to be managed appropriately.

FY2022, Unitrade and its subsidiaries consumed a total of 5,765 m3 of water, as shown below:

Unitrade's strong ESG commitment towards safeguarding the environment also involves a solid waste management system which ensures the Group propagates a responsible and strategic waste production, management and disposal.

Given the large range of materials that Unitrade deals with in its manufacturing processes, the Group ensures it tracks the variety of total waste generated across its operations.

Going forward, Unitrade plans to enact a dedicated waste management plan. It also plans to expand its recycling initiative to become a prominent facet of the organisations waste management efforts in order to reduce the amount of waste disposed. In the future, Unitrade also plans to collaborate with third-party business partners to better tackle the reduction of pollution and waste, where possible.

Unitrade consistently monitors its environmental performance across its work environments to ensure it complies with the standards stipulated by the DOE. This may include environmental pollution monitoring which is carried out when it is deemed necessary.

We also screen our suppliers and vendors to ensure they also comply with environmental standards of the Group and other regulatory laws.

As of FY2022, zero environmental non-compliance incidents have been reported.

While Unitrade’s operations do not directly impact its surrounding biodiversity, it still remains dedicated towards preserving and conserving the biodiversity of flora and fauna.

The Group encourages the values and importance of preserving and conserving biodiversity by verbally communicating these principles to its employees. Unitrade has in place general environmental-friendly protocols that aims to reduce any negative impacts the Group may or may not have on its surrounding environment.

To the best of the Group’s knowledge, no operation of Unitrade is located in areas deemed biodiverse. Zero major environmental leakages or spills from Unitrade were reported in FY2022.

In the future, Unitrade plans to establish biodiversity audits to be conducted at its work environments to ensure its operations are not harming the surrounding biodiversity. We will persist with monitoring our operating environments to ensure its biodiversity is not harmfully affected, especially with regards to the continued prevention of potential environmental leakages or spills.