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Home / case studies / Case study: How Banpu improves water use efficiency

Case study: How Banpu improves water use efficiency

As an integrated energy company operating in 10 countries, seeking to be the Asian energy company at the heart of innovation, technology and sustainability, Banpu engages with communities, academics and related stakeholders to study and improve the efficiency of its water management  Tweet This! and reduce water consumption intensity.

This case study is based on the 2018 Sustainability Report by Banpu published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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Banpu recognises that inefficient water management may not only cause water crises, but also cause environmental problems associated with discharge of low quality water leading to conflict with local communities or other water users. In order to improve water use efficiency Banpu took action to:

  • conduct risk identification and assessment
  • reduce water loss
  • manage water discharge

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2018 Sustainability Report Banpu identified a range of material issues, such as human capital development, occupational health and safety, community engagement, social compliance, supplier management. Among these, improving water use efficiency stands out as a key material issue for Banpu.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The organization should identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process s of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups Banpu engages with:

To identify and prioritise material topics Banpu engages with its stakeholders through the following channels:

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Government ·      Occasional visits

·      Support to governmental initiatives and activities

·      Response to requests for data disclosure

·      Publication of Annual Report and Sustainability Report

·      Public information on Banpu’s website

Employee

 

 

·      Communication between human resources department and employees

·      Employee involvement in committees

·      Complaint channel

·      “Banpu Heart” behavioural survey

·      Employee engagement survey

·      Town Hall Meeting

Customer ·      Customer satisfaction survey

·      Complaint channel

·      Occasional visits

·      Response to requests for data disclosure

Supplier ·      Regular meeting with supplier
Contractor

 

·      Regular meeting with contractor

·      Annual meeting of mine contractor

Financial Institution ·      Analyst meeting

·      Publication of Annual Report and Sustainability Report

Business Partner ·      Board meeting at subsidiaries and associated companies

·      Publication of Annual Report and Sustainability Report

 

Shareholder

 

·      Annual general meeting of shareholder

·      Publication of Annual Report and Sustainability Report

·      Complaint channel

·      Public information on Banpu’s website

Investor ·      Opportunity investment roadshow

·      Presentation on Opportunity Day organised by Stock Exchange of Thailand

·      Publication of Annual Report and Sustainability Report

·      Public information on Banpu’s website

Media and NGOs ·      Response to requests for data disclosure

·      Fact sheet summary

·      Public information on Banpu’s website

Community ·      Communication between community development officers and local community

·      Establishment of Community Consultative Committee (CCC)

·      Community satisfaction survey

·      Complaint channel

·      Public information on Banpu’s website

What actions were taken by Banpu to improve water use efficiency?

In its 2018 Sustainability Report Banpu reports that it took the following actions for improving water use efficiency:

  • Conducting risk identification and assessment
  • Banpu has assigned all business units to carry out risk identification and assessment of water resources and report the result and risk mitigation plan to the Risk Management Committee on a quarterly basis. One of the risk identification processes is to verify whether sites are located in a water stressed area under the database of the Aqueduct water risk atlas of the World Resources Institute. Initial assessment found that 3 CHP plants and 6 solar power plants in China, along with 5 coal mines both operating and non-operating in Australia, are located in a water stressed area. As a result, Banpu prepared short-term measures to minimise potential impacts associated with water use by each business unit and is preparing a long-term plan to cover the management at watershed level (both surface water and groundwater) by developing a water accounting framework and water balance.
  • Reducing water loss
  • To increase efficiency of water consumption, Banpu implements projects for production improvement to reduce water loss. The projects include improvements in the efficiency of the water treatment system, water reuse in the original production process such as coal washing or water reuse in other processes, such as water spraying on road to control dust dispersion. Additionally, Banpu has collaborated with a power plant (Banpu’s customer) by utilising treated water of the Springvale mine in Australia that is normally discharged into the public waterways to be used as water in the cooling system. This project can reduce water withdrawal from public water sources.
  • Managing water discharge
  • Due to the increasingly stringent environmental quality control announced by the Chinese government, Banpu will implement measures to manage water discharge and will also change production technology to reuse water in the production process or other activities within the operational sites, as much as possible. For example, Luannan power plant has a plan to construct a new water treatment plant to receive wastewater from both internal and external sources for recycling water in the production process. This will not only reduce the volume of water withdrawal from natural water sources but will also reduce the discharge of wastewater.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed? 

The GRI Standards addressed in this case are:

1) Disclosure 303-1 Interactions with water as a shared resource

2) Disclosure 303-2 Management of water discharge-related impacts

 

Disclosure 303-1 Interactions with water as a shared resource corresponds to:

Disclosure 303-2 Management of water discharge-related impacts corresponds to:

 

80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards

SustainCase was primarily created to demonstrate, through case studies, the importance of dealing with a company’s most important impacts in a structured way, with use of the GRI Standards. To show how today’s best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success – and how you can too.

Research by well-recognised institutions is clearly proving that responsible companies can look to the future with optimism.



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References:

1) This case study is based on published information by Banpu, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:

http://database.globalreporting.org/

2) https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/gri-standards-download-center/

Note to Banpu: With each case study we send out an email requesting a comment on this case study. If you have not received such an email please contact us.

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