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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   27 November 2010

Two Indonesian firms receive Green awards

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Two Indonesian operations linked to U.S. geothermal giant Chevron and to Switzerland's largest cement firm were on Friday awarded the top rating for environmental excellence by the Environment Ministry.

Chevron Geothermal Indonesia's Darajat plant in West Java's Garut district, and Holcim Indonesia's plant in Cilacap, Central Java, both made it onto the list of "gold" companies, the highest rating for companies judged by the ministry.

Known as the Corporate Environmental Performance Ratings, or Proper, the list is the result of an assessment conducted annually since 2002 by the Environment Ministry to encourage regulatory compliance and punish the worst offenders.

The ratings are color based, with gold being awarded to companies that show the highest compliance with environmental regulations and demonstrate a proactive sense of responsibility toward their surrounding communities.

Companies that make an effort to fulfill the ministry's "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Recover" slogan earn a green rating, while blue is given to firms deemed moderately environmentally friendly.

Moving down the ladder, a red rating indicates a lack of compliance with environmental regulations while black is reserved for companies that knowingly and deliberately pollute the environment.

Receiving a black classification two years in a row can expose companies to legal action.

"The companies were monitored based on their compliance in their water, air and toxic chemicals pollution controls. But there are also two additional elements: their Environmental Impact Assessment [Amdal] documents and toxic chemical waste management," said Karliansyah, deputy minister for the Environmental Pollution Control Agency.

Karliansyah said the gold-rated Chevron and Holcim plants were awarded green ratings in 2008 and 2009.

Major firms receiving a green stamp of approval this year included Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper, gold mining operation Newmont Nusa Tenggara and coal miner Adaro Energy.

Surna Djajadiningrat, chairman of the Proper list's advisory council, said it was not surprising that Chevron Geothermal had received a gold rating, as geothermal power was basically a clean industry.

"However, it does not apply for other Chevron [units] in Kalimantan, which received a red rating, so this is also about management," he said.

A total of 690 companies - state-owned, foreign and local - were assessed this year, with manufacturing, mining, oil and gas, and waste management firms all receiving ratings. A total of 627 companies were rated last year.

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