Thu, 30 Mar 2000

Awards for environmentally friendly firms

JAKARTA (JP): The city administration awarded on Wednesday licenses to 27 companies and building operators allowing them to discharge their treated wastewater into rivers.

The companies were given the awards after they passed the health standard requirement set by the City Environmental Impact Management Agency.

Deputy Governor of Development Affairs Boedihardjo Soekmadi presented the licenses at a ceremony at City Hall.

"Most of the rivers in Jakarta are badly polluted. Therefore, we must take action to save them," he said while addressing the ceremony.

"Any action taken must consider not only the quality aspects but also the quantity. Therefore, I urge all firms to implement the 'zero waste' principle," he told the participants.

Zero waste means that there is no waste discharged from any activities.

"This principle will preserve both the environment and companies as well," added Budihardjo.

Earlier, head of the City Environmental Impact Management Agency Aboejoewono Aboeprajitno told Budihardjo that there were 698 companies in the city which discharged wastewater to rivers.

"They have to send samples of their wastewater to the agency every three months. The agency will take administrative and legal action against companies which fail to do so," he said.

"That action will include warning letters and closing the wastewater outlets. We will also pass complaints to the city police for further investigation," he added.

There were 426 companies in 1999 which regularly sent samples of their wastewater, while the remaining 272 companies did not send any samples. Of the 426 companies, only 42 have shown good results.

"However, from our field inspections, there are only 27 companies which meet the standard," said Aboejoewono, adding that another 85 firms had average results and the other 299 bad results.

Aboejoewono said it had become a classical excuse from business people to say that constructing such treatment plant was an expensive investment.

"That excuse is no longer valid. Several executives said that they could even increase their efficiency rate by constructing such treatment plants," he told The Jakarta Post.

"The next step is to implement the '3 R principle': reduce, reuse and recycle. Implementing this principle will greatly preserve our environment," he said.

Pharmaceutical factories, such as Kimia Farma, Merck Indonesia and Pfizer Indonesia, dominated the list followed by food factories, such as Khong Guan Biscuits, Friesche Vlag Indonesia and Trebor Indonesia. Cosmetics producers Avon Indonesia and Tancho Indonesia also joined the list.

The list also included hospitals: Pondok Indah and Tebet in South Jakarta and St. Carolus in Central Jakarta, as well as the Dai-Ichi and Borobudur Intercontinental hotels.

Avon Indonesia's director of manufacturing, Awang Hermani, told the Post that investment for treatment plants was considerably low.

"Our investment for the treatment plant was only Rp 35 million in 1989. We add new installations every year at Rp 5 million. The operational cost is only Rp 20 million each year," he said. (nvn)