Ajinomoto to convert Cebu plant to run on full renewable energy

AJINOMOTO Philippines Corp. is hoping to run its Cebu plant on 100% renewable energy by 2025 to achieve energy savings and reduce carbon emissions as it expands production in the Philippines.

“Our target is to transition our Cebu factory to 100% renewable energy by 2025. Now, we are negotiating with suppliers,” according to Koichi Ozaki, president of Ajinomoto Philippines.

He said that the initial target for the transition of the Cebu plant was 2024, but since negotiations are still ongoing, the target was moved to 2025.

“Once this is realized, our business operations will be at almost zero emissions. These changes in the Cebu factory are a big challenge for us, and it will have a big contribution to society,” Mr. Ozaki said.

In December, Ajinomoto Philippines announced the full transition to RE of its factory in Bulacan under a partnership with Ayala-led ACEN Renewable Energy Solutions.

Ernie S. Carlos, chief sustainability officer of Ajinomoto Philippines, said that the full transition of the Bulacan plant has led to monthly energy bill savings of P200,000.

“Recently, we transitioned to 100% renewable energy in Bulacan, and since then, we realized about P200,000 savings per month. Multiply that by 12, and that will be P2.4 million per year,” Mr. Carlos said.

“For carbon emissions, we have some targets to realize, namely, to mitigate carbon emissions by 2,000 metric tons annually,” he added.

Ajinomoto Philippines has set a goal to reduce greenhouse gas scope 1 and 2 emissions by 95% compared to 2018 levels through 2030.

Asked for the company’s prospects in the Philippines, Taro Fujie, president and chief executive officer of Ajinomoto Co., Inc., said that the group has a positive outlook due to the growing Philippine economy.

“We want to expand the Philippine business more and more, and we would like to invest in the Philippines more and more because the Philippine possibilities are huge,” he said.

Mr. Fujie said that these future investments will include diversification to include frozen foods, supplements, and others.

“As a whole group, we would like to invest in the Philippines more and more, not only in seasonings but also in gyoza (Japanese dumplings) and some other products as well,” he added.

Mr. Ozaki said there is a need for the company to look into more business opportunities in the Philippines.

“How we expand our business portfolio in the country is the next challenge, as I do believe that there is a lot of possibility in the Philippines,” he said.

Asked if it is planning to manufacture the new products in the Philippines, he said, “It depends. We have to think about whether some of the products can be produced here, but in order to speed it up, we can utilize another Ajinomoto Group asset and import from another country,” he added.

The Ajinomoto Group is expecting to register a 10% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2030, banking on four growth areas: healthcare, information and communications technology, food and wellness, and green food.

“We are setting a very challenging and ambitious target for 2030 … In fiscal year 2021, the profit from food accounted for two-thirds of our profit while bio and fine chemicals accounted for one-third, but we can expand the bio and fine chemicals to be able to expand our business CAGR to over 10%,” Mr. Fujie said. — Justine Irish D. Tabile