International Day of Climate Action, celebrated this year on October 24th 2023, presents a unique opportunity to acknowledge and advance everyone’s collective efforts towards fostering cleaner air and an overall healthier planet.
Clean Planet Technologies, the division within Clean Planet Group focused on developing new technologies (such as the Clean Planet ecoPlant), is excited to mark this day with an announcement of a critical milestone in their sustainability journey: becoming aligned with Article 9 of the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR).
The Significance of Sustainable Finance Regulations in Promoting Clean Air and Sustainability
The EU Taxonomy and the related Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR), adopted by the European Union, are innovative regulatory changes designed to integrate sustainability considerations with investment criteria within the financial sector. SFDR is a critical component of this regulation, requiring financial market participants to disclose key information relating to their economic activities. “Green funds”, known as Article 8 and 9 funds are also required to disclose the percentage of their activities which promote or indeed significantly contribute to environmental and sustainability objectives.
Article 9 funds (“dark green”) focus exclusively on sustainable investment. This requires that investors concentrate on the broader environmental impact of financial products, emphasising clean air, efficient water use & protection, pollution control, fostering a circular economy, and preserving biodiversity & ecosystems. Alignment with the EU Taxonomy is the optimal way of ensuring that investments can be classified as “sustainable”. Applying this regulation inherently enhances transparency in the marketplace regarding financial products' environmental impact.
The Journey of Clean Planet Group towards EU Taxonomy alignment
At Clean Planet Group, the dedication to clean air and sustainability has been instrumental in the alignment with sustainable finance regulations. The commitment is manifested in the various operations and practices that are meticulously designed to promote environmental sustainability and decrease greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the Clean Planet ecoPlants.
Clean Planet ecoPlants enable the sustainable recovery of materials of value from hard-to-recycle plastics. Using both pyrolysis and patented oil-upgrading methods as the conversion technology, waste plastic is heated, in the absence of oxygen, producing liquid hydrocarbons, organic gases and a carbonaceous char. The liquid hydrocarbons comprise a complex mixture of organic components from which commercial grade Naphtha, Diesel and Fuel Oil can be recovered. The organic gases constitute a calorific, noncondensable synthetic gas which is purified, prior to reuse, to an equivalent quality to that of natural gas. The carbonaceous char is composed of carbon black and mineral matter.
Sustainable Industrial Processes
Dr. Andrew Odjo, CEO of Clean Planet Technologies (and CTO of the Energy division), speaks to the fundamental ethos of the group:
"Our mission is centered on developing new technologies to expedite the sustainable use of plastics, and reduction of carbon emissions. Aligning our practices with EU Taxonomy criteria solidifies our commitment and demonstrates the effectiveness of our efforts."
Clean Planet Technologies industrial processes within the ecoPlants, which are now confirmed as designed to be aligned with the EU's Taxonomy's Technical Screening Criteria under section 3.6 of Annex 1, involve the manufacture of low carbon technologies. These technologies are geared towards substantial life-cycle GHG emission savings when compared to other market alternatives. The emission savings calculations undertaken by Riffel Consulting using 14064-1:2018 have been independently verified by a third party, Catalyst.
Responsible Resource Management
"We're committed to promoting a circular economy within our operations, minimizing our environmental footprint while maximizing efficiency,"
adds Dr. Odjo.
“In terms of resource management, our approach is informed by sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources. This entails implementing a water use and protection management plan in accordance with Directive 2000/60/EC, also known as the Water Framework Directive.”
The Link Between EU Taxonomy, Clean Planet ecoPlants and Reduced CO2 Emissions
A notable objective of sustainable finance regulations is the focus on substantial contributions to climate change mitigation, including the reduction of CO2 emissions, which is a key area where Clean Planet Group has demonstrated its commitment to sustainability.
The EU Taxonomy technical screening criteria focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and actively contributing to climate change mitigation. One of the ways a financial product achieves alignment with these principles is by investing in activities that yield substantial lifecycle GHG emission savings compared to existing technologies or solutions. The regulation encourages calculations of lifecycle GHG emissions using the Commission Recommendation 2013/179/EU, ISO 14067:2018 or ISO 14064-1:2018. The technologies designed to be used in the ecoPlants have been audited and confirmed to be aligned with the EU Taxonomy and therefore allows investors into the project eligible to claim the mantle of sustainable investment and accessible to Article 9 “dark green” funds.
Clean Planet’s processes and products are designed to produce low-carbon fuels that are not only superior alternatives to traditional fossil fuels but also significantly lower in GHG emissions throughout their lifecycle. The commitment to reducing CO2 emissions is visible through the robust procedures and advanced technologies with sustainability and carbon reduction at their core.
Building Infrastructure Aligned with Sustainability
The commitment to sustainability is also mirrored in ecoPlant’s building infrastructure. The work towards conformity with EU Sustainable Regulation also means the ecoPlants have been designed and built to meet the stringent criteria of the EU Taxonomy for sustainable construction, which includes aspects such as energy performance, air-tightness, thermal integrity, and Global Warming Potential.
Endorsement from Catalyst
"The journey towards aligning with the EU Taxonomy so that this product can sit within an Article 9 fund has been rigorously reviewed and audited by independent ESG consultancy, Catalyst. Clean Planet Group’s commitment to the principles laid down in the EU Taxonomy is evident,"
says Eoin Leonard (CEO) from Catalyst.
"Their robust procedures and focus on implementation speak volumes about their determination to advance environmental sustainability."
Eoin Leonard further adds,
"The comprehensive Climate Vulnerability and Risk Assessment, the environmental safeguards built into their industrial processes, their commitment to water management, and their focus on promoting a circular economy are all highly commendable”. The data shows that Clean Planet ecoPlants is significantly contributing to environmental and sustainability objectives.
Celebrating Clean Planet Technologies’ Achievement
The ecoPlant investment, in alignment with the EU Taxonomy, will enable this product to sit in an Article 9 fund is a proud moment for the Clean Planet Group.
Dr. Odjo ends:
"This validation is not just a testament to our efforts, but also an affirmation of our core values. At Clean Planet Technologies, and across the entire group of Energy and our Foundation, we are driven by the belief that business growth and environmental sustainability must go hand-in-hand. As we celebrate International Day of Clean Air today, we want to reaffirm our commitment to these values."
Today, as the Clean Planet Group mark International Day of Climate Action, we celebrate not just our alignment with EU Taxonomy, but our ongoing commitment to a healthier planet. Clean Planet Technologies is proud to contribute to a sustainable future, and we will continue our work with renewed passion and dedication.