Sustainability Momentum Sdn Bhd

BOH Plantations and Malaysian Nature Society Joined Forces in New Partnership to Preserve Cameron Highlands

Photo Credit:
The Star
BOH Plantations Sdn Bhd and the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) have joined forces in a new partnership to preserve Cameron Highlands through a conservation project. Cameron Highlands, which is the production base of BOH’s tea products, is also best known for its cool weather and scenic mountain views. However, the natural beauty is under threat by illegal land clearing that has occurred over the last decade. The project will reach out to children from all 27 schools in the Cameron Highlands district by increasing their awareness and appreciation of the importance of nature conservation. In order to raise funds for the project, BOH will organize a charity run, called “The BOH Highlands Run” in the BOH Sungei Palas plantation in September.  For more information, visit Boh’s Facebook page at or register online at
Date & Source: August 16, 2014, The Star

The Ultimate Invader: Ruthless Lionfish Hinders the Recovery of Small Reef Fish

Photo Credit:
Abel Valdivia
Kurt Ingeman, a doctoral student from Oregon State University has revealed a formidable characteristic of the lionfish, which is an invasive Pacific Ocean species that has been killing native populations in the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean for decades.  The lionfish continue to pursue their target even after all other fish would have given up the hunt.  His study on the population of a small reef fish, the fairy basslet, in Bahamas has discovered the high mortality rate of the fish in the presence of lionfish, which is estimated to be four times higher than their exposure to native predators like groupers and trumpetfish.  In some spots in the Atlantic, scientists estimate lionfish have wiped out 90 percent of native fish. 

Date & Source: August 15, 2014, Mother Nature Network

Apple Bans 2 Hazardous Chemicals from Its iDevices Assembly

Photo Credit: Apple
Recently, Apple has decided to ban two hazardous chemicals, benzene and n-hexane from its iPhone and iPad final assembly processes, in response to the petition raised by China Labor Watch and Green America. The tech giant has been pursuing environmentally friendly practices in its production lately. The ban is their latest environmental move after earlier prohibitions of PVC, mercury and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) from its gadgets. They will ensure their suppliers follow suit by providing them detailed specifications and monitoring the implementation.
Date & Source: August 14, 2014, Treehugger

Whiter Roads Could Reduce Urban Temperatures

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The Cool Change Cities Project in Sydney Australia, has started experimenting with lighter-pigment road surfaces, replacing blacktop roads, in order to reduce temperatures in the urban environment. Blacktop asphalt roads absorb enormous amounts of daytime heat and releases it in the evening, raising the overall city temperature. By applying a whiter road concept, temperatures in packed urban areas can be dropped by 7°C. According to the project's leader, Michael Mobbs, a recent example of changing to a pale road costs $58 million and produces energy savings of $57 million! Combined with initiatives such as cool white roofs and the implementation of green roofs on city buildings, the Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE) in cities could be effectively addressed.


Date and Source: June 4, 2014, Clean Technica and

Biggest Polluter - China - to Limit its Emissions

Soon after the US made an announcement to cut 30% of power plant carbon emissions by 2030, China has also declared that it too will limit its total emissions for the first time by the end of this decade. The Chinese announcement was made by He Jiankun, the chairman of China's Advisory Committee on Climate Change, at a conference in Beijing. He stated that an absolute cap on carbon emissions will be introduced in China's next five year carbon emissions control plan, due to take effect in 2016. While there were no specifics on the cap and what the limits would be, it is hoped that this bold action would provide the much needed leadership for other nations to commit to greenhouse limitations at the next international treaty, at the Paris conference in 2015.


Date and Source: June 3, 2014, and The Guardian

Journal Paper Reveals Malaysia's Blunders in Rhino Conservation

Photo Credit: The Star

A paper “Preventing the Extinction of the Sumatran Rhinoceros” by three experts from the Borneo Rhino Alliance (Bora) gives a critical account of how Malaysia made key mistakes in its efforts to breed critically endangered Sumatran Rhinos through its captive breeding program. Throughout the duration of the program, located in Sabah, a total of 22 rhinos captured for breeding have all died with none successfully breeding while in captivity. There are now only 3 captive rhinos left in Sabah, which represents our last hope to breed and boost the numbers of this species. The paper outlines the causes for the failure of the breeding program over the past 50 years, pointing to a combination of limited knowledge on rhino reproduction biology, poor husbandry and veterinary care in captive centres, a misguided approach in focusing on protecting rhinos in the wild and lack of co-operation between authorities. In addressing the sad inevitable extinction of this species, the paper states that a key approach would be to produce Sumatran rhino embryos and undertake the cryo-preservation of gametes and cells that might be used in the future to restore the species after its extinction in Malaysia.


Date and Source: June 2, 2014, The Star Environment

The French are Getting Paid to Cycle to Work!

Photo credit: Reuters

In order to encourage its citizens to cycle to work, France has embarked on a six-month trial to pay employees 25 Euro cents for every kilometer travelled. Some 20 companies and institutions, with a total of 10,000 people have signed up to pay their staff to cycle to work. The French Transport Ministry hopes that this scheme will increase commuting by 50% from the current 2.4%. Several other European countries including Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Belgium and Britain have government bicycle incentives including tax breaks, payments per kilometer and funds for buying bicycles. If this French program achieves its goals, maybe it could also be applied to Asian countries such as Malaysia, especially if implemented through multinational companies operating here in Asia.


Date and Source: June 2, 2014, Reuters

Multi-junction Solar Cells Achieve New Record of 44% Efficiency

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A team of researchers at the University of Illinois have recently developed a new type of solar cell which uses multiple junctions instead of single subcells. Multi-junction cells contain two or more junctions, allowing the cell to gather more of the light spectrum. This new cell has a quadruple junction, four terminal solar cells, that can capture different wavelengths of sunlight, to achieve a power conversion efficiency of up to 44%, compared to around 29% of standard panels. These cells are assembled using a printing technique which involves laying extremely small and thin layers of semiconductor elements on top of one another. With the success of these multi-junction cells, the team is working on devices with five or six such solar cell junctions to further improve efficiency.


Date and Source: May 30, 2014,

Rwanda Turns Deadly Methane Lake into Clean Energy Source

Photo Credit: beccacantpark

Lake Kivu, a deadly lake which straddles the border of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, contains high levels of carbon dioxide and methane gas as a result of tectonic movements. ContourGlobal, a power company has recently started the construction of a platform that will extract carbon dioxide and methane gas out of this deadly methane lake to generate electricity, which will double the nation’s current electricity capacity. The project may see an increase in those who have access to electricity from 17% to 70% of the population by 2017. The extraction project is also deemed necessary in order to stabilize the lake and to avoid a catastrophic explosion. The large buildup of gases could put the 2 million people living close to the lake shore at risk. 


Date & Source: May 26, 2014, Treehugger

Carbon Trust Launches Its New Office in Mexico

Photo Credit: Blue and Green Tomorrow

Carbon Trust, a UK-based sustainability advisory organisation has recently launched its new overseas office in Mexico, which is designed to help local governments, as well as 150,000 small and medium sized businesses in achieving a low-carbon and sustainable economy. The new team led by Fernando Olea will initially work on three new projects covering corporate energy efficiency, labelling of goods and services and carbon emission reduction for Mexican states. They will work with SENER, the Mexican energy ministry, and NAFIN, Mexico’s national development bank to provide energy efficiency advice to businesses. The collaboration will help cut total corporate energy bills by 1 billion dollars while reducing carbon emissions by over 6 million tonnes. 


Date & Source: May 25, 2014, Blue and Green Tomorrow