State Trading Organization (STO) announces a major shift in its business interests.
According to the largest state owned enterprise of the Maldives; which has a major business practice in general trading, surplus food and fuel services, the business focus will be redirected towards environment-centric practices.
Speaking in this regard, Mr. Hussain Amru, the Managing Director and CEO of STO emphasized on the importance of diverting the company’s business interests to more environmentally sustainable methods.
According to Mr. Amru, STO requires this major strategic move if the company aims to sustain itself on the longer run.
“One of the major industries that contribute to environment pollution is the cement manufacturing industry. The poisonous gases emitted during cement manufacturing contributes to roughly 31 percent of all the pollutants released to the atmosphere. Which is why cement manufacturers are adopting more eco-friendly alternatives,” said Mr. Amru.
The company introduced its own cement manufacturing operations in 2022.
Moreover, Mr. Amru notes that cement imports to the Maldives include close to 31 tons of carbon-dioxide.
“This is close to planting 1,100 fully grown trees for comparison,” the STO Managing Director noted.
He also stressed on the hazardous chemicals included in fuel, noting that sulfur contributes pulmonary and heart diseases.
Mr. Amru stressed on oil manufacturers employing relevant technology to reduce inclusion of hazardous chemicals in the process, which has resulted in the reduction of sulfur content from 2.5 percent to 0.5 percent in oil.
STO has pledged on importing oil manufactured in a more environmentally friendly process, and to achieve this the company has established an oil testing laboratory.
In a bid to focus its business interests towards more eco-friendly practices, STO changed its policy to drop usage of plastic bags in the company’s Supermarket.
While speaking about the major eco-friendly move, Mr. Amru noted on the challenges of adopting environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic bags.
“One of the major challenges is the procuring sufficient paper bags. Initially we planned on replacing plastic bags with paper bags in all of our 180 pharmacy outlets, which translates roughly to 1 million paper bags annually. To achieve this, our staff had to work around the clock to make paper bags,” he commented extensively about the company’s commitment towards eco-friendly practices.