Sustainability is no longer an option but a requirement for the export oriented and local industrial sector. Consumers worldwide are increasingly concerned about climate change and the carbon impact of their consumption and give preference to brands who are acting to alleviate their carbon footprint. Our export industry’s international clients are being forced by their investors, customers, or governments to measure their carbon emissions and reduce them which means they are imposing more stringent sustainability standards on their suppliers.
We have reached a juncture where there is a unique alignment of economic and environmental interests with a willingness by industry to invest substantially in a shift towards decarbonization to secure their long-term economic future as well as the future of the planet.
At the level of MEXA, our largest energy users are committing to reaching carbon neutrality by year 2040. Similarly, at the level of AMM, our commitment is to develop the low-carbon certification for manufacturers and the programmes to lead this technical shift by 2025.
The industrial sector is one of the largest energy consumers on the island amounting to around 28% of total energy usage. Today, the two most significant factors contributing to our carbon emissions are the use of electricity and heavy fuel oil in generating steam.
In order to stimulate and support investment into productive industrial activities, the CEB has been practicing a preferential rate for the industrial sector for many years now, as is the case in most countries with thriving industrial sectors. However, in the context of rising input costs, especially oil, we appreciate that these tariffs may not be economically sustainable. There is therefore a pressing need to move towards a new model of electricity generation which is in the interests of all stakeholders.
In this context, MEXA and AMM, as representatives of the manufacturing industry of Mauritius, are of the view that it is time that the industrial sector makes the transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy, mainly through investment in photovoltaic capacity. We are also proposing the development of a Renewable Energy Investment Framework for the Industrial sector.