The Green Agenda – NGC focusing on sustainability, climate education
The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (NGC) is evolving. NGC and its subsidiaries – together, The NGC Group of Companies – have embarked on a journey to become a more sustainable energy business, through the elaboration of a Green Agenda. This refers to a collection of initiatives, strategies, and investments all aimed at reducing carbon emissions and supporting climate action and adaptation – one of the most pressing sustainability goals.
NGC’s Green Agenda includes internal initiatives – targeting a reduction in the carbon footprint of the entire NGC Group of Companies – as well as industry-wide and national projects, which seek to make an impact on a wider scale.
Key to NGC’s Green Agenda are the following:
• Sustained focus on building the natural gas industry of Trinidad and Tobago, to support the use of natural gas as a bridge fuel in the global energy transition
• A methane monitoring and mitigation programme to identify and address leaks along NGC’s pipeline corridor, using satellite data and infrared visualization
• Collaborative exploration of opportunities to introduce solar power, green hydrogen, and biofuels into the national energy mix, through partnerships with NGC Group subsidiaries and industry stakeholders
• Support of academic research into clean energy through partnerships with local universities
• Proactive work with vendors to strengthen supply chains and help vendors integrate ESG considerations into their own businesses
• Active lobbies across the energy sector to reduce the carbon footprint of industries, including a Super ESCO project to help improve energy efficiency among light industrial consumers
• An expansion of the Company’s 315-hectare reforestation programme to include agroforestry and eco-tourism components
• A focus on supporting sustainable agriculture to build food and nutrition security
• Energy education through a combination of web-based tools, television programs, and school interventions
• Decarbonisation of the transportation sector through CNG and alternative fuels
• Support of sustainable energy business development through a Sustainable Investing Initiative
Spotlight on Education
Global climate forums such as COP28 underscore the necessity of collaboration and alignment among all stakeholders, if any significant progress is to be made in the climate fight. This not only requires engagement and cooperation at the level of government, but recognition of the supportive role that individual citizens must play.
For this reason, NGC has made public education an axis of its Green Agenda. In the past three years, the company has launched several technology-based products to help build a more climate-literate and climate-conscious population.
In 2020, NGC launched Trinidad and Tobago’s first mobile app around energy efficiency and conservation Energy SmarTT. This app, available for free download by the public, aims to change behaviors and attitudes toward energy consumption – particularly at the domestic level – and increase awareness about the big-picture environmental impact of personal choices. It allows users to gain customized insights into their individual carbon footprint, by tracking the energy expenditure of their homes. The app also helps users calculate the cost and savings of switching to more energy-efficient fixtures and appliances and provides tips for more sustainable energy use.
Launched in 2021, NGC’s CariGreen website (www.carigreen.ngc.co.tt) is a repository for authoritative, updated information on Caribbean clean energy, which aims to make it easier for investors, academics and citizens to conduct research in this area. The ultimate objective was to help expedite investment decisions and clean energy project development in the region.
Following an upgrade in 2022, the website now includes specifications of over 100 wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, hydrogen, and hydropower facilities and projects across Latin America and the Caribbean. The site profiles the capacity and location of these facilities and links visitors to the respective facility websites for further information.
Climate Adaptation and Resilience Portal (CARP)
Despite our best mitigation efforts, the impacts of climate change are already being seen and felt, and societies must prepare for and adapt to these impacts to build their resilience. In this context, NGC launched a new online platform in 2023 called the Climate Adaptation and Resilience Portal (CARP – www.carp.ngc.co.tt), which aims to keep citizens abreast of climate-driven changes impacting Trinidad and Tobago.
CARP uses Geographic Information Services (GIS), artificial intelligence, and predictive modeling to map and chart climate-related risks such as sea level rise, coastal erosion and vulnerability and maritime alerts. The portal also allows users to track temperature and precipitation, tidal information, air quality, deforestation, and even active adverse weather alerts. Other features such as best practices for adaptation from around the world, meteorological office forecasts, a climate adaptation and resilience news feed, and linkages to other GIS systems showing global trends, make CARP a comprehensive resource for climate information and decision support.
Shortly after the launch of CARP, NGC announced its partnership on an initiative called Sustain U – a training platform that will assist organizations and their employees to build sustainability understanding, learn how to quantify impact and take tangible action. It is designed to help accelerate the Caribbean region’s pursuit of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals with content that addresses learning around challenges to building and strengthening regional sustainability.
These include increased risk of climate-related disasters, social issues including crime and poverty, and a pressing need for future-proof institutions to compete more effectively. The intention is to introduce subscribers to the fundamentals of sustainability across all its dimensions and connect the dots between academic concepts and real-life impacts. Courses are scheduled to become available in 2024.
Looking forward to 2024 and beyond, NGC intends to build on this platform of green initiatives together with its subsidiaries, to expand the reach and impact of its projects, create a more sustainable energy business, and accelerate responsible, future-minded development across the region.