AFES steadfast in sustainability agenda

In order to keep our world liveable and thriving, we need to double up the global circularity from 8.6% to 17%, says CEO 


THE global population could grow to around 8.5 billion in 2030 and to 9.7 billion by 2050, according to the latest report made in the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal (UNSDG). 

This makes one wonder on the possibility of bigger destructive impacts on the planet if we continue to consume natural resources irresponsibly. 

With such alarming catastrophic end result, it is critical that everyone play a role in ensuring this does not occur and especially so to the corporations and companies all over the world, through a more responsible consumption and production. 

It is high time for companies to transition to green business infrastructure and practices. In fact, 93% of the world’s 250 largest companies are now reporting on sustainability. 

Realising this impending scenario, which will endanger the very systems on which the future depends, Alam Flora Environmental Solutions (AFES), a subsidiary of Alam Flora Sdn Bhd (AFSB), is focused and determined to pursue the agenda of sustainability. 

Ministry of Local Government Development Deputy General Secretary (Sustainable Planning and Environment) Datuk Saidatu Akhma Hassan (centre) on an official visit to FIKS

This while also propagating a more environment-friendly centralised waste management system and application for the people’s and country’s benefit. 

AFES — which has been established for 10 years since 2013 — offers forward-thinking environmental solutions through its core business activities of Asset and Facilities Management (AFM), Infrastructure Cleansing and Waste Solutions (ICWS) and Waste Management Facilities (WMF). AFES also expanded its business with land and marine scheduled waste which are Port Reception Facilities (PRF) and Integrated Eco Recovery Complex (IERC). 

These are all done through sustainable development which are based on technological development and advancements that support the global goals introduced by the UNSDG. 

AFES Chief Operations Officer (COO) Nazar Abdul Raof stressed that as a company, they are determined to provide premier solutions not just for corporate entities, businesses and communities, but also for town councils, local government, real estate and housing developers.

“Our focus has always been on the 3P principles which are People, Planet and Prosperity. We believe as an organisation, if you take care of the people (our personnel and clients) and the planet, prosperity will be there for you”, said Nazar. 

Visitors can also explore FIKS and how it works

From the recent report by Circle Economy, from 100 billion tonnes of materials entering the global economy, only 8.6% is cycled back into the economy. 

“In order to keep our world liveable and thriving, we need to double up the global circularity from 8.6% to 17%. There is where AFES comes in to do our part towards global circular economy”. 

Additionally, Malakoff Corporation Berhad, the parent company of AFES, has set a new KPI whereby it is expected to have 10,000 metric tonnes per day (TPD) of waste volume by 2031 and a 15% to 20% recycling rate by 2025. 

AFES will anchor it through its innovative facilities known as Fasiliti Inovasi Kitar Semula (FIKS) and the Integrated Recycling Facility (IRF) in Precinct 5, Putrajaya. 

“FIKS and IRF incorporate the latest technological advancements and developments for handling and managing waste in line with our target of providing better value-added services for everyone. It can be used to educate the public, especially children and young adults, the future generation, on the importance and need for sustainable practices for a better future with a healthier and cleaner environment.”

More than 10,000 visitors came to FIKS since it was launched in July 2020 to learn more about waste recovery and repurpose. These visitors include the public, corporate companies, ministries, government agencies, schools and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). 

Nazar also revealed that where such facilities are concerned, centralised waste management and careful sorting and thereafter disposal takes place at the back, while education is done in front. 

He pointed out as an example that the FIKS and IRF facilities collect an average of 500 tonnes per month of dry waste from Putrajaya area, and these facilities sort out dry waste which is then processed and prepared for recycling and repurposing which differs from other waste disposal companies who send dry and wet waste straight to the landfill. 

The latest sophisticated facility being developed by AFES is Recovery Initiative Sustainable Eco-Facility (RISE Kuala Lumpur) in Gombak, Selangor. RISE Kuala Lumpur is expected to be able to receive recyclable waste from Klang Valley, Kuala Lumpur and area nearby Gombak. RISE KL is expected to receive more than 60 tonnes of recyclable waste per day, and will be one of the largest MRF facilities in Malaysia. With the advance facility equipped with a semi-auto sorting machine at RISE KL, we hope to get more awareness and encouragement of people to separate their dry waste. 

“The current practice of waste management sees most of operators moving all the waste and rubbish collected to landfills. But do bear in mind that as the country grows and the economy flourishes, we cannot keep depending on landfills to dispose of waste, as the availability of land is dwindling and the cost is getting higher and let us not forget that landfills have a long-term detrimental effect on the environment,” Nazar added. 

Nazar said, to deal with the issue, AFES as an operator is capable to manage a bigger waste thermal facility, since they have successfully operated two incinerators in
the country, through their expertise and experience in the industry. 

AFES has won several awards throughout the year 2019 to 2022, such as Best Environmental Impact Award 2019 at the Europa Awards for Sustainability organized by EUMCCI, Excellence in Facilities Management Award 2020 at Asia Pacific Business Council for Sustainability Award, The Asean Renewable Energy Project Award 2021at ASEAN Energy Award 2021, Green Initiative Award 2021 at ACES Award and Best Practices Award 2022 for Malaysia Integrated Environmental Solution Company Of The Year Award category in 2022 by Frost and Sullivan. This is the first award category introduced by Frost & Sullivan and AFES placed the top of the category. Another notable aspect of AFES business model is entrepreneurial development involving members of society especially in surrounding areas.

“We take care of people surrounding by providing jobs, employ communities from surrounding areas for the centres and plants, as well as promoting entrepreneurial development by engaging with local entrepreneurs for logistics, composting, and buying back gas and used oils and lubricants for recycling, just to name a few. 

“We are aggressively taking care of our planet by creating sustainability and environment-friendly integrated waste management system. Sustainability is indeed a serious business,” concluded Nazar. 

A group of visitors on an educational visit to the IRF

Fasilita service by AFES 

On Feb 1, to expand its brand presence among the public, AFES launched Fasilita, which is a comprehensive residential cleaning service, including pest control as an extension of its Asset and Facility Management services. 

The service with flexible session, either in the morning or afternoon, was launched by AFES Director Datuk Mohd Zain Hassan at AFES Headquarters in Glenmarie, Shah Alam. 

He emphasised that AFES would be focusing on providing its services directly to the public as part of their efforts to heighten awareness on the importance of clean environment.

We work frequently with statutory bodies and government agencies which tend to be our clients. While that helps enhance our working relationship with them, we also want to assert our goals and objectives to the public. “Through this initiative, where we allow direct access for the public to experience our professional services, we hope it can create awareness of a cleaner living environment and cultivate the culture of upkeeping a clean environment.

“As of now, we start with Kuala Lumpur and Shah Alam but when we have garnered enough exposure and demand, we will definitely consider expanding our services outside of these areas,” he said. 

  • This article first appeared in The Malaysian Reserve weekly print edition