How The Biogas Industry Can Help Achieve ESG Goals

By Gaurav Kedia March 15, 2023

Businesses can install biogas plants and improve waste management, reduce carbon footprint, achieve energy efficiency and conserve soil and water resources

How The Biogas Industry Can Help Achieve ESG Goals
The ESG standards convey how an enterprise makes financial gains while adhering to the environmental and social norms of sustainability. DepositPhotos

The world is moving towards an era of environmental awareness, resulting in an increased emphasis on sustainable development and climate action worldwide. This has also transformed the global reporting and disclosure standards on sustainability. The government of India introduced the Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report (BRSR) in 2021 to compare the environmental, social and governance goals of business organisations across various sectors.  The ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) criteria have emerged as a global yardstick to evaluate a company’s behaviour, even by the socially conscious investors.   
The ESG standards convey how an enterprise makes financial gains while adhering to the environmental and social norms of sustainability. The ESG goals of an enterprise help its stakeholders build long-term value and derive high returns. ESG investing is sometimes referred to as sustainable investing,  impact investing or socially responsible investing (SRI).  
With the outlook that organisations reporting high ESG metrics are poised to receive more funding from global investors, organisations are on the lookout to create an effective ESG framework that involves strategy development, business transformation and efficient reporting. However, it is important to note that ESG does not simply mean compliance with the norms; it is more comprehensive and involves a transformation of how an organisation functions, deals with its stakeholders, and gives back to the community.  
The biogas industry is perfect example of a business fulfilling the very essence of ESG. It caters to the environment (E), helps create employment opportunities at the root level (S), and the running of a biogas plant requires adherence and compliance to a specific set of norms (G).   
The biogas industry can play a major role in helping organisations and governments achieve ESG goals by enabling them to create a circular economy. In a circular economy, all the resources are utilised to their fullest potential to create value and minimise waste.   
A biogas plant produces clean and green energy through anaerobic digestion of agricultural/ municipal/ industrial waste, thereby reducing dependence on fossil fuels and reducing the stress on natural resources. Biogas can also be upgraded to produce Bio-CNG, which can be used as transportation fuel. It can counter carbon emissions and facilitate achieving climate goals. In fact, biogas is effectively carbon neutral. The twin climatic effect of biogas includes a reduction in carbon emissions by limiting the use of fossil fuels and controlling the methane emissions from the open decomposition of biomass. The biogas industry can also improve sustainability by improving soil health, curbing deforestation and preserving water resources.   
Businesses can improve their environmental compliance by installing biogas plants. These plants help in improving waste management, reducing carbon footprint, achieving energy efficiency, and aid in the conservation of soil and water resources. Organisations can help the government to achieve climate goals by limiting the use of fossil fuels and transitioning to clean biogas for energy, heat and transportation. Moreover, biogas can also be a cheaper alternative to traditional energy sources in the longer run, thereby reducing the cost of the goods produced.   
The biogas industry helps organisations address the social aspect of ESG. Biogas plants also promote the generation and growth of local businesses like feed stock aggregators and suppliers, plant operation and maintenance staff, and other activities involving the transportation of the biogas/ organic manure produced by the plant and other allied services.   
Biogas plants can help in empowering the weaker communities and vulnerable sections of society by providing sustainable source of income. These also improve the sanitary conditions in the community as municipal wastes are no longer disposed of in landfills, water sources and open areas. This, in turn, improves the living and health conditions of people in the community. In addition, biogas plants produce biofertilisers as a by-product, which helps in improving the organic content of the soil and increasing the yield, thereby improving the income of farmers and providing opportunities like organic farming.  
As the concept of sustainable investing is gaining momentum, organisations and governments can achieve their ESG goals and create long-term value by promoting the biogas industry. The biogas industry is helping organisations improve their ESG metrics and contribute to achieving sustainable development goals and climate action by addressing the environmental and social aspects of the ESG protocol.