Business Initiatives for Sustainability

To realize a sustainable society, ITOCHU is conducting various businesses that contribute to the SDGs in Europe and Africa.

Energy-from-Waste Projects

ITOCHU has been expanding its involvement in the waste management business around the world to contribute to address the global waste management challenges and to realize a sustainable community.

Circular Mechanism in Energy-from-Waste Business

The energy-from-waste entails properly managing and incinerating municipal waste collected from homes and retail facilities and utilizing the thermal heat to generate clean energy. Directing wastes straight into landfill sites without being incinerated or properly treated produces greenhouse gases comprised mainly of methane and causes leaching of toxic substances that pollutes soil and water sources. Therefore, it helps ease greenhouse gases emissions significantly by reducing the amount of landfill waste, maintains and improves public health, and produces a stable clean energy using their daily waste as a "resource". We will continue to contribute to the realization of a low-carbon society and circular economy.

Energy from Waste (EfW) projects within EMEA

ITOCHU, through its subsidiaries: I-ENVIRONMENT INVESTMENTS LIMITED (IEI) and I-ENVIRONMENT INVESTMENTS MIDDLE EAST LIMITED (IEI ME), is involved in 4 projects in the UK, 1 in Belgrade, 1 in Dubai and 6 in total.
The 4 UK projects were our first EfW projects, and we decided to expand our presence in continental Europe and into the Middle East by bringing our EfW project development expertise overseas.
Click below for further information.

Project name Country Waste throughput (per year) Scale of power generation Estimated GHG reduction effect
(per year)
South Tyne & Wear Waste Management Project England 260,000 tons Equivalent power consumption
of 31,000 homes
62,000 tons
Cornwall Waste Management Project England 240,000 tons Equivalent power consumption
of 21,000 homes
60,000 tons
Merseyside Waste Management Project England 460,000 tons Equivalent power consumption
of 63,000 homes
130,000 tons
West London Waste Management Project England 350,000 tons Equivalent power consumption
of 50,000 homes
83,000 tons
Serbia Waste Management Project / Beo Cista Energija
(Under Operation & Construction )
Serbia 340,000 tons Equivalent power consumption of 30,000 homes and heat consumption 60,000 homes in the winter 210,000 tons
Dubai Waste Management Project / Dubai Waste Management Company P.S.C. (Under Construction) UAE 1,900,000 tons Generating Capacity
:200MW (planned)
2,170,000 tons

Integrated Waste Management Public-Private Partnership Project in the Republic of Serbia

ITOCHU, through IEI, has been developing an integrated waste management and resource recovery PPP project in partnership with the city of Belgrade, the Republic of Serbia in Central Europe with support of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the Development Bank of Austria. The project introduces new modern waste management system in accordance with EU Waste Frame Directive, addressing one of the biggest environmental and social problems in Serbia — remediating and closing the existing landfill at the Vinča Dumpsite, an environmental catastrophe on the bank of the Danube River over decades. The project builds and operates an Vinča Resource Recovery Centre with Energy-from-Waste facility, Landfill Gas Engine Facility, Construction and Demolition Waste Recycling Facility, Leachate Treatment Facility and Engineered Sanitary Landfill for 25 years.

In August 2021, we started interim waste treatment service with new sanitary landfill, Construction Demolition Waste Recycling Facility and Leachate Treatment Facility first, stopping the pollution from newly generated waste in the City of Belgrade and started recycling activity of Construction and Demolition Waste, creating a new recycle market in the country.

Energy-from- Waste Facility treats municipal waste generated in Belgrade and utilize the thermal heat to generate clean energy. The methane gas from the landfilled waste that until now has been a factor in environmental degradation will be captured and used, alongside the waste itself, as a source of energy to generate heat and electricity with Landfill Gas Engine Facility.

Consequently, the project will greatly reduce the amount of landfilled waste while supplying enough electricity to power 30,000 homes in Belgrade (equivalent to 5% of total households in Belgrade) and providing heat with 60,000 homes (equivalent to 10% of total households in Belgrade) in winter. Over the period of 25 years of operation, the clean, fossil fuel-free power from project will reduce CO2 emissions approximately 4 million tons, while the reduction in landfilled waste will realize an additional reduction of greenhouse gas emission equivalent to approximately 3 million tons CO2 equivalent.

Furthermore, the contaminated water from the waste that previously drained into the Danube is now being purified at a Leachate Treatment Facility before being discharged.

This business forms the core of Serbia's environmental and waste management policy going forward. ITOCHU believes that this is serving as a starting point for deep-reaching change in Serbia's waste management systems, the ways that citizens think about waste, and recycling initiatives.

ITOCHU aims to expand its involvement in the waste management business around the world to contribute to creating a sustainable community and to help reduce the burden on the environment.

Vinča Open Dumpsite: 1977-2021 one of largest existing open dump site in the world turn to be green area after the completion of construction.
Vinča Resource Recovery Centre (Service and Construction)

IFC Website: One of Europe's Largest Landfills Gets Makeover

Website [Beo Cista Energija][Open external link in a new window]

World’s Largest Energy-from-Waste Plants in Dubai

ITOCHU, through IEI, is currently building one of the world’s largest Energy-from-Waste plants in Dubai and will operate the facility for 35 years after commencement of commercial operation, which is slated for 2024. Once built, the pant will incinerate roughly 45% (1.9 million tons per year) of all general waste produced in Dubai and generate electricity from the heat that is produced during incineration.

Through the project, ITOCHU will contribute to the achievement of Dubai policy goals with regard to the environment and health, including reducing landfill disposal volume, contributing to sustainable and ecologically friendly waste management, and promoting the development of alternative energy sources not reliant on fossil fuels.

Renewable Energy Projects in Europe

ITOCHU Group continues to proactively promote power generation businesses that utilizes renewable energy. This will allow us to contribute to global sustainability agreements that aim to create a decarbonized economy to mitigate climate-related impacts.

Butendiek Power Plant: One of the Largest Offshore Wind Power Generation Projects in Germany

ITOCHU Group engages in a top-scale offshore wind farm operating in the North Sea of Germany with our strategic business and capital alliance: the CITIC Group.

The Power Plant has total power generation capacity of 288 MW, which is one of the largest capacities offered by offshore wind power plants operating off the German North Sea Coast. It has been operating smoothly since its commencement in August 2015 and supplies a sufficient amount of electricity for approximately 370,000 standard German households. In addition, this project has a GHG reduction effect of approximately 750,000 tons per year. It is expected that the demand for renewable energy, including offshore wind power, will grow on a mid- to long-term basis. ITOCHU is looking forward to the possibility of contributing to the supply of clean electricity through the project.

Solar Thermal Power Generation Business in Spain

Partnering with Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure, ITOCHU has a 30% stake of two 50 megawatt solar power plants located in Extremadura, western Spain. Commercial operation of these plants started in 2012. Taking advantage of abundant sunlight in Extremadura, the two plants produce enough energy to meet the electricity needs of approximately 45,000 households and help to avoid approximately 104,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year.

ITOCHU is active in expanding its power generation businesses throughout the world and will continue to make active investments in renewable energy, which in turn contributes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Dole Pineapple Production Business in the Republic of Sierra Leone

ITOCHU Group is engaged in pineapple cultivation and commercial production of processed pineapple in the Republic of Sierra Leone.
In order to tackle climate risks, it was necessary to diversify production areas, which had previously been only in the Philippines and Thailand, and ITOCHU established Sierra Tropical Limited through Dole Asia Holdings to begin full scale commercial production of pineapple in the Republic of Sierra Leone.

In Sierra Leone, agriculture sector, which contribute to about 60% of the country's GDP based on the 2017 data, is also one of the largest sources of job creation, employing more than half of the working population. This business is expected to bring about the employment of more than 3,000 people, and to foster local industry in the country by increasing jobs opportunities and enhancing the living environment.

Further, this project showcases a good example of effective public-private partnerships. Risk management, fund-raising, and human resources development, which are important to maintain and manage the business for the long term, were ensured by public-private partnerships. In promoting this business, as measures against country risks, ITOCHU has taken out loans and investment insurance by Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI).

ITOCHU will pursue further growth of Dole's business in the Republic of Sierra Leone and its contribution to the development of the local community.