You may have experienced this at least once while driving along the highways – the streetlights still switched ON in broad daylight. You cringe at the sheer waste; there must be a better way of handling this – and indeed there is.
In today’s world of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the many green sustainability programmes, the idea isn’t too far-fetched. Potential energy efficiency programme using light emitting diode (LED) lighting, and retrofit of air-conditioning units, installation of solar panel system, and installation plus operation and maintenance of a network of electric vehicles (EV) charging stations are significant developments that can effectively address the need for prudent energy consumption in the modern transportation industry and its infrastructure.
The SDGs which is also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call for action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that everyone enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.
In 2009, Malaysia formulated the New Economic Model (NEM) which further cemented Malaysia’s commitment to pursue sustainable development based on three pillars, namely high income, inclusivity and sustainability, which mirrors the three elements of the SDGs, namely economy, social and environment. The NEM is the basis of Malaysia’s 5 year SDGs Plan until 2020. The current 5-year Malaysia Plan i.e. the 11th Malaysia Plan (2016-2020) is premised on the three pillars of NEM, themed “Anchoring Growth on People” with people as the centrepiece whom will benefit from the overall nation’s SDGs development programme.
In support to the SDGs commitment, MIGHT, TNB Energy Services Sdn Bhd (TNBES) and Projek Lintasan Kota (PROLINTAS) embarked on the GREEN ENERGY PROGRAMME (GEP) which supports the implementation of Malaysia Green Highway Index (MyGHI) under Lembaga Lebuhraya Malaysia (LLM). This is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through conservation approach of a highway from the design, planning, construction through the maintenance stages of roadway which combines transportation and ecological sustainability nationwide.
The initiative endeavours to strengthen, promote and develop collaboration between the respective parties towards achieving compliance with the Malaysia Green Highway Index (GHI). It encourages and promotes collaboration in developing potential projects involving renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency (EE) initiatives to support the national targets of emission reduction, and carbon reduction, Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station and Energy Management System (Enmesh).
A green highway programme will benefit not only the transportation infrastructure, but also the ecosystem, urban growth, public health, and surrounding communities.