When Mulianto Lie joined the accounting department of Indo Tambangraya Megah (ITM) 28 years ago, he never imagined he would one day be leading the Indonesian coal mining company toward a sustainable future.
As President Director, Lie now plays a pivotal role in driving transformative change as ITM strives to become a greener and smarter energy company.
“We used to only focus on coal, but the global trend towards 3D – decarbonization, digitalization and decentralization – showed us that we needed to change,” Lie says. “We have been perceived as contributing a lot to climate change, so in 2020 we launched a new vision for ITM.
“Our vision is to become an Indonesian energy company at the heart of innovation, technology, inclusion and sustainability.”
ITM’s 10-year strategic plan involves diversifying its offerings into three pillars: mining, energy services and renewables. “Coal will still be our core when it comes to mining, but we will also pursue clean technology energy minerals like nickel and copper,” Lie explains.
“The second pillar of energy services is about improving our capabilities through contractor businesses we’re developing and coal trading. We’re also doing very well in the logistics and port businesses, so we’re focusing on growing those.”
ITM was established in 1987.
In addition to coal mining operations and coal sales, ITM also runs supporting activities including coal terminal operations, port loading facilities, power plant operations and mining contractors.
ITM’s pioneering Solar Hybrid Plant designed to supply sustainable power for its operations was completed in 2019.
As for the third pillar, ITM is investing in renewable energy to reduce its carbon emissions and to offer its customers sustainable energy options. “We’ve developed a solar farm to support our operations in our two big mines,” Lie says.
“ITM has already committed to seven megawatts and that’s just the first year. We’ve also launched a subsidiary called ITM Bhinneka Power, IBP, which provides solar rooftops.”
Now in its fourth year, ITM’s digital transformation strategy is at the heart of the company’s efforts to mitigate its impact on climate change.
“It has helped us improve our productivity and pursue a number of initiatives such as reducing our fuel consumption and optimizing the movement of equipment,” Lie explains.
“In 2022, we had more than 12 initiatives. We’re tracking our carbon emissions and looking at nature-based solutions such as carbon trading and ways to fight deforestation. With all these initiatives, we believe we will grow transformatively into a greener and smarter energy company.”
The glue that holds ITM’s sustainability journey together is the deeply rooted belief that people are the driving force behind any successful enterprise. When the ill effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on its employees’ mental health became apparent, ITM implemented a digital initiative to monitor and support their wellbeing.
“Our first target is protecting our people and supporting our community,” Lie notes. “Our people input their daily health into our monitoring system so we can categorize whether they’re in a safe, alert or danger zone. We can then provide them with the support they need.
“We also launched our business continuity plan, BCP, and during the peak of the pandemic we had meetings twice a week to monitor the wellbeing of our employees. If we can really unleash the potential of our people by knowing and understanding their needs, then we can hope that they will give their best.”
With ITM’s net income reaching a record high of US$1.2 billion in 2022, Lie believes the company’s people-centered approach is the key to its success. “We’re proud of our achievement and we believe it’s all because of our people and because we take care of their physical and mental health,” he says.
The mining giant puts an equal amount of effort into developing and maintaining strong relationships with its vendors, suppliers and contractors.
“We live in one ecosystem and we have to make sure we all live in harmony,” Lie explains. “In good times, we have to share the success, but in bad times we also need to understand and share the pain points.”
Lie points to ITM’s long-standing collaborations with many partners built on trust and a shared spirit.
“We have built trust and harmony, which makes a long-term relationship possible,” Lie says.
As he looks ahead, he envisions ITM as a trailblazer in the energy and mining sector, leading the charge towards smarter and greener practices. “My personal sense of purpose is that I would like to bring ITM into the future. That’s my dream.”