- Humanity demands more than Earth can regenerate
- Calculate your carbon footprint
- #movethedate to 31 December
Schneider Electric and Global Footprint Network (GFN) launched a new mobile-friendly Footprint Calculator for Earth Overshoot Day 2017, which enables everyone to track their ecological footprint and personal Earth Overshoot Day.
Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s demand for ecological resources and services in a given year exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year. We maintain this deficit by liquidating stocks of ecological resources and accumulating waste, primarily carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
This year it fell back to 2 August, the earliest date ever, according to GFN, as humanity currently demands 1.7 times more than Earth’s ecosystems can regenerate. When launched in 2006, Earth Overshoot Day fell in October.
How can you #movethedate?
Reducing the energy intensity of homes, buildings and cities will help #movethedate of Overshoot Day back down again; we only need to move the date 4.5 days per year to operate within the means of our planet by 2050.
GFN is highlighting four solution areas to #movethedate: cities, energy, food and population. More than 2 million people used Global Footprint Network’s previous calculator last year, including students and teachers. In addition to a greater focus on solutions, the new calculator features the latest footprint data and methodology as well as updated graphics to help you reduce your carbon footprint.
Protecting planet, society
“We hope our new Footprint Calculator enables millions more people around the world to explore sustainability solutions and gain an uplifting sense of the possibilities available to society,” says Mathis Wackernagel, founder and CEO of Global Footprint Network. “Many of these solutions directly align with Schneider Electric’s values, practices and capabilities in the energy and city solutions space. It is a logical partner as a company whose business model focuses on creating a sustainable future.”
“Through our partnership with GFN, Schneider Electric aims to further promote one-planet compatibility in our global economy and mobilise citizens, other companies, and governments around the world to help #movethedate of Earth Overshoot Day back to December 31. Building an always more sustainable global supply chain and designing increasingly resource-efficient offerings for our customers is our obsession. Our EcoStruxure solutions reduce energy and CO2 intensity of homes, buildings, cities, grids, data centres, industries and these help #movethedate,” says Taru Madangombe, Vice President of Energy in Southern Africa for Schneider Electric.
Schneider Electric executives collaborate with other sustainability leaders on how to deliver tangible actions on the most pressing global sustainability challenges
Schneider Electric, the leader in digital transformation of energy management and automation, will join other sustainability leaders to support and accelerate the common fight against climate change at the One Planet Summit. Two years to the day after the adoption of the Paris Agreement, and following COP23, President of France Emmanuel Macron is organizing the milestone summit to convene those involved in public and private finance to deliver ambitious and achievable actions that will contribute to limiting global warming and its impact.
Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Schneider Electric said: “Prosperity and energy are intertwined. For Schneider Electric, contributing to the process of achieving carbon neutrality is an ambitious and productive challenge that deserves the joint commitment of the public and private sectors. Schneider Electric is aligning its strategy and its activity with this essential outlook of the 21st century.”
To mark the occasion of the One Planet Summit, Schneider Electric is accelerating its ambition and commitments for climate that supports the company’s objectives to reduce its plants and sites carbon emission and to become carbon neutral by 2030 in a coherent industry ecosystem encompassing both suppliers and clients. The pledge is based around three complementary initiatives:
- Before 2020, outline a specific trajectory based on the assumption that Earth will breach the 2°C warming limit by 2050 and validate it through the Science-Based Targets initiative, in which Schneider Electric has been involved for one year, and increase the impact of Schneider Electric’s internal carbon price. Schneider Electric has already set a goal of cutting CO2 emissions by more than 50% in absolute value by 2050 compared to 2015.
- Achieve for 2030, and add to, the 10 commitments presented at COP21 in 2015 in order to build carbon neutrality within Schneider Electric’s ecosystem and specifically quantify the carbon impact of 100% of its major customer projects (see above).
- Starting today take action and, to ensure full transparency, monitor whether Schneider Electric has achieved its targets through the quarterly publication of its Planet & Society barometer and in connection with major open coalitions. These commitments are accelerating the results already obtained and disseminated through Schneider Electric’s four barometers since 2008; for example, its energy intensity was cut by 42% between 2005 and 2017, and the carbon intensity of its logistics was reduced by 35% between 2012 and 2017.
The One Planet Summit will also see Tricoire and other Schneider Electric executives collaborate with other sustainability leaders on how to deliver tangible actions on the most pressing global sustainability challenges across a series of events and roundtables (see above). Schneider Electric will also announce several new commitments that will maintain the company’s leading position at the forefront of sustainability efforts including:
- RE100: Schneider Electric has joined RE100, the global collaborative initiative, led by The Climate Group, announcing its commitment to 100% renewable electricity use by 2030;
- EP100: By joining the EP100 initiative, also led by The Climate Group, Schneider Electric has committed to double its energy productivity against a 2005 baseline, setting an ambitious target to doubling the economic output from every unit of energy consumed;
- Livelihoods Carbon Fund: Together with Crédit Agricole, Danone, Firmenich, Hermès, Michelin, SAP, and Voyageurs du Monde, Schneider Electric has launched a new impact investment fund, with a target of 100 million euros. The fund aims to improve the lives of 2 million people and avoid the emission of up to 25 million tons of CO2 over a 20-year span.
As a global leader at the crossroads of the energy transition and the digital transition, Schneider Electric is focusing on intelligent control, active distribution management and energy consumption. Schneider Electric is committed to bringing solutions to market that will increase the flexibility of both industrial production and all energy fields and applications.
Schneider Electric’s aim is to improve usage comfort and safety while sharply cutting – at the lowest cost – energy consumption and carbon emissions in keeping with the new landscape of decentralized, carbon-free and digitalized energy production. Because access to energy is a fundamental human right, Schneider Electric also intends to innovate to help the one billion people on the planet who do not have access to energy and the 10% of inhabitants facing energy insecurity, by developing affordable and reliable low-carbon solutions.
Schneider Electric agenda at the One Planet Summit and its side-events
|Dec. 10||01:00pm – 05:00pm||Conference – Access to climate finance: the priority proposals of non-state actors
w/ Gilles Vermot-Desroches, SVP Sustainability
10 rue des Prairies 75020 Paris
|Dec. 11||08:00am – 09:00am||Media Conference – French Business Climate Pledge
w/ Jean Pascal Tricoire, Chairman & CEO
55 avenue Bosquet
|09:30am – 10:45am||Roundtable – Solving the Urban Equation
w/ Jean Pascal Tricoire, Chairman & CEO
55 avenue Bosquet
|10.45am – 12:00pm||Roundtable – Create a dynamic solutions
w/ Gilles Vermot-Desroches, SVP Sustainability
55 avenue Bosquet
|02.30pm – 07.00pm||Conference –#TechForPlanet (by NUMA) – Scale Solutions for Climate
w/ Emmanuel Lagarrigue, Chief Strategy Officer
5 parvis Alan Turing 75013 Paris
|04.50pm – 05.30pm||Roundtable – Renewable solutions connected to the electricity grid: what evolutions, what financing, what obstacles, how to change scale to stay below the 2 ° C threshold?
w/ Gilles Vermot-Desroches, SVP Sustainability
|Maison de l’UNESCO
125 Avenue de Suffren
|07.00pm – 08.30pm||Launch Party – Launch of a new Livelihoods Carbon Investment Fund
w/ Gilles Vermot-Desroches, SVP Sustainability
11 Rue Montgolfier, 93500 Pantin
Updates announced to 2015 commitments and progress achieved to date
|2015 – 2030 commitments||Completion 2015–2017 (expected projection)|
|1||Quantify the carbon impact of 100% of its major customer projects (2015–2017)||100%|
|2||Design 100% of new products and services in line with Schneider Electric ecoDesign Way™ and generate 75% of product revenue with Green Premium™ (2015–2017)||ecoDesign Way: 100%
Green Premium: 75%
|3||Avoid 120,000 tones of CO2 emissions by implementing “end-of-life” product services in compliance with the principles of the circular economy (2015–2017)||+ 150,000t of CO2|
|4||Facilitate access to lighting and communications for 50 million people at the bottom of the pyramid within 10 years through low-carbon solutions (2015–2025)||5 million households|
|5||Build micro-grids to improve flexible usage and reduce impacts||In progress|
|6||Offer SF6 gas alternatives within 5 years (2015–2020) and no longer use SF6 gas in Schneider Electric products within 10 years (2015–2025)||In progress and ahead of schedule|
|7||Reduce Schneider Electric’s energy intensity by 3.5% annually (2015 and beyond)||10%|
|8||Cut CO2 emissions from transportation by 3.5% annually (2015 and beyond)||12%|
|9||Invest €10 billion in innovation and R&D for sustainable development over the next 10 years (2015–2025)||+ €3.5 billion|
|10||Issue a “climate” obligation to finance low-carbon R&D||Issued in October 2015|
About Schneider Electric
Schneider Electric is leading the Digital Transformation of Energy Management and Automation in Homes, Buildings, Data Centers, Infrastructure and Industries.
With global presence in over 100 countries, Schneider is the undisputable leader in Power Management – Medium Voltage, Low Voltage and Secure Power, and in Automation Systems. We provide integrated efficiency solutions, combining energy, automation and software.
In our global Ecosystem, we collaborate with the largest Partner, Integrator and Developer Community on our Open Platform to deliver real-time control and operational efficiency.
We believe that great people and partners make Schneider a great company and that our commitment to Innovation, Diversity and Sustainability ensures that Life Is On everywhere, for everyone and at every moment.
Big problems require smart solutions. The Clean Power Plan, America’s first and only set of nationwide rules to reduce carbon pollution from the nation’s existing electric power system, is a smart, well-designed policy solution to one of the great market failure of our time.
However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has begun the long and complicated process of repealing it. Late last month, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt was in West Virginia to hold a public hearing and gather input on the proposed repeal.
VF Corporation, headquartered in Greensboro, North Carolina, with about 65,000 employees worldwide, is one of the largest apparel, footwear and accessories companies in the world. Along with our portfolio of brands, including Timberland, The North Face and Vans, we support maintaining the Clean Power Plan. We do so along with more than 365 other businesses and investors that urged the EPA to develop the Clean Power Plan, applauded it when it was finalized in 2015 and even supported litigation defending it from attacks.
“Not only do these solutions give us a competitive advantage, they help us meet growing demand among both our investors and consumers for products with smaller carbon footprints.”
Our support for the Clean Power Plan derives from our recognition of the risks of climate change to our business; our commitment to do right by our employees and our consumers; a broad consensus that the Clean Power Plan is a well-designed, efficient and effective policy; and our confidence that, working together, we can solve climate change.Addressing climate change is good for business. At VF, we source almost 1 percent of the world’s cotton for our products. A changing climate can affect cotton prices and availability, shorten winters (and ski seasons) and create a greater likelihood of extreme weather that can disrupt global supply chains.
A 2016 study from the New York University Law School’s Institute for Policy Integrity surveyed over 350 economists on future impacts of climate change. Overall, the economists surveyed believe that climate change will begin to have a net negative effect on the global economy by 2025. Further, this study found, among economists surveyed, that agriculture and the outdoor/tourism industries would be some of the most affected sectors.
The Clean Power Plan will help to reinforce current trends in falling costs for clean energy, creating add-on benefits that ripple beyond its intended scope. Affordable clean energy helps us to reduce and manage risk, cut energy costs, catalyze innovation and optimize our operations.
In 2015, VF joined (along with more than 100 other companies) the RE100 campaign, with a goal to power all our owned and operated facilities with 100 percent renewable energy by 2025. Our Timberland brand also has set ambitious goals: it has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent from a 2006 baseline and has plans to reduce total energy use by 10 percent while increasing its renewable energy to 50 percent by 2020. VF’s headquarters for our Outdoor brands in Alameda, California, is powered by 100 percent renewable electricity. And our Vans brand’s new headquarters in Costa Mesa, California, features a 1 MW solar array system that generates roughly 50 percent of its energy needs and is expected to save millions of dollars over its 20-plus-year lifespan.
Like any business, we work hard to minimize costs, which is one reason why the Clean Power Plan makes so much sense to us. It aims to cut carbon pollution from the electric power sector 32 percent by 2030 from a 2005 baseline, and does so while creating net benefits to the U.S. economy.
“Like any business, we work hard to minimize costs, which is one reason why the Clean Power Plan makes so much sense to us.”
EPA estimates from 2015 found that the annual economic benefits ($32 billion-$93 billion) of the Clean Power Plan far exceed its costs ($5.5 billion-$8.8 billion). More specifically, they found that in many parts of the country, electricity rates actually would decline by 2030 relative to a world without the Clean Power Plan, with the potential to save consumers (PDF) up to $40 billion in electricity costs over 15 years.
We are all in this together. While climate change sometimes may feel like an insurmountable problem, the truth is that we know how to solve it, and we have the tools to do so. Acting alone is important, but it is not enough. We need policy and we need partners. That’s why we are vocal members of the Ceres BICEP Network, advocating for stronger climate and clean energy policies, and when the United States announced its withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement earlier this year, we joined more than 2,500 other businesses, investors, states, cities, universities, tribes and faith-based institutions to say “We Are Still In.”
Being “In” means that not only will we continue to meet and exceed our own corporate climate goals, but that we also will continue to push for smart policy solutions such as the Clean Power Plan.
The Nordic countries Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden hosted the Nordic Energy Days conference from September 13 through 14 at The Innovation Hub in Pretoria. The countries have over the last 10 years collaborated amongst themselves to develop an innovative energy mix focused on effective system integration, grid stability and sustainable energy solutions.
The Nordic countries outlined their experience and the function of their energy mix, with Finland’s Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs and Employment Petri Peltonen stating:
“We have very advanced electricity and energy systems and our grids have been connected for decades. The Nord Pool has now been in operation since the 1990s and it is the world’s largest exchange for electricity …. We are trying to increase the share and production of renewable energy from various sources, Finland being focused on bio-based sources and our colleagues in hydro, wind and others …. The South African government objectives are also ambitious regarding renewable energy in particular and I think our mission is really to first of all open up our experiences, lessons learned, the positive and at the same time also connect the best of our resources, companies, agencies, research organisations with our South African counterparts during the Nordic Energy Days.”
Ambassador of Sweden to South Africa Cecilia Julin added:
“The Nordic cooperation is really strong and I think that’s what we want to share with South Africa as well … because we get inspired by SADC to show possibilities to work in the Southern African Power Pool. We can share experiences from Nord Pool and how we can work together.”
Day one of the conference was focused on opportunities for the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) teaming up with the Nordic countries. Norwegian Deputy Minister Ingvil Smines Tybring-Gjedde stated that embracing the diversification of energy sources will minimise the effects of global warming, whilst significantly enhancing the share of energy between countries within the SADC region as it has done for the Nordic countries.
The Nordic countries have shown a particular interest in working with the region by assisting in the facilitation of cross-border cooperation. The countries also indicated a desired involvement in ensuring energy security in Europe by developing a prolonged relationship with the African continent.
Special energy adviser to the South African presidency Silas Zimu said on this point:
“Let us learn from what the Nordic countries have done …. Public companies need to put measures into place.”
The second day of the conference highlighted the technical side of the energy sector focused on clean technology and grid technology. In a session on clean technology, DNV GL Africa’s business manager Robert O’Keefe talked on the decarbonisation of the energy system within the next 30 years due to increased efficiency in energy generation leading to a significant decrease in the overall demand of energy. He went on to state that the global use of fossil fuels to generate energy would decrease from 81% to 50% by 2050, which can be troubling for Southern Africa as a region profoundly endowed with coal as a source for power generation.
To effectively support the integration of clean energy into the SAPP it is vital for the region to develop a stable grid. Stig Uffe-Pederson, Deputy Director General of the Danish Energy Agency, highlighted the importance of these technologies, mentioning:
“This is also a story about making a green transition. This is about investing and setting long-term political projections and a stable framework that allows this transition. In that way, you are actually able to sustain economic growth while you reduce your energy emissions and while you also reduce your energy consumption.”
|The 20kWp project’s state-of-the-art design and storage solution will allow for 11 hours of utilization daily and fulfil self-sufficiency of the property including during night-time|
|LUX* Resorts & Hotels has implemented 130 solar panels and batteries to fully substitute diesel-based power generation for the needs of Ile des Deux Cocos, off-grid South-East Mauritius (www.IleDesDeuxCocos.com/fr). The 20kWp project’s state-of-the-art design and storage solution will allow for 11 hours of utilization daily and fulfil self-sufficiency of the property including during night-time.Building upon the many eco-friendly initiatives already embedded in LUX* sustainable vision, this corner achievement demonstrates the virtuous power of the group’s Tread Lightly program whereby guests participation supports long-term improvement of the properties’ environmental impacts. Such allocation complements the carbon offsetting contribution channelled to regional CO2 compensation projects portfolio in partnership with Aera Group (https://Aera-Group.fr) (formerly known as ecosur afrique) which maintains a tailored selection of carbon compensation commitments across Africa and Asia, matching accurate and up-to-date GHG impacts monitoring across destinations to best-in-class corresponding offset projects.
Recent entries in LUX* Tread Lightly compensation portfolio include voluntarily Verified Carbon Standard certified emission reductions from:
Vishnee Payen, Sustainability & CSR Manager of LUX* Resorts & Hotels, commented that “LUX* ensures to have Sustainable Development at the core of its strategy and operations. The Tread Lightly initiative helps to contribute to local and global goals such as Energy Efficiency, Reduction in Carbon Emissions, also aligning with the SDGs and COP22 targets. We are dependent on the environment and it is our duty to protect it for ourselves and for future generations to come. This can only be achieved through tangible projects implementations and responsible resource consumption. LUX* will continue its journey towards renewable energy solutions and eco-products as far as possible and at the same time contributing to the economy and supporting communities.”
Alexandre Dunod, AERA Group advisory manager, highlighted “another mark of leadership in sustainability from LUX* which should inspire the industry in 2017 declared by UN as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. Environmental responsibility and transparency are growing significantly in the hospitality sector on the way to Paris agreement implementation and we are proud of being part of such pioneer efforts in the Indian Ocean and beyond.”
Distributed by APO on behalf of Aera Group.
Miners, First Nations feed fodder to government policy wonks
Government needs to help encourage greater Indigenous participation in the mining sector if it wants to make progress on national reconciliation and to “unlock billions of economic activity” across the country.
The Canadian Mineral Industry Federation (CMIF) submitted an Aug; 14 policy paper at the Energy and Mines Ministers conference in Saint Andrews, N.B.
CMIF is a coalition of mining interests, led by the Mining Association of Canada and the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, who believe Canada can be a top supplier of sustainably-sourced minerals and metals operating within a low-carbon regime.
Since the mining industry is the largest private sector employer of Indigenous people, CMIF said government needs to invest in Indigenous health, education, skills training, and make progress on resource revenue sharing. CMIF suggests government use industry “as a platform” toward national reconciliation.
The coalition wants a more balanced climate change policy that curbs emission but enables the economy to grow. Onerous compliance burden on “emissions-intensive” industries like mining will lead to mineral production moving to countries with “less stringent climate change policies.”
On the regulatory side, CMIF is asking for processes – from initial stage environmental assessment to the permitting stage – that are “effective, timely and coordinated” if Canada wants to be viewed as a favourable place to invest.
Before withdrawing land and walling off highly prospective areas to exploration, government should have a “systematic and structured process” in place that considers an area’s mineral potential.
And because of the increasing costs of doing business in the Far North, the Canada Infrastructure Bank needs to support infrastructure projects that benefit both industry and Indigenous communities.
CMIF also wants government support in the proposed CLEER (Clean, Low-energy, Effective, Engaged and Remediated) Clean Resources Innovation Supercluster, led by the Canada Mining Innovation Council and the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation that would make Canada a world technology leader in sustainably-sourced resources.
“Canada’s mining industry, which operates some of the lowest-emitting, highest-tech, and socially-responsible mining operations globally, is looking forward to working with governments, communities and Indigenous peoples to get the foundational pieces in place to foster future growth and achieve our collective vision,” said Mining Association of Canada president-CEO Pierre Gratton.
Also at the conference were a group of Indigenous and advocacy groups who are urging the ministers to do more to protect the environment and communities negatively impacted by the industry.
“We’re not against ‘clean growth’ or ‘clean energy,’ but these must not be empty words,” said Jacinda Mack, a member of the Secwepemc and Nuxalk Nations in British Columbia, in a news release issued by Mining Watch.
Her community was negatively affected by the Mount Polley tailings spill in 2014. She is a coordinator of the First Nations Women Advocating for Responsible Mining.
“We’re here to alert the public and our governments that there are still serious problems with the way mining is done in this country and that there can’t be any clean growth or clean energy without first having clean mining,” she stated.
South African mining companies can manage water usage as part of a wider, integrated strategy for sustainable business, writes Stephen Austin, independent energy advisor to Ensight Energy Solutions.
The persistent drought in most of South Africa over the last couple of years and especially in the Western Cape province these last two years should serve as a wakeup call to South African industry and government. We live in a water-scarce country, yet many organisations are failing to manage water usage in a way that reflects just how precious this resource is and how important it is to conserve it.
South Africa is one of the 30 driest countries in the world, with an annual rainfall of less than 450 mm, well below the world average of around 860 mm a year. As we begin to feel more of the effects of climate change, we can expect to endure more extreme weather conditions, including the possibility of more frequent droughts that last longer.
Agriculture accounts for around 60% of South Africa’s water usage and 12% goes to domestic use, according to the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWA). Usage for afforestation makes up 3.7%, power generation accounts for 2.2%, and mining and bulk industrial use comprises around 5.7%. Little attention is paid to the industrial sector’s use of water, yet it is an area where we can score relatively quick and easy wins.
A growing operational risk
Nonetheless, we are not seeing mining companies pay much attention to water effi ciency, for the simple reason that it is not a major operational cost for most of them. Where energy costs may account for up to 30% of a major mining company’s operational expenditure, water might make up less than 2% of its operating costs.
The relatively low cost of water usage for most mining companies, however, belies its importance in production. From cooling production machinery to smelting material to moving minerals, water is crucial to mining. If the water supply to a plant stops, it will not be able to continue production, which will in turn damage its revenues and profits. This is a good reason to embrace water effi ciency as a business imperative – another is that the cost of water is likely to rise in the years to come.
The good news is that a strategy for water efficiency can work in lockstep with a mining company’s drive to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions. If you are wasting electrical power on a mine, there is a good chance you are wasting water too (and vice versa).
Imposing discipline on your energy usage will also help to reduce water usage in most cases. This is about looking at your environment in a holistic way and seeing how your various systems and equipment interact with each other.
Ways to use water more efficiently
For example, a mine that is using ineffi cient slurry systems to move material will possibly be pumping more water than it needs to into the system as well as using excessive power. A small increase in the density of the slurry mixture and a more efficient water pumping system could decrease water requirements by as much as 30%. Similarly, in a process plant running equipment that is 30 years old, it’s not unusual to be using water at a pressure four times higher than necessary to suppress dust – a potential waste of both power and water.
Another great example is how poorly optimised the cooling systems are in many mining processes – if you’re using old, inefficient technology, it will be generating more heat than necessary, demanding more water and power to cool it. Another innovation that South African mining companies could look at is desalination plants to produce fresh water. They can use energy efficient solar sources or recaptured heat from other systems for this purpose.
Ensight Energy Solutions, which helps companies in energy-intensive industries such as resources to implement efficient solutions that reduce their energy costs and their carbon emissions, has worked closely with a number of mining companies on energy efficiency strategies. When we measure how this impacts on water usage the results are encouraging.
We helped one customer save around 143 000 MWh in energy a year through a range of strategies – this also reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 142 000 t and saved nearly 5 700 Mℓ of water (that’s enough water for 76 600 hippos’ annual water requirements).
Given the fragile water situation in South Africa, mining companies should embrace water efficiency both as an essential component of their risk management strategy and as a contribution towards ensuring the sustainability of our country. Using water efficiently can help organisations meet their energy efficiency and carbon emission goals; it is an integral part of running a responsible and sustainable business.
Africa is the fastest growing tourist destination. It offers a rich mélange of culture, heritage and natural wonders which draw tourists from all over the world. From rich forests to barren deserts and unmatched wildlife, Africa has everything to offer. However, constant tourism can put a huge strain on the resources, leading to its rapid depletion.
The beautiful continent has already started coming up with new and improved means to counter depletion and make way for sustainable tourism. It has adopted a four-pronged approach to containing the damage caused by some of the major aspects of tourism.
With more and more tourists visiting the continent, the need for production of food has been rapidly on a rise. This has resulted in practices which improve production but also lead to depletion of resources. To counter this, New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) adopted the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) in 2003.
This aims to allot at least 10 percent of the budget to agriculture. This promotes sustainable practices while also causing a growth in production. Crop rotation, use of natural fertilisers, drip cultivation and rainwater harvesting are encouraged. It is estimated that over the next decade, the production of food will increase to the point of solving a majority of the hunger issue of the continent while reducing wastage and damage to the planet.
Green initiatives by hotels
A number of African hotels are adopting green initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint and conserve their resources. From planting more trees to recycling and harvesting rainwater to convert it into drinking water, the tourism industry of Africa is going the extra mile to conserve the continent and its precious resources. Some hotels have discarded conventional sources of electricity and opted for solar power.
It has been seen that the green initiatives adopted by the hotels have resulted in greater footfall which acts as a huge incentive for more and more hotels to join the movement. Hotels in countries like South Africa, Egypt, Madagascar, etc. have managed to make an actual and substantial contribution towards the protection of their country’s resources by adopting sustainable means.
Energy efficient tourism
The recent years have seen a huge rise in eco-tourism. Here travellers are offered all the basic comfort and amenities but there is barely any extravagance. It is true that it offers minimum luxury but maximum experience is what one takes back. This is a very useful model of tourism which minimises the damages that are associated with tourism. Solar energy is the primary source of energy while traditional materials and sustainable practices are implemented in order to conserve. African countries are now actively promoting eco-tourism in a bid to offer tourists an authentic African experience as well as to reduce the energy consumption.
It is a known fact that tourism produces quite a lot of waste. Right from food waste to plastic water bottles, the amount of waste that is a direct result of the tourism industry is staggering. To manage the problem of waste, governments have started taking active steps to promote segregation and treatment of wastes to promote a more sustainable model.
There are talks of converting biodegradable waste into biofuel, while on the other hand recycling is given an extra push in order to reduce the quantity of non-biodegradable waste. Segregated waste baskets have been installed at various popular tourist spots and also in cities and hotels. The waste management sector has done a great job in improving sustainable tourism in the continent.
As tourism is increasing, various African governments are gearing up for a greater footfall without causing a strain on their resources. They have been taking active steps to build a sustainable model of tourism and it is their relentless, challenging work that is putting Africa on the road to a completely sustainable development.
South Australia’s largest water and sewerage services supplier has become the latest in Australia to turn to renewables to minimise its electricity costs, announcing plans to commission a commercial-scale solar and storage system at its Crystal Brook Workshop site.
In a Request for Tender launched late last week, SA Water Corporation said it was seeking to build a grid-connected, rooftop solar PV system of more than 100kW, along with a 50kWh battery storage system and “smart controls.”
The company, which manages more than 27,000km of water mains, including 9,266 km in the Adelaide metropolitan area, said it was installing the solar and storage system to manage periods of high electricity prices, and to ensure safe and sustainable delivery of water to customers.
“The proposed system shall be behind the meter, and designed to minimise electricity costs via the ability to dispatch stored energy as required,” the tender request said.
“The system should have the ability to smooth grid supplied energy and also to use stored energy on site or export back to the grid.
“Provision of system integration with remotely operated control and energy monitoring interfaces are to be included as part of the system design.”
SA Water Corporation is just one of many water and waste management utilities around the country making the shift to renewables.
As reported on One Step Off The Grid, the energy intensive industry is increasingly turning to solar and/or wind energy to lower costs and help guarantee supply.
In the regional Victorian city of Portland, Wannon Water’s water and sewerage treatment plant will soon be powered entirely by wind energy, with plans for the construction of an 800kW wind turbine revealed in May.
And in March, also in regional Victoria, North East Water launched a tender to install 43kW of solar panels and 40kW of battery storage at its Yakandandah facility.
In Queensland, the City of Gold Coast is proposing to install a series of floating solar PV arrays on its network of wastewater ponds – both to help power the city’s wastewater treatment plants and to cut evaporation from the ponds.
Applications for the SA Water Corporation solar and storage project can be lodged here. Tenders close at 2pm on Thursday July 20.
This article was originally published on RenewEconomy’s sister site, One Step Off The Grid, which focuses on customer experience with distributed generation. To sign up to One Step’s free weekly newsletter, please click here.
As part of its rebranding, the Southern African Energy Efficiency Confederation is redefining its purpose and vision. We take cognizance of our current recession with its uncertainties and the constraints on investment and growth. Whilst businesses are struggling to survive and consumers are looking for opportunities to cut costs, we believe that Energy Efficiency remains core to our sustainable growth and prosperity as a country and continent. Not only does the focus on energy efficiency assist in mitigating the impending rising costs in energy, but it also will save money for businesses to survive and grow. This will foster growth and investment for the greater good and prosperity for all.
Admittedly energy efficiency is not the only sustainability solution, however, it does unlock the nexus with other energy solutions, water, food, climate change mitigation and social development. At the same time, where businesses are struggling to survive or thrive, we are looking at ways for the Confederation to be the recognised link to partnerships, addressing challenges and finding solutions that will serve the needs of its members.
At the recent United Nations Conference in Trade and Development, (UNCTAD) seminar, in which we participated, the South African achievement in energy efficiency and climate change were applauded. These achievements were a collaboration between the South African private sector and with government Other African countries also attended. However, there is still much to be done and hence the SAEE Confederation envisions being the recognized link to policies, partnerships and programmes that support energy efficiency.
The UNCTAD seminar revealed that investors are interested in the promotion of green industries, and companies who integrate some of the 17 Sustainable Development (SDGs). For more about the SDGs, CLICK HERE. As part of charting its new vision, the SDGs which bear particular importance for the Confederation are: Affordable and Clean energy; Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure; Responsible consumption and production and Climate Action. Enablers to reaching these goals include amongst others, SDGs such as Quality Education; Gender Equality and Partnerships for Goals. With both the national and global context in mind, the SAEE Confederation is in the process of implementing the following actions:
Information sharing: Rebuilding its digital platform to promote ease of access to information that will support successful implementation of Energy information and best practice. Through its annual conference and other events, the SAEE Confederation will continue to profile cutting edge information, knowledge and engagement on key issues and innovation in the industry.
Capacity Building and Networking: The Confederation is planning various platforms with government and other partners to support capacity building and networking for an improved drive towards a skilled and measurable impact on energy efficiency and climate change mitigation. Promotion of Energy Services: The Confederation is promoting the development of the Energy Services Companies’ Association (ESCOs) to build the human resource, technical and job creation opportunities required to implement energy efficiency in both the public and private sectors.
Empowerment of women: Through its South African Females in Energy Efficiency division, (SAFEE), the Confederation recognizes that a pipeline of young women need to be mentored and supported to promote inclusivity of young people and women in particular, in various roles that promote energy efficiency. It also recognizes the pivotal role played by women in social development and growth of the economy and therefore, the need to increase participation, management and ownership levels in this sector.
Measurement and Verification: In order to track progress in reaching Energy Efficiency targets and facilitating access to incentives and investments based on Energy Efficiency performance, the Confederation will continue to promote the Measurement and Verification sector.
Building Sectoral Competitiveness: Through its affiliate: Thermal Insulation Products and Services SA (TIPSASA), the Confederation encourages a sectoral approach where associations work together to optimize opportunities. Working synergistically through their value chains will enhance the competitiveness of the entire sector. The Confederation welcomes the membership of other associations who support such a common purpose.
Recognition of Excellence: Through its Energy Efficiency Awards which link to the international awards such as the Clean Energy Ministerial Awards and the American Energy Engineers Awards (AEE), the Confederation has extended its range of awards and intends enhancing the prestige of these awards in order to showcase best practice, leadership and acknowledge the hard work of those who champion continuous improvement of resource efficiency and competitiveness. CLICK HERE for more information on the awards.
If you are not yet a member of the SAEE Confederation we’d like to leave you with this quote:“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.” John C. Maxwell