- A recognition of Schneider Electric’s long-term commitment to sustainability
- Through its Schneider Sustainability Impact, the Group contributes actively to UN Sustainable Development Goals
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has appointed Jean-Pascal Tricoire, President of Global Compact France and Chairman & CEO of Schneider Electric, to the United Nations Global Compact Board. The UN Global Compact Board plays an important role in shaping the strategy and policy of the initiative, which acts as the United Nations flagship for responsible business action. Designed as a multi-stakeholder body, the Board provides ongoing strategic and policy advice for the initiative. Board members are considered champions who are willing and able to advance the mission of the UN Global Compact. They act in a personal, honorary and unpaid capacity.
A recognition of Schneider Electric’s long-term commitment to sustainability
With more than 13,000 participants – companies and non-business alike – from more than 160 countries, the UN Global Compact is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, with the mission to align companies’ strategies and operations with ten universal principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and take actions that advance societal goals. With 10% of the participants, Global Compact France is its 2nd largest national network worldwide. It is also the network with the highest rate of companies meeting the Advanced COP level. “I am delighted to welcome Jean-Pascal Tricoire to the Board for the UN Global Compact. Jean-Pascal has shown great leadership in driving sustainability in a business, and with his extensive global experience, I am confident that his contribution to the UN Global Compact will be very valuable in helping the organisation to continue to thrive. I look forward to our collaboration,” said Paul Polman, Vice Chair of the Board of the United Nations Global Compact and Chief Executive Officer of Unilever.
Schneider Electric has signed on to the UN Global Compact in 2002 and consistently shown its commitment to its Ten Principles since then. In 2002, the Group published for the first time Our Principles of Responsibility, a foundational part of Schneider Electric’s commitment to its stakeholders (employees, partners, shareholders…) regularly updated since then. As a Participant of the UN Global Compact, Schneider Electric took an active approach to engage its suppliers in sustainability, by measuring the proportion of purchases made with suppliers who participate in the UN Global Compact since 2004, and by encouraging its strategic suppliers to apply the ISO26000 guidelines since 2012. Thanks to an annual Communication on Progress (COP) as part of its annual report, Schneider Electric meets the Advanced COP level.
Maximizing Schneider Sustainability Impact on UN Sustainable Development Goals
“I’m thrilled to keep contributing to the development of the UN Global Compact by joining its Global Board, four years after becoming President of Global Compact France and 16 years after Schneider Electric’s accession. As the world’s largest corporate sustainability organization, the UN Global Compact is a tremendous collective movement for companies to make progress in the fields of human and labor rights, gender equality, environment protection and ethical business through the Ten Principles and the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals” said Jean-Pascal Tricoire.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030. As the world approaches the third anniversary of the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, the UN Global Compact is committed to be a leading catalyst of the transformation of those global goals into local business. Schneider Electric, the leader in digital transformation of energy management and automation, is actively engaged to accomplish the 17 SDGs through its core business and its five sustainability megatrends: Climate, Circular economy, Ethics, Health & Equity and Development.
To support this commitment, Schneider Electric has developed a critical instrument for its sustainability journey: Schneider Sustainability Impact. It reflects the sustainability megatrends and guides Schneider’s sustainability efforts by making our goals clear. Renewed and updated for 2018 through 2020, this fifth iteration reflects, through 21 indicators, our holistic view of sustainability, how our sustainability efforts affect the planet, its people, our profit, and that of our customers. It contains our promises to our partners, customers, and the world. It is the standard by which we measure ourselves and hold ourselves accountable. It also states clearly how the Group contributes not only to Goal 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) but also to Goal 5 (Gender Equality), Goal 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy).
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.
African countries can meet climate targets promised in the landmark Paris Agreement by catalyzing trillions of dollars in private investments through a combination of smart policy reforms and innovative business models, according to a new report b a member of the World Bank Group.
The report identifies seven industry sectors that can make a crucial difference in catalyzing private investment: renewable energy, off-grid solar and energy storage, agribusiness, green buildings, urban transportation, water, and urban waste management. Already, more than $1 trillion (R15 trillion) in investments are flowing into climate-related projects in these areas. But trillions more could be triggered by creating the right business conditions in emerging markets, the report found.
“The private sector holds the key to fighting climate change,” said IFC CEO Philippe Le Houérou. “The private sector has the innovation, the financing, and the tools. We can help unlock more private sector investment, but this also requires government reforms as well as innovative business models—which together will create new markets and attract the necessary investment. This can fulfill the promise of Paris.”
IFC’s Creating Markets for Climate Business report offers several examples of such an approach. Zambia was experiencing daily blackouts, stemming from drought that had crippled its hydroelectric capacity, when it became the first country to sign up for Scaling Solar in 2015. The government aims to build two large solar plants as part of its long-term strategy to generate 600 MW from solar. Johannesburg Water demonstrated how PPPs can succeed in meeting development and climate objectives in the water sector. The municipality set out to establish a privately-operated utility in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2000, when city water and sanitation services were facing bankruptcy. It has since installed biogas-to-electricity generation in several wastewater facilities. Biogas scrubbing and combined heat and power cogeneration projects were installed in 2012.
Saleem Karimjee, IFC Country Manager for Southern Africa, said, “African private businesses have the opportunity to become regional and global leaders in promoting climate-friendly projects. New approaches to business can unlock significant funds for climate finance that IFC and other lenders are eager to support.”
The report’s findings point to specific investment opportunities including:
Renewable energy investments could climb to R115 trillion cumulative by 2040—reforms such as renewable energy auctions, land title reforms, and supportive energy storage policy frameworks would make this possible.
Investments in off-grid solar and energy storage can reach $23 billion (R115 trillion) a year by 2025—if countries use differentiated tariffs, clear technical and safety standards, and targeted financial incentives while supporting new business models for community based solar such as Pay-as-You-Go and innovative finance solutions such as asset securitization.
Trillions of dollars of agribusiness investment can become more “climate-smart”—if governments ensure property rights, good transportation infrastructure, and regulations and fiscal policies that encourage climate-smart investment while promoting improved farmer-training practices and using financial innovation to provide working capital for farmers.Investments in green buildings could reach $3.4 trillion (R51 trillion) cumulative by 2025 in key emerging markets—if countries adopt better building codes and standards and create targeted financial incentives such as green-building certification and mandatory benchmarking of energy use. Other important reforms should encourage new utility business models, such as green mortgages and energy service companies.
Trillions of dollars in investments in sustainable urban transportation can be mobilized in the coming decade—if governments issue mandates to enable infrastructure investments and adopt municipal transit plans that can spur innovations, such as light rail.
Investments in water supply and sanitation could exceed $13 trillion (R195 trillion) cumulative by 2030—for this governments would need to establish water pricing at predictable and sustainable levels to increase the creditworthiness of utilities while entering into public-private partnerships and adopting performance-based contracts.
Investments in climate-smart urban waste management could reach $2 trillion—if cities work to attract private sector participation through improved regulatory and enforcement frameworks, using economic incentives and cost-recovery mechanisms such as feed-in tariffs, and driving waste-conscious consumer behavior.
Addressing climate change is a strategic priority for IFC. Since 2005, IFC has invested $18.3 billion (R195 trillion) of its own funds in long-term financing for climate-smart projects and mobilized an additional $11 billion from other investors. The latest report is a follow-up to the Climate Investment Opportunities report issued by IFC last year, which found that the Paris Agreement could create $23 trillion in investment opportunities for 21 emerging-market countries.
South Africa College High School (SACS) in Cape Town has made a commitment to clean energy by installing a solar system at its Rosedale Boarding House. The solar system was installed by Energy Partners Home Solutions, part of the PSG group of companies.
Barry van Selm, Deputy Headmaster at SACS explains that installing a solar system at the school was an easy choice. “SACS has become very aware of its carbon footprint, so a renewable energy option was important to us. In the past five years we have also seen huge increases in electricity tariffs so we needed to find a sustainable way of bringing those costs down.”
According to Cala van der Westhuizen, Head of Marketing and Sales at Energy Partners Home Solutions, schools like SACS, with boarding houses and plenty of activity over weekends and holidays, are the perfect place to install solar systems as these types of properties consume most of their energy during the day’s peak solar hours, and can therefore maximise the financial benefits of a renewable energy solution.
He says that the Energy Partners team achieved some interesting results while still working within the parameters that were set by SACS as well as regulatory requirements.
Van der Westhuizen explains that the Energy Partners’ team started off with an in-depth analysis into the requirements of the boarding house. “This involved taking the generation capacity that regulations would permit the team to install, into consideration.”
“According to our findings, we could install a 25 kilowatt inverter at the boarding house, which is the maximum size allowed under NRS regulations for the specific infrastructure of the site. With the actual solar array we had a bit more leeway, so we installed 30.88kWp of multicrystalline solar panels.”
This enables the system to produce at the converter’s maximum level for as long as possible during peak hours and also produce excess power that the school will be able to possibly sell back to the City of Cape Town, says van der Westhuizen.
Van Selm says that as part of the system, the school received a tracking tool that allows them to monitor the system in real time. “Being able to track the system’s energy production is very interesting and allows us to see the results. Our first electrical bill has not arrived yet, but based on what we have seen from the monitoring tool, our use of electricity from the grid has been cut by about one third which amounts to a saving of around R75 000 at the current electricity tariffs.”
“We are very excited about the results we have seen so far and looking forward to reducing our carbon footprint and electricity bills even further in the near future,” Van Selm concludes.
About Energy Partners Home Solutions
Energy Partners Home Solutions (EPHS) offer clients holistic and innovative home energy solution guaranteed to realise significant savings on a household’s energy bills. In 2016, the organisation launched its ground breaking new product, the ICON Home Energy Hub. The first solar inverter and battery combination developed specifically for the South African residential market.
The ICON forms part of a full home energy solution, including Solar PV, Batteries, Heat Pumps and LED lights. By combining these technologies, Energy Partners (EPHS) is able to provide significantly better savings and financial returns than other solutions: a family sized home could save up to 70% of their electricity bill and earn more than 16% return on their investment – twice what a standard PV-only solution would provide. For more information visit: www.poweryourself.co.za
Growthpoint Properties has launched an innovative pilot project that turns the large volumes of food waste generated by client businesses at its properties into compost.
The project, named G-Eco, short for Growthpoint Eco, is a partnership with Life & Earth and has the potential for massive environmental benefits.
It is being tested at Growthpoint Business Park in Midrand using waste produced at four of Growthpoint’s large multi-tenant properties in the area.
The idea was born 18-months ago when Growthpoint embarked on a waste-management analysis process to measure waste sent to landfills and the effectiveness of its existing initiatives to reduce this. Results revealed that the waste generated by its building users and sent to landfill was substantial.
Knowing that 40% to 60% of landfill waste comes from organic waste from food and garden waste, Growthpoint embarked on an innovative six-month wet waste diversion trial, which started at the beginning of July this year.
“We are converting the wet waste collected at our properties taking part in the trial into compost, which is then used at these properties,” says Werner van Antwerpen, Head of Sustainability at Growthpoint.
To start the project, driven by Growthpoint’s Industrial Property Division, Life & Earth installed a food waste composting machine at Growthpoint Business Park in Midrand. The plant turns food waste into 100% organic compost and can process up to 1,000kg of food waste each day with the capacity to make about nine tonnes of compost a month.
Then, Growthpoint’s current waste contractors at Growthpoint Business Park, Woodlands Office Park, Woodmead Retail Park and Central Park were trained about the process and how to separate wet waste at source. Growthpoint also worked with its clients at these properties, encouraging them to separate their food waste.
The waste is taken to the composting plant at Growthpoint Business Park, where it is processed.
During its first four months of the trial, Growthpoint diverted 16 tonnes of waste from landfill and produced six cubic metres of nutrient-rich soil, which is reapplied at Growthpoint Business Park.
The resulting positive environmental impacts are significant when considering that composting food waste on site instead of sending it to landfill reduces CO2e emissions by 332kg per tonne – and this is just the start.
By removing food waste from the waste stream, recyclables increase by about 30%. Composting food waste is also a cleaner and healthier. It reduces vermin and rat infestations and removes bad smells from rotting food. Also, it reduces harmful vehicle emissions, with fewer trips now needed to take waste to the dump, as well deliver garden compost to the properties.
Importantly, a focus on food waste creates more awareness about the problem and helps clients manage their food costs as they strive to reduce both. So, the project stands to have a direct positive impact of Growthpoint’s clients’ businesses.
Proactive waste management initiatives such as G-Eco have become essential in South Africa. According to Life & Earth, the country sends more than 10.2m tonnes of food waste to landfill every year, and food waste costs our economy more than R4.6bn annually.
“The G-Eco waste-to-soil project is one component of Growthpoint’s bigger waste management strategy,” explains van Antwerpen.
It already reduces waste through recycling, and plans to ensure all its buildings have onsite recycling by the end of 2018.
Based on the success of the G-Eco pilot, Growthpoint plans to introduce more waste-to-soil plants in other areas of the country where it has clusters of property assets.
“We are excited to find out exactly how much waste-to-landfill we will be able to save with our different waste management programmes, but we are confident that it will be substantial,” says van Antwerpen. He also notes: “This innovative project contributes to Growthpoint’s environmentally responsible leadership and furthers our sustainable business journey.”
Growthpoint provides space to thrive with innovative and sustainable property solutions. It is the largest South African primary REIT listed on the JSE, and owns and manages a diversified portfolio of 547 property assets, locally and internationally.
Growthpoint is a Platinum Founding Member of Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA), a member of the GBCSA’s Green Building Leader Network, a component of the FTSE4Good Emerging Index and has been included in the FTSE/JSE Responsible Investment Index for eight years running. It owns and co-owns the largest portfolio of certified green buildings of any company in South Africa and is recognised as a leading developer of green buildings. Growthpoint recently launched the only property portfolio in South Africa to be highly rated by both the South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA) and the GBCSA, aptly named the Thrive Portfolio.
Growthpoint Properties Limited
Werner van Antwerpen, head of sustainability
011 944 6598
First Choice in partnership with GreenPop planted 20 trees at Perivale Primary School, Plumstead during a planting workshop as part of its, ‘it’s all good’ campaign.
‘It’s all good’ is First Choice’s ethos when it comes to sustainability, good-environmental practices, ethical business and quality dairy products, and the planting workshop is an extension of this.
The dairy behind First Choice, Woodlands Dairy, believes we all need to balance the pursuit of business success together with making the world a better place. “The planet is important to us,” remarks Woodlands Dairy/First Choice designation, name. “As a company we have programme to ensure sustainability which also encompasses people and profits.
“We live in a time of unprecedented change. In business we face challenges and opportunities that are more critical and complex than ever before – where the consequences of failure are unimaginable and the impact of our decisions are felt instantly across the planet.”
Involving pupils from Perivale Primary School in the workshop, extends the message that we all need to look after our environment, “we hope the message stays with them throughout life,” adds surname.
The new Discovery global headquarters in Sandton Central has become the largest new build project to receive a 5 Star Green Star rating by the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) to date.
Developed in a joint venture by two of South Africa’s leading property companies, Growthpoint Properties Limited and Zenprop Property Holdings, the iconic new 112,000sqm resource-efficient, cost-effective and environmentally-innovative Discovery head office is the largest single-phase commercial office development in Africa.
Growthpoint Properties Office Division Director, Rudolf Pienaar, comments: “We are thrilled with the 5 Star Green Star certification achieved for this development, especially considering its scale and complexity. The new Discovery head office is now among the most environmentally sustainable and efficient buildings in South Africa. Green building plays a key role in providing spaces in which businesses can thrive. We are incredibly proud to be part of the creation of the new global headquarters for Discovery in a building that is both spectacular and sustainable.”
Zenprop Property Holdings CEO, James Tannenberger, says: “This is a significant milestone for Zenprop, especially considering our long history of delivering sustainable and environmentally friendly buildings across all sectors of the property market. Zenprop has been involved with developing Green Star buildings since the commercial rating tool was first launched in South Africa in 2008, so we are extremely satisfied with what the development team as a whole has been able to achieve on a project of this magnitude and profile.”
GBCSA Executive Director: Certifications, Manfred Braune, points out: “It is the largest new building certified as Green Star to date in South Africa, which makes it an incredible achievement. A 5 Star Green Star rating for a building of this size would have been a challenge to achieve, and we congratulate the entire team involved in this remarkable project. The combination of low-tech and hi-tech is outstanding, ensuring the perfect marriage of load reduction through passive features with technology that ensures optimal efficiency.”
Aurecon is responsible for overseeing the delivery of the developers’ and Discovery’s green intent for the building. Their role has been to ensure it has been designed and constructed with the highest sustainability credentials to demonstrate leadership in the transformation of the South African real estate industry.
Features of the new building which have contributed to the rating include energy optimisation through the advanced design features of its envelope and building services. High-efficiency air conditioning that leverages an outside air economy cycle and indoor air CO2 monitoring. Added to this is low-energy lighting, occupant control and daylight optimisation, as well as the building’s standout high-performance double-glazed curtain wall.
The building is wrapped around a series of sunlit atria that plug into a central concourse. The design of the atria and skylights result in an abundance of natural light without compromising occupants’ comfort and energy performance. Grey and rainwater systems, efficient sanitary fittings, efficient irrigation system and water-wise landscaping contribute to the building’s optimal water performance.
Yovka Raytcheva-Schaap, the Aurecon associate for environmentally sustainable design consulting and project management for the project, points out that, most notably, the Discovery building creates an environment that is centred on occupants’ health and well-being.
Raytcheva-Schaap reports: “The design provides for an ample amount of fresh air, thermal comfort, daylight and connection to the exterior. A fully equipped gym, running track, yoga decks and multipurpose courts are set in the indigenously landscaped roof and encourage an active lifestyle, in line with the Discovery Vitality ethos.”
Aurecon’s Martin Smith adds that the expansive ground floor of the building accommodates Discovery’s retail partners, client services, walk-in centre, staff restaurants and coffee shops, offering an energising experience to both visitors and staff alike.
Smith says: “Upper floor plates, designed for activity-based working, enhance staff collaboration, enjoyment and business efficiency.”
Located on the corner of Rivonia Road and Katherine Street, diagonally opposite Sandton City and one block from the Sandton Gautrain Station, the building comprises three linked office towers which consist of a ground floor, eight office floors and a roof level, which holds Discovery’s sports facilities. It will also offer nine basements with over 5,000 parking bays.
Discovery is expected to take occupation of the property, which is owned by Growthpoint (55%) and Zenprop (45%), towards the end of this year.
Pushing the boundaries of what is possible for alternative energy and engineering, Growthpoint Properties has announced that it is sponsoring the North West University’s Solar Car challenge team.
With its sponsorship, Growthpoint is helping to the give the team its day in the sun at the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge, which takes place from 8 to 15 October in Australia. The gruelling journey starts in Darwin and follows the Stuart Highway to Port Augusta followed by Highway 1 to Adelaide about 3,000km away.
NWU Solar has already set the bar high with its solar car challenge achievements. It was co-winner of its very first outing at the 2012 Sasol Solar Challenge, an honour it shared with Tokai University, which is consistently ranked as one of the top three teams in the world.
The team has gone on to break various records. In 2015, at the previous biennial Bridgestone World Challenge, NWU Solar debuted to become the first team from Africa to cross the finish line. It took 11th place in an overall field of 29, beating some world-renowned universities in the process including MIT and Cambridge. It holds the record for the furthest distance travelled by a South African team in a single day (611.9km), as well as the furthest distance completed by a South African team (3,524.9km).
But why would a property company invest in a university solar car team?
Growthpoint is no ordinary property company. It provides space to thrive. Its pursuit of sustainability across its diverse portfolio of 547 owned and managed properties can be seen in the innovations in its buildings, in South Africa and internationally.
Growthpoint is a Platinum Founding member of the Green Building Council South Africa, a constituent of the FTSE4Good Emerging Index and the FTSE/JSE Responsible Investment Index. It owns and co-owns the biggest portfolio of certified green buildings in South Africa. Growthpoint also embraces solar power in South Africa with several solar plants already in operation.
It has already installed photovoltaic solar panels with the capacity to generate over 8.1MWp (DC, excluding the V&A Waterfront) at sixteen of its office, retail and industrial properties (all below 1MWp AC).
Head of Sustainability at Growthpoint, Werner van Antwerpen, explains: “The objective of the NWU Solar car project is to go beyond simply competing in challenges. Its goals include performing interdisciplinary research and development that drives a sustainable future based on innovative new technologies. This really appealed to us. For real and sustainable innovation, we need to close the gap between universities, government and business. NWU Solar is innovating in a way that produces commercially viable products that create jobs and opportunities. We support this wholeheartedly.”
He adds: “Growthpoint’s sponsorship of the NWU Solar team is an excellent platform to showcase our commitment to sustainability and innovation while also supporting a group of students who are the future leaders of our industry and others. We also want to encourage young people to achieve success in STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – and apply their skills to create relevant and commercial solutions.”
Strong synergies form the foundation for this sponsorship. For instance, with Growthpoint’s increasing use of renewable solar energy at many of its buildings, it stands to benefit from the university’s advances and research in solar power, battery and hydrogen fuel cell technology and the algorithms to manage these storage solutions.
Van Antwerpen highlights that the NWU Faculty of Engineering has also proven courageous in what it takes on, and this is a quality that Growthpoint values, encourages and invests in.
The faculty recently launched Naledi, the 2017 iteration of the solar car that will be competing in Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. Naledi, meaning ‘star’, boasts a brand new design with the body based on the world-class JS3 Jonker Sailplane that also has its roots at the NWU Faculty of Engineering. The team from NWU will also be using solar tracking technology to soak up sun rays, keeping its panels at an optimal angle to the sun at all times. The body shape with the use of solar tracking makes Naledi one of the most unique vehicles in the competition.
With its impressive track record, the NWU Solar team has a lot to live up to, but it has already proven that it relishes a challenge. Van Antwerpen says: “We wish the NWU Solar team everything of the best for the upcoming Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. True to the name of their car (and its power source), we believe that they are stars who will continue to shine in this global challenge.”
Its sponsorship of the NWU Solar car challenge team is just one of the ways the Growthpoint invests in sustainability and innovation at university level in South Africa. Growthpoint also founded the Greenovate Awards programme with the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA), which sets university students of the built environment and engineering on a quest to find more sustainable ways of living.
Growthpoint is the largest South African primary listed REIT on the JSE, and is emerging as a leading international property company. It owns and manages a diversified portfolio of 547 property assets. This includes 471 properties in South Africa valued at R76.9bn and Growthpoint’s 50% interest in the properties at V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, valued at R8.7bn. Internationally, Growthpoint owns 57 properties in Australia valued at R32.5bn through its investment in ASX-listed Growthpoint Properties Australia (GOZ) and 18 properties in Romania valued at EUR1.0bn through its investment in LSE AIM-listed Globalworth Real Estate Investments (GWI).
This past weekend saw the 21st year in which South Africa participated in the International Coastal Clean-Up (ICC) – an annual event that has become the biggest, global volunteer effort for ocean health.
Despite inclement weather experienced in Cape Town on the day, 2017 would be remembered for having one of the best turn-outs of volunteers who freely offered up their time to participate in picking up litter from our beaches.
As the world’s waste generation surges and landfill availability gets increasingly stretched, a number of South African companies are taking waste reduction to heart.
World Bank figures show that South Africa produces almost 54 500 tons of waste a day, making it the 15th highest producer of waste in the world. It did, however, expect South Africa to fall, relatively, as other countries continued to grow faster.
Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) baseline figures for 2012, the most recent local estimate, indicate that South Africa produces 108 million tons of waste a year, with the Western Cape generating 20% and Gauteng 45%. About 98 million tons go to the country’s 826 landfill sites. With estimates showing that a mere 10% of South Africa’s waste is recycled, there is a lot of room for South African companies to reduce their waste, helping to create a sustainable environment for generations to come.
While municipalities manage household waste, the management of big industrial and commercial waste is the responsibility of the companies that produce it.
Getting rid of waste is a significant industry in South Africa, with DEA estimates indicating R15 billion revenue and almost 30 000 jobs. Achieving the DEA’s target of recycling 20% by 2019 seems increasingly unlikely, particularly given the significant investment this would require by cash-strapped municipalities. One way around this is through public-private partnerships (PPPs), a model that several Western Cape municipalities are implementing. This has the potential to attract R1.3 billion and create 1 600 jobs in the next five years in that province.
“The available figures are not that recent and many are based on estimates, so it is unclear exactly how big South Africa’s waste problem is,” says Heidi Newton-King, Spier’s Director of Sustainability. “But, what we do know is that waste management is a growing problem and companies need to be innovative, investing time and money to play their role in addressing it.”
A waste economy report shows that four projects implemented nationally in 2016 attracted over R1 billion in investment and created 148 jobs in the waste sector.
There are numerous projects, including public-private partnerships, to get waste under control with several companies leading the way in waste management in South Africa.
From June 2016 to May 2017, just 1.75% (5 812 kg) of Spier’s waste – the equivalent to slightly less than 6 bakkie loads was sent to landfill.
“Changing perceptions around waste is critical if we want to find long term solutions,” Newton-King says. “Each section of the business sorts its waste individually, with waste storage and categories differing before it’s taken to the farm’s sorting facility and sorted a second time to make absolutely sure the waste can’t be recycled and to help us identify any new non-recyclable items in the waste stream.”
Non-recyclable items are mostly multi-film packaging (such as coffee bags and tea sachets) as well as surgical gloves, hair nets and pot scrapers.
In 2007, Spier installed a pioneering centralised wastewater treatment plant, which recycles 100% of its wastewater. The cleaned water is then used to irrigate the garden and grounds and the busiest guest toilets.
Woolworths was South Africa’s first major retailer to begin using recycled beverage, juice and milk bottles. All stores offer reusable fabric bags, plastic hangers, signage, baskets and trolleys that are all made from recycled materials. In new stores, the shelving is produced from recycled materials.
In addition, its food and clothing which would otherwise go to waste, is donated.
SAB’s breweries re-use or recycle almost 90% of general waste. More than 80% of SAB beer is packaged in returnable glass bottles or cans and about 99% of spent grain from its breweries is re-used by farmers for animal feed or for renewable energy.
Waste water is used to produce fertiliser or energy and since 2008 it has cut water use per litre of beer by 28%.
“Technically zero is not about achieving zero waste to landfill as much as it is a whole-systems approach that aims for a change in the way materials flow through our business,” Newton-King says. “Our commitment to the final couple of percent means that we are consistently evaluating our purchasing decisions as new items are brought into the stream all the time.”
“With a driving force of minimising our impact on the environment, we believe staff training and education is critical to change perceptions about why recycling is important and the benefits of doing so both at work and at home,” she concludes.
Issued by HWB Communications Pty Ltd