Currently, 663 million people lack access to safe drinking water, and by 2025, half the world’s population could be living in water-stressed areas. For their part, The Coca-Cola Company is partnering with Subway and World Vision to deliver sustainable access to clean drinking water in Kenya, and PepsiCo has renewed its partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank, which will include collaboration on delivering equitable access to safe, affordable water in rural communities in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Coca-Cola’s EKOCENTER has joined forces with Subway and World Vision to create the “Fresh Water 4 All” donation program. Subway will donate 30 cents from every bottle of Dasani (still or sparkling) sold at 2,500 select U.S. stores in July and August, up to a maximum donation of $125,000. The proceeds will be used by World Vision for a “sustainable, community-owned water system” in Kenya, where EKOCENTER is currently active with its kiosks that act as a cross between a community center and general store.
“As a result of our partnerships, we’re able to make clean drinking water available to more people around the world, while also creating value for our customer, Subway,” said Coca-Cola’s Carrie Roberts, a senior national sales executive on the Subway Global Account Team. “This program demonstrates our commitment to water stewardship as well as our commitment to aligning partners around a shared purpose.”
Coca-Cola’s press release said that in addition to creating shared value for all project stakeholders, the initiative allows customers to positively impact society simply through buying a bottle of Dasani. The company stated that World Vision is the “perfect partner” to deliver water solutions that offer community ownership and a high degree of customization to local needs, aspects of sustainable development that Coca-Cola has learned about through EKOCENTER and other initiatives. The safe water system World Vision will install is designed to continue to benefit the community in the long-term.
“World Vision understands that poverty is complex, and addressing overwhelming needs such as a global water crisis must be done in partnership,” said Karen Sendelback, the senior director of partner engagement at World Vision. “We are grateful for our partnership with EKOCENTER and Subway, where we can leverage each of our respective strengths to improve the lives some of the world’s most vulnerable people – those without access to clean water.”
Meanwhile, PepsiCo announced that along with the PepsiCo Foundation, it is renewing its private-public partnership (PPP) with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for another five years. The previous five-year partnership agreement benefited more than one million people in 12 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), with the aim of spurring social and economic growth through projects related to recycling, water and sanitation, youth development, sustainable agriculture, disaster relief and recovery, and nutrition.
The expanded partnership seeks to develop activities in the areas of access to water and nourishing solutions, efficiency in agriculture, and social innovation. It will start off with “From Source to Home,” a program focused on water and sanitation, where a $5 million grant from the PepsiCo Foundation will work to improve the lives of approximately 850,000 people by 2025. To do so, the partners will collaborate on two main objectives:
- Achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable water to people living in rural and disperse communities, focusing on benefitting women and girls; and
- Launch a regional center for applied water resources management through the Hydro-BID program, to reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity and advance climate change adaptation efforts.
“We’re proud of the long and amazing legacy of our business across 54 Latin American markets. We remain focused on this strategic sector and to the strong partnerships we currently have and continue to build. We believe the renewal of our PPP with the IDB will help us provide a long-term and positive imprint on society and the environment in the sector,” Laxman Narasimhan, the CEO of PepsiCo Latin America, said at the public launch of the program.
The President of the IDB, Luis Alberto Moreno, added, “Through these collaborations, we are pioneering new approaches to generate impact in a region whose future looks brighter every day.”
How to use product life cycle analysis to your advantage. (David Baggs)
GBJ 10 (2014)
By Alistair Schorn
As South Africa’s capital city, the City of Tshwane has recognised and embraced its responsibility to play a leading role in the transition of the county’s major cities and metropolitan areas to low-carbon, climate- resilient and resource-efficient models of development. This is clearly demonstrated in the development of the City’s Green Economy Strategic Framework, and its alignment with the City of Tshwane Vision 2055.
As with any initiative at the level of local government this framework was developed in alignment with the national economic development context. In this regard, the South African government has for a number of years recognised the green economy as a significant catalyst for employment creation, and socially equitable and environmentally responsible economic development. More specifically, the South African Department of Environmental Affairs states that the green economy refers in particular to two interlinked developmental outcomes for the South African economy, namely:
- Growth in economic activity (leading investment, employment and competitiveness) in identified green industry sectors;
- An overall shift in economic activity towards cleaner industries and sectors that have a low environmental impact compared to their socio-economic impact.
In line with these imperatives, the government has implemented a number of policy measures which aim to promote a transition to a green economy. These include the National Strategy for Sustainable Development, the Industrial Policy Action Plan, the New Growth Path, the Green Economy Accord and most recently, the National Development Plan that was released in 2012.
In the context of these national policy measures, strategies and plans, the implementation of South Africa’s green economy transition has been to the level of a significant degree decentralised to provincial and local government level. As a result, the City of Tshwane has identified a requirement to develop a city-specific Green Economy Strategic Framework, which reinforces national policy and provincial policy in this area.
What is a green economy and how can we get there?
In developing the Green Economy Strategic Framework for Tshwane, the City’s government has adopted the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) definition of a green economy, namely “one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities”
From the City’s perspective, therefore, the essence of a green economy lies in the following:
- Improved human well-being;
- Improved social equity;
- Reduced environmental risks and ecological scarcities.
It is therefore imperative that a green economy transition can de-couple economic development from resource consumption and environmental impacts, and enable inclusive growth through a more equal distribution of wealth and access to ecological goods and services such as clean air and water.
It should also enable improved human health and well-being, through enhancing the quality and quantity of these goods and services, as well as the quantity and quality of public infrastructure and services such as transportation, education and civil services.
If implemented effectively, a green economy can offer a new economic path to sustainable development, in which the spheres of technology, economy, society and ecology are embedded in each other and are underpinned by systems of good governance.
Sustainable development and the green economy (adapted from the National Strategy for Sustainable Development).
This understanding of a green economy provides the broader context for the development of the City of Tshwane’s Strategic Framework.
The successful implementation of this Framework, and the resulting transition to a green economy, will require that the City makes best use of its inherent competitive advantages, to develop a highly appropriate, resource-efficient, low-carbon and inclusive programme.
The City of Tshwane
Tshwane is of course located in the north of Gauteng, and comprises over one-third of the province’s area. It has a population of 2, 92 million and a population density of 4 634 people per km2.
Tshwane exhibits a diversity of land uses, including residential (rural and urban), agricultural, natural open, industrial and commercial. Much of Tshwane is currently urbanised, although significant potential exists for agricultural production in less urbanised regions. Over the past several decades, Tshwane has experienced rapid economic growth and development, resulting in significant urban sprawl, which presents a growing challenge in terms of basic services, infrastructure and housing.
One of the objectives of the Strategic Framework is of new and existing projects and programmes to be included in the City of Tshwane’s Integrated Development Plan (IDP) in the next planning cycle. The IDP for 2011–2016 has made significant improvements in livelihoods by addressing service backlogs and poverty through improving the availability and universal accessibility of essential public services (such as housing, water, sanitation, education and health care). The next IDP will therefore need to continue with service delivery roll-out, while at the same time focusing on the development of integrated solutions that reduce resource consumption and the generation of pollution and waste, while opening up new opportunities for green jobs and green economic growth.
The Strategic Framework will help to inform the City of Tshwane’s medium to long-term green economy objectives. It also forms part of the Tshwane 2055 initiative, which is a long-term strategy for improving the quality of living across the metropolitan area, revitalising the city, boosting economic development and attracting investment. It aims to articulate the City of Tshwane’s vision, game-changing interventions, indicators and outcomes.
In this regard, Tshwane 2055 has the following six identified outcomes:
- A resilient and resource-efficient city;
- A growing economy that is inclusive, diversified and competitive;
- Quality infrastructure development that supports liveable communities;
- An equitable city that supports happiness, social cohesion, safety and healthy citizens;
- An African capital city that promotes excellence and innovative governance solutions;
- An activist citizenry that is engaging, aware of their rights and present themselves as partners in tackling societal challenges.
The Tshwane Green Economy Strategic Framework is aimed at addressing primarily the first of these objectives, namely the development of a resilient and resource-efficient city. It will also contribute to achievement of the second objective, particularly in the area of economic inclusivity.
The Tshwane Green Economy Strategic Framework
The development process for the Framework included extensive internal consultation with relevant City officials, and significant support and participation were received from local UNEP representatives. Based upon this process, the principal drivers of the green economy were identified as a response to the growing economic and environmental crises that demand a new green economic model for the following:
- Resource efficiency: the efficient use of natural resources to reduce the generation of waste and pollutants;
- Low-carbon development: the use of innovation and increased investment in low-carbon technologies and solutions; and
- Inclusive growth: the creation of green jobs and the greening of service delivery to ensure more equitable and inclusive growth with a focus on the poor.
It was decided that the focus areas or themes of the Strategic Framework should be action-based and aligned with existing green economy initiatives and strategies. These themes were accordingly finalised in March 2013, and were divided into two principal categories or clusters, namely mitigation and adaptation.Within each of these themes, the status quo and challenges were described to give context and perspective. Known challenges and barriers to developing the City’s green economy were used to formulate aspirations, objectives and appropriate actions for each theme.
These were incorporated into an initial draft of the Strategic Framework that was reviewed and finalised by the City of Tshwane’s Sustainability Office.
Thematic action areas
Under each of the mitigation and adaptation clusters, the Framework identifies the following specific thematic action areas, as follows:
1. Transitioning to a low-carbon city (mitigation)
- Pollution and waste management – reduction and effective management of waste streams, including solid waste, wastewater and air pollution;
- Integrated water resource management – coordinated development and management of water, land and related resources;
- Green buildings and built environment – the development of a green built environment in the City, including spatial planning and public service infrastructure, with due consideration of national initiatives in this area;
- Sustainable transport and improved mobility – improved efficiency and sustainability in transport systems and infrastructure, and the creation of an enabling environment for green transport initiatives;
- Sustainable energy – including initiatives, in line with various national policies and programmes in the field.
2. Building a resilient and resource-efficient city (adaptation)
- Maintenance and provision of ecosystem goods and services – protection and enhancement of ecosystem goods and services, with due consideration of ecological limits and rates of replenishment;
- Sustainable agriculture and food security – creation of sustainable food supply systems which maintain and enhance the ecological integrity of land and other natural resources;
- Sustainable communities (health and social development) – promotion of a vibrant citizenry and a healthy, skilled workforce that contributes to improved wellbeing and social cohesion.
For each of these themes, a set of overall aspirations, strategic objectives and appropriate actions were developed for the Framework.
Specific mitigation actions include the following: reducing emissions from buildings; improving mobility and providing low-carbon mass transport options; reducing the generation of waste and encouraging product re-use, recycling and material recovery; promoting integrated planning and land use; improving energy efficiency and developing renewable energy supply options; and encouraging the efficient use and management of water and other natural resources.
The adaptation actions include: main- streaming environmental priorities and carrying out biodiversity assessments to inform development plans; supporting and expanding government public works programmes to incorporate payment for an ecosystem services approach, enhancing the skills and knowledge in agro-ecology, enhancing local urban and peri-urban food production for increased food security; and providing services and facilities that enable a safe and healthy environment while enhancing opportunities for improved connectivity and social cohesion and human wellbeing.
A number of specific methods of implementation were identified to promote the establishment of a green economy in the City, including the following:
- Investing strategically in green innovation and technology;
- Defining a new economic base for a green economy; and
- Developing partnerships between government, business, labour and civil society.
In terms of these implementation methods, the Framework identifies the financial constraints under which the City (and in fact all municipalities) operate, as a potential inhibitor of transition to a green economy, and it acknowledges the necessity for effective public-private partnerships to overcome this obstacle.
Furthermore, the Framework refers to the possible use of municipal fiscal policy, in the form of both incentives and disincentives, as an effective method of catalysing the growth of a green economy in the city.
A final element of the Framework, included as an Appendix, outlines the City’s targets for various measures and initiatives for a green economy as derived from national and provincial targets in these areas.
These include areas such as the installation of solar water heaters, the creation of green jobs, public sector investment in green economy sectors such as renewable energy and sustainable transportation, energy efficiency targets, waste reduction targets and the implementation of appropriate sustainability standards such as those for green buildings.
The City of Tshwane’s transition to a green economy will require a fundamental change in the established economic system, from one based on increasing exploitation of natural resources to fulfil the growing demands for material consumption, to one that can ensure sustainable and equitable growth within the ecological limits of Tshwane and the region.
Achieving this shift will require effective integrated planning, robust policy signals, good governance and high levels of accountability on the part of the City’s management. It will also require investment in new skills, research in innovation and green technologies, and a new mindset for doing business.
The Green Economy Strategic Framework provides a means to achieve these objectives, by outlining the suite of strategies and actions that are required to facilitate the City’s transition to a green economy and a sustainable development path.
The South African Breweries (SAB) in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund for Nature of South Africa (WWF-SA) has launched Better Barley Better Beer, a programme that encourages and supports sustainable farming practices amongst South Africa’s barley farmers, focusing on water reduction, improved carbon footprints, soil health and clearing of alien vegetation, as well as the protection and restoration of ecosystems.
Better Barley Better Beer is in its pilot phase in the dryland area of the Southern Cape and in the irrigated barley areas in the Northern Cape, and will run for approximately two years.
The programme involves a total of 26 barley producers – 15 in the dryland area and 11 in irrigation, who have either voluntarily opted to participate or hold important conservation assets on their properties. These assets include endangered veld, important water catchment areas and critical species.
Through structured engagement and advisory support, Better Barley Better Beer is aimed at empowering barley farmers to understand and implement sustainable farming practices. The programme is an important element of SAB’s global sustainable development framework called Prosper.
Prosper highlights tangible targets to be achieved by SAB over the next five years in the areas of responsible alcohol consumption, securing water resources, reducing waste and carbon emissions, supporting small enterprises, including emerging farmers, and the support of responsible and sustainable land use for brewing crops.
Farmers with critical conservation assets will be supported in engaging on biodiversity stewardship to protect and restore ecosystems. The stewardship concept is a new way of achieving conservation protection by creating positive, proactive partnerships with private landowners and conservation bodies such as WWF-SA.
“The WWF-SA’s interest in Better Barley Better Beer is to support farmers as key custodians of our South African natural resource base, with advisory extension support to adopt best practice that ensures farming maintains, protects and restores key natural systems, while minimising the environmental impact of production activities for the benefit of producers, as well as downstream users,” says Inge Kotze, WWF Senior Manager: Sustainable Agriculture.
The Better Barley Better Beer guidelines, developed in collaboration with the WWF-SA and SAB agriculturists as well as local barley farmers, drive the implementation of the programme by each producer.
The guidelines provide farmers with criteria, indicators and verifiers to measure how sustainably they are farming. Key indicators contained in the guidelines allow farmers to self-assess their performance using a checklist provided. They are also able to easily identify strengths and weaknesses and develop action plans to correct deficiencies.
“The guidelines are designed to empower the barley farmer to make the right decisions today to ensure the sustainable production of local barley into the future,” says Thinus van Schoor, General Manager SAB Maltings.
A ‘zero sum game’ for the farmer
The pilot is aimed at reducing the cost and risk of doing business and improving crop production, a ‘zero sum game’ for the farmer. Using key metrics, farmers will be able to track improvement and progress overtime to support the development of a business case for sustainable production and they will be able to demonstrate the impact and value of changing practices at farm level and elsewhere in the chain.
SAB intends for the Better Barley Better Beer key metrics to be systematised into accepted industry standards, much like the Barley Passport it introduced in the 2005.
The Barley Passport contains detailed information on chemicals applied on the produce and only that which is registered will be purchased by SAB.
Better Barley Better Beer allows SAB to build on its strategic business objective to help grow the local barley industry and secure its future growth and sustainability. This is in line with South Africa’s strategic plan for sustainable agriculture and the Department of Agriculture‘s policy for sustainable development.
Through Better Barley Better Beer and other sustainable agriculture initiatives, including the construction of a multi-million rand SAB Maltings plant in Johannesburg and its Go Farming programme, which is geared at establishing and supporting emerging farmers, SAB intends to source more than 90% of its barley requirements from local producers.
“Having a fully-fledged and sustainable local barley sector means SAB can rely on contracts with local producers for approximately 93% of its brewing requirements, enabling us to hedge against volatile global commodity markets and, just as importantly, to keep tighter control of quality and ensure a sustainable barley growing sector,” says van Schoor.
Historically, SAB has played a pioneering role in the South African barley industry. It began growing barley locally more than three decades ago, a strategic attempt by the company to become self-sufficient. Since those early days, SAB’s support for the local barley industry has strengthened considerably and the company is today regarded as a critical role player. The strategic industry partnerships it has developed, as well as its close working relationship with producers, is what has helped to yield successes and drive further sustainable growth.
“Our collaborative approach within the agricultural sector has proven to be the most effective method in creating sustainable growth, which is a key objective of any SAB investment. The existing knowledge and skills within the industry is invaluable to success,” says van Schoor.
This focused commitment by SAB to investing in the local barley industry extends to developing and supporting a more inclusive environment with equal opportunities. These efforts stretch as far back as the early 1990s when SAB initiated the Taung Barley Farmers Project in the Northern Cape. The programme has helped to encourage local barley production and create a sustainable source of income for smallholder farmers. Today, it supports more than 120 smallholder farmers, each generating a sustainable income with guaranteed access to market as supported by SAB.
About 160,000 tons of barley are currently grown in the Southern Cape and a further 55,000t (64,000t in 2013 and expanding to 94,000t tons in 2014) are produced in the irrigation areas of the Northern Cape. SAB helped establish South Africa’s barley growing sector in the 1970s, a strategic move to become self-sufficient in producing the key brewing ingredient.
The next phase of the Better Barley Better Beer pilot will be the roll out of specific guidelines to small scale and emerging farmers in the Taung area. These guidelines will be tailored to focus on training the farmers rather than auditing them.