UCT triumphs in environmental innovation at South Africa’s third Greenovate Awards

Young environmental game-changes from the University of Cape Town (UCT) took first place in the Greenovate Awards for the third year running. UCT scooped up the very first Greenovate Engineering Award too.

The awards programme is an exciting initiative by Growthpoint Properties in association with the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA). The prestigious awards recognise innovative solutions for the property industry to environmental challenges.

This is the third year the awards have strived to inspire and encourage students of the built environment to discover, explore and invent ways to live more sustainably. Also, for the first time this year, the awards were extended to include a second category for engineering students.

The students were challenged to come up with ideas for any property-related project that makes the way we live greener and our environmental footprint lighter.

A total of eight universities competed for both awards this year. UCT was the only one to take up the challenge in both award streams. Groups from each of the participating universities competed internally first, and the two top projects from each were chosen as finalists. This year the awards adjudicated a record 16 finalist teams.

For the Greenovate Awards, two finalist teams each came from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), UCT, Nelson Mandela University (NMU) and the University of the Free State (UFS), and one represented the University of Pretoria (UP).

For the first ever Greenovate Engineering Awards, two finalist teams each represented UCT, Stellenbosch University and North West University (NWU) and one team came from the University of Johannesburg (UJ).

The winners were announced at a gala dinner in Sandton Central with keynote speaker, serial tech entrepreneur Stafford Masie, who said: “…as much as it is about technology, it’s more so about humanity. Sustainability of any idea or innovation is collectively harnessing latent human capital, augmented with AI, to coagulate around your business from the outside. We need to establish ecosystems versus just building cool stuff or even just cool businesses…co-creativity is the absolute substrate of continuous leading innovation. Make everything hack-able, derive less value than you create and ensure your leadership is focused on empathy…understanding what makes us human, and allows us to express that humanity, with the context of your services, builds exponential competitive edge and values.”

The UCT team of Mark McCormick, Daniel Navarro and Nicholas Tennick, supervised by Karen Le Jeune, were named the winners of the Greenovate Awards 2017. Their submission was titled “upgrading existing medium-density residential buildings with strategic green building features and initiatives holds the key to increasing affordable housing in Cape Town”. This team of outstanding young green innovators took home R30,000 in prize money, as well numerous other rewards.

UCT also took second place, with team members Tarryn Coles, Anthony Testa and Gemma Watson investigating the viability of using self-sustaining shipping container homes as an affordable and sustainable approach to student housing. Saul Nurick supervised the team. Third place was scooped by the Wits team of Thina Mangcu, Prudence Ndlovu and Yonwaba Mntonga, supervised by Dr Kola Ijasan, which undertook a Johannesburg explorative study of a project manager’s skill and knowledge for green building construction.

For the inaugural Greenovate Engineering Award, UCT student and young green thinker Craig Peter Flanagan, supervised by Dr Dyllon Randall, took top honours with a focus on the development of an on-site nutrient recovery urinal for buildings. The award came with a R30,000 prize.

NWU clinched second place in the engineering stream with student Reino von Wielligh, supervised by Dr Leenta Grobler and Dr Henri Marais, who submitted an investigation of a solar powered parking bollard for parking space management. Third place went to Stellenbosch University student Petrus Johannes Stefanus Botes, with supervisor Prof Jan Andries Wium, who explored the development of sustainable construction systems in South Africa, specifically bamboo scaffolding.

Werner van Antwerpen of Growthpoint Properties, says:Growthpoint is proud to collaborate with the GBCSA, the universities and their students, the award’s sponsors, and the mentors and judges that give so generously of their time and knowledge. Together, we can inspire environmentally innovative thinking among even more of South Africa’s future leaders. Everyone wins when we show and grow innovation for a greener, healthier, and more sustainable environment.”

Remy Kloos, the driving force behind the Greenovate Awards, comments:This awards programme is an excellent way for leading green corporates like Growthpoint to link to university students – the future leaders who will become champions of the sustainability movement. It closes the gap between what is learned at universities and the practical solutions that today’s businesses are seeking. The Greenovate Awards are producing revolutionary student projects backed by smart thinking. These young green trailblazers are discovering new ways to drive green building thinking forward, to ensure a better future.”

Dorah Modise, CEO of the GBCSA, comments: “GBCSA is proud to be part of this initiative, year on year these young men and women manage to amaze us with their raw talent. The innovative ideas that they present grow from strength to strength as the years go by. We are happy to see that our efforts in building the necessary skills required to transform the built environment are bearing fruit and we can happily look forward to a greener, more sustainable future.”

For Greenovate Award participants, the benefits go well beyond winning a prize. The programme provides students with an opportunity to work with leading green building thinkers in Greenovate workshops with industry professionals.

The judging panels comprised some of the country’s top green minds and eco leaders, including:

  • Dorah Modise, CEO of GBCSA

  • Brian Wilkinson, former CEO of GBCSA

  • Leon Cronje, Director of RLB Pentad

  • Neil Gopal, CEO of the South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA)

  • Bonke Simelane, Director of NMC Construction Group

  • Morloes Reinink, Partner at Solid Green

  • Mauritz Kruger, Architect – Principal Specialist (RHDHV) (Engineering)

  • Manfred Braune, Chief Technical Officer and Executive Director of GBCSA (Engineering)

  • Werner van Antwerpen, Associate Corporate Finance at Growthpoint (Engineering)

  • Mike Aldous, Associate – Green Building & Sustainability Services/BIM Champion at Mott MacDonald (Engineering)

  • Johan Piekaar, Office Director, Structures, Africa for WSP (Engineering)

This is the second time Neil Gopal, CEO of SAPOA, has judged the awards. He says: “I am honoured to be part of the judging panel at this year’s Greenovate awards. It is important that we, as the property sector, encourage innovation among future industry leaders who are in tune with the needs of the environment and alternative ways of creating monuments without impacting the environment negatively. “

Greenovate also attracted the valued support of additional sponsors this year, including Remote Metering Solutions, Royal HaskoningDHV and Terra Firma Academy.

Van Antwerpen believes the awards will continue to grow and make a significant contribution in recognising and encouraging environmentally innovative thinking among South Africa’s future property leaders.

Released by:

Growthpoint Properties Limited

Werner van Antwerpen, Associate Corporate Finance

011 944 6598

Green city challenge: Bright ideas to shine up Jozi

The City of Johannesburg is pioneering a fresh approach to sustainability and to tackling the issues facing Africa in the new century.

The Green City Startup Challenge is a world first, calling on individuals throughout industry to come up with sustainable ideas to overcome the social and ecological challenges the world faces today, and will encounter tomorrow.

The competition, run over three phases, provides business support and mentoring workshops to enable even the smallest entrepreneur to develop a ”green idea”.

“With its large urban forest, Johannesburg is renowned as a green city,” says Ravi Naidoo, executive director for economic development for the city.

“But how do you deal with the challenges of climate change with South Africa as the epicentre of that impact on the continent?African Capital Cities

“The City of Johannesburg looked at how to turn the challenges of sustainability into opportunity and growth by callingfor fresh ideas under the Green City Startup Challenge.”

Run in conjunction with University of Johannesburg and Resolution Circle, a UJ-owned company, Green City invited applicants to submit their ideas for change via its Facebook page.

“Anyone could put forward their idea as long as they were based in Johannesburg, or their idea could unfold in the city,” says Naidoo.

The 86 entrants were whittled down to 20, and after a week of workshops eight were chosen. Each received a R250000 grant to develop their project or pilot a prototype. In August, two winners will be announced – each will receive a R1-million grant.

The finalists include Harold Oswin, a young man studying at Harvard in the US, who has devised an electrical timer switch that can be available to market for a fraction of the cost of current commercial timers. “This is extremely valuable for lower LSM households,” says Naidoo. “It helps the city and helps the consumer.”

Another finalist has created a modified electric bicycle that can help waste reclaimers become more productive.

Gabriel Ally is the former mayor of the Johannesburg Junior Council. Inspired by the determination and resourcefulness of “trolley recyclers”, Ally developed a model for the transformation of the informal recycling industry. The Recycle e-Trike is a 500w electrically assisted tricycle. It is designed to double the output of trolley recyclers and improve their safety on the road.

It can transport 150kg of recyclable waste over a distance of 50km. It is fitted with disc brakes, brake lights, indicators, a headlamp and an interesting-sounding hooter. The 1.2m loading box and the rear hubcaps act as a canvas for recycling awareness campaigns.

These bikes not only create micro-entrepreneurs, they may also provide a solution to the city’s landfill problem. Should Johannesburg continue to landfill up to 90% of the city’s waste, the city will probably run out of landfill space by 2030.

”We’re so encouraged by what we’ve seen that we’re going to start our fundraising for next year now and ask for new submissions in September,” says Naidoo.

“This is the first version of the competition, so it’s important to leverage private sector fund-raising to expand what we can offer. We’ll present to investors and the business forums,” sats Naidoo.

“It’s been fantastic to be a part of the challenge,” says Ally. “The process has gone quickly. We had an opportunity to present our ideas and moved fast into making them a reality. I’ve met the committee that’s helping me with my goals. I’m meeting an intellectual property lawyer through Resolution Circle and in a few weeks I will receive the total of my grant to develop my product and expand my fleet of vehicles.”

Source: Times Live


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EduPlant nurtures a new generation of eco-savvy entrepreneurs

Winners of this year’s EduPlant tree planting and entrepreneurial competition were announced recently at an awards ceremony for schools that have had the most success in the programme.
EduPlant is a leading school food gardening and greening programme that’s co-ordinated by Food & Trees for Africa. Since its inception in 1994, it has provided educator and community workshops, and produced educational materials. It also offers this competition element.This year’s EduPlant competition drew over 400 entrants. Of these, 60 schools were shortlisted and attended a three-day seminar, in which they participated in a variety of entertaining and educational workshops, including: drumming, t-shirt painting, permaculture workshops, paraffin safety and child safety.

Nobanda Primary School in Pietermaritzburg won the provincial category for the KZN region.
Nobanda Primary School in Pietermaritzburg won the provincial category for the KZN region.

KwaZulu-Natal schools took first place in three out of five categories, winning cash and gardening tools. Roseway Waldorf School in Botha’s Hill won the EduPlant emerging category for 2014. Winner of the intermediate category was Siphakemile Primary School in Port Shepstone and the advanced category winner was Izwi Lesizwe Primary School in Pietermaritzburg.

Nobanda Primary School in Pietermaritzburg won the provincial category for the KZN region.

Tasneem Sulaiman-Bray, Engen’s GM of Corporate Affairs, says, “As a sponsor of the EduPlant programme since 2010, and an active participant since 1994, Engen is proud to be a part of a sustainable and socio-economically meaningful programme of this stature; a programme which has helped to create a new generation of eco-savvy entrepreneurs.”

Over the past 20 years, EduPlant has helped thousands of schools enhance food security, contribute to poverty alleviation in their communities, improve local nutrition and develop more sustainable land and resource management. It continues to provide life skills and practical hands-on learning to young people, teaching them how to address their own nutritional needs as well as those of their surrounding communities.
Source: Bizcommunity