NOV/DEC 2014 • ISSUE 15
THE AFRICAN ALTERNATIVE
ESTIMATING THE RENEWABLE ENERGY POTENTIAL IN AFRICA
ADDING VALUE AFTER THE FARM BOOSTING SOUTH AFRICA’S ECONOMY THROUGH AGRO-PROCESSING
HOW GREEN IS WORKING FROM HOME?
FUNDING AFRICA’S POWERHOUSE
R29,00 - (VAT INCL) 12015
9 772225 597009
JOHANNESBURG’S GREEN BOND
SITA CEO Freeman Nomvalo planting a tree together with SGB Chair , Chapel Street Primary in Cape Town, as part of the GovTech conference carbon offset event.
SITA was established in 19 9 9 to con s o l i d a te a n d c o o rd i n a te t h e S t a te’s infor m ation te c hnolo g y resourc es in order to achieve cost savings through scale, increase delivery capabilities and enhance interoperabilit y. The Agency is committed to leveraging Information Technology (IT ) as a strategic resource for government, managing the IT procurement and delivery process to ensure that the Government gets value for money, and using IT to support the deliver y of e - Government ser vices to all citizens. In short, SITA is the IT business for the largest employer and consumer of I T products and services in South Africa – the Government. SI TA has over its years of existence achieved several milestones of delivery which helped to propel the country into a positive trajectory of development. SITA plays a crucial role in terms of the information and communications tech nology (ICT ) needs and services of core government departments. SITA migrated the data of the Depar tment of Social
Development /SASSA to the new social ser vices provider seamlessly, with no single beneficiar y ’s information lost. The Agency maintains and supports the system that pays social grants, and also enables the banks to verify the authenticit y of identit y documents of South A fr ic ans o n the N atio n al Po p ul atio n Register (NPR) through the government network. During this election year SITA continued to securely protect the voters roll by hosting voters’ data on behalf of the Depar tment of Home Af fairs. The Agency also supports the NPR and HANIS (Home Af fairs N ational Identific ation System), which are the custodian systems of the identities of citizens and residents of the Republic. In the p ast fin anc ial ye ar S I TA suc cessfully printed an estimated 800 000 Umalusi Grade 12 cer tificates, as well as approximately 50 000 certificates for Higher Education and approximately 1 million images on the new secure certificate paper provided by the Department of Education for the Grade 12 Statement of Results for the 2013 academic year. SITA
also printed various examination tasks for the Department of Education, as well as a total of 1.5 million images for Higher and Basic Education. The Agency also suc cessfully printed the Government IRP5 and IT3 cer tificates for the 2012 / 2013 financial year as well as bus tickets for Tshwane Bus Services. SITA continues to strengthen democ racy and suppor t the integrit y of key state information systems. A nd SI TA prides itself on the fact that on its 15thyear anniversar y and 20 years into the countr y’s democracy, the Agency has been the backbone of the South African government. To date, through SITA’s vigilance, there has never been any loss of government data that is hosted and maintained by SITA.
Supporting the environment, being ‘green conscious’ and respecting our natural resources is in the DNA of SITA. We are mindful of the impact increased ITC infrastructure has on the natural habitat of South Africa. The products we procure, use and implement have an ecological impact and footprint, and we are concerned about the ongoing use as much as the need for recycling and reuse of material. We live green throughout our business, in our interactions with our clients and customers and in our engagement with our staff. Where we connect, we ensure that the impact on the environment is as minimal as possible, while trying to lead by example to those we are working with. GovTech conferences hosted over the last few years are such an example. Throughout the various stages of event planning, we take the environment into consideration. When we plan GovTech, we compile an environmental policy document, encompassing our environmental vision and creating a check-and-balance approach to all aspects and materials purchased and used throughout the conference. For instance, we select service providers that are committed to environmental objectives and provide proof points of such commitments. After the conference, we revisit our targets and recommend improvements for the next GovTech conference. In selecting the destination we consider the impact of travel, the use of accommodation and access to additional facilities to minimise the impact of delegates attending and moving around the destination for the duration of the event. When considering the actual venue we identify those that have been internationally certified for their environmental impact (such as ISO compliance), the use of lighting within the building, waste management and consumption as well as air handling systems, toilets and food preparation facilities. Many of our delegates make use of private transport arrangements, which significantly impact on the overall emissions during the conference. While we cannot prescribe to our delegates the mode of transport to get to and from a venue, we provide such, through ‘green vetted’ providers grouping many people into one mode of transport, therefore minimising any potential emissions. When considering catering we carefully ensure that the environment is considered during the food making process, including the sustainable treatment of food waste. For instance, we attempt to reduce the amount of bottled water by providing water fountains. For future GovTech exhibitions, we will be engaging with exhibitors, to minimise the amount of free food available to delegates, as well as the use of plastic cups and containers. When communicating the GovTech event, we not only continue to raise the importance of the environment within the event content, but we showcase this through our own marketing and communication material. Banners are being re-used and the amount of printing reduced to an absolute minimal, taking cloud oppor tunities and online sharing of information into account. Overall, SITA is creating a social and environmental legacy throughout its GovTech events, and beyond this to the day-to-day work in our offices and together with our clients. We measure our environmental exposure and adjust continuously. By creating green and sustainable solutions within our products and services, we contribute towards a better South Africa. For more information on the GovTech conference, please visit www.govtech.co.za
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Aubrey Nxumalo, PPT (PTY) Ltd – Johannesburg Office, Building 14, Pinewood Office Park, 33 Riley Road, Woodmead 2191 Tel: +27 11 234 5299 • Cell: +27 82 569 6950 • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • Web: www.ppt.co.za
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With such audacious emissions targets for 2020, the fact that reported emissions in 2014 have reduced compared to 2013 should be great news for South Africans. Perhaps there is still a chance that we can achieve our goals? But wait, closer analysis reveals that this reduction is almost entirely due to declining economic growth in the in the same period. The fact is that increases in anthropogenic CO2 emissions will only ever be an issue in a growing global economy, which means that any reductions in emissions must first be viewed in the context of the economy. South Africa is one of many developing countries that is experiencing a decline in economic growth and we should be wary of celebrating achievements that have very little to do with our own interventions. Of course, we shouldn’t discount the other forces that will increasingly play a role in reducing emissions, such as energy efficiency, growth in renewables and natural gas, and a lower proportion of coal in the overall energy mix. Only by reporting on emissions will we manage to understand and measure the extent to which these forces are playing a role, particularly in a growth-centred economic landscape. It is for this reason that the latest South African CDP Climate Change Report is encouraging. South African companies are improving their disclosure and standards of reporting which are already extremely high. Almost half of the companies responding scored above 90%, which is up from 83% in 2013, and South Africa is still one of the top two responding geographic samples in the world. Companies that manage to reduce emissions whilst maintaining economic targets should be applauded and should be used as examples to demonstrate the possible decoupling of emissions from growth. As this understanding is entrenched, beliefs will change, and so to should the macroeconomic landscape.
NOV/DEC 2014 • ISSUE 15
THE AFRICAN ALTERNATIVE
ESTIMATING THE RENEWABLE ENERGY POTENTIAL IN AFRICA
ADDING VALUE AFTER THE FARM BOOSTING SOUTH AFRICA’S ECONOMY THROUGH AGRO-PROCESSING
HOW GREEN IS WORKING FROM HOME?
FUNDING AFRICA’S POWERHOUSE
R29,00 - (VAT INCL)
JOHANNESBURG’S GREEN BOND
9 772225 597009
I am pleased to announce that the Green Business Journal will be changing its name to the Green Economy Journal from February 2015. This is a strategic move that is aimed at broadening the relevance of the publication amongst key stakeholder groups that are essential in public-private partnerships. The editorial mix will reflect this name change and the relaunch provides us with an opportunity to inject new enthusiasm into the magazine. We will be launching the brand in major city centres where we look forward to engaging personally with our stakeholders. Onward and upward!
All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any way or in any form without the prior written permission of the Publisher. The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the Publisher or the Editor. All editorial and advertising contributions are accepted on the understanding that the contributor either owns or has obtained all necessary copyrights and permissions. The Publisher does not endorse any claims made in the publication by or on behalf of any organisations or products. Please address any concerns in this regard to the Editor. The Green Business Journal is printed on Hi-Q Titan plus paper, manufactured by Evergreen Hansol a leading afforestation member acknowledged by FOA. Hi-Q has Chain of Custody certification, is totally chlorine free, and is PEFC, ISO 14001, ISO 9001 accredited.
News and updates
Adding value after the farm
Sustainability through the keyhole Finding the potential of plastic in the green economy
Boosting South Africa’s economy though agro-processing
Funding Africa’s powerhouse
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Johannesburg’s Green Bond
How green is working from home?
Local entrepreneurs win big at Innovation Awards
The African alternative
When it makes sense to stay out of the office
Solving global environmental challenges through local innovation
Estimating the renewable energy potential in Africa
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NEWS & UPDATES NEDBANK GREEN WINE AWARDS Sixteen top achievers in the South African wine industry were announced at the Green Wine Awards, held in October at Myogo restaurant at the Vineyard Hotel & Spa in Newlands, Cape Town. The awards honour wine producers who operate in a sustainable manner, reducing the impact of farming on the land. Reyneke Chenin Blanc 2013 took top honours in the Best Wine Overall in the Made from Organically Grown Grapes category (the wine was also the Organic Best White Wine). Hermanuspietersfontein Die Bartho 2012 scooped the Best Biodiversity and Wine Initiative Wine Overall (the wine was also the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative Best White Wine). La Motte was named the Best Farming Practices Overall Winner and Vondeling was named the runner-up. As always, qualifying wines will display their Green credentials on bottle stickers, and this year Checkers will provide branded displays of the top-scoring wines at 28 of their selected stores, making it easier to identify the winners. Wine enthusiasts will also be able to sample the winning wines from the 2014 Nedbank Green Wine Awards in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban in November. More information on these tasting events can be found at greenwineawards.com/ tasting-events
Electrically assisted Go anywhere Huge fun No sweat
CITY COURIERS JOINS MBSA IN TAKING A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO EMPLOYEE WELLNESS As part of National Transport Month, City Couriers became the second fleet company to join hands with Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) and Corridor Empowerment Project (CEP) Fleet Owner Workplace Programme on 23 October 2014. The sustainability of the transport sector relies on employee health and wellness, especially with the debilitating effect HIV and AIDS has on productivity in the industry. MBSA has taken a leading role in employee wellness in South Africa since the 1990s and this new programme aims to assist fleet owners in taking a holistic approach to employee health and wellness, based on a proven model. Key outcomes of the Fleet Owner Workplace Programme: • increase understanding around, and reduce the impact of, HIV, AIDS and lifestyle diseases, • increase capacity to prevent and manage disease, • benefit employee health, life expectancy and job retention, and • information, education and screening around health issues. Source: www.3d-car-shows.com
EDUPLANT AWARDS Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA), in partnership with The Woolworths Trust and Engen, has announced the winners of the 2014 EduPlant Awards. This year, 60 finalists were selected from a total of 400 school entries from across the country. The EduPlant programme was started more than 20 years ago to encourage and empower school groups to start their own permaculture food gardens and greening projects. Each of the 60 finalist schools are winners and all received R1 500 in cash, a bag full of educational resources, stationery, seeds and other gardening materials. Provincial winners each received a gardening tool set worth R5 000. The first prize for the Emerging, Intermediate and Advanced categories received R15 000 cash, while second prize winners in each category received R10 000 cash. Third prize in each category received R5 000. All these category finalists received a two-week Permaculture Design Course for the educators. Winners in the Mentoring category received R25 000, second place received R15 000 and third place R10 000 cash. Furthermore, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has provided funds for a further 18 deserving educators to attend a certified Permaculture Design Course. Source: www.trees.co.za
THE VINEYARD HOTEL RECOGNISED AT THE 2014 TRAVEL + LEISURE GLOBAL VISION AWARDS Travel + Leisure magazine has commended the Vineyard Hotel for its sustainability efforts—by honouring the hotel in their 2014 Travel + Leisure Global Vision Awards. The Vineyard Hotel is the only destination in South Africa to receive this accolade in 2014. The New York-based magazine, which forms part of the Time Inc. group, introduced these awards in 2005, to recognise the outstanding efforts of individuals, organisations and companies that are working to preserve the world’s natural and man-made resources. The Vineyard Hotel was hailed as a ‘trailblazer’ and a powerful voice in promoting sustainability and the mindfulness of natural resources. Travel + Leisure went on to describe the hotel as a “beacon of energy-efficient hospitality”. The awards honoured destinations across the world, including Ciudad Perdida, Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in Colombia and the Inthar Heritage House and Inle Princess Resort in Myanmar. The only other two awards received in Africa went to Campi Ya Kanzi, Chyulu Hills in Kenya and Conservancy Safaris Namibia, Swakopmund in Namibia.
Aubrey Nxumalo, PPT (PTY) Ltd – Johannesburg Office, Building 14, Pinewood Office Park, 33 Riley Road, Woodmead 2191 Tel: +27 11 234 5299 • Cell: +27 82 569 6950 • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org • Web: www.ppt.co.za
NEWS & UPDATES MOBILE PAYSLIPS OFFER A SUSTAINABILITY SOLUTION You know electronic payslips and statements can save your business a lot of money, but not everyone in your company has an email address or they are mistrustful of email communication due to the prevalence of phishing scams. The solution could be in mobile statements. With South Africa’s high mobile penetration, mobile statements and payslips are a sustainable solution to the expense and uncertainty of traditional post. Mobile means instant delivery of statements and payslips to customers and employees direct to their cell phone. This may speed up the payment cycle in the case of customers, and employees will always receive their payslip no matter where they are in the world. Eliminating paper invoices reduces the carbon footprint of your business by cutting down on paper, printing, transportation, and the impact of disposing of all the old invoices. Source: www.bizcommunity.com
RENEWABLE ENERGY IN THE WESTERN CAPE South Africa’s shift towards a green economy is gaining momentum with key drivers igniting the move and steadily pushing it forward. Evan Rice, CEO of GreenCape, recently shared the business case for sustainability and viable opportunities within this space at the Rapidly Emerging Green Economy breakfast hosted by Accelerate Cape Town. With ambitions of becoming the green economic hub in Africa, the Western Cape is leading on the renewable energy front. The City of Cape Town recently signed a ground-breaking embedded electricity-generation contract with Black River Park Investments. The deal means that the Black River Park in Observatory will be able to feed surplus energy from its rooftop solar plant into the city’s grid, offsetting its own monthly electricity accounts. While it’s not viable for everyone to rush out to buy solar panels at the moment, Rice sees a revolution starting in this space—from job creation to exporting expertise and technology to the rest of Africa: “Those businesses that are establishing themselves locally, building up credibility, getting finance mechanisms in place, they’re putting themselves at the forefront of a huge opportunity that we can really become the epicentre of for the region,” said Rice. Source: www.bizcommunity.com/
REDISA WINS ORACLE SUSTAINABILITY AWARD The Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa (REDISA) gained international recognition for its waste tyre management system by winning the 2014 Oracle Sustainability Innovation Award. This award recognises innovative use of Oracle technology to address global sustainability business challenges. REDISA’s system uses comprehensive, geo-location data collection to map and identify areas of tyre waste such as tyre dealers and waste tyre stockpiles. To date, 1 683 waste tyre collection points and 96 stockpiles have been identified and mapped thanks to the system. Already, after less than 18 months of operation, over 50% of tyre dealers nationally are being serviced, and 743 jobs have been created. REDISA also uses Oracle technology to track carbon emissions created by the transport network of owner-managed businesses. The initiative is also able to report on the emissions created by the processing facilities as a result of the tyres being delivered to their premises. Oracle engineers hardware and software products that aim to encourage business innovation by removing the complexity of technology.
PLASTICS RECYCLING FIGURES FOR 2013 RELEASED According to the figures, 280 000 tonnes of plastic (20.0% of all plastics manufactured in South Africa) were diverted from landfill and recycled during 2013. This equates to a 4.1% increase from the previous year’s figures. Of this, 220 400 tonnes were plastic packaging (30.1% of all plastics packaging) resulting in a year-on-year increase of 8.9%. “We were hoping to see more impressive increases in the latest recycling results, but the economic down-turn in the economy during 2013 had a direct impact on both the quantity and quality of plastic packaging available for recycling,” says Anton Hanekom, Executive Director of Plastics|SA. South Africa is amongst the leading countries in the world with regards to mechanical recycling. In 2013, South Africa recycled 18.6% of all virgin polymer converted compared to Australia’s 9.2% and Europe’s 14.2%. This is a reason to be proud, but South Africa still has a long way to go to reach its Zero Plastics to Landfill by 2030 goal. Source: www.plasticsinfo.co.za
Sustainability Through The Keyhole Finding the potential of plastic in the green economy
tatistics suggest that, as of 2003, the packaging sector accounted for about 2% of the gross national product in developed countries. Aside from economic stimulus and job creation, packaging has many other advantages, like the minimisation of serious health risks by keeping contents fresh and sterile. Plastic is also one of the most energy efficient, robust and economic delivery methods available due to its low weight and relative strength.
Astrapak Astrapak is a specialised manufacturer and distributor of an extensive range of rigid and flexible plastic packaging products. Plastic packaging protects, preserves and enables efficient distribution. Its customers and end consumers are increasingly focusing on convenience, value, health, well-being and sustainability; plastic, as a packaging medium, is set to increase its share of modern living. Astrapak focuses on innovation-led growth in plastic packaging and is structured for long-term sustainability through a balance of organic, project and acquisitive growth. Its long-standing objectives consider the need for remaining alert to changes in the availability of technology which may reduce its impact on the environment. Recently, five of the world’s most high-profile companies announced they are to work together on the new Plant PET Technology Collaborative (PTC)—a working group tasked with accelerating the development of sustainable plant-based plastics. With industry global leadership moving away from fossil fuel-based materials, there is much long-term scope for setting local trends. Policies and guidelines Encapsulated in Astrapak’s vision and mission are the principles of being world-class and a preferred supplier. By definition, this will require the company to obtain the status of ranking among the foremost both locally and internationally in what it does. Neither of these can be achieved without fully integrating sustainable development into the Group’s core strategy, which is built on developing and empowering its people and improving the productivity of its assets by adopting world-class principles within various disciplines. During the course of the 2013/14 financial year, the senior management of Astrapak developed a Code of Conduct and Business Ethics Policy for the Group. The objective of this Code is to promote and support the application of the company values in all dealings undertaken by management, employees of representatives of the Group, as well as with all stakeholders, whether internal or external.
Issued in February 2014, the Code of Ethics is intended to provide guidance to employees regarding ethical standards related to all aspects of Astrapak’s operations, including corrupt and anticompetitive behaviour, confidentiality of information, remuneration and incentive practices, electronic communication, substance abuse and various other relevant issues. All Astrapak employees were required to sign the Code, in order to signify their commitment to the principles and provisions contained therein. Responsibility for the implementation of the Code of Conduct lies with the Board’s Social and Ethics Committee. In this regard, the Committee will, on an ongoing basis, monitor the performance of the Group and its employees against the Code, and will also review the provisions of the Code on a periodic basis, in order to ensure that it remains an accurate representation of the values of the Group. Operational strategy While Astrapak’s strategic direction has remained consistent, the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors have engaged in a process to clarify certain aspects and targets to align it to changes in the business environment. The achievement of Astrapak’s strategic objectives will be built on the following main pillars: • developing and empowering its people as Astrapak continues to invest significantly in skills development and training to ensure a pipeline of talent to meet its future skills requirements, • maximising the utilisation and returns from Astrapak’s asset base by improving the efficiency and reliability of its operations, and • minimising its environmental impact by monitoring and reporting actual measurements against stated targets for emissions reductions and energy efficiency. Supporting all of Astrapak’s actions is its shared values of integrity, excellence, empowerment and customer focus.
COLUMN Minimising environmental impact Astrapak’s three broad objectives for reducing consumption of resources, minimising environmental impact, and increasing product value are supported by a number of additional long-standing objectives. By embracing the concept of “creating more value with less”, Astrapak is working with its suppliers and customers to reduce its impact elsewhere in the packaging value chain. Astrapak put this commitment to action by holding a workshop with a major SA retailer, aimed at building capacity around product lifecycle management. As global trends are leaning toward plant-based plastics, technological innovations are focused on the reduction of petroleum-based plastic raw material consumption. The following innovations illustrate how Astrapak has aligned manufacturing with environmental impact reduction: • Through technological improvements made over time to the mould-building process, Astrapak reduced the pack weight of a 500g Ingram’s Camphor Cream jar from 42g to 36g. The result was a 20% reduction in weight and a reduction in material consumption of 80 tonnes per year. This created more value with less by delivering a 9% saving (or R1.1 million per annum) to the customer. The pack performance was not compromised and moulds have run successfully for three years. • Astrapak’s re-sealable patented lettuce bag offers a waste reduction of 4% due to its recycling value: increased shelf longevity reduces both retailer and consumer wastage. • The Group’s Bud Naked 1.5 ℓ stand-up pouch for wine offers a significantly lower carbon footprint than glass. Energy efficiency and emissions In addition to product innovation, Astrapak is applying a significant amount of attention to energy management and greenhouse gas mitigation. Rising energy costs and growing concerns about the effects of climate change have elevated the importance of energy efficiency and carbon management in large companies such as Astrapak. In all its operations, Astrapak is dependent on electricity generated by Eskom. All Eskom’s electricity is derived from low-grade coal and results in high carbon emissions per kWh (kilowatt hour) consumed. This fact, coupled with the rising cost of electricity, has significantly increased the relevance of energy efficiency throughout the Group. Astrapak is in the process of developing an integrated, Group-wide energy management strategy, which will place particular emphasis on energy management and energy-efficient procurement policies. These measures are intended to contribute to the Group’s long-term objective of reducing both energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions generated by its activities. In this regard, the Group has implemented a month-on-month benchmark reporting system to monitor energy savings, and has set a reduction target of 10% on consumption levels at the end of the 2013/2014 financial year. Social responsibility As a responsible corporate citizen, Astrapak complies with all relevant legislation and industry provisions in the area of corporate social responsibility, particularly in terms of its responsibilities as defined by the plastics industry’s B-BBEE scorecard. The Astrapak Group maintained its rating as a Level 3 contributor, and as such is committed to B-BBEE. Astrapak has incorporated and implemented numerous structures and strategies to ensure that it reaches acceptable levels of compliance with the current and any future requirements of any legislation or codes of good practice. One of the cornerstones of Astrapak’s B-BBEE strategy is to partner with appropriate black-owned companies for specific initiatives. Where there is a good cultural fit and mutual respect, these relationships may be formalised to ensure ongoing participation in future initiatives. The Astrapak Limited Social and Ethics Committee will make a valuable contribution to ensuring that the Group moves towards these acceptable levels of compliance.
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Adding value after the farm Boosting South Africa’s economy though agro-processing
Author Christine King
ccording to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations (1997), the “agro-processing industry is a subset of manufacturing that processes raw materials and intermediate products derived from the agricultural sector. Agroprocessing thus means transforming products that originate from agriculture, forestry and fisheries.” There are 11 divisions within agro-processing. These are: food products, beverages, tobacco, textiles, wearing apparel, leather and leather products, footwear, wood and wood products, paper and paper products, rubber products and furniture. South African potential The agro-processing industry is among the sectors identified by the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP), the New Growth Path and the National Development Plan for their potential to spur growth and create jobs. This is because of its strong backward linkage with the primary agricultural sector. The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) has established the Directorate: Agroprocessing Support to complement the interventions undertaken by several governmental departments, notably, the Department of Trade and Industry, by focusing on supporting the establishment and growth of SMEs for agro-processing. According to Trade and Industry Minister, Rob Davies, South Africa’s R49-billion agro-processing sector plays a significant role in terms of job creation and sustainability in the economy. Since the 2008-09 global financial crisis, food processing has grown by over 2% more than South Africa’s manufacturing sector as a whole. Davies says that, “despite the continued ripple-effect of the 2008 economic meltdown, food processing continues to be resilient and is one the largest manufacturing sectors by employment—with an estimate of 207 893 jobs in the third quarter of 2013—against
a backdrop of job losses in other parts of the sector. It is also significant in value-addition terms, contributing a significant composition of total manufacturing value-added.” According to Davies, “South Africa’s agro-processing sector has the potential to become an industrial impetus that can create jobs and answer some of the country’s macro-economic questions, such as trade deficit generated by too much importing against low export volumes”. He suggests that opportunities exist in the processing of wheat, soy beans, vegetable oils, red meat, tomato concentrates and industrial starch. The South African government’s Manufacturing Competitiveness Enhancement Programme (MCEP) has identified 564 projects for investment support and approved R1.5-billion for this purpose since its inception in 2012. At the same time, the Department of Trade and Industry is working with the relevant industries and the SA Bureau of Standards to develop voluntary standards, to be followed by compulsory specifications, to protect South African consumers from low-quality and fraudulent imports. Economic performance in 2013 According to the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the first quarter of 2013 showed moderate global economic growth and a slowed domestic economy. This caused the contraction of production in most agro-processing industry divisions. The only divisions that showed moderate production growth were wearing apparel and footwear. As a result, the nominal value of sales of agro-processing declined marginally compared with the previous quarter. The trade balance of agro-processing products, on the other hand, improved slightly. This was due to the relatively steep decline in imports compared to the drop in exports during the period. Following the contraction in exports and production in
TONGAAT HULETT’S YOUNGEST LAND REFORM GROWER HONOURS HIS FATHER’S LEGACY
At the tender age of 22, Peaceful Ndlovu set a precedent for South Africa’s youth when he became the youngest land reform grower for agricultural and agri-processing company, Tongaat Hulett. The passionate young man took over the reins of his 95,8 hectare family farm four years after the death of his father. “My father died in 2006 while I was still a minor and the farm was temporarily put under the administration of the executor of his estate. I assumed full responsibility of farm management in 2010,” says Ndlovu, who now has four years of farming experience under his belt. Under Ndlovu’s management, and with Tongaat Hulett’s support, farm productivity has steadily increased, moving from 2 684 tonnes of sugarcane in 2010 to 3 455 tonnes in 2013. The company has provided ongoing extension support and facilitated farm-based training on various farming aspects including fertilizer application, cane estimation, knapsack calibration and variety identification. Tongaat Hulett has also assisted Ndlovu in progressing applications for grant funding from the Agribusiness Development Agency and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. In addition to his growing success as a farmer, Ndlovu has been appointed as a member of the Grower Council and Maidstone Planters’ Association. These bodies represent the farmer interests on matters pertaining to farmer development. “I am excited to be a member of these structures as they provide a platform to engage with Government on issues impacting on farmer growth and sustainability,” says Ndlovu. “As a young farmer I understand that revitalising the agricultural sector is a national priority. It is therefore important for farmers to work hand in hand with Government and the private sector to ensure economic growth and rural development,” he says. Given Government’s objective, through the National Development Plan, of creating a further 1 million jobs in agriculture by 2030, it is essential to provide the necessary support to young people who want to pursue a career in agriculture. This support entails encouraging learners to take agriculture as a subject; exposing them to successful agricultural cooperatives in their communities, and identifying good role models, like Ndlovu, who are young, successful farmers.
for generating more employment is higher for SMEs, a policy intervention to alleviate some of these challenges is critical to realise their full potential and lessen the market concentration. The environmental impact of agro-processing Like any other industry, agro-processing can create environmental pollution or hazards in various ways: the discharge of organic or hazardous wastes into water supplies, the emission of dust or gases that affect air quality and produce toxic substances, and the use of dangerous machinery that can put the safety and health of workers at risk. The processing of food materials is generally less energyintensive and releases less CO2 and metal residues than most other industrial activities. In fact, certain agro-processing industries, such as sugar mills, can become energy self-sufficient, by taking advantage of the biomass energy present in sugarcane, and become a source of renewable energy for feeding the national grid, thus reducing CO2 emissions. The risks of pollution obviously increase with the level of chemical and mechanical processing required by the agro-processing division. The processing of cow hide for leather will have more of an environmental impact than the processing of apples, for instance. Especially where dated technology and equipment are being used; new technologies are less polluting than old ones in terms of wastes and emissions per unit of output. Anti-pollution regulation can be an important contributor, not only to reducing the release of polluting residues, but also to using them in profitable ways. Frameworks such as the International Organisation of Standardisation and the Global Reporting Initiative hold businesses to a level of sustainability in their actions and practices. most divisions, the agro-processing industry shed 2 369 formal jobs during the period compared to the preceding quarter. Formal jobs, however, were created in the beverages and tobacco, footwear and rubber products divisions. Challenges facing the agro-processing industry in South Africa The market for agro-processing in South Africa is highly concentrated. In most divisions, except wearing apparel and footwear, the largest five enterprises contributed more than 50% (Stats SA, 2008). However, the concentration varies widely among subsectors: 80% for beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), 63% for paper, 77% for manufacturing of carpets, rigs and mats, 70–72% for animal feeds, dairy and grain mill, 55% for wood and 51–56% for textiles. Though large enterprises in the agro-processing industry contributed a significant share of income and employment, the relative share of SMEs to the total employment is higher, compared to their share of the total income in the industry. Therefore, SMEs have greater potential for generating jobs in the agro-processing industry. A lack of access to finance, inadequate skills and inaccessible government support are the foremost challenges facing most SMEs across the agro-processing divisions. Since the potential
Agro-processing and poverty alleviation According to practicalaction.org, small-scale agro-processing is particularly suited to poverty elimination as it builds on the assets of poor people (indigenous knowledge and skills and local natural resources) and is less dependent on the assets that are in short supply, such as finances. Considering the inter-related elements that are part of the sustainable livelihoods framework, agro-processing activities play a central and valuable role via a number of routes: • improved incomes through increased employment opportunities, • improved food security though food availability and food safety, • improved nutrition, and • social and cultural wellbeing. Agro-processing businesses play an important role in the economy of all countries. It is a dynamic and fast growing sector and therefore has the potential to provide opportunities for income generation and employment. This is particularly important because agriculture and the formal sector are unable to absorb growing labour forces in many countries. Farming on its own rarely provides a sufficient means of survival in rural areas of low income countries. More than 60% of the labour force of sub-Saharan Africa finds work in smallscale food processing and between one and two thirds of value added manufacturing is based on agricultural raw materials.
REFERENCES • Azam-Ali, S. Sustainable livelihoods through agroprocessing. Retrieved from: http://practicalaction.org/agroprocessingapproaches • Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries RSA, Introducing Agro-processing: The Status of the Agro-processing Industry in South Africa, Retrieved from: http://www.nda.agric.za/ doaDev/sideMenu/AgroProcessingSupport/docs/Brief_introducting%20agro%20processing.pdf • Department of Agriculture RSA, (June 2013), Vol. 2 No. 1, Quarterly Economic Review of the Agro-processing industry in South Africa January to March 2013 Retrieved from: http://www. nda.agric.za/doaDev/sideMenu/AgroProcessingSupport/docs/quarterly%20review_Jan-March%202013%20web.pdf • FAO Agriculture Series No. 30 (1997) The State of Food and Agriculture 1997, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, Rome • Lehohla, P. (2008) South African Statistics, 2008, Statistics South Africa. Retrieved from: http://www.statssa.gov.za/publications/SAStatistics/SAStatistics2008.pdf • SAInfo (11 March 2014), ‘Huge Potential’ in SA’s Agro Processing Industry. Retrieved from: http://www.southafrica.info/business/economy/agro-processing-110314.htm#.VD5rHvmSw3k
Funding Africa’s powerhouse T
he City of Johannesburg is known as the financial ‘powerhouse’ of Africa, housing several local and multinational companies. As such the City is well-placed to play a critical role in the global Green Economy and the launch of the City’s innovative Green Bond earlier this year is testimony to its commitment to providing a resilient, liveable as well as sustainable environment. Through its Green Implementation Plan, the City of Johannesburg sets out a long-term strategy that supports a low carbon economy, able to continually change and adapt, yet remain within sustainable thresholds of existence, even when confronted with complexity and uncertainty. Johannesburg’s Green Bond is designed to take the City closer to its long-term goal of becoming a green, sustainable and healthy metro. In marking the occasion, Executive
Mayor, Parks Tau said: “The Green Bond will provide the City with a funding source to improve and expedite the implementation of its climate change mitigation strategy and move the City towards a low carbon infrastructure, minimal resource reliance and increased preservation of natural resources.” The City of Johannesburg concedes that it is among the biggest emitters of greenhouse gasses in South Africa, mainly as a result of industrial, transport and residential activities. The Green Bond is just the latest in a series of programmes designed to maximise resources and lower the City’s carbon footprint. All projects to be financed from the Green Bond are green initiatives such as the Biogas to Energy Project and the Solar Geyser Initiative, as well as all other projects that reduce greenhouse emissions and contribute to a resilient and sustainable City.
Through this innovative financing mechanism the City will benefit in terms of accessing additional funding, tapping into a new investor base with social responsible investment (SRI) mandate and positive image projected to investors in dealing with climate change challenges. The Biogas to Energy project The Biogas to Energy project, officially launched at the City’s biggest waste water treatment plant, Northern Waste Water Treatment Works, in August last year, is turning biogas from waste into power at five of the City’s waste water treatment plants to offset rising electricity costs. When Eskom announced tariff increases that were to take place between 2010 and 2012, the City quickly realised that the increases would have a direct effect on operational costs of waste water treatment
Former Minister Trevor Manuel; Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, Parks Tau; and Vancouver Mayor, Gregor Robertson at the C40 Mayoral Summit in Johannesburg. The increases by Eskom indicated that the annual electrical power costs would treble in the next seven to 10 years. It is estimated that by 2020 the cost of electricity for waste water treatment in Johannesburg will increase from R93-million per annum as it was in 2010 to about R300-million per annum. This estimated amount excludes the proposed 16% tariff increase per annum by Eskom. The tariff increases will thus put enormous financial pressure on water service providers. Following the announcement of tariff hikes, Johannesburg Water took the liberty of investigating ways of generating electrical power from the biogas produced at their waste water treatment works as well as reducing the current electrical power demand.” After extensive feasibility studies and research, the City finalised a report in 2010,
which recommended the implementation of a pilot project at Northern Waste Water Treatment works, before it is moved to other waste water treatment works. The aim of all of this is to become as self-sufficient as possible for the electrical power demands of our waste water treatment plants by 2016. Initially combined heat and power (CHP) generated could possibly provide about 55% of the waste water treatment electricity needs. Waste to energy As part of the City’s ongoing efforts to improve waste management, it has prioritised projects to divert waste from landfills and to turn waste into energy where possible. Executive Mayor Parks Tau said in his State of the City address this year: “The diversion of waste away from landfills remains a key priority for the
City of Johannesburg.” Some of the waste streams identified include the diversion of green waste, builders’ rubble, food waste and residual waste. Separation at source is currently being rolled out in Waterval, Zondi, Diepsloot, Orange Farm, Central Camp, Marlboro and Southdale. A total of 470 000 households are targeted for participation in the programme. The City’s garden sites are being upgraded to accept recyclables. In the final stages of the programme, a total of 950 000 households will be included in the programme. As builders’ rubble is also a huge contributor to illegal dumping, the City will make mobile crush plants and static crushing plants available at various landfill sites to address the challenge. The City of Johannesburg has also recognised the role of the various stakeholders in reducing waste to landfills,
THE CITY OF JOHANNESBURG, IN ITS EFFORT TO MITIGATE CLIMATE CHANGE, HAS INTRODUCED A GREEN BOND. What is a Green Bond? A Green Bond is a fixed income initiative which is used as a financial tool to fund and produce climate change solutions. What will the Green Bond pay for? The Green Bond is used to finance environmentally friendly Capital Projects. These will be categorised in sectors such as: Energy (Smart Meter, Solar Water Geyser, Biogas; Water (energy efficiency); Waste (Landfill gas to energy, garden sites, recycling projects); Transport (BRT routes, Metro bus dual fuel projects) etc. Johannesburg Green Bond launch at the JSE
and would partner with the private sector the implementation of waste-to-energy projects that will move the City towards the attainment of a 70% reduction by the year 2030. In addition, more than R2-billion has been earmarked for waste-to-energy projects that are already reported to be producing higher electricity yields than expected. The City reports that since the start of the flaring of methane gas at Robinson Deep landfill site, the daily pumping of landfill gas at Robinson Deep is at 1 500 cubic metres per hour and should rise to 3 000 cubic metres when the flare is operated at full capacity. This translates into 5MW of renewable electricity, which will provide power for approximately 5 000 houses, reducing the greenhouse potential of landfill gas by approximately 149 000 tonnes of CO2 per annum All five of the City’s landfill sites (Marie Louise, Robinson Deep, Ennerdale, Linbro Park and Goudkoppies) will, in the near future, be converted from methane gas flaring to power generation sites and will be producing approximately 19MW of electricity, which can supply 12 500 medium-size households for 20 years and beyond. Greener transport Implementation of the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, which is used by tens of thousands of commuters daily, has already made significant inroads into combating the carbon problem. The third phase of Rea Vaya, which began in February, will include 16km of new BRT trunk infrastructure along Louis
Botha and Katherine streets, as well as 10 new stations, a state-of-the-art underground public transport interchange at the site of the Wynberg Bridge, 31km of public environment upgrade in Alexandra as part of the Complete Streets initiative, and more than 5km of walking and cycling lanes and a new bridge over the M1 to accommodate the more than 10 000 people who walk between Alexandra and the Sandton CBD every day. The plan also includes a second bridge for dedicated Rea Vaya bus lanes in Marlboro; a new transport system in the Sandton CBD so that there can be seamless integration between the Gautrain station, walking, cycling, Rea Vaya, mini bus taxis and other bus services; and a new bus depot in the inner city, and Alexandra. With the full implementation of Bus Rapid Transit it is estimated that the City will save 1.6-million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions by 2020. Over the next few years, the implementation of the City’s ambitious Corridors of Freedom programme, with its associated reduction in commuting time and distances, will also significantly reduce C02 emissions and enhance the quality of life of all residents The City has launched its first two Metrobuses powered by dual fuel—Compressed Natural Gas and diesel. In the next financial year, Metrobus will be converting 30 more buses as well as purchasing 150 new buses to use dual fuel. There are significant advantages to the City of using dual
What is the “Green Economy” and why is it important? The City of Johannesburg has flagged its greenhouse emissions as an area of focus to cut down on and improve in the future. The Green Economy combines economic grow th and employment with a low carbon economy. A central requirement of the Green Economy agenda is to ensure that economic benefits and jobs are generated through any adoption of greener technologies. This entails finding greening opportunities where the economic benefits (over the long term) exceed the costs of such a transition. An exercise is being undertaken to calculate the potential job creation that could be achieved through Green Economy interventions. Was the South African Debt Capital Market Ready for the green bond? Yes, the bond was oversubscribed by 150%, the green bond coupon at 10.18% is priced at 60 basis points lower compared to the last bond issued in March 2011. The current bond was issued at a spread of 185 basis points against the benchmark bond R2 023 thereby lowering the City’s credit spread by 10 basis against the 10-year benchmark bond since the last bond issuance.
One of the Metrobus fuel conversion buses
THE CIT Y OF JOHANNESBURG’S GREEN BOND WILL FUND THE FOLLOWING PROJECTS:
Reyavaya Rapid Transport System
fuel buses. Not only are they cleaner—the City’s first two buses are emitting 90% less carbon emissions than a diesel bus—but the fuel source, biogas, can be sourced from waste including grass from City Parks, biowaste from the Fresh Produce Market and bio crops especially grown for this purpose. Broad greener, power-saving initiatives In addition, the City is retrofitting buildings with energy efficient lighting, cooling and heating systems in a project to include more than 100 municipal buildings, cutting hundreds of tonnes of C02 emissions. Outdoor lighting is being retrofitted with energy saving LEDs, and solar water heaters are being rolled out in a number of areas. The Cosmo City Climate Proofing Project, which involved the provision of low pressure solar water geysers to more than 1 000 low income households including the provision of energy efficiency lights and planting of fruit trees, led to the expansion of the solar geyser programme to other areas of the City through the City Power Solar Water Geyser Programme (SWHP). The SWHP was launched in October 2012, aimed at rolling out 110 000 geysers to low-income households over three years. The 43 000 solar water heaters already installed by City Power collectively generate the equivalent of 22.5 GigaWatt hours of electricity per year—enough to run a small town or part of a suburban area. The installation of 42 000 smart meters, geyser control systems and energy efficiency programmes, all of which are ongoing, will continue to enhance Johannesburg’s energy efficiency.
Renewable electricity/power • Electricity grid efficiency • Electricity generation from renewable sources • Installation of power-efficient transformers in the power distribution grid • Installation of high voltage direct power transmission line • Supply-side energy efficiency improvements (transmission and distribution) • Off-grid electricity generation • Electrification of communities through grid extension • Renewable thermal energy • Solar water heating systems • Fuel switch—coal/oil to gas • Switching fossil fuels • Waste energy recovery projects Household and building energy efficiency • Water saving • Demand-side energy efficiency activities for installation of low-flow hot water savings devices • Lighting • Distribution of efficient light bulbs to households • Demand-side activities for efficient lighting technologies • Demand-side activities for efficient outdoor and street lighting technologies • Demand-side energy efficiency activities for installation of energy efficient and/or controls in buildings • Energy efficiency and fuel switching measures for buildings • Energy efficiency and renewable energy measures in new residential buildings • Substituting fossil fuels based lighting with LED/CFL lighting systems • Demand side energy efficiency activities Transportation • Energy efficiency • Transportation energy efficiency activities using retrofit technologies • Fossil fuel switch • Fuel switch • Introduction of low emission vehicles/technologies to commercial vehicle fleet Waste management and wastewater • Recovery and recycling of materials from solid waste • Alternative treatment composting • Alternative waste treatment processes • Avoidance of methane emissions through composting • Avoidance of methane emission through excavating and composting of partially decayed municipal solid waste • Landfill gas • Flaring use of landfill gas • Landfill methane recovery • Manure and comparable waste • GHG emission reductions through multi-site manure collection and treatment in a central plant • Reforestation and afforestation • Small-scale project activities implemented on wetlands • Small-scale project activities implemented on lands other than wetlands
How green T is working from home?
he idea of allowing employees to work from home instead of requiring them to work in a centralised company office every day is not new. Together with more flexible working hours, remote working became a well-established practice in North America and Western Europe in the years following the Second World War. In recent times it has experienced a considerable upswing, not least because of the perception that it offers distinct environmental benefits. But how much greener is working from home really, and should you consider it as an option for your own business?
When it makes sense to stay out of the office Author Andreas Wilson-Späth
Changing attitudes meet new technologies A growing trend away from process-based staff assessment towards a more outcomes-oriented approach, along with an acknowledgment of the advantages of allowing employees greater freedom in time management, has led many companies to consider homeworking as a viable alternative to full-time office-based jobs. This marked change in attitude has been encouraged in part by a range of technological innovations—from videoconferencing and smart phones to broadband internet connectivity and cloud-based data sharing—having become more widely accessible and affordable. A number of governments, including those of the UK and the USA have endorsed progressive homeworking policies for civil service workers, and in the UK more than four million employees out of a total workforce of 30 million now usually work from home. Eco benefits In a global business environment increasingly affected by concerns over the looming threat of climate change and the need for sustainability, remote working has been touted as an effective measure to significantly reduce corporate as well as personal carbon emissions. The reason is obvious: for most people, travelling to and from work on a daily basis represents by far the largest portion of their overall greenhouse gas emissions and thus the biggest single environmental impact they have. An American study suggests that more than 98% of a typical individual’s work-related carbon footprint is accounted for by the CO2 released into the atmosphere during their daily commute. At a first glance, avoiding these emissions by working at home offers obvious advantages over driving to work every day. But is the equation really quite that simple?
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No one-size-fits-all solution Earlier this year, the UK’s Carbon Trust, a not-for-dividend organisation that promotes a move to a low-carbon economy among governments, businesses and the public sector, published a study that investigated the potential environmental benefits of homeworking. The results are very interesting, and while they strictly apply to British conditions, they are certainly relevant to South African companies who are thinking about giving their employees the choice of working remotely. The study confirms that an average UK employee can save approximately 260 kilograms of CO2e (equivalent carbon dioxide) per year by working from home during two days of every week. It highlights two additional factors that can tip the balance of carbon emissions in the opposite direction, however. Both the distance individual employees travel to get to work and the mode of transport they use have important effects. Homeworking was only found to offer a net saving on carbon emissions if the person travels a distance by car that is greater than seven kilometres (one way). If they take the bus or train, the tipping point lies at 11 and 25 kilometres respectively. So working from home provides the greatest environmental benefits for people who live far away from their place of work. Clearly this has significant implications in the South African context where many people travel large distances to work. If they use public transport or cycle or walk to the office, however, working from home may not save any carbon emissions at all. The reason for this is that staying at home involves energy usage and carbon emissions that would not occur otherwise. These involve powering computer equipment and other appliances, lighting, as well as heating and cooling requirements, all of which depend on specific behavioural patterns, climate and weather conditions and the energy efficiency of the homes involved. In the cold British winter months, the Carbon Trust estimates that having to heat the average house for just one additional hour per day would eliminate any carbon savings accrued from avoiding an average daily work commute. The organisation’s Hugh Jones warns that “companies must be careful to ensure that they get the balance right, for if employers do not take account of their individual circumstances, a rebound effect from employees heating inefficient homes may actually lead to an increase in carbon emissions”. While South Africa is favoured with a much milder climate than the UK, home-cooling, air-conditioning and heating may still make considerable contributions to the net carbon emission balance and may, depending on specific circumstances, tip it in a direction that would favour working in a centralised office over working at home. Massive potential savings Having emphasised the importance of carefully considering the specific circumstances under which homeworking policies are implemented, the Carbon Trust’s report leaves no doubt that the practice promises very significant potential benefits to companies. In combination with hot-desking, in which multiple employees share a single desk, remote working allows businesses to raise desk occupancy while reducing office space, resulting in lower energy consumption, carbon emissions and costs. For a company with 100 employees, the associated annual savings are estimated at between 270 and 700 kilograms of CO2e per employee and between R1.7 million and R3.4 million. The UK as a whole would stand to lower carbon emissions by over three million tonnes of CO2e per year and costs by over R50 billion annually if an additional four million people worked from home. The report highlights a case study of a homeworking roll-out implemented by the BT Group, a British telecommunications company, which resulted in a 14 000-tonne CO2e reduction and
financial savings of more than R100 000 per full-time homeworker over a period of 12 months. When telecoms and financial services provider O2 asked its entire head office workforce (bearing 125 mission-critical employees) to work away from the office for just one day in 2012, they saved a cumulative total of 2 000 hours of commuting time and over 12 tonnes of CO2e while reducing electricity and water consumption by 12% and 53%, respectively. Things to consider in your own business Employers who want to explore the option of homeworking in their own business should take into consideration a number of issues. While the practice does allow them to greatly rationalise and optimise their office space through, for example, the introduction of hot-desking and a variety of novel technologies, leading to a potential reduction in space, costs, energy consumption and environmental footprint, they need to carefully evaluate the particular circumstances of their workforce. How far from the office do their employees live? Do they commute in private vehicles or by foot or public transport? Do they live in energy efficient homes? Will homeworking actually result in a net decrease in overall carbon emissions? Business owners who are intent on making real improvements as opposed to merely ‘green-washing’ their operations cannot simply ask their employees to work from home and ignore whatever additional carbon emissions they may cause while doing so. That would amount to wilfully outsourcing part of their responsibility to a sustainable future. A thorough survey of all employees, followed by a homeworking trial (perhaps for a particular subsection of staff), during which measurable environmental impacts are monitored and compared to business-as-usual scenarios, are necessary to ascertain whether offering remote working as an option can in fact deliver the eco benefits it promises. If successful, such a trial could then be extended to a larger section of the workforce or the company as a whole. Depending on the circumstances of individual employees, business owners could help to ensure the positive outcome of a work-from-home policy by offering their staff assistance in improving the energy efficiency of their homes. In instances where remote working is not an option, they should consider incentivising the use of public transport. Of course, a number of other positive aspects of remote working should be kept in mind as well, including: • a reduction in the consumption of petroleum, a valuable, non-renewable natural resource, • a reduction in unproductive time spent commuting to and from work along with significant savings on money previously spent on paying for transport, • greater personal freedom, convenience and flexibility for employees, leading to improved employee work-life balance, job satisfaction and staff retention, and • perhaps somewhat unexpectedly, higher staff productivity, which has been confirmed by several studies of homeworkers. Employers also need to take into account that working from home is not for everyone, improved ecological footprint or not. Most companies who use remote working offer it as an option for their staff rather than a requirement, and combine homeworking with working in the office on different days depending on job roles, patterns and priorities. During a typical week, part-time homeworkers may thus have regular office days to allow for face-to-face interaction with colleagues as well as work-from-home days on which they benefit from being able to concentrate on tasks without interruptions.
Local Entrepreneurs Win Big at Innovation Awards Solving global environmental challenges through local innovation Author Lulama Afrika
ark Booth, founder of Clear Sky Energy, walked off with First Place and R100 000, accompanied by a three-day Applied Strategic Innovation Master Class, at the 2014 Global Cleantech Innovation Programme (GCIP) South Africa Awards held at Emperors Palace in October. The GCIP awards reward entrepreneurs for innovation in green technology. Booth’s winning company developed a medical waste treatment plant which reduces medical waste and emissions by using vortex counter flow combustion chambers, ‘Afterburners’, which have a small carbon footprint and are highly efficient. Runner-up, Desmond Seekola, founder of Lightsperse, found a way to provide accurate automated meter reading and billing for water, electricity and carbon gas emissions. Readings are wirelessly transferred from a house or a business to a service provider without the possibility for human error or intervention. The first prototype has been successfully demonstrated in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Paseka Lesolang, another runner-up and founder of Water Hygiene Convenience, created a Leak-Less Valve that stops water from flowing into a cistern at a predetermined level, thus saving wastage. Lesolang is a recipient of the TIA Youth Technology Innovation Fund. Together with the Vaal University of Technology and the University of Johannesburg, a pilot of this
innovation is currently being rolled out. There were also three special categories that were awarded: Most Promising Youth-led Business went to 4th Element Group for being a team that showed a willingness to learn and show passion. They displayed significant progress in identifying their first customer(s), understanding how they would sell to them and in validating their technology. They were represented by Hollo Matlala, also a recipient of the TIA Youth Technology Innovation Fund. Most Promising Woman-led Business went to Capsule Technologies, led by Megan Verkuil, for her credibility and passion and her ability to encourage other talented women to showcase themselves in the entrepreneurship innovation space. Ceiling in a Can, founded by Dave Pons, won in the Innovation for Social Impact category for developing an easy-touse product that provides a fire retardant, waterproof and insulating ceiling material within minutes, without requiring any special skills. The enthusiastic team is tackling a major issue for local communities and offering new ideas that can be implemented for wide-scale change. The other finalists were: Marius Hugo’s Mean Sea level (Ocean Wave Technology); My Smart Farm by Wolfgang von Loeper (Cloud management system for farmers); Dudley Jackson with Pennine Energy Innovation (waterless toilet); Deon Du Preez’
Solar Incidence (solar water heater) and Twerly Street Lights (renewable energy source for street lights), which is led by Nikolas Jankovich. The Global Cleantech Innovation Programme The GCIP for small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) started in honour of the COP17 in 2011 as a competition to promote clean energy innovation. Entrepreneurs compete to bring out their skills and identify the most promising clean tech innovations in the country. The GCIP is a United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) initiative hosted and jointly implemented in South Africa by the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA). Based on the successful Cleantech Open Accelerator, the GCIP initiative aims to spur local innovations in energy efficiency, renewable energy, waste to energy, and water efficiency; maximising every participant’s chances of being successful in the programme and raising their probability of achieving sustainable commercial success. The GCIP combines a competition and a business accelerator programme to offer participants progressing through the programme extensive mentoring, training, access to investors and opportunities to showcase their innovations to the media and the public. Participants stand a chance
to win cash awards and national business support awards, in addition to a trip to Silicon Valley to participate in the Cleantech Open Global Forum. The Global Cleantech Innovation Programme for SMEs focuses on enhancing emerging clean technology start-ups by fostering a local entrepreneurial network that supports, promotes and “de-risks” the participating enterprises. According to Gerswynn Mckuur, National Project Manager for the Technology Innovation Agency, this is a key element of the programme. It allows the participants to engage with experienced entrepreneurs, academics in the clean tech environment and venture capitalists in the innovation space. In parallel with the training programme, these volunteer mentors support and assist the SME owners with their valuable background knowledge. As the best cleantech SMEs progress through the programme, they are continuously trained, mentored and assessed on their business models, investor pitches, communication and financial skills for the development of a more marketable and investor-attractive
product. Twenty-four semi-finalists were selected from 45 entries to participate in the GCIP’s intense training and mentorship programme that was coordinated across the world. Participants from around the globe trained together through webinars, with local mentors to help guide them in the marketing, business and financial aspects of running a business. And the training really pays off. This year, according to Claudia Giacovelli, UNIDO Energy and Low Carbon Programme Coordinator, participating cleantech entrepreneurs found great relevance in their GCIP experience. The GCIP training helped them re-consider, validate and pivot their business models, achieving a more focused and effective market-oriented approach, increasing considerably the number of sales secured. Participating countries First implemented in South Africa by UNIDO in 2011, a growing list of countries is now engaged in the GCIP initiative. UNIDO launched, together with its international and national partners, six international Cleantech accelerators in South Africa, Armenia, India,
Mark Booth founder of Clear Sky Energy and Winner of the 2014 Global Cleantech Innovation Programme for SMEs in South Africa celebrates victory together with Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, the UNIDO Representative and the fellow Cleantech Entrepreneurs
Malaysia, Pakistan and Turkey. The mission of each national accelerator was to find, fund and foster SMEs that can tackle the most urgent energy, environmental and economic challenges in those countries. The best companies from each country will be brought together at the Global Forum in Silicon Valley in November, where they can connect with potential partners, customers and investors from around the world. The Cleantech Open runs the world’s largest cleantech accelerator in the developed countries and is the knowledge partner of UNIDO. The major goal of the GCIP is to create a network of clean technology entrepreneurs from developing countries and economies in transition that have innovated in their home countries, and expose them to the developed world. “...the SMEs have gained a lot, they’ve said so ... and that’s really what we’re about. We’re looking to support these SMEs, and if they get value from the programme then we’ve succeeded. If they have a better chance of success in this clean tech innovation space, as a small business, then we’ve succeeded,” says Mckuur.
2014 GCIP-SA Finalists at the UNIDO and TIA Award Ceremony in Johannesburg, recognized by Deputy Minister of Science and Technology
17 Oct 2014, TIA and UNIDO celebrate clean technology innovation and entrepreneurship in South Africa. Retrieved from: http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/ tia-and-unido-celebrate-clean-technology-innovation-and-entrepreneurship-in-south-africa-2014-10-17 www.southafrica.cleantechopen.org
The African Alternative
Estimating the Renewable Energy Potential in Africa Edited by Lloyd Macfarlane
enewable energy is the future of the energy needs for our planet. Industry growth cannot be sustainably managed without the use of renewable energy sources. While solar and wind power technologies are gaining popularity in South Africa, there is abundant untapped potential on the continent. Making use of these resources not only benefits business with lower energy costs, but, when managed correctly, can boost economic growth and decrease impact on the environment. Much like its people, the geographical nature of Africa is varied and complex. The bio-energy potential of the African continent is substantial, but the extreme disparities between regions means not every region is suitable to produce every type of renewable energy. Also, bio-energy crops, such as sugarcane and soy bean, may seem attractive as large land areas are still available for cultivation in many countries. However, in light of the existing food insecurities and a growing population, this potential must be carefully re-evaluated. Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data, an analysis was made to quantify the power generation potentials for solar and wind energy resources in five African regions (northern, western, southern, eastern and central), as well as an estimation of the bio-energy potential from selected first-generation bio-fuel crops. A GIS approach can help to identify the most suitable geographical areas for different Renewable Energy Technologies (RETs) within a country, but can also indicate the general suitability of a country with regard to a specific energy source. This in turn can help policy makers to develop policy incentives for renewable energy sources of the highest potential and enable regional energy planners to appropriately reflect renewable energy contributions in their energy master plans. While wind energy has the largest regional disparities, solar resources have
a significant potential in large parts of the continent (except central African countries due to high levels of precipitation and cloud formation), but with notable differences when applied through different solar technologiesâ€”PV or CSP plants. Assessing potential There are four different categories that potential can be analysed under. These range from what should theoretically be possible, such as the amount of solar radiation a region receives, to what is technically or physically possible for that region. Certain areas need to be excluded from analysis
for being unsuitable for renewable energy sources such as: cities and urban areas (although follow-up assessment can be made for the potential for rooftop energy harnessing), protected areas, bodies of water, sloped areas (outside the angles at which PV and CSP technology can be used), agricultural land (this prioritises agricultural land for food production), and forested areas. Theoretical The theoretical potential describes the amount of resource available without considering any conversion efficiencies and
losses; this equals the maximum amount of energy that is physically available from a certain source. In the case of solar energy, this would be equal to the total solar radiation impinging on the evaluated surface. Geographical The geographic potential may be seen as an intermediate step towards calculating the technical potential of renewable energy resource. The geographic potential takes into account areas which are suitable and usable for specific renewable energy employment. Depending on the details of available geographic data, an appropriate set of exclusion criteria can be set to realistically estimate the available land area (e.g. exclusion of urban areas for large-scale wind power production, protected land, sloped areas, water bodies). Technical The technical potential is the geographic potential minus the losses from conversion into secondary energies and constrained by the requirements related to large-scale installation (e.g. spacing factors representing spacing and servicing areas of solar power plants or wind turbines, as well as grid transportation losses). Technological, structural, ecological, and legislative restrictions and requirements, are accounted for. The calculation of the
technical potential of bio-energy sources is additionally complex as the resulting product or “harvest” is subject to further conversion processes. Depending on the type of bio-crop produced, these conversion processes may range from simple combustion to advanced conversion processes. Economic Economic potential is the proportion of the technical potential that can be utilised economically. It takes into account costs and other socioeconomic factors (e.g. fuel and electricity prices, other opportunity costs, land prices). The report under review did not assess for economic potential. Potential renewable energy sources in Africa Solar Photovoltaic (PV): PV panels convert sunlight into direct current electricity. Concentrated Solar Power (CSP): A CSP system focuses the sun’s heat, using mirrors, to generate electricity. Wind: Wind turbines convert the energy produced from movement into electricity. Bio-energy: The heat stored in biomass (biological materials) is converted into electricity. Common bio-energy sources are: • sugarcane, • jatropha (a shrub, usually used as a protective hedge, with non-edible seeds
that contain an oil that can be used to make soap, medicine, candles and biodiesel), and • soybeans. According to the research, purely from a geographical standpoint, eastern and northern Africa have the largest potential in both solar and wind applications while central Africa has the lowest potential. Additionally some countries in southern Africa (e.g. Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa) show great potential for different RETs. In the case of bio-energy, the equatorial region offers the greatest potential for bio-fuels from cultivated energy crops, due to its climatic conditions and the associated growing conditions for many plants. At the same time, this poses a large threat as this is the region with the largest remaining forest area and connected ecosystems services and biodiversity. This report only analysed the potential for the given bio-energy crops; other sources of bio-energy could have greater potential. The food situation on the continent is still precarious, making large-scale bio-fuel application a complex and region-specific matter. Potential expansion areas for agriculture (to accommodate bio-fuel crops) are often situated in climatically fragile areas which, in the future, may be especially affected (positively or negatively) by climate change effects, making it difficult to predict what bio-energy crops would work best for the long term. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency’s (IRENA) results, the size of a country naturally has an influence on the expected potential. Although the five African regions under survey are relatively similar areas, their overall potential for renewable energy sources is relatively different. This indicates that the regions need different strategies to develop their resources, but at the same time regions can extensively benefit from a better interconnection and increased information exchange of the five regional “power pools”. Moving forward in assessing Africa for renewable energy potential would require adding additional bio-energy potentials and hydropower to the energy sources under investigation. IRENA’s approach provides an initial indication of the potential for renewable energy in Africa, using estimates that can be further refined in future analysis.
Edited from a working paper: Sebastian Hermann, Asami Miketa, Nicolas Fichaux (2014), Estimating the Renewable Energy Potential in Africa, IRENA-KTH working paper, International Renewable Energy Agency, Abu Dhabi.
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