Page 1

Economy G







WEEK 2016






Issue 21 R29.00 incl VAT 9 772410 645003



Technology to clean up the mess

Bizcommunity where your company news is front page news

Every day your company’s green initiatives

Bizcommunity Press Office and Premium

Give your green company the presence

become more vital to the sustainability of

Company Listings are the ideal way to ensure

it deserves.

people, economies and regions. The more these

your company will be seen to be making a big

Call Simoane on +27 (0) 860 812 000 to find out

activations are promoted to a broad audience,

impact in your sector and within the biggest

how to grow your company reputation in your

the more valuable they will grow.

online B2B website catering to professional

chosen sector and region.

audiences in Africa and South Africa.


In the race for green, companies with the biggest online footprint among potential stakeholders,

Bizcommunity has been dedicated to publishing

suppliers and customers will be seen to be

company news and showcasing Africa’s dynamic

top-of-mind for investment or acquisitions.

business communities since 2001.

B I Z C O M M U N I T Y P U B L I S H I N G S O U T H A F R I C A | Te l + 2 7 ( 0 ) 8 6 0 8 1 2 0 0 0 | F a x + 2 7 ( 0 ) 8 6 5 5 2 3 7 0 3 C O N T E N T E D I TO R I A L : e d i t o r @ b i c o m m u n i t y. c o m | S A L E S : s a l e s @ b i z c o m m u n i t y. c o m | M A R K E T I N G : m a r k e t i n g @ b i z c o m m u n i t y. c o m

Economy Editor’s Note G








Melissa Baird Tariq Cassim, Shannon Manuel Liznda Tom, Lizel Olivier, Natasha Keyster Nabilah Hassen-Bardien Shannon Manuel Lloyd Macfarlane Gordon Brown Andrew Fehrsen Annie Pieters Vania Reyneke FA Print Edward MacDonald Alive2Green Cape Media House 28 Main Road Rondebosch 7700 Cape Town 021 447 4733 086 694 7443 green-economy-journal/ 2006/206388/23 4130252432 2410-6453 May 2016

Economy G







WEEK 2016





A Daimler Brand



Issue 21

’re on-site quicker.

R29.00 incl VAT 9 772410 645003

management system,

Green Economy Journal is audited by ABC


Technology to clean up the mess 02021

2015/10/05 4:17 PM

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 organizations or products. Please address any concerns in this regard to the Editor.

When I attended COP 17 in KwaZulu-Natal way back in 2011, I was determined to get to the heart of the process of the climate change negotiations and attend the debates in order to understand how our future was being shaped. I was relatively ‘green’ in this highly intense business and government environment and held my banner of ‘sustainability’ close to my heart. In essence I was an avid seeker and curious learner when it came to what negotiating climate deals was all about. At one of the networking sessions I happened to meet the ambassador to the United States of America. He was not favoured at the time considering the USA’s refusal to sign the Kyoto Protocol. I got my time in front of him and asked him why this was the case and what he thought a viable alternative was to the treaty? Considering the fact I had five minutes of his time and was in the presence of his very over-protective body guards I felt uncomfortable and mostly dissatisfied with his response: “Technology Ma’am, that will help us solve the problem.” Then he was swiftly ushered away from any further probing questions. Fast forward five years or so and the passing of another Climate Change conference this time Number 21 – and I am closer to taking on board his answer. Technology is indeed revolutionising our solutions to problems and is going to certainly assist in water purification and in better building techniques. It is also helping to measure the value of human resources in a way never accounted for. It is determining the efficacy of disruptive business ideas and products to re-define the concept of value and growth. In this journal we present some amazing innovations that are changing the parameters and solving many social and environmental problems. As Sustainability Week kicks off for 2016 even more innovations and technological and social solutions will be showcased making this a very exciting time to do business in Africa. This is the ‘green’ economy in action.


Melissa Baird

The Green Economy 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. This paper is FSC certified.


Contents ISSUE 21, MAY 2016

10 12



NEWS AND UPDATES Solar power, biogas, drone technology and carbon tax


WATER Technology to transform the supply and management of potable water


SIX CAPITAL SERIES How humans are adding value to balance the sheets




THE CITY OF TSHWANE Leading the way in developing land and food security




SUSTAINABILITY WEEK Showcasing technological and social business solutions


THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY WHy it is a business imperative

All of CleanTech’s winners



The glass is always greener on our side.

handmade • eco friendly • recycled • locally produced in Swaziland P.O Box 45, Motshane, Swaziland T / F: +268 – 244 24053 | 244 24142 | 244 24151 | 244 24588 Fax from SA only: 086 5305 452 | Ngwenya Glass Boutique, Watershed V&A Waterfront, Cape Town T: +27 21 418 0654


Solar Farm Launch

De Aar in the Northern Cape was full of sunshine and abuzz with excitement as the 175MW Solar Capital facility was officially connected to the national power grid. This is the largest solar farm ever completed in the southern Hemisphere, Africa and the Middle East region. This launch of the facility is the culmination of a two -phase project. The first phase has a capacity of 85MW and the second phase an even larger capacity of 90MW. In total the facility is 473ha, consists of 503 942 modules and took a mere 28 months to construct. The amount invested in the project totalled R2.2-billion and R2.6 -billion for the first and second phase respectively – making an overall investment of R4.8 -billion in the development of the facility. Paschal Phelan, Chairman of Solar Capital, said that the launch of the facility is an important example of how solar power can assist in solving the current energy crisis in South Africa. “The Northern Cape of South Africa has some of the highest irradiation levels in the world, with the location of this facility boasting 2 168kWh/m². This allows the abundant sunlight in the region to be converted into green energy to be transferred to the national energy grid.” This means enough electricity to power approximately 75 000 South African homes every year.” Solar Capital has also invested in long-term economic development in and around De Aar. The facility employed over 2 000 local people at peak and currently employs approximately 100 people for operations and maintenance. Visit for more information.



Dept of Environmental Affairs Chief Director Communications Albi Modise presents the Climate Change Award to The EcoBrick Exchange’s Ziyanda Mapela Environmental innovators, movers and shakers were recognised for their efforts at the annual Eco - Logic Awards gala dinner, held at the Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town. “This year’s competition

was a clear demonstration of how eco logic thinking is now entering in the mainstream,” said David Parry Davis, editor of The Enviropaedia and convener of the Eco - Logic Awards. Awards were given in 14 different categories. GEJ’s top favourites were The Climate Change Award winner: The EcoBrick Exchange which educates local communities on the making of simple, reusable building bricks – done by filling PET bottles with rubbish – to construct early childhood centres and other community buildings. The Eco Innovation Award was won by AqueouSphere, whose bioengineers have developed floating wetland islands that filter and clean water. The Recycling And Waste Management Award was won by USE-IT the eThekwini Waste Materials Recovery Industry Development Cluster. The Business Green Economy Initiative Award was won by GreenFin Financial Services. Source: Hippo Communications

CAUGHT IN THE ACT… Aerial imaging is emerging as an invaluable resource for collecting information and enforcing the law, especially when it comes to environmental protection. With rapid advances in technology, drones and satellites can gather vital evidence against companies that are not adhering to regulations. As these devices become easier and cheaper to use, they have the capacity to provide clearer imaging and essential data which could be used to record over-fishing, oil spills, and fracking accidents. International non-profit SkyTruth proved by means of data and aerial imaging that BP’s oil spill was far more extensive than BP had originally led people to believe.

For those who might still be of the view that the carbon tax will not materialise, Treasury’s message is very clear: the carbon tax is coming and the time frame for commencement, including progressing through the Parliamentary process, remains January 2017. There may be some delay in taking the Bill through the Parliamentary process in 2016 due to the time limitation resulting from Parliament’s going into recess from May, ahead of the local government elections in August. Opportunities currently exist for businesses to take strategic steps to ameliorate the impact of the carbon tax by generating carbon offsets for use under the tax scheme. The slight further delay in implementing the carbon tax occasioned by Parliament’s recess will simply be a short breathingspace which will afford proactive business the chance to consider the risks and opportunities that will arise when the tax is implemented. Treasury expects to release draft offsets regulations by the end of May 2016, and a second draft Bill thereafter, both of which will be subject to further stakeholder consultation. Source:

Additionally, these tools can monitor sustainability claims made by big companies. Organisations such as SkyTruth or Global Forest Watch can monitor, identify, and detect when illegal activity is happening, and see which operations are legitimate or not. Source:





pening our new Regional Centre Southern Africa, we are able to respond even faster to our commercial vehicle customers and their requirements. This will help us to further tap the growth potential of this emerging region,” said Dr. Wolfgang Bernhard, member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Daimler Trucks & Buses.

RCSA will be responsible for Daimler’s full commercial vehicles portfolio in the region, from the full offering of Mercedes-Benz Vans, heavy-duty Mercedes-Benz trucks and buses as well as the uniquely suited products (trucks and buses) from FUSO. The Regional Centre Southern Africa will be in charge of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Lesotho and Swaziland. Clear focus on the needs of commercial vehicles customers in Southern Africa Based in Pretoria, South Africa, the Regional Centre Southern Africa will be a catalyst in ensuring highly efficient

business processes and an even higher level of customer satisfaction. MBSA and its parent company Daimler AG are confident that the Regional Centre Southern Africa is poised to provide excellence and ultimately a competitive advantage to its growing number of southern African-based customers through superior products and custom value chain offerings. Kobus van Zyl, Executive Director: Daimler Trucks & Buses Southern Africa: “Having a stronger presence in the southern African markets means that we are able to react faster and be in touch more frequently with our commercial vehicles customers and the various General Distributors in the respective countries. The Regional Centre Southern Africa provides further opportunities for all our commercial vehicle endeavours, including sales, after-sales, marketing, client services and parts.” Region with long-term potential Southern Africa is a promising growth region for all of Daimler’s commercial

vehicles. In line with the global outlook, the region is facing a tough economic cycle but is still expected to grow at a rate of 3.75% in 2016. Improved external prospects and domestic policy improvements will support gradually stronger growth rates from 2017, with the regional average back up to more than 4.5% annually during 2018-2020. Moreover, southern Africa possesses large reserves of untapped natural commodities such as copper, oil and gas. In 2015, Daimler sold approximately 5 500 trucks and buses in the region. About the Commercial Vehicles Regional Centres The Regional Centre Southern Africa is the third of six Regional Centres being opened for Daimler’s commercial vehicles business around the world. Two days ago, the Regional Centre for East, Central, and West Africa started its operations based in Nairobi, Kenya. The first Regional Centre was opened in October 2015 in Dubai as Daimler Commercial Vehicles Middle East North Africa (DCV MENA). Similar bases will follow for South Asia, Southeast Asia and Latin America within the next few months. In the past, Daimler had managed these regions primarily from its group headquarters in Stuttgart. Further decentralisation will keep the business even more in tune with the market. The many years of product and service-related expertise pay off in this respect just as much as the broad portfolio of products offered by the group’s various commercial vehicles brands. For more information contact: Sibusiso Mkwanazi +27 12 673 6864 and

From the left: Dr Nuno Sousa, Bob Crossley, Kobus van Zyl, Dr Wolfgang Bernhard, Francisco dos Santos and Kelvin Windell.


TIDE TURNING ON PE LAKE POLLUTION The organic clean-up of Nelson Mandela Bay’s largest freshwater lake is yielding positive results, with the water body set to be “swimmer-ready” later this year. Water quality test results from the North End Lake reveal a marked improvement in critical parameters, suggesting that the tide is turning on pollution levels. Rhino Water director Sarel Bam, whose company is conducting the bioremediation process, said toxic blue-green algae, faecal coliforms and E. coli levels dropped substantially between January and March. Inorganic materials such as dissolved metals and minerals now meet the national SANS 241 specifications for drinking water. Algae and bacterial levels have dropped significantly, but remain above the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry’s acceptable standards for recreational use. Using bacteria and co-enzymes to lift and

digest sludge, the bioremediation solution has decreased the pollutant layer by up to 20cm, from depths of around 80cm. The clean-up was initiated by NMB stadium operator Access Leisure and Facilities Management, which aims to establish a world-class water sports destination adjacent to its fields. Source: Reuters

RESTORATIVE ECONOMY SYSTEM G reenCape, a sector development agency

based in the Western Cape and an Institute of Waste Management South Africa (IWMSA) organisational member, promotes the development of a green economy via its Industrial Symbiosis (IS) programme which has proven to be ver y fruitful in diverting one company’s waste for another company’s benefit. The National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA) delivers IS programmes in KwaZulu- Natal (KISP) and Gauteng (GISP). Industrial symbiosis is a valuable metric in working towards a circular economy. Key building blocks of this economy include circular design (for product reuse), recycling and cascading and the implementation of innovative business models. The challenges for implementing circular economy principles in waste management are that some products are not designed well for disassembly and reuse as the design is primarily done abroad; the business case for alternative uses of end - of-life materials is not strong enough; and the fact that many different skill types are needed for a circular economy to work. IWMSA, visit Source: Reputation Matters

MYTH BUSTERS: FOOD-TESTING TECHNOLOGY We are what we eat; but how often do we really know what we are eating? The Clear Food Initiative’s scientific arm, Clear Labs, is using cutting edge DNA sequencing to solicit data from food testing, providing the most accurate results as to what exactly is in our food. Their team of scientists and software engineers are able to test products for all the major red flags such as hormones, GMO’s, and pesticides. By testing a vast amount of products from various retailers, the lab is able to give the products a “clear score,” essentially stating if the product is what it says it is. Clear Labs encourages voluntary testing, where companies can ship a sample to their labs and have the DNA sequencing performed and compared against their large database. Watch the Clear Food turkey report to see how this technology works. Source:

BIOGAS NEEDS GOVERNMENT POWER. The biogas industry is still in its infancy in South Africa. However, with increased support from local governments, biogas has the potential to make a major contribution in renewable energy supply, carbon

mitigation, and a much-needed increase in effective waste management. When looking at successful biogas industries across the globe, governments have played a crucial part in their success by providing attractive tax incentives and

rebates for the use of biogas. The energy department partnered with SABIA (South African Biogas Industry Association) in 2013, but SABIA chairperson Mark Tieplet believes that government needs to play a much bigger role in making biogas a viable energy alternative in the country, rather than focusing on a few isolated projects a year. Biogas is a mixture of different gases produced by the breakdown of organic matter. Like natural gas, it is compressed and can be used as an energy source for different purposes on a small or commercial scale. Source: Engineering News





ngenuity happens on the cusp of chaos, and our perfect storm is going to be very chaotic indeed. It will destroy old approaches to water supply and sanitation by showing up their inefficiencies, just as it will enable new disruptive technologies to emerge to benefit society at large. By law the state is obliged to provide services at a defined assurance of supply (AoS) level. In the case of water AoS has six distinct components to it: • The sum of the guarantee by the state of a given volume of water

• • • • •

of a known quality and a specific pressure supplied at a pre-determined price at a specific time and place.

The El Nino drought has triggered a municipal response in KZN that gives some insight into the future. The Ugu District Municipality (Port Shepstone) has enacted a municipal bylaw that transfers the responsibility for AoS to body corporates (BC’s) and home owner associations (HoA’s) in any estate that exceeds a specific average daily rate of consumption. This process is now being replicated across KZN, and is likely to become standard practice in all waterconstrained areas of South Africa. The bylaw has been greeted with

A recently patented but still experimental ecologically engineered system using wetland plants to polish sewage effluent from domestic waste water.


Anthony Turton, Centre for Environmental Management, University of Free State

anger from Trustees and Managing Agents, who generally believe that it is a failure of the municipality to adequately plan, finance, build, operate and maintain infrastructure for which they are now being held responsible. They are resisting, even speaking of boycott actions like the eTolls debacle; but is this the smartest move? You see every cloud has a silver lining, and this glass half full is simply loaded with opportunity. By transferring the responsibility for on-site storage of water – purely a volume related issue caused by infrastructure constraints – the BC and/or HoA is now empowered to intervene on the quality aspects too. The biggest challenge to all potable water supply, most acutely felt in smaller towns like Port Shepstone, is sewage contaminated feedstock. This produces a cocktail of problems, including biological and chemical contamination of water that cannot effectively be dealt with in conventional bulk water treatment plant. Of the 1 085 potable water treatment plants managed by government or parastatal bodies, 250 are in a poor condition and 65% are dysfunctional. None have ever been designed to convert sewage contaminated feedstock into safe potable water. None are designed to remove endocrine disrupting


Next generation sewage management package plant capable of recovering high quality water while treating domestic waste in an odourless way.

Ultrafiltration phase of the package sewage plant is capable of producing near potable quality water on a regular and cost-effective basis.

chemicals (EDC’s) or microcystin toxins produced by blue-green algae. An emerging technology (soon to become mainstream) is the uninterrupted water supply system (UWSS). This will do for water users, what the uninterrupted power supply (UPS) has done for computer users once vulnerable to the vagaries of electricity supply fluctuations. With a smart computer controlling it all, any disruption to the mains supply will activate the backup. The user will remain totally unaware that a disruption has occurred. However, with on-site storage capacity central to the system, many bells and whistles can be added. For example, borehole and even rain water can be integrated as part of the emergency plan for a residential estate. Various sophisticated filtration systems can be added (like Lego blocks) to remove Microcystin toxins (the cause of central nervous dysfunction in humans exposed to low doses over a long time), bacteria, virus

hospitals and intensive farms, at a cost amounting to a small monthly levy. Even better news is the availability of the next generation sewage management technology, also in a package unit. This modular technology is so sophisticated that it produces clean water as a by-product, which can either be further refined to potable standards, or become irrigation water for gardens, car wash facilities and fire hydrants. The disruptive element of this technology suite lies in its affordability, combined with the benefit to the user of being exposed to the latest technology. Given that these systems are digital in nature, it also means that they can be remotely managed via a simple simcard uplink. This, in turn, enables the management of metadata to unlock yet another range of potential benefits, including health insurance. The glass is indeed half full for those with the wisdom to see the benefits arising from collapsing infrastructure.

“In effect water will be banked offline, in a storage container of an appropriate size. That water will be kept fresh by modern technology including, but not limited to, ultraviolet (UV) light. “ and a range of other undesirables. These systems used activated carbon, advanced ceramics and next-generation hollow fibre membrane technologies. But the really good news is that these package plants can be fully financed by the bank. This means that the consumer is given the benefit of the very best technology available, in a way that is totally affordable. This affordability rests on the fact that a package plant has intrinsic financial value, and can thus become collateral in its own right. In effect then, world class technology can be placed into residential estates, sectional title schemes, commercial retail centres, schools,





Alistair Schorn


he term human capital appears to have originally come into use in the late 1950s and early 1960s, in the context of the labour inputs required to produce manufactured goods. Rather quickly, however, the term appears to have been expanded to include references to various measures of human potential. In this regard, it would appear that a significant element of the rationale behind the expansion of the concept, lies in the idea that human capital, like any other type of capital, can through appropriate investments be increased, leading to improvements in the volume and quality of the products and services produced by individuals.

In a contemporary context, while a number of broadly accepted definitions exist for the concept of human capital, they appear for the most part to share a number of common characteristics, in terms of the total contribution made by an individual’s knowledge, abilities and experience to an organisation by which he or she is employed, or a community of which he or she forms part. One definition of human capital refers to the ‘economic value of an employee’s skill set’. Another definition, seemingly focused on an institutional context, defines human capital as the sum of the creative skills and knowledge possessed by all employees within in an organisation, specifically where


these skills add economic value to the activities of that organisation. At an even broader level – regional or national, for example – human capital might be considered as the collective wealth of knowledge, talents, training, skills, judgment and accumulated experiences of a population or group. In each of these definitions, a common thread appears to be a reference to any stock of knowledge or characteristics possessed by an individual or group, whether innate or acquired, that can contribute positively to some measure of “productivity” or progress. Furthermore, included amongst the attributes of human capital are both quantifiable elements such as levels of education or formal training, and more intrinsic elements such as the loyalty or personal work ethic of individuals. One of the principal reasons for referring to these attributes, whether individual or collective, as human capital, lies in the fact that individuals cannot be separated from their knowledge, skills, health, or values in the same manner that they might be separated from their financial and physical assets.

From an economic theory perspective, as mentioned above, the concept of human capital might be considered as an evolution of the concept of labour as an input to economic production, where in classical economic theory, all labour inputs were considered to be equal. More recently, however, economic theory (and employers) increasingly recognise that labour inputs are most definitely not equal, particularly amongst specialised and highly skilled employees, and similarly that the quality of employees, as well as their output, can be enhanced through appropriate investment. Generally, the most common investments in human capital take the form of education (particularly tertiary education), training and health care expenditure. In some instances, such as education, the responsibility for these investments falls for the most part on the individual employees and their families or other support structures. In other cases, for example in vocational or on-the-job training, financial responsibility for human capital investments is borne primarily by employers, with the expectation of gaining an economic return from increased productivity or effectiveness on the part of the employees in whom these investments are made. In the case of health care expenditure, the fact that such investments can in the majority of instances provide significant benefits for both the individual and his/her employer, means that their costs are often shared between employer and employee. In a broader national or community context, of course, certain public services that enhance human capital, such as education and health care, are provided or subsidised by government. In this context, the activities and expenditure of the public sector in these areas are an important element of investment in human capital at a national level. Returning to the fields of integrated reporting and integrated thinking, the <IR> Framework defines human capital as ‘people’s competencies, capabilities and experience, and their motivations to innovate, including their:

• alignment with and support for an organization’s governance framework, risk management approach, and ethical values; • ability to understand, develop and implement an organization’s strategy; and • loyalties and motivations for improving processes, goods and services, including their ability to lead, manage and collaborate.’ As is the case for each of the six capitals, the Framework suggest that companies report on their stock of human capital, the manner in which this stock is applied or invested within their specific business models, and the outcomes achieved by these business models in terms of value creation, or in other words the return on investment in terms of growth in the stock of human and other forms of capital. In terms of integrated thinking on the part of companies or organisations, which according to the <IR> Framework, the adoption of integrated reporting practices is intended to stimulate, it would appear that one of the critical factors in this process is the decisions taken by organisations regarding the levels of investment (of financial capital) that they are willing to commit to the growth of their human capital (and of the other forms of capital). It would appear logical that organisations which invest to a significant degree in human capital, are highly likely to secure a financial return on this investment, or in other words to increase their stock of financial capital as a result of investments in human capital. In this regard, human capital might be considered as being slightly different from some of the other forms of capital, in terms of its ability to generate quantifiable growth in financial capital within an organisation. In summary, it would appear that the links between growth in human and financial capital are relatively direct and tangible, and that for this reason, human capital development should feature prominently on the development agenda for any forwardthinking organisation.

References: • Acemoglou, D; Autor, D. (2011). Lectures in Labour Economics. Retrieved from • Becker, G.S. (2008). “Human Capital”. The Concise Encyclopaedia of Economics. Retrieved from • International Integrated Reporting Council. (2013). The International <IR> Framework. Retrieved from • Investopedia. (2016). Human Capital. Retrieved from • Marshall, G. (1998). “Human Capital Theory”. A Dictionary of Sociology. Retrieved from • Schultz, T.W. (1961). “Investment in Human Capital”. The American Economic Review 51 (1): 1-17. Retrieved from





growing number of solar developers are finding fortune in sub-Saharan African markets beyond South Africa, with Kenya, Namibia and Rwanda among those attracting interest. Kenya, for example, already has a place within consultancy firm EY’s Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI), which lists the world’s top 40 markets for renewables investment. In the most recent RECAI, from September 2015, Kenya ranked 27th for PV and 31st for renewables overall, ahead of Egypt at 35th, Saudi Arabia at 36th and Indonesia at 38th. One of the attractions of Kenya is that it is among Africa’s larger economies and already has policies in place to support renewables, according to Charl Alheit, chief investment officer at NVI Energy, an African renewable energy services company. “Kenya and Tanzania have had clear rules in place for distributed renewables for some time now for sizes below 3 MW. And in Kenya [there are] less onerous rules for sizes less than 1 MW,” he said. NVI Energy is exploring and developing commercial and industrial-scale projects in Kenya and Tanzania as well as Namibia, Rwanda and Ghana. Namibia’s solar energy potential made headlines a year ago with the announcement of Africa’s largest roofmounted array, a 1.1 MW plant for Namibia

Breweries (the world’s 4th largest brewery installation, according to our Top 40). The biggest grid-connected plant in the country is a 5 MW project in Otjiwarongo, built by Swiss developer HopSol and commissioned in November 2015. Weldon Turner, chief operations officer for Gigawatt Global Coöperatief, which specialises in grid-connected projects and is eyeing the market, said Namibia is “a wonderful place with great people, lots of land, lots of sun. It has a lot of promise.” Like NVI Energy, Gigawatt Global also has a focus on Rwanda, where it has built a 8.5 MW project. The plant was developed in just two years, from literally “walking into the country” to connecting to the grid, thanks to competent and willing country partners. “They were extremely professional and it was something that they wanted to do,” Turner said. “And the financing partners wanted it and were willing to move quickly. That was a perfect situation.” However, small grids mean there are limits to how many projects a developing country such as Rwanda can absorb. Gigawatt Global’s project has already catapulted solar power to cover 6% of Rwanda’s entire grid supply. As a result, the best long-term bets for solar development in sub-Saharan Africa are likely to be the larger countries such as Nigeria and Ethiopia, Africa’s two most populous nations. Gigawatt Global is currently working on pre development of a 135 MW project in

Nigeria, where 195 million people currently share less than 7 GW of power generation, mostly from diesel. And Turner sees potential in Ethiopia because it has a robust main transmission grid to supply large industrial power users, making it a more straightforward matter to connect solar projects on smaller distribution lines that serve rural households. Ethiopia also has a good base level of infrastructure serving universities and industries, plus an educated population with sizable professional class of engineers and lawyers. Like many other sub-Saharan markets, Ethiopia is not without its problems, including high levels of poverty. But overall across the region, solar developers should not ignore the fact that countries are opening up for business. Said Alheit: “Many East and West African countries have taken the lead on in separating transmission, distribution and generation, although with varied success. “These steps are an important move forward creating the right environment for distributed generation and putting the right policy and framework in place for the smart grid of the future.” Uncover new opportunities across the African continent at Solar Finance Solutions Africa – www. – on April 6 and 7 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Register now using the code GEJ to get a 10% discount on the conference ticket.



Celebrating the power of innovation The Global Cleantech Innovation Programme for SMEs in South Africa (GCIP-SA) is part of a global initiative that aims to identify and support SMEs and start-ups with innovative technology solutions that can tackle the most pressing energy, environmental and economic challenges in the following fields: energy efficiency, renewable energy, waste beneficiation, water efficiency and green buildings. The programme is implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) with funding by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) is responsible for the execution and hosting of the GCIP in South Africa.


he world needs innovation and sustainable solutions to the challenges we face. This programme combines a competition and a business accelerator to offer participants’ extensive mentoring, training, access to investors and opportunities to showcase their innovations to the media and the public. The 2015 GCIP-SA and Cleantech Global winner, Khaya Power (now was featured in the previous issue of GEJ. is a renewable energy start-up company that has developed a microgasifier stove with an electrically driven fan, which is smoke free and burns biomass efficiently. The innovation targets households in developing countries that have inadequate, unreliable, or no access to grid-supplied power. The company’s aim is to empower traders and retailers in Africa by helping them install solar power in their businesses. David Lello, CEO of, says of the GCIP-SA; “It was fantastic. I am serial entrepreneur and this is my fifth start-up. I wish I had these tools in the past. For a first time start-up, the Business Model Canvas and other aids will not only help you define your product but also validate the market and how to get to it. The content and process is worth more than any prize at the end!”

Robin Kirkpatrick, CEO of Kirkonsult, explains that the GCIP-SA measures and tracks inputs from the participants. “While this serves to shift the local entrepreneur’s psyche away from a conventional South African to a global mind-set, it initially felt like a square peg in a round hole approach,” comments Robin. However, having embraced the philosophy upon which the global programme is based, the participation in the on-going mandatory tasks and worksheets became substantially more meaningful. He adds; “Dedication and commitment is a must. The work cannot be be treated as an afterthought to be indulged when one has some spare time. There are no short cuts to achieving success. You have to make time to participate in the webinars and do the behind-the-scenes hard yards. It paid handsome dividends both in terms of the Cleantech competition as well as positioning my technology for future growth.” His advice to other entrepreneurs who would like to venture into the clean or green space in the current economic climate in South Africa is that they should have no illusions as to the difficult path that they would have to tread. “While there may be expectations of financial and mentoring

assistance, the hard work still has to be done by the innovator.” He also acknowledged that fledgling innovation support structures such as incubators, etc., in South Africa do not attract enough new entrants to the field. Many promising prospects are therefore not nurtured beyond basic acknowledgement of their potential. “To be successful, an entrepreneur needs a broad range of business skills. A lack of commercial skills sets like accounting, marketing, etc., could effectively snub out the company’s further development prospects.” He believes that new start-ups can benefit from fully embracing the GCIP process, which has been working on a global basis for the last 10 years, with more than 1 200 entrepreneurs benefiting from the programme. The programme helped Kirkonsult to accelerate its entrepreneurship goals by providing invaluable tools that could be integrated into its own business model. It has also created an enduring platform to expand and develop the commercial prospects for the innovation. Direct commercial prospects with multinational corporations have been facilitated by the Cleantech team and they

2015 GCIP-SA RUNNERS-UP Kirkonsult (Pty) Ltd (Carbotect™ ) Kirkonsult was a runner-up in the 2015 GCIP-SA programme for its development of Carbotect, a reliable and cost-effective colour-based diagnostic tool to monitor and verify the quality and safety of consumer products, while complementing strategies to save water and energy. Carbotect™ detects ultra-low levels of organic soils in water samples in processing equipment. It is suitable for both large and small-scale production and processing facilities.

Robin Kirkpatrick with GCIP-SA mentor Natalie Skeepers, Minister Naledi Pandor, TIA CEO Barlow Manilal, and Mohamed Eisa, Director of the UNIDO Regional Office in South Africa



continue to assist in developing and driving the initiatives. For Kirkonsult, 2016 will be a year of global expansion with all the accompanying hurdles, but participation in the GCIP has provided the company with the foundation for a greater likelihood of commercial success for its Carbotect™ innovation. Evo-V (Pty) Ltd The second runner-up in the 2015 GCIP-SA competition was Eco-V (Pty) Ltd, for the development of GreenTower™ , an energy and water-efficient solution for hot water using using a solar thermal heat pump with improved storage capacity. Eco-V CEO André Nel describes the GCIP-SA process as intensive, with significant demands on the time of participants; however, it had many great rewards, with the learning taking the company to the next level. One of the lessons learnt was the importance of having your technology and business model validated in order to facilitate market entry. André explains that this is typically done by involving key customers in a commercial pilot. “The independent verification of technical performance contributes to the formulation of a unique value proposition, which is needed to develop a strong business case addressing a specific market need,” he says.

According to André, the GCIP-SA has helped position GreenTower™ as a disruptive technology aimed at solving the problems of the cost of and access to electricity. This in turn helped to attract the first investor and key business partner, which has accelerated the growth of Eco-V. As a runner-up he also had the opportunity to visit Silicon Valley in the USA. André emphasises the importance of entering competitions and participating in programmes such as the GCIP-SA and other innovation challenges, since it helps entrepreneurs to hone pitching skills and improve business models. “Winning competitions makes your business visible, accelerates market entry and improves access to investors needed to grow the business,” he explains. He also believes it is important to enter into a supportive environment such as the Innovation Hub, which serves to increase networking opportunities, improve skills and provide access to grant funding. In addition to its achievements as a GCIP-SA runner-up, GreenTower™ was also the runner-up in the 2014 Innovation Hub GAP Green Challenge and winner of the 2014 Swedish Smart Living Challenge, as well as of a start-up GreenOvation award as South Africa’s leading change-maker and energy efficiency champion in 2015. It is currently one of the top 10 nominations for the 2016 Prize for Africa.

GreenTower™ Hybrid Solar Technology saves 90% in electricity to heat water compared to electric geysers, while also saving 15% in water consumption. This makes off-grid water heating feasible, using solar PV and energy storage. The product is being scaled up into a containerised solution that can serve up to 25 homes with off-grid hot water. Using the latest insulation technology for cladding, the equipment temperature is well regulated with attractive looks to blend in with the architectural style. “We are currently working with property developers and are also striving to providing off-grid hot water to RDP homes,” he explains. GreenTower™ has been selected by the Department of Science and Technology for Eureka grant funding that will enable the company to grow its capacity, create jobs and improve skills by partnering with large international Cleantech companies.

Contact details for enquiries about the GCIP-SA: Tel: 012 472 2700 / 012 394 1066 Email: / Website: /

Runner-up André Nel with Minister Naledi Pandor, TIA CEO Barlow Manilal, and Mohamed Eisa, Director of UNIDO’s Regional Office in South Africa



Special 2015 GCIP-SA AWARDS Innovation for Social Impact Award – Zuka Zuka produces an affordable alternative to liquid organic fertilizer from recycled vegetable and fruit waste using the ancient concept of vermi- composting. “The GCIP has energised me to think differently, embrace and identify “hidden” value in resources we as communities already possess that hold solutions to the challenges we as humanity face, while also helping to create sustainable environment for all nature to thrive.” - Sizwe Mnamatha, founder and CEO of Zuka

Sizwe Mnamatha with Minister Naledi Pandor, Mr Barlow Manilal and Mr Mohamed Eisa

Ntombenhle Ndlovu with Minister Nadedi Pandor, Mr Mohamed Eisa and Mr Barlow Manilal

Award for Most Promising Youth-led Business – SOLAR VERANDA cc SOL AR VERANDA cc produces a veranda (with a PV pump) that can be attached to a shack structure. Consisting of a solar thermal heater for heating water and circulation, this innovation gives people in low-cost housing access to hot water while saving electricity. “GCIP-SA is currently the best business training programme for energy efficiency technology in South Africa. The skills that we developed helped lift Solar Veranda cc to a higher business level. The credible GCIP award leads to fantastic exposure and this translates to funding.” -Nthombenhle Ndlovu, representing SOLAR VERANDA cc

Award for Best Woman-led Business – ZingCO Electric Vehicle Project The zingBUG — a car battery drawer tray for easy removal and swop - out, instead of recharging — was developed by the zingCO Electric Vehicle Project. It is an electric vehicle conversion based on the iconic V W Beetle, refurbished, modernised and fitted with an electric motor and on-board electronics. Santa Scheepers of the ZinCO Electric Vehicle Project with Minister Naledi Pandor, Mr Mohamed Eisa and Mr Barlow Manilal.



The efficient route to industrial competitiveness SERIOUS ABOUT GREEN


NIDO’s Green Industry Platform confirms that the greening of industries has become a core determinant of economic competitiveness and sustainable growth. Green industry aims to add environmental and social considerations and performance measures to national policies and the operations of businesses, as well as promote industrial innovation, competitiveness, and the creation of green jobs.

HELP IS AVAILABLE On a practical level, assistance is available to companies to become more competitive while promoting sustainable patterns of production and consumption that are resource efficient, and that contribute to a low-carbon and low-waste economy. The Department of Environmental Affairs has appointed the Development Bank of Southern Africa to implement a Green Fund. This fund supports the move to “a low carbon, resource efficient and climate resilient development path delivering high impact economic, environmental and social benefits.” It supports innovative initiatives that would not otherwise be implemented and covers a wide range of focus areas such as sustainable waste management and recycling, renewable energy, sustainable water management, energy efficiency, and industrial cleaner production and consumption projects. The Industrial Development Corporation and the German Development Bank have also made significant funding available through the Green Energy Efficiency Fund for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The South African National Energy Development Institute was instrumental in communicating the 12L Energy Efficiency Tax Incentive, promulgated in November 2013. Businesses that demonstrate energy savings can apply for tax incentives claimable until


2020. Incentives apply to all kinds of energy saving projects, not just electricity. Another initiative created to help industry is the national resource efficiency and cleaner production (RECP) programme. This is implemented by the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA). The subsidised RECP services offered to companies begin with an in-plant assessment to identify areas for improvement in areas of energy, water and material consumption. Based on the findings of the assessments, companies are provided with recommendations on cost-saving options and resource efficiency improvements that can assist them in their efforts to become environmentally responsible, productive, low-carbon and competitive businesses.

RESULTS CAN BE IMMEDIATE Since mid-2010 some 153 medium and large companies have participated in the NCPCSA’s national Industrial Energy Efficiency project, effecting a saving of 1 800 GWh of energy; enough to electrify 280 000 middle income homes for a year. These savings equate to R1.54-billion in energy costs and GHG emissions mitigation of 1.7 million tonnes of CO2e. An estimated 5 704 jobs were created and preserved within the local community because of energy efficiency interventions. Implementation of RECP methodologies over the past 10 years has shown that South African industry is increasingly concerned by not only energy and water usage, but also by the amount of waste generated by businesses. Industrial symbiosis is one approach to waste minimisation that makes both environmental and business sense. This programme connects companies to identify synergies for ‘waste swapping’. It addresses input materials and output waste reduction, and reduces

carbon dioxide emissions, landfill costs, use of virgin resources, industrial water usage, hazardous waste, pollution, transport, risks and costs. A circular economy follows a ‘cradle to cradle’ approach. Other approaches exist that also lend themselves to an economy that produces no waste or pollution, maximises resource gain and recovers and regenerates materials. These include biomimicry, industrial ecology and symbiosis.

TIME FOR ACTION With decades of research data, global and local high-level support, the necessary policies, capacity building and technical expertise already in place, there should not be any excuse to pro-actively change the way we produce and consume. Every company has an opportunity to not only remain viable, but to also boost its competitiveness while being environmentally sustainable. Companies can access more information on the NCPC-SA and their service offering by visiting, or call: Pretoria: 012 841 3772 or Cape Town 021 658 2776 or Durban: 031 242 2441.


A win-win solution T

he City of Tshwane has been an outstanding municipality in terms of its vision for developing green initiatives that provide employment and help clean up their city. A key example of this is its first ever Agropolitan Village, the Tshwane Food and Energy Centre (TFEC). This mayoral flagship project will assist the city in its transition to a low carbon, resource efficient and climate resilient city. The project was developed by the City Sustainability Unit, a technical unit in the Office of the Executive Mayor, which has managed the process from design to implementation. The city has a vision to identify a limited set of high-impact, fast track interventions that can act as catalysts for accelerated and shared growth within the greater city region. It singles out agriculture and agro-processing as one of the four opportunities that should be pursued to achieve the intended transformation and growth of the city. Importantly, it shows that this transition requires transversal thinking and planning typified by this kind of project because it combines energy, agriculture, housing, water and sanitation and economic development in one solution. The project is located in Region 7, which forms the new East Capital of the City of Tshwane. This region is a new inclusion since the Metsweding District Municipality was amalgamated into the boundaries of

Image by Elske Kritzinger, Earthworks Magazine

CoT as part of the municipal demarcation process. This newcomer warrants as much investment and growth as possible so that it may fully enjoy the benefits of being part of Tshwane. There is a high rate of unemployment that is steadily increasing (20.7% in 2013) in the region and close to a quarter

of dwelling units in the region are informal; 15% do not have access to electricity. This challenge presents an opportunity to demonstrate green building principles and self-sufficiency as demonstrated in TFEC with food production and rainwater harvesting and renewable energy systems.

Images by Elske Kritzinger, Earthworks Magazine



This multi-year project is anchored on the three pillars of sustainability: social, economic and environmental well-being and is responsive to the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s long-term policy, Vision 2055. Through a process of multi-level analysis, the concept of a sustainable agricultural village addressing the dual challenges of food and energy security, putting fallow land into production in Region 7, the pronounced Green Capital of CoT, emerged. The concept materialized into the Tshwane Food and Energy Centre (TFEC) as a complete agricultural village to be located on a 200Ha plot belonging to the CoT. It will be able to produce and sell agricultural produce, generate its own renewable energy and provide jobs to the low income inhabitants living in the neighbouring village of Rethabiseng, already classified as highly socially vulnerable. Its design thus aimed to achieve the multiple objectives of sustainable urban food production, renewable energy generation, SMME development,

poverty reduction, employment creation, water use efficiency/optimisation, sustainable human settlements, and local economic development. The risks of farming are well known, which is why the approach to the agricultural village has been to mitigate these risks by establishing a central â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;demonstrationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; farm that both serves as an active farm for livestock production, as well as a business support hub delivering agricultural extension services to 25 small-scale farmers. Each farmer has been supplied with vegetable tunnels and chicken coups and will manage these individually with the aim of becoming commercially viable; however, the benefits of economies of scale will be achieved through collective ownership of and access to an abattoir, hatchery, vegetable processing, seedling production, crop farming and feed mill facilities. Another major risk is the accessibility, reliability and affordability of water and electricity, which are both essential inputs to sustainable farming operations. The TFEC has striven for self-sufficiency in both by supplying the necessary infrastructure to make use of rainwater, groundwater and renewable energy. The construction of 150kV biogas production facility and 100kV PV solar power plant will supply energy for

farming operations, which includes water pumps to pump groundwater. Each farming unit has been equipped with 5m2 rainwater tanks which will augment the groundwater supply. The biogas plant will be powered by a combination of own cultivated sorghum and livestock waste. Each farming unit dwelling has also been equipped with a 120 litre solar water heater.

For information on the TFEC, enquires can be directed to Kibii Komen on or 012 358-8166 or 084-379-5379.

Image by Elske Kritzinger, Earthworks Magazine



Extended Producer




ccording to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), EPR is an established environmental and waste management policy approach, under which producers accept significant responsibility – both financial and/or physical – for the treatment or disposal of post-consumer products (OECD). If applied appropriately, EPR can be a strong policy instrument to promote direct environmental benefits, effective resource management and economic growth derived from traditional waste streams. It has been effectively applied over several decades in various countries, particularly in the European Union. Importantly, although EPR refers to producers as holding the primary responsibility for the products they manufacture, all stakeholders in the supply chain, right up to the end consumer, hold some degree of responsibility for their role in the life cycle of a product. Generally speaking, EPR programmes have proven to be most successful in circumstances in which a clearly defined legislative environment exists, and in which effective cooperation takes place between all stakeholders.


According to EXPRA, the Extended Producer Responsibility Alliance, the 10 golden rules for EPR Schemes and the organisations responsible for managing these are: • T  he essence of EPR is the producer’s responsibility for a product throughout its life cycle; • Product Responsibility Organisations (PROs) should be owned, run and steered by the obliged companies;

• PROs should be not-for-profit / profit-not-for-distribution; • Collectors, sorters or recyclers of waste should not be active as PROs, but should deliver services to the industries in which these PROs operate; • There should exist a strong EPR legal framework enforced by public authorities; • Successful EPR must be based on a partnership between public authorities and PROs;


result in a price increase to consumers of substantially less than one-tenth of one percent of the initial charge, and a similar percentage of the price of the final product. Importantly, the most effective EPR schemes implemented globally, with the highest rates of recycling or end-of-life treatment, have not taken the form of end-user taxes levied by governments. The implementation of such end-user taxes can result (and in many instances has resulted) in distortions in the recovery and recycling markets for particularly products, leading to a loss of income opportunities and even a reduction in end-of-life recovery rates. In South Africa, a number of PROs exist across different material streams, including glass, paper, plastics, tyres, electronic waste and various others. At present, these organisations, and the constituencies they represent, are actively engaging with the South African government regarding the ongoing development process for waste legislation and the promotion of circular economies in these material streams. • T  here must be a level playing field for the provision of EPR services in a given territory; • O  bliged companies should receive equal treatment and fees should be publicly available; • Industry-owned PROs should pursue a public service mission; and • P  ROs should support obliged companies to improve the environmental performance of their products and packaging. Based on these 10 rules, EPR compliance schemes or PROs should add significant value across product life cycles, from product design optimisation (or designfor-recycling), to disposal and recycling infrastructure, to end-use markets for recycled content, while actively contributing

to an optimum, cost-efficient and transparent waste management scheme. In general, successful EPR schemes are designed to charge fees or raise revenues at the earliest possible point in a product value chain, for example in the manufacture of raw materials that go into a product. Naturally this is not always feasible, particularly for highly complex products such as consumer electronics, where it might be most appropriate to charge an EPR fee at the assembly phase. Irrespective of the precise point in the value chain at which EPR fees are charged, however, their financial impact is generally passed through the product value chain and very effectively diffused amongst end consumers. In this regard, several examples exist in which a specific input charge levied on a particular production input, might

IN TERMS OF GLOBAL BEST PRACTICE IN EPR A number of guiding principles have been identified for the establishment of effective EPR schemes, as follows:

• The definition and objectives of EPR schemes should be clearly identified; • The roles and responsibilities of each economic actor within a product value chain and life cycle should be clearly established; • T  he design and implementation of an EPR scheme should ensure the coverage of the full net costs related to the collection and treatment of the end of-life products; • F  ees paid by producers to a collective scheme should reflect true end of-life management costs; • E  PR schemes should operate within a clear and stable regulatory framework, to ensure fair competition, with appropriate surveillance and enforcement measures; • Transparency regarding performance and costs is vital; and • O  bligated industries should assume a share of responsibility for issues such as monitoring, surveillance and enforcement.


Understanding the length and breadth of the Green Economy EXPLORING ALL THE OPTIONS AT SUSTAINABILITY WEEK 2016 26


Cllr Kgosientso Ramokgopa, Executive Mayor, City of Tshwane


he green economy can be defined as the sum of all economic activity triggered in order to reduce impacts on environmental health, and human health by extension. Using this definition one can begin to understand just how extensive the green economy is, because whether it’s obvious as in the case of renewable energy, or almost inconceivable as in the case of mining, the fact is green or sustainability oriented investments are being made throughout the economy in every sector and by all spenders – government, private, and consumer. Broadly speaking – green economy activities are activities that seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (think electricity, fuels, industry); conserve the water resource; minimise waste creation and reclaim waste materials; protect the environment – air, rivers, oceans, soil; and conserve eco-systems and bio-diversity. All for the ultimate protection and benefit of people. While this all sounds very nice and fuzzy feely – the fact is that the green economy represents change. Change to what we produce and change to how we produce it, and this change is happening through research and innovation, through education, entrepreneurship, and investment, but mostly through sound leadership and political will.

All of these aspects are in full flow and on display at Sustainability Week 2016. The Week is led by Cllr Kgosientso Ramokgopa (Executive Mayor of the City of Tshwane) with his African capital City Sustainability Forum which sees upwards of 25 African capital city delegations descend on Tshwane to discuss their collective leadership duty/opportunity to advance sustainability objectives in their cities in the interests of their citizens, and for the benefit of everyone else. Yes, if Africa does not follow a path of sustainable development, the climate change battle will be lost. The role of municipalities in implementing more sustainable approaches to development, and thus their ability to effect change in this regard is significant. Not only does it fall to municipalities to enforce national environmental regulations, but they must also forge policy, legislate by-laws and enforce these in protection of the local environment. Beyond this municipalities deliver public transport, urban planning, electricity, water and waste management services, and invest in the infrastructure required for the city to develop. In some instances municipalities may be stuck somewhere in the value chain of a system they cannot control, or hamstrung by national policy frameworks they cannot change, but the fact is that larger cities have meaning autonomy and control

over their decisions, and their strong leadership is thus paramount. It is due to this direct relationship between municipalities and sustainability that the strong logic exists for the City of Tshwane to host Sustainability Week, and why this relationship contributes to the materiality of the event. Sustainability Week is an amalgamation of multiple conferences, seminars, workshops and debates across many sectors revolving around an central exhibition, which in turn acts as a meeting place and a market place for green economy communications, technologies and solutions. International, African and South African thought leaders will present and engage in discussions and formal debates over three days on topics ranging from Green Building to Responsible Tourism, Manufacturing to Transport, Energy, Waste and Water. This is followed by a public outreach at a busy nearby shopping centre under the banner of the Green Home & Lifestyle Fair. Arguably the most important gathering however will be at Youth & the Green Economy, where representatives from organisations such as UNEP, SANParks, InnovationHub, and others will engage young minds on the state of the environment and the opportunities inherent in the process of addressing these challenges – aka the green economy.




elgotex Floors’ Sustainability Report (aka ‘Our Green Journey’) details the company’s ongoing green journey, which is their vision to ensure a greener tomorrow for all its stakeholders. Their growing ‘Eco Collection’ of carpets, backings and underlays contribute significantly towards green design, but Belgotex’s focus is on resource efficiency and cleaner production, rather than simply producing a range of green flooring materials. “Our main goal is to operate a green factory wherever economically and environmentally feasible,” explained Kevin Walsh, Chief Operations Officer (COO) at Belgotex. “For us ‘green’ makes good business sense and extends way beyond mere ‘green


sensationalism’. It’s such an intrinsic part of our DNA – our management philosophy - that it helps us maintain our competitive advantage,” he added. Through their continued efforts to improve production processes as well as their finished products in order to offer market-leading flooring, Belgotex centres its operations around the three pillars of sustainability (environmental, social and economic) and it is here where the greatest gains are being made in terms of sustainability. Under Walsh’s watchful eye the company has developed an environmental policy that addresses resource efficiency and cleaner production against environmental imperatives and product responsibility.

Cognisant of the fact that synthetic floorcoverings (carpets, artificial grass and vinyl) can have a negative impact on the health and well-being of humans as well as the environment, Belgotex designs and develops its products under the following sustainable guidelines: • Extending the life of an existing product through responsible manufacturing techniques and processes. • Developing products that can be reworked in their existing form. • Using raw materials that pass the company’s stringent health and eco-toxicity assessments and that can be recycled at the end of their useful aesthetic life. • Using recycled content whenever it is economically and environmentally feasible.


underlay, Sportec Color rubber flooring and Grimebuster walk-off mats. The best-selling Berber Point 920 carpet and other needlepunch ranges are made with a blend of polypropylene and recycled Eco Fibre. This Eco Fibre is manufactured using post-production waste, which is re-pelletised by utilising the cutting-edge Erema recycling machinery. The input of this recycled content in their production process considerably lowers the embodied energy associated with the use of virgin raw material. Nexbac Eco modular tile backing contains up to 70% post-industrial waste (fly-ash), which is used as a filler in the backing.

Carbon Management Apart from the raw material supply, energy and water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions are another major consideration, since the majority of Belgotex’s manufacturing processes are driven by fossil fuels.

In living up to these new policy guidelines the company’s sustainability efforts are starting to pay off, which is cause for great pride within Belgotex. Belgotex Floors recently earned the coveted GreenTag eco-label certification after achieving another significant sustainability milestone. The first South African flooring company to be awarded the internationally recognised ‘Level A’ GreenTag certification (called GreenRate™), Belgotex are able to offer specifiers maximum credit points (100%), across all Green Building Council interiors rating tools, for specifying their product. In addition, the company also received a ‘Silver’ quality rating in the life-cycle performance analysis – called LCARate™ – that recognises Belgotex products as “very good” against sustainability performance indicators. As the leading flooring manufacturer in Africa, Belgotex are continually pushing the limits of operational efficiency, seeking out ecologically sustainable manufacturing methods and developing eco-friendly products. Careful examination of their operations has identified their use of raw materials, energy management, carbon management,

water management and air quality as making significant contributions towards their sustainability performance. Analysis of the use of natural resources in their manufacturing operations (as well as the energy used in production) enables Belgotex to continuously invest in new technology in order to enhance their existing products as well as to develop new ones. These upgrades have reduced energy and/or raw material consumption, without any loss of productivity or quality.

Raw Materials A number of key inputs to Belgotex’s products are derived from non-renewable fossil fuel products. To minimise the risks posed by raw material depletion and climate change, Belgotex are constantly seeking out new, more sustainable inputs. The company is also committed to innovation within its product lines and manufacturing processes. Belgotex continues to strive to increase recycled content within its product range by implementing innovative raw material input strategies. The raw materials for several eco-products are derived from post-industrial and post-consumer waste such as Green

In an attempt to positively manage this risk (and to avoid a potential carbon tax liability), Belgotex aims to track and mitigate its effects on the environment. In its 7th year of quantifying its carbon footprint, Belgotex is pleased to announce a ~22% reduction in its carbon footprint thanks to the implementation of its integrated carbon management systems.

Energy Management Belgotex incorporated a resource efficiency and cleaner production strategy that resulted in the reduction of non-renewable energy consumption by ~12%. In order to move the company towards more sustainable energy sources and to alleviate reliance on the national energy utility, numerous energy optimisation initiatives have been put in place, including extensive plant upgrades and the installation of more energy-efficient equipment. This was achieved by amongst others, the R17-million roof-mounted photovoltaic (PV) solar power plant that provides around 5% of the company’s annual energy requirement. By reducing their reliance on coal-fired energy sources, the plant also offset ~2.5% of carbon emissions, reducing them by 1 386 tons per annum. A further 5% reduction target is anticipated with the possible installation of another 1MW solar plant in future.

Water conservation The company’s Rainwater Harvesting Initiative (RWH) in 2015 uses rainwater



stored from the company’s roofs in non-critical applications, and this has achieved considerable reductions in water consumption. Future targets for water usage are set at reductions of up to 45%. Not only does this protect a scarce resource that is increasingly pressurised by severe drought conditions (with projections of a deepening crisis), this project reduced operational costs due to decreased purchases from the municipality. Their investment also allows certain production processes to continue during unexpected leakages or breakdowns in the municipal supply. Many other water-saving initiatives (such as converting to 100% solution-dyed yarn production) have resulted in significant water, chemical and energy savings.

used wherever possible to eliminate the need for raw material packaging.

Reuse Belgotex’s Flooring Reclamation programme collects used or uplifted carpets from central collections points to be cleaned and sent to NGO’s such as KZN Wildlands for re-use and redistribution to impoverished communities in their “Green-preneur” project. Acquisition of innovative bit-winders has seen the elimination of a complete stream of waste by creating Grade 1 yarn from waste creel-ends.

Recycle The acquisition of a new R5-million Erema machine enables the company to recycle

production waste back into Eco Fibre, which is used in the production of its standard ranges. The Erema machine offers up to 20% energy savings, resulting in lower production costs and reduced CO2 emissions, and has effectively reduced Belgotex’s waste rates from their carpet production processes to close to zero.

Indoor Air Quality/Health & Eco-Toxicity Assessments Belgotex carpets and underlays have been tested and contain no harmful volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions and meet the strict requirements for the Green Building Council’s indoor environmental

Waste management Waste minimisation programmes form part of the company’s EMS (ISO14001). Waste is monitored and measured continuously to ensure that progress targets are met. In line with the well-known 3R’s of waste management – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – Belgotex seek to reduce inputs (for energy/resources), reuse materials and recycle waste from its operations, wherever possible.

Reduce Stackable, mobile metal crates have replaced cardboard boxes or packaging of any kind in the company’s yarn-processing operations, thereby reducing the amount of packaging to be recycled or sent to landfills. Bulk storage silos and stretch wrap are

quality. All raw materials undergo stringent health and eco-toxicity assessments to ensure safe, quality product offerings. Rest assured that, whatever floor you choose from Belgotex Floors, it won’t cost the earth. (033) 897-7500 | Cape Town (021) 763-6900 | JHB (011) 380-9300


BELGOTEX FLOORS are the first South African flooring manufacturer to earn the coveted Global GREENTAG eco-label certification – called GreenRate™. The Global GREENTAG certification is an esteemed, globally recognised and respected mark that indicates a product’s relative performance across its sustainability criteria. This maximises our products’ eligibility to achieve 100% of the available credit points across all Green Building Council interiors rating tools.

W W W. B E L G O T E X F L O O R S . C O . Z A | +27 (0)33 897 7500



Cashing in on the Circular Economy – Why it’s a business imperative W

ithin many companies around the world, there is a growing understanding and awareness of the value of waste. Instead of a mere hassle, waste is being viewed as an important resource – particularly among the larger and more established corporates. Indeed, the shift from considering waste management as a cost saving exercise to a value-add to the bottom line is slowly infiltrating strategic business thinking worldwide. This new approach requires ‘re-thinking’ waste as an integral component of a corporate supply chain. As research has shown, it’s a positive development cycle that preserves and enhances natural capital, optimises resource yields and minimises system risks. It is often referred to nowadays as a ‘circular economy’ and closed loop approach – which optimises value throughout the life cycle of products. Business leaders need to apply circular design thinking in order to truly leverage and benefit from this previously undermined resource. Long Term Gains The application of circular design thinking to waste management operations (and subsequently and consequently to various areas within the supply chain) has the potential to add various values and long-term business advantages. These include financial benefits, better information and reporting, increased competitiveness and brand protection – to name a few. Importantly, this approach also enhances customer loyalty in the long-term and strengthens company identity. In addition, the target of zero waste to landfill has prompted rapid development in waste minimisation and beneficiation technologies – and subsequent achievements in waste reduction targets are reported in annual performances and sustainability reports. However, despite all the progress made to reduce waste and its impact on the environment along the value chain of some businesses, waste management is still predominately implemented operationally as a separate leg in the supply chain. This is problematic because procurement strategies do not look through the entire cost of a product. For example, marketing often decides on a specific packaging material for the product


By Marilize Worst

but doesn’t necessarily evaluate its recyclability – so the packaging ultimately ends up costing the company more in terms of disposal during production runs and at general consumer disposal. Also, sustainability is sometimes not involved in – or integrated with – the operational elements of a business, which creates a misalignment of objectives and inefficiencies across the business. Essentially, there is a general misunderstanding of the ability to really create an environmentally economic solution (and viable commercial opportunity) for a business. Adopting a Systems Approach In our view, a systems approach provides benefits in the reduction of transport costs, generation of added value through waste handling optimisation, and integration of infrastructure. Together, these benefits translate into a decrease in energy consumption and subsequently carbon emissions. In order to create shared value for all stakeholders, the target of zero waste must be incorporated in the design and implementation of the supply chain strategy. A clear understanding of the technology and operational requirements to deviate waste from landfill must be clearly unpacked, and form part of the design of the closed loop supply chain. For companies, the first step is to assess the waste and where it sits in the value chain. They must also understand what it is made up of, the volume of waste and what’s creating it. Secondly, companies must understand what the baseline

Marilize Worst – Managing Director, SmartMatta looks like – and create a baseline of waste off of which to measure future improvements. Then, set clear goals from a sustainability perspective to reduce waste across the value chain. Leaders should also identify key stakeholders in the value chain and collaborate with them to reduce waste where appropriate. Today, there are a variety of powerful technology platforms and tools available to model supply chains, manage waste, track it, and measure the commercial impact in both the short and long term. SmartMatta is part of Barloworld Logistics



31 MAY-5 JUNE 2016

17-19 June 2014 CSIR International Convention Centre



Advancing the Green Economy through the sharing of knowledge and experience across disciplines, sectors and markets - actively seeking to develop and accelerate sustainable oriented project pipelines. The convergence of government officials, private sector investors, business operators, professionals, researchers and NGOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s under one roof to re-engage on key challenges and solutions will once again prove to have a catalytic effect on the green economy. Through its innovative and interconnected event construction, delegates at Sustainability Week are exposed to the need to balance interests in a bid to achieve the most appropriate approach to each decision. The day-to-day market realities are put to one side for three days as decision makers re-evaluate their business context and the cause and effect of their actions. In 2016, delegate access to all sessions will again be open, enabling individuals to structure a bespoke programme that suits their personal preferences. This unique approach enhances the delegate experience as people from different sectors and different places interact with each other, seeing similar challenges from different perspectives, and discovering new opportunities. Highlights for 2016 include: The 2nd annual African Capital Cities Sustainability Forum, led by the City of Tshwane, which welcomes high-level delegations from cities around the African continent to deliberate on shared experiences and perspectives, and agree on matters of leadership in relation to sustainable cities. The 10th annual Green Building Conference will focus on African approaches and leapfrog thinking to bring fresh thinking to what is fast becoming a mature market.

See you at Sustainability Week 2016! CONTACT US

087 023 0853

Add increased uptime to the mix. And decrease your total cost of ownership.


A Daimler Brand

Uptime is being on-site, on time, all the time. It’s what separates you from your competitor. That’s why our trucks are designed for seamless body mounting – to get your body fitted faster, so you’re on-site quicker. And once it’s there, our CharterWay® service and maintenance options, FleetBoard® driver and vehicle management system, and durable GenuineParts will keep it there for longer, so you spend less on maintenance. Call 0800 133 355 or visit for more information.

Green Economy Journal Issue 21  
Green Economy Journal Issue 21