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Issue 33 R29.00 incl VAT 9 772410 645003

Carbon Tax: Cost and benefit Climate Project Finance: Examining the options Agriculture: Latest fruit cultivars 11025

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Investment: Huge boost for Renewable Energy Water: The state of SA’s rivers 2019/02/01 6:23 PM

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Editor’s Note

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EDITOR: Melissa Baird CONTRIBUTORS: Silvana Claassen Ruben Hazelzet Louise Naude WWF -SA Investec, Dr Anthony Turton Vukani Makalima Constance Mokhoantle Tshegofatso Selahle PROOFREADER: Vania Reyneke LAYOUT AND DESIGN: CDC Design PROJECT MANAGER: Munya Jani SALES: Vania Reyneke Annie Peters Danielle Solomons Thandiswa Mbijane PRINTING: FA Print DISTRIBUTION: Edward MacDonald WEB: publications/green-economy-journal/ DISTRIBUTION AND COPY SALES ENQUIRIES: ENQUIRIES: ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES: EDITORIAL PROPOSALS: PUBLISHER: Gordon Brown, Alive2Green Projects PHYSICAL ADDRESS: 1st Floor Cape Media House 28 Main Road Rondebosch 7700 Cape Town TEL: 021 447 4733 FAX: 086 694 7443 REG NUMBER: 2005/003854/07 VAT Number: 4750243448 ISSN NUMBER: 2410-6453 PUBLICATION DATE: January 2019

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Green Economy Journal is audited by ABC Issue 33 R29.00 incl VAT 9 772410 645003

Carbon Tax: Cost and benefit Climate Project Finance: Examining the options Agriculture: Latest fruit cultivars 11025

Investment: Huge boost for Renewable Energy Water: The state of SA’s rivers

Cover image: Redstone Solar Thermal Power Project, Northern Cape Source: SolarReserve 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 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.

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Welcome to 2019 although by the time you read this edition of GEJ it will already be the second month of the year. Time flies when you are having fun we are promised but how much fun have you had so far? I find myself in Austria in the depths of more snow that I could ever imagine and struggling to find the analogy for a lot of snow. We have it rains cats and dogs, buckets down but what is the analogy for a whole lot of snow? And it isn’t a blizzard because this is not what it is. It is more a fine feathering and constant falling of pretty, unique flakes, that are sweet on the tongue and cover everything; wiping out its original form. Pavements become snow drifts, roads become sleigh fields, trees become Christmas trees (all of them) and the birds that have not flown south for the winter hide somewhere and still sing when the sun shines briefly before disappearing behind yet another cloud, while the birds go back to whatever bush or nest still stands. In this edition you will have a lot of finance issues to consider. Investment engines to fast track climate change projects, new funds to drive these projects to completion and the real cost of carbon tax. On the water front we have our regular contributor, Professor Anthony Turton, deliver shocking news about the state of South Africa’s rivers. Good news is the social initiative that is helping to educate children about the real threat of plastic pollution and what can be done about it. As I watch the snow I remember it is water that falls from the sky, just in another form and utterly pure. Alas SA’s water scenario is still dire despite the rains we have had. The failure of waste water treatment plants around the country to manage the effluent from human settlements is an issue not well reported on but one that requires action because the delay in addressing this is another nail in the coffin of the country’s water supply, and future. The knock-on effects on the economic stability of this nation can be depicted in graphs and statistics but the real impact on people is unimaginable. With the forthcoming elections and all the party politicking we can only ask the question of the MP’s (who will be decision makers) what their water policies are, and what will they do to activate a water management strategy that lies outside of the politician’s battle fields. Who will be accountable if this fails because it is way overdue for there to be an actionable plan to manage a resource the country cannot function without. With state failure being top of the agenda this issue is not being answered and it does not bode well for the steps needed to take us in to an economic and socially resilient future. I wish I could be more upbeat but what lies beneath is what eventually rises to the surface and right now the rivers are literally full of shit. There, I said it. What will it take to cleanse the water, returning the resource to a healthy state, just like what will it take to heal our beautiful country and the people in it?

Melissa Baird

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News and Updates energy saving, responsible investing, community project wins prestigious award, ocean clean up in the Great Pacific Garbage patch, solar home products, Circular Economy report, infrastructure and water management.


What the polluter will pay for continuing carbon intensive business strategies.

WWF Report

A summary on climate project funding options.


Celebrating the waste management award winners.





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Mike Meeser of Investec outlines the biggest fund for Renewable Energy incentives.

The GBCSA reports on employee satisfaction and productivity as a result of more environmentally friendly design.

Social Initiative

Captain Fanplastic to the rescue; educating children how to clean up plastic pollution.


Winners in technological innovation that are changing the environment for the better.


Collective Action to protect Resources


The shocking state of SA’s rivers; time for radical intervention.


Sustained Energy Savings



Landbank’s understanding of needs in Agriculture

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News and Updates

Delighted by d.light Inspired Evolution, an Africa-focused investment advisory firm that specialises in the clean energy sector, led a US$41 million equity investment by its Evolution II Fund and other consortium partners into d.light. Evolution II invested US$18 million alongside US$10.6 million from the Dutch Development Bank FMO, US$7.5 million from Swedfund and US$5 million from Norfund. This latest funding enables the expansion

of d. light’s solar and Pay-Go consumer finance business in Africa. Wayne Keast, Managing Partner at Evolution II said,” We are excited to partner with d.light, the market leader in the portable solar product and off-grid solar home system market, to support the expansion of their Pay-Go solar business throughout Africa which will help address the needs of more than 600 million people that do not have access to electricity”. Since its founding in 2007, d.light has provided solar energy to more

than 88 million people in 62 countries. Their extensive product line ranges from extremely affordable portable solar lanterns to solar home systems that can power multiple lights, mobile phones, and small appliances. Their solar solutions have won multiple international awards for innovation and design and are sold through more than 30,000 outlets around the world. Source: and

A tipping point against Climate Change Infrastructure management key in Water crisis According to a 2018 Green Cape market intelligence report, water demand in South Africa is expected to exceed supply by 17% in 2030, with demand expected to grow from 15 billion m3 in 2016 to 18 billion m3 over this period (WWF 2017). In order to address water scarcity and provide reliable water to all people, businesses and industries in South Africa, it is estimated that over the next 10 years an investment of around R70.4 billion is required each year in water infrastructure. Claude Marais, general manager of Averda Sight Lines, a pipeline assessment and maintenance specialist recommends a programme of planned assessment and maintenance. With more than 20 years’ experience in conducting these types of tests for water users of all descriptions the company can work on pipelines as narrow as 6mm to projects as vast as mine shafts and sinkholes. They also offer a full range of inspection and diagnostic tools including remotely operated surveillance vehicles equipped with CCTV cameras and laser pipe profiling systems that build an accurate picture of the condition of pipes. This technology relays real-time, or stored, data that can be used to build 3D models of pipes as well as visual and digital data for a multitude of diagnostic reports. Water utilities, municipalities and users alike stand to benefit by saving millions of litres of water and reducing overall maintenance expenditure by up to 70%.

As Climate Change is accelerating a report released in Davos at the meeting of the World Economic Forum shows that the principals of a Circular Economy could do wonders to avoid its tipping point. The Circularity Gap Report 2019 finds that the global economy re-uses just 9% of the 92.8 million tonnes of minerals, fossil fuels, metals and biomass that enter the economy. Climate change and material use are closely linked and 62% of global greenhouse gas emissions (excluding those from land use and forestry) are released during the extraction, processing and manufacturing of goods to serve society’s needs while 38% are emitted in the delivery and use of products and services. The use of materials has more than tripled since 1970 and could double again by 2050 without action, according to the UN International

Resource Panel. Circle Economy’s CEO, Harald Friedl, said: “A 1.5-degree world can only be a circular world. Recycling, greater resource efficiency and circular business models offer huge scope to reduce emissions. A systemic approach to applying these strategies would tip the balance in the battle against global warming. Governments’ climate change strategies have focused on renewable energy, energy efficiency and avoiding deforestation but they have overlooked the vast potential of the circular economy.

Source: CIWM Journal https://ciwm-journal.


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News and Updates

Digitisation saves energy The fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) is pushing energy efficiency, as more and more items become digitised. The Internet of Things (IoT) includes the refrigerator in your home, the aircon in your office and the entire production process in your factory. The more efficiently these run, the less energy is expended. Digitisation enables buildings to become ‘smart’ and more energy efficient and can be translated into tax incentives through the tax rebate programme administered by SANEDI on behalf of government. The

incentive has been in place since 2013. Both small companies and larger, energy intensive energy users have benefited from this initiative. Interventions have included flare stacks and waste heat converted back into production; airlines optimising routes and avgas usage; hospitals cutting down on lighting and air-conditioning usage, double glazing of windows and installation of LED lights. Source: The South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI).

KZN water-wise project a winner

The AECI Wise Wayz Water Care (WWWC) programme is an innovative partnership between a JSE-listed chemicals group and rural communities in KwaZulu-Natal. It was a joint winner of the 2018 Trialogue Strategic CSI Award, sharing the prize with Merchants Group’s youth development programme. The project began in 2016 and involves 122 people from the Folweni and Eximbokodweni communities in eThekweni, near Durban. They keep a 30 km stretch of the eZimbokodweni River catchment area clear and have helped rehabilitate a wetland that stretches over nearly a kilometre. Over 1 830 households have received

environmental education and more than 440 people have acquired skills ranging from water safety testing to vegetable production. Based on their knowledge, the eThekweni municipality has employed 16 WWWC participants. AECI, which has invested R7,5 million in the project, can in turn abstract cleaner water for the Umbogintwini Industrial Complex, a multi-user site which is managed by the company’s property division and where several its chemicals manufacturing businesses operate.

Responsible Investing a Must In its recent Living Planet Report 2018, the World Wildlife Fund made it clear that unless collective action is taken today, society will not be able to halt or reverse the damage being done to the environment. This report came out shortly before Old Mutual launched its first environmental, social and governance (ESG) unit trust – an index tracker fund that replicates the performance of top international companies who show the highest commitment to protecting people and the planet – to South African retail investors. Investment flows that specifically target and protect environmental resources – will play an important role in the transition to a net carbon-neutral society. Thanks to innovation in asset management, which relies on the use of both financial and non-financial indicators such as ESG scores to inform investment decisions, it is now possible for investors to align their personal philosophy with their financial goals and look forward to reduced volatility in the investment landscape and higher returns. Source: Elize Botha, Managing Director of Old Mutual Unit Trusts

Source: Meropa Communications, on behalf of Trialogue. Contact:

Ocean Clean Up Begins Towards the end of 2018 the dream to clean up the 1.8 trillion pieces of garbage in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch became a reality as the floating boom system was put to use for the first time. This is a testing phase of the system designed by the non-profit Ocean Cleanup, which was founded in 2013 by 18-year-old Dutch inventor Boyan Slat. Their mission is to develop “advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic.” The floating boom system will endeavour to clean up at least 50% of the detritus in this region within the first five years. This means each boom will capture approximately 68 039 kilograms of plastic found between California and Hawaii. Satellites can easily spot the vortex of plastic pollution that covers an area of roughly 1.6 million square kilometres. It is trapped within an ocean current, called a gyre. The floating booms will be towed out to sea and drift along the current creating a half circle that will capture the garbage and the ten feet of netting below the booms will be used to collect the smaller pieces of plastic below the surface. The recovered plastic will be transported back to land to be sorted and recycled and re-used. Location of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and the subtropical convergence zone. NOAA Source:

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Carbon Tax


Polluter will Pay

By: Silvana Claassen

In 2017, South African businesses saw the first climate change related regulations being promulgated. These included the mandatory reporting regulations as well as the pollution prevention plans regulations. However, at the end of 2018, the Minister of Finance tabled the long-debated Carbon Tax Bill in Parliament, which is set to become a reality by June 2019. This means that companies that are tax liable, which as a rule of thumb are the energy-intensive industries, can no longer hide behind a wait-and-see attitude but will have to make swift changes to save their bottom-lines.


he design and purpose of the carbon tax is to provide a strong price signal to companies to take measures that will reduce their carbon footprint as well as creating a market for innovative and clean technology. Simultaneously the carbon tax puts a domestic price on carbon at a nominal rate of R120 per tCO2e.

Pricing carbon is required to balance the social and environmental costs, associated with anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.

Why is it that companies do not have to pay for their carbon-waste whereas all other waste-streams including hazardous waste, organic waste, recyclable waste, etc. are heavily regulated? The atmosphere’s capacity to store greenhouse gases is limited and reaching its maximum. Through imposing a carbon tax, the costs of carbon emissions are made payable by the polluter instead of the public. Whilst the debate between the big emitters in South Africa and the national treasury regarding the pros and cons of a carbon tax has been going on for nearly a decade, our planet has been warming up progressively. Where the Paris Agreement commits to limiting average global warming to 2 degrees above preindustrial temperatures, Earth has already reached a 1-degree increase. Confirmed by science, but also experienced by all South Africans through events like Cape Town’s drought as well as recent wildfires and floods that the country saw during the festive season, temperatures in South Africa rise 2 to 3 times as fast as the global average. In combination with its high dependency on the agricultural sector as its main food-supply, it is becoming ever more challenging to question whether the introduction of a carbon tax will negatively impact South Africa’s economy.

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Now that the carbon tax is a reality, companies will have to factor in the price of carbon. The question however is at what rate because the rate set for the first phase of the carbon tax (1 June 2019 – 31 December 2022), is far below the price of carbon required to meet the Paris Agreement target. According to a World Bank sponsored report that was published in 2017, carbon would need to be priced at $40 to $80 a ton by 2020, going up to $50 to $100 by 2030. Moreover, the carbon tax bill allows for numerous tax-free allowances which brings the nominal tax rate down from R120 to a marginal tax rate of between R6 – R48 per tCO2e. This implies that emitting greenhouse gas emissions is still practically free for companies in South Africa, despite the implementation of the carbon tax. Almost daily, new facts on climate change are being revealed involving that more ambitious action is required by not only governments but business and society as well. When internalising the cost of carbon-emissions, companies are better off anticipating the second phase of the carbon tax which may see that allowances fall away and that the nominal rate will quadruple. The carbon tax applies to emissions generated by activities which are listed in Schedule 2 of the Bill. However, some activities are excluded from being taxable, including activities specific to certain manufacturing processes, the agricultural sector as well as mobile combustion emissions, partly because these emissions are regulated by another system or because it is just too difficult to quantify. The carbon tax responds to this by providing an incentive to these sectors to invest in clean technology that results in carbon emissions reductions which would otherwise not have been achieved. Through this mechanism, industry has the option to instantly reduce a part of its taxable carbon footprint without investment or operational change. South Africa’s 2019 landscape is changing for the big greenhouse gas emitters in the sense that measures to actively reduce emissions must be taken. However real change is expected upon the start of the second phase of the tax. Therefore, business should embrace the first phase to re-strategise and make low carbon operations toppriority.

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Finance for Climate

Change Mitigation By: Louise Naude

Significant investments are needed to support the global transition to a low carbon climate resilient future in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement. They will play a critical role in creating incentives and governments have put various financial instruments in place to drive the transition backed by funding from a variety of sources.


limate change mitigation projects and programmes have drawn on a wide range of financial instruments that can mobilise funds, be used as financial products to provide capital, or address specific risks of mitigation projects.

Green bonds These are fixed income and sometimes market-linked financial instruments that are used to raise funds to finance, or re finance projects or assets, that are environmentally beneficial or have climate related attributes.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimates that between 1991 and 2003, debt for nature swaps generated almost US$1.1 billion for conservation measures, in return for debt with face value volumes of almost US$3.6 billion.4

Climate policy performance bonds Distinct from green bonds, these have been proposed as an innovative mechanism to mobilise resources for climate change mitigation projects on the ground. How they work: • Issued by a government they pay an interest coupon based on the issuing government’s climate policy performance, such as a reduction in GHG emissions against the Nationally Determined Contribution committed to under the 2015 Paris Agreement, or an increase of the share of renewable energy in total energy production.1 • This provides for a targeted mechanism to raise funds for projects while giving a clear incentive for the bond issuer to reduce carbon emissions.2

Debt for climate swaps These are a variant of the debt for nature swaps that are a traditional tried and tested mechanism to provide predictable and additional finance for environmental projects, including projects leading to a reduction in GHG emissions in countries burdened by high amounts of debt. 3 More recently, the Commonwealth Secretariat proposed the use of climate finance pledges to write off multilateral debt of small states in exchange for investments in climate change adaptation and mitigation initiatives.5

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Instruments to deploy funds There are two types of instruments that provide funding. They are well-known, widely deployed, proven for development financing, and not limited only to financing climate mitigation projects:

Capital instruments There are two types of capital instruments: debt and equity. Both are typically used to overcome financing barriers, such as lack of long-term finance, lack of project finance, lack of equity finance, high and uncertain project development costs, and high capital costs. 6

Debt finance7 The following debt financing instruments have been used: • Senior debt: debt facilities provided in the form of a project loan or credit line to reduce the costs of a project. They provide concessionary funds (a ‘soft loan’) that may be blended with more expensive commercial funding and offer longer term debt than may be available in local financial markets. Senior debt allows for a range of debt amortisation and repayment schedules to customise debt service costs to project cash flows.

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• S ubordinated debt: covers intermediate funding between senior debt and equity. It includes all forms of mezzanine or quasi-equity finance and their variants. Mezzanine financing is a mix of debt and equity financing that gives a lender the right to convert to an equity interest in the company in case of default, generally after senior lenders are paid. • C  oncessional loans (‘soft loan’): loans provided at below market rates and with longer maturity and repayment periods. • R  evolving funds and refinancing schemes: establish a mechanism that offers contingent loans that are repaid to the fund as the project matures and generates income. If the project is not successful, the loan is fully or partially forgiven and not repaid. These funds are designed to invest in a portfolio of projects in anticipation of successful projects allowing for reflow to the fund and making the fund sustainable.

Equity finance Governments that provide equity for climate change mitigation

projects give a capital contribution without receiving any guarantee of repayment. In doing so, they acquire ownership of the project.

Risk management instruments Risk management instruments include guarantees and insurance. They do not comprise direct financing but protect financiers against risks, thereby making it possible to mobilise commercial finance at acceptable costs. Financing instruments deployed by governments should focus on reducing barriers, risks and market failures with the explicit aim of crowding in private sector investment, rather than simply being used to fund projects in general. This article is a summary of the WWF SA report that is available at this link financial-instruments-used-by-governments-for-climate-changemitigation


Michaelowa, A., Bouzidi, A. & Friedmann, V. 2016. Boosting climate action through innovative debt instruments. Combining debt for climate swaps and climate policy performance bonds. Concept Note. Perspectives Climate Research gGmbH & Emena Advisory. Freiburg, Germany. Michaelowa, Bouzidi & Friedmann, 2016. 3 Development Finance International, 2009. Debt relief to combat climate change. Paper prepared for Government of Guyana as Chair of Commonwealth Ministerial Debt Sustainability Forum. Commonwealth Secretariat. London. 4 OECD, 2007. Green Investment Banks. Innovative Public Financial Institutions Scaling up Private, Low-carbon Investment. OECD Environment Policy Paper No. 6. 5 Mitchell, T. 2015. Debt Swaps for Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation: A Commonwealth Proposal. Discussion Paper Number 19. Commonwealth Secretariat. London. 6 For a discussion on financing barriers, see WWF’s paper, Barriers to greening the economy in South Africa. 7 The technical discussion in this sub-section is based on The World Bank. Undated. Financing renewable energy. Options for Developing Financing Instruments Using Public Funds; London School of Economics. 2009. Meeting the Climate Challenge: Using Public Funds to Leverage Private Investment in Developing Countries. Section 4; Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council, 2014. Non-Grant Instruments. Policy: FI/PL/02. 1


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Chepin double win CHEP emerged victorious from the KZN Waste Management Awards evening, with two of the company’s service centres winning top awards for excellence in waste management.


he awards, presented every two years by the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) , are open to all environmentally conscious organisations and honour exceptional contributions and commitment to responsible waste management practices. The winning CHEP Service Centres were CHEP Pietermaritzburg, located in the second-largest city in the province of KwaZulu-Natal which won a two-star gold certificate, and CHEP Cornubia, north of Durban, which won a three-star gold certificate. CHEP sustainability administrator Caren Tarr won the Individual Merit Award. The wins follow a similar CHEP achievement at the previous awards, where CHEP Pietermaritzburg and CHEP Prospecton both won gold certificates.

“We are really humbled to be acknowledged by IWMSA for our sustainability work,” said CHEP Project Manager Paul Cross. “CHEP has been participating in the awards for a number of years, and we have constantly improved our processes for greater sustainability. It’s great to have those efforts recognised.” CHEP is one of the leading supply-chain management companies in the world, minimising environmental impact from its pallet and container solutions through pooling and sharing of resources, repair and reuse. CHEP returns zero wood waste to landfill and works to reduce other waste by utilising renewable resources and 100% certified wood. “We are thrilled to be acknowledged by our colleagues in the sustainability sector,” said CHEP Senior Sustainability Manager Nomathemba Mhlanga. “We are always working with our customers and suppliers to deliver mutually beneficial sustainable solutions, and to minimise our impact on the environment through continuous improvement.” The KZN Waste Management Awards aim to encourage all organisations in KZN to think and act on efficient, effective waste management, to promote best practice in waste management and to acknowledge organisations committed to responsible and effective waste management.

About CHEP

Left to right: Caren Tarr (Sustainability Coordinator), David Mkhungo (Operations Supervisor, Ian Lindsey (Plant Manager), Paul Cross (Regional Operations Manager), Braam Botha (Operations Supervisor), Wayne Ridgway (Operations Manager).

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CHEP helps move more goods to more people, in more places than any other organisation on earth. Its pallets, crates and containers form the invisible backbone of the global supply chain and the world’s biggest brands trust us to help them transport their goods more efficiently, sustainably and safely. As pioneers of the sharing economy, CHEP created one of the world’s most sustainable logistics businesses through the share and reuse of its platforms under a model known as ‘pooling’. CHEP primarily serves the fast-moving consumer goods (e.g. dry food, grocery, and health and personal care), fresh produce, beverage, retail and general manufacturing industries. CHEP employs approximately 11,000 people and owns approximately 300 million pallets, crates and containers through a network of more than 750 service centres, supporting more than 500,000 customer touch-points for global brands such as Procter & Gamble, Sysco, Kellogg’s and Nestlé. CHEP is part of the Brambles Group and operates in more than 55 countries with its largest operations in North America and Western Europe.

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A Really

Big Fund

Gordon Brown, the publisher of Green Economy Journal had these questions for Mike Meeser hot on the heels of the announcement of Investec and UK Climate Investments R 1 Billion commitment to a dedicated renewable energy investment fund Revego Africa Energy. What are the implications of this for endeavour for green infrastructure projects in the region. GB: Can you explain what the ‘recycling of development capital’ means exactly and how this will help stimulate new projects? Not all of the investors in the underlying projects are natural long term holders of equity or, alternatively, have a limited capital base which could hamper the investor from doing further developments and therefore would prefer to sell once the project is de-risked which is normally post the completion of construction and the commissioning of the project using the capital to invest in further greenfield developments. GB: Please provide some market context for the establishment of the Revego fund - can we assume that there is a lack of liquidity in the development funding market presently, and that new projects are struggling to access development funding? The results of multiple market soundings revealed that investors (wealth managers, pension funds and asset managers), have limited access to investments in the renewable energy sector and the projected yield provided an alternative to other investment classes with a similar risk profile. In addition, in the South African market, some of the initial investors had geared their investments and selling out to a fund facilitates the early redemption of the debt and the monetisation of the value of their investments which facilitates the investments in future green field developments. GB: Which are the key development funds that are likely to sell out of current projects, typically what current projects would the fund seek to invest in? Infrastructure funds (by their very nature) have a finite life and would be required to exit and release value for the underlying investors in that particular fund. In addition to infrastructure funds, developers, contractors and equipment suppliers would seek to monetise their investments post the construction phase. The Revego fund has a mandate to invest in operating renewable projects in sub-Saharan Africa and has limited appetite to take development and construction risk. GB: Which categories of new projects are currently seeking development funding and will thus benefit from the increased liquidity? Our view is initial investors and, in particular, the smaller developers for all types of renewable projects would seek to exit their investments to recover their development capital and equity. For the larger projects more capital intensive technologies such as geo-thermal and concentrated solar power (CSP), require financially

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Mike Meeser

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stronger investors and the reasons behind any sales are more likely to be driven by realisation of the value and increasing the internal rate of return to the shareholders of the investor. GB: Investec’s partner in Revego is UK Climate Investments; a joint venture between the Green Investment Group (GIG) and the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) with a binding commitment of £200m from the UK Government’s International Climate Fund – is this partnership with Investec, a private investment bank, an innovative new approach or are these types of public-private relationships common practice? Investec and UKCI as cornerstone investors (both with extensive experience in and understanding of the renewal energy sector) hopefully will attract investors into the sector. UKCI’s mandate, in addition to stimulating investment in the sector, is that of facilitating a new class of vehicle methodologies in emerging economies, noting that the fund will be the first ZAR renewable energy yieldco to be listed on a major stock exchange.

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GB: Does the establishment of this fund effectively endorse the positive role being played by the development funds in kick-starting green infrastructure projects? Yes GB: Does the establishment of this fund signal confidence in the medium term outlook for the development of new green infrastructure such as utility scale renewable energy projects under the REIPPPP, Get Fit, etc? There are in excess of 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa without access to reliable electricity. Governments are now instituting renewal energy programmes to attract investment in the sector as studies have shown the multiplier effect that electrification has on developing economies in addition to capitalising on the continuing cost reductions and technology advancements in renewal energy. The fund would hope to play the role by providing an exit mechanism for developers and initial investors.

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Green Buildings

Employee satisfaction and the 4th industrial revolution A

s we leap into the 4th industrial revolution, people feel the need to have an alignment with their workplace culturally, ethically and aesthetically. Studies reveal that an employee centric workplace does indeed enhance the productivity and levels of engagement, aptly demonstrated by Google’s efforts in creating a “best in class” corporate culture where people are put at the forefront of crafting the office environment. They do this by looking into and harnessing solutions that consume less energy, water and that are a positive contribution towards creating more sustainable built environments. With the knowledge that workplaces are evolving, and work is becoming more about what people do and less about where they do it they have taken full advantage of making the workplace both stimulating and mindful of how it interacts with the environment. The cornerstone of creating a best of breed indoor environment lies in the environmental quality (IEQ) because it’s effects on health, comfort and performance of occupants have a direct impact on productivity and employee comfort and productivity. Furthermore a study conducted by the World Green Building Council entitled “Business Case for Green Building” has noted that green healthcare facilities indeed provided better patient care and reduce the length of stay required in hospital as well as 22% reduction in need for pain medication. Drawing parallels between personal and professional lives there can hardly be anything more important than health and wellbeing and for most employers, a healthy, happy workforce is a vital component of a successful business. Small interventions can have a large impact and what may appear a modest improvement in employee health or productivity, can have a significant financial implication for employers. This equation is at the heart of the business case for healthy, productive offices, an issue that has been rising rapidly up the agenda for the global real estate market; measuring organisational outcomes and relating those back to the physical features of buildings and employee perceptions. It has been noted by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health as well as the Syracuse University Center of Excellence that personnel that operate in green, well-ventilated offices record a 101 per cent

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By: Tshegofatso Selahle

With the world of work rapidly evolving and the increase of remote working and its feasibility under the spotlight, the “brick and mortar “of occupying the workplace is increasingly being questioned and big business is grappling with ways to adapt the office real estate to suit an increasingly switched on and tech savvy employee.

increase in cognitive scores, meaning that employees are left with a stronger sense of meaning, purpose and positive well-being; a potent resource for vitality as represented by slower physical decline of health, reduced risk of frailty and prolonged survival. These studies highlight the fact that productivity rates are indeed closely linked to sustainable buildings and the results are becoming more and more tangible for business owing to a higher level of employee loyalty meaning higher retention rates and a reduction in the costs associated with turnover as well as recruitment. There is no deep mystery about how to create healthier spaces, but the big debate however is the uncertainty over which green building features or combination of features have the greatest impact on health and productivity; and the mathematics around turning productivity metrics into meaningful financial metrics.

According to the World Green Building Council the general considerations include: Indoor Air Quality Thermal comfort Daylighting & lighting Biophilia Noise Interior design Active design & exercise Amenities & location

People living in urban environments typically spend more than 90% of their time inside artificial environments and they are indeed starting to expect a lot more from the spaces they occupy. Our generation is starting to draw parallels between the effects of the built environment on engagement, performance and accomplishment in the office and the rising interest in this field has placed additional pressure on facility managers and the research community for practical guidelines on creating a safe, healthy and comfortable indoor environment.

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Captain Fanplastic By: Ruben Hazelzet

At the end of 2018, Soapbox South Africa launched an educational programme called Captain Fanplastic, that contributes to the UN’s 14th Sustainable Development Goal. The learning objective is to create a mindset that plastic is #NoTrashButTreasure. The call to action is to pick it up, reuse or recycle it.


he programme starts with a story that local facilitators share. ‘The Legend of Captain Fanplastic’ is read to the learners and the beautiful illustrations make the story of the captain and his turtle, Fin come to life in a world the learners can immerse themselves in. After the story the teaching of new habits begins, focusing on the why it is vital to reduce the use of plastic, reuse and recycle it. With this foundation the fun challenge begins, and the children are encouraged to get creative and, guided by project’s facilitators they begin to craft various items from the story, like their very own Captain Fanplastic eye-patch and Fin, the Turtle. Then they move on to the cleaning phase and go on their first “treasure” hunt in areas around their schools. Armed with treasure maps they record what they find and collect the plastic booty which is then weighed, and prizes are given to the most successful little pirates. This careful build up from the graphic story towards the reality of an environment polluted by plastic litter helps to encourage behaviour change. All parts of the programme link back to the story, which enables the children to truly understand, believe and become part of the solution. It not only changes the perception of young children towards plastic, reducing littering and stimulating recycling in the long run, but also removes plastic from their surroundings.

3. At the end of the treasure hunt, facilitators weigh the amount of treasure every group has found and the plastic is collected by recycling partners like PlasticSA. The storyline can be adapted to any cultural landscape and as a result the aim is to scale up the outreach potential of the initiative. The plans for 2019 include translations in IsiXhosa, Afrikaans and Portuguese. The use of graphic storytelling and gamification is very positively received by the 8 – 12-year-old target group and Captain Fanplastic has set sail for one thousand classrooms in South Africa.

The programme measures its impact in three ways: 1. At the start of the programme a baseline measurement is conducted to grasp the knowledge of the school class about plastic pollution. At the end of the programme facilitators do a follow-up to measure what the impact has been.

You can support a school to get the materials, email:

2. During the treasure hunt the children pair up and document everything they find on a Captain Fanplastic treasure map, which records valuable data about the type of plastic that is found in South Africa. These locations (e.g. beaches, river banks, etc.) will often be situated around disadvantaged areas, with less resources and capacity to tackle the problem.

This Cape Town based marketing agency helps social enterprises, as well as corporates running CSR programmes to improve their impact in Africa.

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About Soapbox South Africa:

Schools can acquire the programme by applying to

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Advertorial - Innovation

Big wins for

Entrepreneurs Innovative entrepreneurs took centre stage when the winners of the 2018 Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) Global Cleantech Innovation Programme of South Africa (GCIP-SA) were announced in Cape Town last month.


he business-accelerator programme ran over four months with a total of 44 participants being coached and mentored to fine-tune their products and services and get them investment-ready. Twenty-one finalists in the fields of clean technology, bioprocessing and medical devices, competed for top honours in their various fields. Each of the three overall winners received a cash prize of R120 000, as well as an overseas trip to explore markets for their products. In the clean-technology sector, where nine finalists competed, Inseco was selected as the overall winner, with iWater and Cane Trash Burner as the runners-up. The most promising youth-led team was Inseco and the best women-led team was iWater. The social-impact award went to Lusec Sanitation Solutions. For many of the participants the programme was just what they needed to push their innovations in the right direction. Jack Chennells of Inseco says GCIP-SA has taken his team on an amazing journey of discovering more about their business and how they operate from both a personal and a business perspective. “The mentorship and guidance provided, and the ideas suggested helped us as we move into our next phase of business growth. We have also been linked with incredible people and organisations that gave us immense confidence in the business,” he says. Inseco has developed an innovative way to manufacture costeffective and environmentally sustainable animal protein from insects – specifically the Black Soldier Fly (BSF). “The fundamental notion behind the technology is the principle that we can harness the nutritional capacity of currently disregarded foods and, making an aquaculture and poultry meal that is sustainable, nutritious and financially attractive,” he says. Prof Esta van Heerden, the driving force behind iWater, says iWater is a dynamic technology company that leads the way in innovation of better technologies. “We understand the powers of nature’s own superheroes – the microbes. We manage their metabolic dynamics/systems, which represents the new wave associated with the treatment of pollutants,” she says. Bio-remediation is a process that uses naturally occurring organisms that help in the breakdown of hazardous substances into non-toxic or less-toxic substances. It does not use chemicals and allows the waste to be recycled once the contamination is removed or neutralised. iWater provides sophisticated solutions based on remote sensing and data integration. Cane Trash Burner Incorporated’s innovation is aimed at South Africa’ s R8 billion sugar industry which, the company says lags behind various-sugar producing countries in areas of waste efficiency and energy generation.

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Left to right: Dr Phil Mjwara (director general: Department of Science and Technology), TIA CEO Barlow Manilal, Alan Hall of Lusec Sanitation (winner of innovation for social impact award) and Vusi Skosana, TIA acting executive and technology stations programme head TIA & Department of Science and Technology)

Left to right: Dr Phil Mjwara (director general: Department of Science and Technology), Simon Hazell and Jack Chennells from Inseco (cleantech overall winner and most promising youth-led team), TIA CEO Barlow Manilal and Vusi Skosana, TIA acting executive and technology stations programme head

“Cane Trash Burner Incorporated has a patented technology that processes sugar cane by burning the leaves in a controlled environment to maximise sugar yield, produce clean cane devoid of sand and grit and, most importantly, harnesses the energy produced by the of the leaves.” The heat energy that is harnessed by the Cane Trash Burner can used at the sugar factory, or to generate electricity. “The technology has an investment payback period of five years and a financial return up to 15% higher than the nearest competitor,” says Dr Wolf Bernhardt of Cane Trash Burner Incorporated. Lusec Sanitation Solutions offers efficient and cost-effective waterless solutions to sanitation in all circumstances. Without water, all pathogens and parasites are killed, and urine is processed as an excellent and harmless fertiliser. “Our urban and rural solutions include isolating and burning body waste on site and out of sight. The urine is deodorised instantly. It becomes an excellent and organic fertiliser, an asset rather than a sewage liability,” says Alan Hall of Lusec Sanitation.

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Collective action to protect our

resources By: Phathizwe Malinga

A corporate going green has the best effect on helping us go green. There are many ways for corporates to go green. Of the 6 most popular ways, anything for changing the lighting in a building, to add power shut down switches, installing solar panels and or skylights, to replace old tech with more green technologies like “RoofTech” It all costs and stretches the budget. For an SME specifically, this is the least of their concerns, as the effects of not going green is invisible to most of us.


hen we need our shared resources, like water or energy or soil, we have ready access to these resources. Only when there’s a big natural disaster, like a city experiencing drought, do we finally see the impact and how scarce these resources are. It is not because we don’t care to make the right decisions that can help prolong or even turn us into net positive consumers, it’s because we don’t see the collective harm we cause on these resources. Add to this the current cost associated with going green. It’s simply too high to be prioritised for most of us. We mean to, but most business don’t get around to implementing these green measures. Where a company has gone through the expense of going green, only to have employees not taking the necessary steps that would kickstart the green process is another concern. I know of companies that have installed LED lights, however staff do not turn the lights off in the evening when they go home. So, how can you make us as humans more aware of our direct contributions towards the saving or wasting of shared resources in a way that improves our social responsibility towards these resources? In my opinion, the biggest impact one can have, is not through the fancy, and often too expensive services for SMEs’ initiatives, but through increasing visibility of a shared resource. And not just visibility for visibility’s sake, but making the everyday worker responsible and informing them how the shared resource is doing. Is it improving or dwindling? This is what the Internet of Things (IoT) does for businesses, and more importantly for humans in any environment. It gives us the ability to generate meaningful data about the condition of our assets, like shared resources and have access this information through the Internet no matter where we are in the world. It also allows us to set

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thresholds on when to receive data from these assets so that the assets alert us immediately should they be out of tolerance. A Stellenbosch University inspired company called Bridgiot did just that for many schools in the Western Cape. Using a very low cost, “no power required” technology called Sigfox, they managed to fit a Sigfox™ Ready IoT device onto existing water mains in these public schools and made the information available to the administrators and students of the school via a website (visit In a matter of a few days, they were able to save a school over 3 million litres of water in only 3 months. To date they save about 1.5 million litres across 350 schools DAILY. This IoT solution they installed was able to measure in real time they amount of water being used, alerting the school to irregular usage, e.g. outside of school hours or excessive usage in areas. The school was able to find and repair leaky pipes, get into the habit of closing certain faucets that had high usage, like the boys’ urinals (you know those old trough-like ones that have water running constantly). It’s not that the school couldn’t think of these water saving techniques, it’s that at the geographical scale of a school, nobody was aware how much water was being used unnecessarily. With this information now at their fingertips they are well to make better decisions about this shared resource. Don’t get me wrong, automation is great and where one can afford it, it should be used. But the reality is that many of us simply can’t afford it. But we can have the same or an even bigger impact on saving the shared resource just through meaningful data access. This is true innovation, being to generate meaningful data from assets in a way that us as humans can make better decisions that are informed by real-time data. In this way I argue that IoT is the biggest driver of a green economy. IoT drives innovation.

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River Rehabilitation By: Professor Dr. Anthony Turton winner of the Nick Steele Memorial Award (South African Environmentalist of the Year) 2010, Green Globe Award (Environmental Activist of the Year) 2012 and WESSA Award (Lifetime Conservation Achiever) 2016

The South African sewage crisis reached an inflection point in November 2018 when the Army was deployed into the Vereeniging area to restore functionality of the Sebokeng Waste Water Treatment Works (WWTW). This specific WWTW releases a steady flow of around 120 Ml/d (120 million liters per day) of untreated raw sewage into the Vaal River. This specific river is the lifeblood of the South African economy, sustaining around 65% of the total national economy and around 45% of the human population.


hen the Army is mobilised it is usually a national emergency. In this case it was not called a State of Emergency, but clearly something is going on that we all need to understand. South Africa became a fundamentally water constrained economy in 2002 when the First National Water Resource Strategy reported that at national level, we had already allocated 98% of all the water available, noting that in some catchments legitimate water entitlements exceeded available supply by as much as 120%. Subsequent research has shown that we over-estimated the total volume available, because our science is improving, and climate change has altered the distribution patterns of rainfall to a significant

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extent. To make matters worse the South African economy became capital constrained in 2013 at the height of the Bell Pottinger initiative that targeted so-called White Monopoly Capital as the enemy of economic progress. Credible work by Mike Schussler, a highly respected economist, has shown that by 2018 Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) expressed as a percentage of GDP was hovering around minus 25%. This is significant because it was a -5% FDI that triggered the regime change when the Nationalist Party relinquished power to the African National Congress in 1994. More recent reporting has shown that South Africa is listed third globally as an exporter of FDI.

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The sight of blocked sewers discharging raw effluent into the streets of South Africa are a common sight found in almost every municipality without exception.

Garbage choking a natural wetland that has been encroached by informal settlements that lack sewage and other services like drinking water.

From this we can safely conclude that the South African economy is BOTH water and capital constrained. This frames the relevance of the sewage crisis.

We have 1,085 bulk water treatment plants for producing potable water, 250 of which have totally failed. The larger plant, such as that controlled by the various Water Boards, has never been designed to convert sewage contaminated river water into safe potable water. We have 824 WWTW’s, all controlled by municipalities, collectively processing around 5,200 Ml/d (5.2 billion liters) of raw sewage daily. Of this only 836 Ml/d is treated to a safe standard, the rest (around 4.3 billion liters) is discharged daily into our rivers ever day. These are the same rivers that supply our drinking and industrial process water. This contextualises the need for river rehabilitation. Our rivers are all in an appalling condition. Not only are they all contaminated by raw sewage, but they are also choked by polystyrene and single use plastic used for packaging. Its safe to say that no single municipality is able to cope. Remember, the WWTW failures are a powerful indicator that municipalities are failing, so now we are also expecting an already distressed decision-making structure to firstly recognise that rivers are important to socio-economic wellbeing, and then secondly to develop a coherent strategy for their rehabilitation. If we use this as an indicator of “health” of the decision-making organs of state, we see an alarming trend. Almost all municipalities pass the buck to the provincial structures, who in turn pass the baby over to national organs like the Department of Water and Sanitation, the Department of Environmental Affairs, and the Department of Cooperative Government. Each of these departments typically cites Chapter 3 of the Constitution (Cooperative Governance), saying that they are unable to intervene in the affairs of other organs of state. This results in a paralysed decision-making system that translates into failure of the state to deliver core services such as clean water and a safe environment for the citizens. Unfortunately, it also opens the door to vigilante action. One form of this is river rehabilitation, typically driven by an enthusiastic individual, often offering some form of silver-bullet solution. Typically, this resonates with public frustration and the desire to take matters into their own hands becomes unstoppable. Money

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Foam from the discharge of a dysfunctional sewage works engulfs an entire river and riparian bank in South Africa.

is raised through crowd funding that is unregulated, and silverbullet solutions are enthusiastically deployed without any scientific evidence of their efficacy or safety. Given that government has failed – the underlying driver of the vigilante action in the first place – there is no regulatory function to legalise the silver-bullets and regulate the crowd funding. We saw this in the rhino poaching arena where masses of money were raised from an outraged public, only small percentages of which ever reached any legitimate anti-poaching initiative. Do we need river rehabilitation? Absolutely. Is the public angry? Undoubtedly. But somewhere in this morass of a failing state, we need to be able to channel the well-intended support of both the general public and silver-bullet solution-providers, into concerted action that is wellplanned, safe and sustainable. This is why OUTA (Organization Undoing Tax Abuse) and WSSA (Water Shortage South Africa) are calling for the establishment of an independent regulator to restore the rule of law and overcome the constitutional impasse created by the incorrect interpretation of the Co-operative Governance Chapter of the national Constitution.

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Advertorial Energy

Close the gaps By: Constance Mokhoantle

Tough economic conditions require innovation and companies like Van Dyck Floors are reaping not only the monetary rewards of being energy efficient but are able to fulfil their commitment to producing sustainable flooring solutions, that have minimal impact on the global and local environment.

Dr Mehran Zarrebini (CEO of Van Dyck Flooring), Milishia Pillay (NCPC-SA Project Manager), Kris Narainsamy (Van Dyck Flooring Senior Team Leader-Engineering) and Cyril Khumalo( Van Dyck Flooring SHEQ Specialist)


his Durban based company started the energy efficiency journey by signing up as a demonstration plant with the South African Industrial Energy Efficiency Project (IEE Project) in October 2015 and this gave them access to specialist support in the area of compressed air. The purpose of the assessment was to highlight gaps between Van Dyck’s compressed air system practices and industry best practices and in so doing identify and quantify potential energy improvement opportunities, according to Milishia Pillay, National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa Project Manager. The company identified a total number of 214 leaks identified during the assessment. The company chose to prioritise the repair of these leaks before pursuing any other intervention. 152 of the leaks were repaired during the annual shutdown period, resulting in an annual saving of 70 969kWh and a monetary savings of R72 388 per annum during the implementation period November 2015 – 2016. The benefit of fixing leaks on compressed air systems forms part of energy efficiency savings which results in monetary savings. In addition improved energy efficiency and more effective energy management have contributed significantly to Van Dyck Flooring attaining several environmental accreditations which is a requirement for entering certain export markets. Some of the accreditation Van Dyck flooring received is: • 1st South African company to achieve The Carbon Trust Standard for Carbon (the world’s leading and independent certifier of organizational carbon footprint reduction); • Reduced Green House Gas emissions by more than 40% over the past 4 years; • 4  9M partner - a pledge to save electricity and create a better economic, social and environmental future for all; • Certified in ISO 9001:2008 (quality management) and ISO 14001 (environmental management) approved by the SABS; and • The only flooring manufacturer who has an ISO 14064-1 Green House Gas verification report According to Pillay the companies employees contributed significantly to the energy savings. “Staff awareness around compressed air systems has led to individuals taking accountability

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Plug compressed air leaks and save. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Air hoses and air hose connections or couplings. Open blow-offs. Open condensate traps. Worn disconnects, or disconnects missing O-rings. Filters, lubricators and regulators, if improperly installed. Leaking or botched drains. Control and shut-off valves. Worn out seals or gaskets.

for significant energy users such as compressed air. The staff have learned how to link the cost of a pinhole leak to something tangible.” Van Dyck Flooring being an organisation that places significant focus on sustainability, the plant engineer attended several of the IEE Projects Energy System Optimization courses. Plus Van Dyck’s maintenance and operational staff attended a NCPC-SA half day awareness raising session on Compressed Air after the project close out meeting. “The keen interest from those involved showed a change in mindset toward energy efficiency, particularly toward the compressed air system. The plant engineer and the safety, health and environment officer also went on to undertake the 2-day end user and expert level training in Energy Management Systems (EnMS). Various energy savings projects stemming from the EnMS implementation are underway as the organisation continues to work towards attaining their ISO 50001 Certification,” says Pillay.

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Unveiling New Fruit

Cultivars in Germany

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Africa’s premier science institution, the Agricultural Research Council (ARC), will for the first time, have its own stand at the annual international trade fair for fruit and vegetable marketing, the 2019 Fruit Logistica, in Berlin Germany from 6-8 February to present its new fruit cultivars. Funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (the DTI), the ARC will be part of a South African delegation of fruit producers from across the country who will show case South African produce to international markets. The institution’s stand at the expo presents the ARC with an opportunity to engage with new and non-traditional markets, partners and is an ideal platform to market its newest set of cultivars. Seven different cultivars will be unveiled and are ripe for commercialisation in collaboration with partners. The ARC will also highlight its expertise to produce leading quality material that competes and are highly sought-after globally. The presentation of this new set of fruit cultivars comes on the back of another successful launch last year of the much-enjoyed Joy-Bell table grapes. The launch of these newest fruit cultivars is another feather in the cap of the ARC that is leading the global agricultural response to changing climatic conditions. The cultivars being unveiled in Berlin have been bred in response to different climatic conditions. This is also an opportunity to display South African fruits products and technologies and their ability to withstand harsh climatic conditions. One of the objectives of the ARC is to grow and develop the agricultural sector that creates new markets, employment, business opportunities and positively contributes to South Africa’s National Developmental Plan. This is an opportunity to collaborate with the international agricultural community and entice young people to study agriculture in order to mitigate the global challenge of hunger and malnutrition. The ARC’s participation in the Berlin exhibition is also viewed in the light of the institution keeping abreast of global trends and positioning South Africa as a preferred destination for agricultural investment and agri-tourism. The agriculture sector faces enormous investment challenges especially in the much-needed area of research. The expo presents an opportunity for the sector to collaborate with international agricultural sector partners and players and to share the expertise.

lemon variety to have a consistent zero seed content. •  ARCCIT1614’ (Valley Gold) – A late maturing mandarin, selected for its attractive appearance and excellent flavour. •  ARCCIT1519’ (African Sunset) – A late maturing mandarin, selected for its attractive appearance and excellent flavour. •  Sonet – An early maturing mandarin, which was selected for its excellent fruit quality and time of ripening. •  ARC Nadorcott – A low seeded variety of Nadorcott (trade name – Clemengold), contains less seed than the commercial Nadorcott (Clemengold). The ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij Campus, located in Stellenbosch in the Western Cape focuses on deciduous fruit, grape vines, alternative crops and indigenous herbal teas. The Campus also focuses on fruit and wine production and is the custodian of grapevine, deciduous fruit and wine yeast gene banks that preserve genetic resources for breeding purposes, training and comparative descriptions. It also boasts a Sterile Insect Technique Programme. Recently released cultivars, which will be presented, in Berlin by the ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij Campus breeding programme through commercialisation agents are: •  Cheeky® - A red blush pear variety. It is marketed and commercialized by Culdevco (Pty) Limited. •  Rosemarie - An attractive smooth-skinned pear with slight blush and good eating quality. Breeding is a long-term project that requires dedication and commitment. Phase 1 can consist of a term of 7 - 10 years from the time the cross is made to the first fruit that is evaluated. Promising selections are then taken into Phase 2 where the trees are multiplied and evaluated for 3 seasons from the time they start bearing. Only after this Phase 2 evaluation can a selection be considered for release as a potential new cultivar. On average, this is 15 - 20 years journey from the making of the cross until the release of a new cultivar.

About the ARC’s fruit cultivars breeding programmes: The citrus cultivar-breeding programme, which was started in 1974, is mainly focused on breeding high quality mandarins and niche market cultivars. The ARC – Tropical and Sub-tropical Campus in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga province breeding programme and is the only citrus breeding programme in the entire South Africa. The objective of the Citrus Cultivar Breeding programme at Addo, in the Eastern Cape, is to develop improved citrus scion cultivars for cooler climates. The ARC has been focusing mainly on high quality mandarins and niche market cultivars. We have also been looking to develop seedless, easy peeling fruit with excellent internal and external quality, in appearance and flavor. The goal is fruit that ripen at a time when there is an opening in the market, such as selections that mature very early or late in the season. Recently released citrus cultivars, which will be unveiled in Berlin by the ARC-Tropical and Sub-tropical Campus’ citrus breeding programme through commercialisation agents are: •  Eureka! Seedless LemonTM – Is the first and only commercial

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Advertorial - Investment

Agriculture (and Land Bank)

exposure and activities By: Vukani Makalima

South Africa’s agriculture is vulnerable to climate change as productive farming is affected directly by the quality of the rainy seasons, temperature, climate variability, extreme weather events and CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. Agriculture is highly dependent on the climate, and thus changes in the frequency and severity of droughts and floods pose challenges for farmers and threaten food security.


s a specialist agricultural bank focused on providing funding in the Agriculture sector, Land Bank has a good understanding of the needs of the sector. The negative impact of climate variability has led to loss of production, damage to property, crops and livestock and diseases. Thus far, drought, high temperatures, and extreme weather events have mainly caused the impacts. These impacts have the potential to be devastating to farmers. In the 2017/18 Financial Year alone the Land Bank Insurance Company reported crop insurance claims to the tune of R513 million. The insurance claims paid out farmers have enabled them to continue their operations and continue to produce the food needed for the country. Land Bank has created a drought relief facility to assist farmers to mitigate distress caused by drought. The facility is focused on providing loans at concessionary rates and tailored terms of repayment to assist farmers towards production rehabilitation, re-stocking, working capital and operational expenses required to minimise further losses to farming operations, as well as prepare for future seasons to continue the farmers’ normal farming operations. In the 2017 /2018, Financial Year a total of R240million was used to fund farmers in need of drought relief. As a state owned entity Land Bank also has a mandate to transform the Agriculture sector and support emerging farmers. Emerging farmers and small-scale farmers generally do not have the resources to either mitigate, adapt or recover from climate variability impacts. Land Bank has implemented the following initiatives to address the climate change challenges: • Environmental Impact Research Land Bank is conducting research on environmental impact of its loan book and customer base in order to understand the required interventions to mitigate the identified risks. The main objective for the research is to get a better understanding of agricultural practices followed by their clients to assess their contribution (whether positive or negative) to the environment with a particular focus on

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land, climate change, water scarcity and energy. Preliminary results from the research indicated that very little work by the bank’s customers is being done to manage environmental risks and only the bare minimum of regulatory compliance is being implemented. Based on the outcome of the research, the bank has reviewed and updated its Environmental and Social Risk Assessment (ESRA) process for its loan applications, which now forms part of overall due diligence of applications and transactions. This was done to ensure that Environmental and Social risks are properly identified in order to ensure proper risk management, protection of the environment and people, as well as to contribute towards sustainable agriculture and protecting of investments. • Carbon footprint for Agric-sector Through collaborations with other partners, Land Bank is working on a carbon calculator solution in order to understand the Agricultural sector’s carbon footprint for small-scale farmers. • Funding Climate Change mitigation and adaptation Land Bank has partnered with other government institutions to seek grant funding through the Green Climate Fund (GCF) that, if successfully procured, will be used for climate change mitigation, adaptation and offsets. In 2018 the Bank secured the Climate Change loan facility with European Investment Bank (EIB) to fund climate change mitigation interventions by the Bank’s customer base. There is a need to increase awareness on climate change impacts on the agricultural sector as well as mitigation and adaptation techniques available. Farmers should be educated on the projected impact and be trained in sustainable agricultural practices, as a way in which to build resilience towards these changes. As a specialist agricultural bank focused on the needs of the sector, Land Bank will continue to seek solutions that not only have benefit for clients but also have an outlook of long term sustainability and care for the surrounding environment.

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Profile for Green Economy Media

Green Economy Journal Issue 33  

Green Economy Journal Issue 33  


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