Page 1

Economy G






Circular Economy Celebrating Africa’s innovations

Super Women Issue 35 R29.00 incl VAT

Leaders in their sectors

9 772410 645003

Bio Energy Hidden potential


GEJ 35.indd 101

2019/07/04 11:23 PM

GEJ 35.indd 102

2019/07/04 11:23 PM




News and Updates


Women in Energy


Super Women



GEJ 35.indd 1

UNIDO presents an overview of the key role players in the energy sector

Acknowledging the expert leadership of females active in the green economy


We talk to Dorcas Onyengo – Sustainability Manager of Coca-Cola about their social projects active in Africa







African Energy Forum conference, call to ban Round Up pesticide, Global Destination Sustainability Index

Jonathan First of the Development Bank of South Africa discusses the fund that actively tackles climate change by supporting new projects

South Africa scores 5 out of 10 for its current transition to a green economy, according to The Green Economy Barometer


Consider the environment before you greenwash




Circular Economy



Updates about the latest figures in recycling of the polymer in South Africa

A celebration of projects throughout Africa that are thriving as a result of innovative business models

Examining how to unlock the potential of new sources of energy with reduced carbon impact

1 2019/07/04 11:23 PM

















reduce construction waste, cost and carbon footprint

Clay bricks are ceramic – fired at high temperatures in a kiln – giving them a lifespan of over 200 years. Recycled “heritage” clay brick is not just eco-friendly, it is creates an eyecatching, distinctive finish for those with an appreciation of authenticity and tradition. Go to to find out more about this sustainable walling material Promoting Inclusive Sustainable Practices in the South African Clay Brick Sector The Switch Green ThisAfrica project is co-funded by the Project is co-funded by European the EuropeanUnion Union

GEJ 35.indd 2

2019/07/04 11:23 PM






EDITOR: Melissa Baird CONTRIBUTORS: Samantha Choles Alexandre Lemille Janine Basson Petro De Wet PRODUCTION MANAGER: Alexis Knipe 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/ Circulation enquiries: GENERAL 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: July 2019

Economy G






Circular Economy Celebrating Africa’s innovations

Super Women Issue 35 R29.00 incl VAT

Leaders in their sectors

Green Economy Journal is audited by ABC

9 772410 645003

Bio Energy Hidden potential

Editor’s Note

Economy G


We’ve passed through the shortest day of the year and the skies are not showing much sign of brightening just yet. I always find winter an interesting time, when things seem to slow down and become more insular, but for us in the sustainability sector it feels as if there is never rest ahead due to the immense social, environmental and economic troubles facing South Africa. With the highest unemployment rate ever and an education system that has failed a generation of learners we need projects that can be used to upskill job seekers and create work that offers meaning and stability. The private sector has a huge role to play in this endeavour and at a recent investing for impact conference in Cape Town, I was able to find out just how much funding there is to support new businesses that can help solve some of these pressing problems. It was the first time I had been in a room with so many managers of private and public equity and despite the issues with finding ‘bankable projects’, it feels as if there is a happy tipping point to be reached in enabling new businesses to structure their entities in a way that makes them immensely appealing to investors. In this edition, we have a report on the successes of the Circular Economy Network in Africa and there are many, which brings a good news story for a change. Circular design and thinking are creating tangible businesses that are thriving. With a focus on gender equality we decided to profile some of the women in the green economy with a view to continue to recognise exceptional contributions to thought leadership and behaviour change through organisations. On the innovation front, there is great news in the recycling figures of PET, and behind the scenes global brands are tackling their supply chains to remove single use plastic from their production lines. The global beer brand, Corona, have reinvented their six pack and the ocean clean up endeavour has begun. Wimbledon’s tennis stars are wearing kits made from ocean plastic and last year a huge shoe brand sold more than a million shoes made of ocean plastic waste. So, cautious optimism follows and the feeling that the tide is turning.

Cover image: CDC Design 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.

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.

3 GEJ 35.indd 3

2019/07/04 11:23 PM

News STRAPHEAD and Updates

Creating better places to live, meet and thrive in The Global Destination Sustainability Index’s whitepaper highlights trends and strategies undertaken by 47 leading cities to become regenerative hubs for economic, social and environmental development.

Energy. In One Place Africa Energy Forum (AEF) 2019 AEF was held for the first time in Lisbon from 11-14 June 2019 and is the energy event where investors and industry stakeholders gather to discuss opportunities in Africa’s energy sector. With the attendance of 20 energy ministers and senior government officials, 32 utilities, regulatory bodies, utility companies and over 3 000 decisionmakers; AEF is one of the most meaningful energy gatherings of the year. AEF 2019 had over 25% women participants. The event highlighted the successes of the AEF community in Africa’s Year of Light, presenting energy projects closed in the last 18 months. Looking to the future AEF 2019 highlighted a few crucial factors to help pull out the roadblocks and hasten energy development. These included a more transparent procurement process, increasing the pipeline of bankable deals, development of more large-scale projects, and innovative technology working alongside all this. In summary, while investment levels in power generation remain far below what is required, there are encouraging signs of acceleration in investment volumes. In the long term, Africa will continue to grow. It will offer investment returns that are attractive to foreign investors compared to alternatives elsewhere. Everybody in Africa is hungry for power and it has a domino effect on economic growth.

At the European Cities Marking Conference, the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDSIndex) released their third Whitepaper that details the case studies, data analysis and the actions taken by 47 Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) and municipalities to become destinations of choice for meetings, events and business tourism. The whitepaper defines six converging mega trends that present destinations and the event industry with opportunities to improve their performance and adapt to the risks presented by Climate Breakdown, Ecocide, demographic shifts, social change and digitalisation. It highlights four fundamental building blocks for DMOs to become sustainable destination stewards and changemakers and defines eight tactics on how destinations can integrate sustainability into their core strategy and become leaders in futureoriented collaboration. To download the report, visit

Photo by Magda Ehlers from Pexels

Game-changing waste technology

4 GEJ 35.indd 4

Current estimates show that 1 100 000 million tonnes of waste is produced in South Africa each year. Imagine if this waste could be used in its entirety – to make bricks that would be used to build infrastructure for the nation?

by PEDREGAL in Costa Rica for the past two years with great success and CRDC is also collaborating with the international US chemicals giant, Dow in the development of EcoArena in a bid to develop a lead initiative for the alliance to end plastic waste.

This may not seem to be just an idealistic vision as Don Thompson, the CEO of The Center of Regenerative Design and Collaboration (CRDC), has invented a process that can turn any plastic waste into the very building blocks of sustainable development. The product, EcoArena PRA (Pre-Conditioned Resin Aggregate) and Ecoblock incorporate regenerated waste combined with a standard sand-cement mixture to produce a highly resistant, durable cement or cement block.

In South Africa, CRDC has partnered with a leading operations company that has extensive expertise and a long track record in on-site waste management, plastic recycling, waste to energy and implementation of zero waste to landfill solutions.

The product has been tested and applied

CRDC will be testing EcoArena PRA with two major concrete manufacturers in the Western Cape as well as a major South African cement producer. For more information contact:

2019/07/04 11:23 PM

News News STRAPHEAD and & Updates

CDI Growth Fund opens for new round of applications A new application round has opened for the R12.8million CDI Growth Fund to boost SME growth and job creation. The CDI Growth Fund is a grant fund specifically for growing South African small businesses who need a cash injection to scale up further and create jobs. Since its launch in 2017, it has already contracted with 38 SMEs, who have collectively created over 160 jobs. The CDI Growth Fund is managed by CDI Capital, which was incorporated as a subsidiary of the Craft and Design Institute (CDI) in 2016 to catalyse funding for SMEs. The funding has been enabled through

contributions by the National Treasury’s Jobs Fund, the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), and the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT). The Fund is in the second year of a five-year disbursement period. The CDI Growth Fund is open to South African-owned businesses who operate within South Africa, who are at least one year old with turnover or assets above R1m. The deadline for applications is 12 July 2019. To apply, visit

Source: Meropa Communications on behalf of the CDI. For further information, or 082 373368

Toxic weed killer must be banned Livestock producer, Farmer Angus, is cautioning consumers against toxic weed killer Round Up. The highly controversial ingredient, glyphosate is said to be responsible for various forms of cancer and other diseases and must be banned. The herbicide is widely used by the agricultural industry on GM (genetically modified) crops as well as by landscapers and home gardeners.

South Africa currently uses glyphosate in all agricultural sectors. GM cotton, GM soya and GM maize seeds designed to withstand the killing effect of glyphosate are planted in soil already prepared with the poison. Glyphosate is absorbed by the plant and cannot be removed by washing. Source: Spier, Western Cape

Photo by Maarten van den Heuvel from Pexels

Ever since the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) reported that glyphosate is a “probable human carcinogen” in 2015, the uncertainty of its use, has dominated international news headlines daily. In the most recent study, researchers at the University of Washington in the USA found a direct link between glyphosate and non-Hodgkin

lymphoma (NHL), a cancer of the immune system. Just last week the city of Miami in the USA announced its ban on glyphosate as did the Indian State of Kerala in February and France in January. Many other governments around the world have already either placed restrictions on, or have issued a statement of their intention to ban the chemical.

GEJ 35.indd 5

In Good Company In its fifth year, the conference will bring together businesses of varying sizes that are committed to leading social change in South Africa. Together, companies and communities are rewriting South Africa’s narrative, for good. Under the theme: The Art of Business it will explore how business can use creative solutions to drive positive impact in society. “Building on the successes of the previous years’ conferences, we look forward to engaging with attendees and unpacking needs and challenges prevailing in South Africa’s socio-economic environment,” states Keri-Leigh Paschal, Executive Director of Nation Builder who is responsible for organising the conference. Every year, both corporate and small-business leaders across all industry sectors come together with the aim of sharing practical lessons, useful insights, and to unlock new ways of collaboration. “Business is a powerful medium that has the influence to bring about the change we’d like to see in South Africa. The conference is crafted for delegates to discover how they can evolve corporate social investment strategies that will create business solutions for complex social problems,” says Paschal. The In Good Company Conference 2019, hosted by Nation Builder, is taking place on 15 August 2019 at the Atterbury Theatre in Pretoria. Visit www. for more information on speakers and tickets.

Economy G






If you’d like us to feature anything in News and Updates please e-mail our editor

5 2019/07/04 11:23 PM


Women in energy

More than idealism, critical for economic growth


ormer Minister of Energy, Jeff Radebe, reminded attendees at a 2019 Women in Energy conference event that studies show “…if women played an identical role in labour markets as men, they could contribute between US$12 trillion and US$28 trillion to global annual gross domestic product.” He added that gender diversity in high-level decision-making is shown to correlate with improved business performance and investment; supported by evidence that companies with more women on their boards perform better with regards to their return on investment, sales and equity. At an International Women’s Day event held in March 2019, LI Yong, the Director General of the UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), said the following, “When women and men are equally engaged in meeting the challenges of development, we have more skills and knowledge to tap into. Study after study has shown that more diversity creates more innovation, brings greater profitability, and makes us smarter.”

In numbers:

Importance of energy sector

13% Global population lacks access to modern electricity 3 billion People still rely on wood, coal, charcoal or animal waste for cooking and heating 60% Global greenhouse emissions attributed to cooking and heating

*Women in the energy sector

58% Gender gap between men and women in terms of economic participation 23% Gap in terms of political empowerment 100 yrs Required to close gap, based on current trends 2030 Sustainable Development Goals at risk if time lag remains * World Economic Forum 2017 Gender Gap report

Educating and investing in women and girls has a multiplier effect on productivity, efficiency and economic growth. But economically strengthening women is not only a means by which to spur and sustain inclusive industrial development. It is also a matter of advancing women’s human rights. UNIDO DG, Li Yong

A group of Industrial Energy Efficiency Project Graduates trained to drive the adoption of Energy Management Systems (ISO 50 001) and Systems Optimisation.

6 GEJ 35.indd 6

2019/07/04 11:23 PM

LEADERS The business case seems to be evident, yet reality must still catch up. While there is a broader case to be made for gender equality in all spheres and levels of society and the economy, the energy sector in particular is perceived to be a male-dominated sector. Should this persist, women – who represent at least half of the global population – are likely to be excluded from active and meaningful participation in a rapidly changing economy. Despite the large legislative and policy framework on gender equality and women´s empowerment, a Gender Analysis and Assessment Report of the Industrial Energy Efficiency (IEE) project undertaken in December 2015, highlighted that the retention of women in the workplace is a major problem. This is associated with the disadvantaged position of women in industry, considered a male-dominated space that expels women. South Africa is still behind with regards to diversity and gendersensitive culture and management in industry and lacks flexibility in most working environments. The report highlighted the need for female role models and mentors to assist women in gaining confidence in the engineering sector and contribute to gender equality in this area. To drive gender equality in specifically the energy sector, UNIDO has incorporated gender mainstreaming in all its programmes and projects – not just at ideological level, but also at key performance indicator measurement level. One such example is the Industrial Energy Efficiency (IEE) Project, where gender mainstreaming is a key focus area for UNIDO and its project partners in South Africa, namely the National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa (NCPC-SA), the SA National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI), the Department of Energy, and funders: the Global Environment Facility and the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti). The NCPC-SA has partnered with Women in Energy as part of awareness raising of gender parity, and focuses on recruiting women to IEE and RECP training. It also offers women the opportunity to register during August for free attendance of any of its energy training courses (ECSA-accredited), including expert-level training certified by UNIDO. The Department of Energy conducts learner outreaches targeting 60% women participation, and, with the dti and SANEDI, provide bursaries for women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Existing initiatives to support gender mainstreaming cover decisionmaking and governance roles where top positions are filled by women. In terms of economic opportunities in employment and entrepreneurship, the Department of Energy partners with energy companies and run workshops on opportunities in the energy sector. In addition, it is building and sharing a database of women-owned businesses and collating data on women’s employment and business ownership, as well as exploring the use of gender-specific incentives for industry. Procurement is used across by all UNIDO’s partners in SA to support women-empowered companies. From a cultural perspective, the SANEDI Board mandated gender reporting in all projects. UNIDO and the NCPC profile women in energy and identify role models. More than an objective, gender mainstreaming is a tool used globally to assess the different implications of planned legislation, policies and programmes for women and men. It facilitates equality, equity and the empowerment of both men and women, thus ensuring that everyone benefits equally from the outcomes, and that a gender-sensitive perspective permeates all activities. South Africa is following suit and gender mainstreaming has been incorporated in several policies and plans; for example, the Department of Women’s South African National Policy Framework for Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality (2000); and the Department of Energy’s Policy Framework for Women Empowerment and Gender Equality (2016), and its Gender Strategy, with initiatives under way to ensure that the Department of Trade and Industry’s Industrial Policy Action Plan creates promotes and incentivises women’s participation. The long-term vision for the desired cultural shift on gender is that the latter is not determinative to access and opportunities, evaluation, treatment, and payment, or working environment and experience for people of different genders. Traditional relations of hierarchy and power, underpinned by gender stereotypes and biases, are replaced by the normalisation of diverse gender experiences and differences are accommodated without prejudice in support of gender equity. While a lot of work still needs to be done by both men and women to effect gender parity, indications are that the tide is slowly turning.

In the next few issues, UNIDO will be showcasing talented women in the energy sector who are making a difference and helping to shape the future that we all want. Here is what two of them have to say:

Rosalind dos Santos, Group Energy Manager for Mpact’s Paper, Corrugated, Plastics and Recycling Divisions at 45 sites across South Africa and Namibia Rosalind works with several women in the engineering field. Experiences show that women still have to be better than men to be taken seriously. “My female technical colleagues offer work of exceptional quality – they must because they are still discounted on gender perceptions. For example, they have to fight a little harder to be put on big, interesting projects. Often, cultural issues come into play, where, for example, labourers are hesitant to listen to women in senior positions. We have learnt that sometimes to get the job done, a team must be composed of the people to whom the other party can relate the best. “We need to decide what is important. There is no place for ego – flexibility is key. Look at water, it is very strong and resilient, but by bending, it is able to shape an environment. If we have to get from A to B, I have my way to get to B, but it does not have to be my way, we just need to get to B; and everyone has to come along, so a compromise might be struck. Sometimes, to be happy in the long term, you have to take a bit of pain in the short term.”

GEJ 35.indd 7

Adri Uys, Management Trainee at Coca-Cola in KwaZulu-Natal Adri mentions a lack of recognition as a typical challenge faced by women. “They are often looked down upon and overlooked, which leads to a lack of exposure in the field. The fact that the opportunities in the sector are not readily available, requiring some years of exposure, makes it a greater challenge to get one’s foot in the door.” As a solution, she recommends that “Women have to equip themselves with an array of skills, bringing a ‘plus-one-service’ to the table. This way, you can demonstrate that you have much more to offer. A mind-set change at a management and hiring level is required to provide the opportunities and exposure. Thirdly, providing a platform for women to prove themselves and innovate would go a long way in increasing valuable contributions from women to the energy sector.”

Enquiries: Petro de Wet, Senior Project Liaison, Media & Gender Specialist 060 979 1359,

7 2019/07/04 11:23 PM




Merit, gauged by determination, hard work and talent, should be the sole determinant of an individual’s potential, but in many instances, historically and to this day, women have not enjoyed this most fundamental freedom. Celebrating the achievements of women is therefore important, and highlighting their value is important, not because it’s obvious, but because it has been questioned.


he green economy is a sector in which women should flourish, a sector driven by the move from short-term thinking to a more long-term view and where investments being made today need to consider the well-being of future generations. In this Women’s month edition of GEJ, we take the opportunity to highlight a small but power-packed sample of the women leading the way within the sector.

Dorah Modise: CEO, Green Building Council of South Africa Modise is an acclaimed public sector leader, sustainability specialist and corporate governance specialist with over 20 years of experience in the field. Until 2017, she was the Strategic Executive Director: City Sustainability at the City of Tshwane. Before that she was a chief policy advisor for sustainable development at the South African Government Department of Environmental Affairs, where she spearheaded the establishment and implementation of the national strategy for sustainable development, South Africa’s engagements in global sustainable development negotiations, the environment sector green economy and the national green fund. “A sustainable future is well within reach, if only all sectors of society can align to the basic principles of sustainable development. The triple bottom line concept has been with us for decades now and the world has moved past debating on semantics and towards visible and decisive action. This evident shift will put pressure on those big players that are still reluctant to make the fundamental shift,” says Modise. Modise holds an MBA from the University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute for Business Science (GIBS), a Master’s Degree in Environment and Development from the University of Sussex; a Post-Graduate Diploma in Environmental Diplomacy from the University of Geneva,

8 GEJ 35.indd 8

as well as a B Tech Degree in Environmental Health from the Tshwane University of Technology. She has served on numerous boards and advisory panels and is currently the chairperson of the Global Reporting Initiative Africa focal point advisory panel and chairperson of the Africa Regional Network of the World Green Building Council. “I am glad to now find myself within the property sector – a sector that has the greatest potential for maximum impact. This space allows me to manifest my dream of what a sustainable urban metropolis should look like,” Modise concludes.

Prof. Linda Godfrey: Principal Scientist, CSIR Prof. Linda Godfrey is a Principal Scientist at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Associate Professor at Northwest University in South Africa and holds a PhD in Engineering from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. With over 20 years of sector experience, she currently heads up the Waste Research Development and Innovation (RDI) Roadmap Implementation Unit on behalf of the Ministry of Science and Technology, a unit tasked with implementing South Africa’s Waste RDI Roadmap. Launched in 2018, the Roadmap is a 10-year government initiative into research, development and innovation within the waste sector. The objective is to support more effective decision-making, accelerate the insertion of context-appropriate technology, and strengthen capability and capacity in a sector that is in desperate need of change. “If mismanaged, waste directly impacts on the health of communities, yet it also provides opportunities for improved livelihoods and reducing poverty – simply by changing the way we think about waste as a resource,” said Prof. Godfrey at the time of the launch. Prof. Godrey has provided strategic input to several local, regional and international waste and circular economy initiatives for the United Nations, European Union, South African government departments,

2019/07/04 11:23 PM

LEADERS Academy of Sciences, International Solid Waste Association, universities and businesses. She lectures internationally on solid waste management in developing countries, including the social, economic and environmental opportunities of waste within a circular economy context. She has published extensively in the field.

Cheri Scholtz: CEO, PET Plastic Recycling Company (PETCO) Cheri Scholtz has been involved with PETCO since incorporation in 2004 and has seen it grow from a small industry-based initiative to demonstrate its commitment to sustainable development and extended producer responsibility, to a leading example in its field globally. Scholtz represents the PET sector on the Board of Packaging South Africa together with colleagues from all the packaging streams including glass, paper, cans, cartons and other polymers and she also served on the Plastics|SA Sustainability Council as its first Chair. Recently she has been assisting with the development of voluntary PET EPR organisations in both Kenya and Ethiopia – based on the PETCO SA model. Petco’s target is for 70% of post-consumer PET bottles to be recycled by 2022. “Now, more than ever, companies failing to address environmental performance in product design and development will find it increasingly difficult to compete in the global market. Globally, product stewardship or extended producer responsibility has become the requirement for all producers. In South Africa, the Waste Act now makes this a legal requirement. It cannot be right to allow plastics to leak into the environment, but neither is it acceptable to lose the opportunity to utilise plastic as a fit-for-purpose and cost-effective material for so many applications,” Scholtz was recently quoted as saying by IOL. Scholtz also represents the PET industry at the European Recycling and Recovery Organisation (EPRO) of which PETCO is an affiliate member, at the Global Alliance for Recycling and Sustainable Development (GARSD) and most recently on the Global Product Stewardship Council Advisory Group.

Jutta Berns-Mumbi: Founder and Director, Ecocentric (Pty) Ltd. Berns-Mumbi received the equivalent of a B.A. in Political Science, Japanese and Communications from the University of Bonn, Germany before going on to achieve a Postgraduate Diploma in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge and the equivalent of an MSc in Geography, specialising in the Political Economy of Oil in Nigeria, from the University of Cambridge. Berns-Mumbi has been active in the green economy sector since 1993 and in green building specifically since 2007, when she founded Ecocentric, a boutique sustainable building company. “I have been actively involved in the green building sector for the past 12 years, providing sustainability and green building consulting to new and existing property portfolios – in South Africa and across the

GEJ 35.indd 9

continent. Most recently, I have been driving the development of netzero carbon, water and waste strategies for an existing retail portfolio, with the clear vision of achieving net zero by 2030, an ambitious but crucial goal for the built environment,” says Berns-Mumbi. “Like many of my colleagues in the environmental space, I feel a great sense of urgency to scale and significantly accelerate climate positive impacts. The opportunities that present themselves in transitioning via a low-carbon to a zero-carbon world in the next 10 years are immense and my current focus is thus on projects which deliver the greatest possible impact in getting us there and making a meaningful and sustained contribution reversing climate change,” she concludes.

Amiene Van Der Merwe: Managing Director, The Green Cab In recognition of her company’s contribution to sustainable mobility, Amiene van der Merwe was chosen as one of the speakers at the DoT’s Green Transport Strategy 2050 launch and conference in late 2018 as well as the Africa Utility Week (AUW) electrical vehicle (EV) technical workshop for the past three years. She serves on the advisory board for the 2020 AUW event. One of South Africa’s leading sustainable transport operators, the stated mission of The Green Cab is “to pioneer an aggressively green transport solution that contributes significantly to addressing the challenges related to global warming as well as economic and social transformation and development”. “Urban transport contributes as much as a quarter of all GHG emissions. The Paris Declaration on Electric Mobility calls for 35% of all sales of new vehicles to be EVs within the next decade. The Green Cab was founded as a ‘no-business as usual’ solution to address the climate change imperative to reverse the slide into ecological debt. The rise in EVs paves the way for an urban transport disruption of mobility as a service. With women constituting less than 2% of all drivers in both the traditional metered taxi and e-hailing services, The Green Cab is poised to utilise the rise in electric mobility as a vehicle to drive gender parity through offering free driver training and social franchise incubation and ignition opportunities to women drivers,” says van der Merwe. “The Green Cab will have the honour of being the exclusive transport supplier for the prestigious World Economic Forum on Africa event in September 2019 for the fourth consecutive time and also serviced the most recent Partnership on Action on Green Economy Ministerial conference event,” she concludes.

Dr Jaisheila Rajput: Founder and CEO, TOMA-Now | Tomorrow Matters Now Dr Jaisheila Rajput has been active in the sustainability sector for 15 years. Qualified with a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Cape Town, she has a rich background that includes technical, management systems, strategy and sustainability. Having worked in several countries including South Africa, Germany

9 2019/07/04 11:23 PM

LEADERS and Hong Kong, Dr Rajput brings a fresh global perspective to the development of solutions for business in Africa. She advises and supports leading companies, industry bodies and NGOs in developing a viable and robust green economy. “Being active in the green economy means being able to see the bigger picture,” says Dr Rajput. “By way of illustration, we recently worked with the Western Cape Government Biodiversity directorate on the development of a sustainable flower harvesting assurance system. The approach developed would allow inclusive development while housing the system in a dynamic industry-based roundtable, effectively giving emerging harvesters a seat at the table. The beauty of this approach is around the innovative financial model we developed to support the industry, both locally and with potential foreign market reach.” Dr Rajput adds, “Our focused approach is holistic. Activities around climate change have become more urgent and pressing. At TOMANow we have placed emphasis on outcomes-based approaches. One of the ways we are doing this is via an engagement platform we created, an ACT Tank (agile, creative, tangible). This forum allows us to bring together thought leaders, practitioners and passionate solution developers to actively innovate solutions around urgent green economy issues. This is a knowledge-based sector. Sharing through open dialogues and platforms will help shift us into action.”

Caroline Ungersbock: Chair and Co-Founder, Sustainable Tourism Partnership Programme Chair and co-founder of the Sustainable Tourism Partnership Programme, Caroline Ungersbock’s focus is to drive change across the tourism industry thus making it more sustainable. Deeply entrenched in tourism, she currently belongs to various committees, forums and boards in tourism, including the TC228 Committee, the FEDHASA inland Board, and the chair of Service Excellence in Tourism. Ungersbock has recently been appointed chairperson of the Sustainable Committee for the Regional Tourism Organisation of Southern Africa (RETOSA). She previously held positions as president of the National Accommodation Association of South Africa (NAA-SA), director and board member of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), member of the FEDHASA Large Hotel Group Committee, Chair Person of the National Tourism Sector Strategy – Tourism Growth and

Development and member of the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) awards committee. Ungersbock regularly presents training for the Sustainable Tourism Partnership Programme (STTP) on Sustainable Tourism Awareness and Staff Green Training. She is a regular guest speaker and presenter at conferences and other industry events. “The latest project that we are working on, will leave a legacy. It is the International Tourism Film Festival – Africa, which will be taking place in November in Victoria West in the Northern Cape. This is a project to promote South Africa as a film destination as well as a tourism destination,” says Ungersbock. To drive sustainability further, the STTP recently entered a national initiative with FEDHASA, the national trade association for the hospitality industry. Ungersbock explains: “To be the most impactful mass sustainable tourism implementation organisation, we have partnered with FEDHASA to roll out their Imvelo programme and awards ceremony. There will be a series of workshops around the country explaining what sustainable tourism is, how businesses can be involved, how to adopt the principles and how the businesses can implement the practices on a low cost, no cost, medium cost basis. They can then enter the Imvelo Awards and be recognised for their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint, reduce water and energy consumption. They can also be recognised for waste recycling efforts and community-driven projects.”

Lisa Reynolds: Executive Director, Green BDG Lisa Reynolds has been as a driver for the drafting of Energy Efficiency Standards and Regulation for Buildings. She is chair of TC 301 (Energy Management) and serves on the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) technical committees for EPC building auditors and for measurement and verification professionals. Reynolds has been involved in energy efficiency since 2003 and has been a member of the Southern African Association for Energy Efficiency (SAEE) for 15 years. She served on the SAEE board for many years before becoming president for a second term this year. Reynolds has a BSc, an MBA and CEM. Reynolds awards include 2007 ETA award (Eskom) for Women, 2008 Individual Energy (SAEE), 2012 SABS Standards Writer Award; the 2014 Women in Energy (SAWIEN); and the 2016 Ian Lane Hall of Fame award (SAEEC). Green BDG is committed to growing the green economy and under this banner, Reynolds is currently assisting in bridging the gap between policy development and implementation

For every woman we recognise and value, there is likely to be those who are unsung and go below the radar, so if you feel there is someone we should include in our next edition, please send a note to our editor

10 GEJ 35.indd 10

2019/07/04 11:23 PM

Nanotechnology: A fast growing technology contributing to energy security Nanotechnology is one of the fastest growing technologies internationally and, as such, has been classified as an important emerging research area. This is supported by research studies that indicate a rise in revenues from nano-enabled products worldwide, which as of 2014 stood at US $1.6 trillion – a growth of 90% in 2 years from US $850 billion in 2012. Realising a growth in this technology, the South African government has developed the National Nanotechnology Strategy which is coordinated by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and ensures that the country remains competitive in this fast-developing field. To achieve its economic goal, the strategy aims to use nanotechnology to confer competitiveness to the country’s strategic industries such as advanced material and manufacturing and to address social challenges in the areas of water, health and energy. Energy is therefore one of six focus areas highlighted in the strategy where nanotechnology can offer the most significant benefits for the country. South Africa is facing several energy challenges and a demand to supply its citizens and industries with stable and uninterrupted electricity while innovating towards safe, clean, affordable and reliable energy solutions to meet the country’s long-term requirements. These challenges continue to threaten the country’s productivity and economic performance and, therefore, the development of new technologies is of the highest priority for the country. It is for this reason that researchers at the country’s universities and science councils are conducting cutting-edge research that would lead to the application of nanotechnology at every stage of the value chain, which includes: • Production and Conversion: The conversion of primary energy sources i.e. the Sun into electricity can be made more efficient and environmentally friendly using nanotechnology. Producing electricity through the conversion of sunlight, known as solar photovoltaics, is a field where nanostructured materials and nanotechnology are contributing greatly. Successful research could result in a significant reduction of the manufacturing cost of these solar cells, and also improve efficiency • Energy Storage: Energy storage devices can be significantly enhanced by the application of nanotechnology – batteries and super-capacitors in particular. Batteries are needed to supply electrical energy when not connected to the electricity grid, such as is used for mobile phones. Materials can be engineered using nanotechnology to make the relevant components of lithium-ion batteries heat resistant, flexible, and high-performance electrodes. • Energy Distribution: Nanotechnology can help reduce the extreme losses experienced when power is distributed. The extraordinary electric conductivity of nanoparticles, such as carbon nanotubes, can be applied in the manufacture of electricity cables and power lines.

GEJ 35.indd 11

• Energy Usage: Increased efficiency in energy usage and reduction in unnecessary consumption could also be enabled by nanotechnology, and contribute to a sustainable energy supply. Nanofabrication can ensure that materials are optimally suited to their task, whether they be wear resistant, lightweight, anti-corrosive, etc., impacting everything from building and construction technology, insulation and lighting to optimised fuel combustion. Nanotechnology has application in the growing field of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. Nanotechnology components of fuel cells are contained within the membranes that allow the movements of hydrogen ions between the compartments of the fuel cells. The development of this technology in South Africa is guided by the National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Research, Development and Innovation Strategy, branded HySA. The 15year HySA programme was approved by Cabinet in May 2007 and officially launched in September 2008. The HySA Centres of Competence – HySA Infrastructure, HySA Catalysis, and HySA Systems – conduct cutting-edge research and promote proactive innovation and create human resources required to develop future industries in the hydrogen and fuel cell technologies field.

“Fuel cell system installation at Poelano Secondary School providing off-grid electricity for ICT and lighting needs for the school”

The Nanotechnology Public Engagement Programme (NPEP) is an initiative funded by DST and implemented by the South African Agency for Science and Technology Advancement (SAASTA), a business unit of the National Research Foundation (NRF). NPEP aims to promote credible, fact-based understanding of nanotechnology through awareness, dialogue and education to enable informed decision-making on nanotechnology innovations to improve quality of life. For more information, visit: or visit: or follow us on Facebook: or on Twitter: @npeptweet

2019/07/04 11:23 PM


Coca-Cola provides 3 million Africans with access to safe water Water is our world’s most precious resource – it nourishes people, replenishes nature and fuels economic prosperity. Water helps ensure that communities have healthy, productive people, schools filled with healthy children and citizens engaged in local action. Most of all, water helps communities reach their full potential.


or The Coca-Cola Company, water is at the heart of our business. Not only is water our primary ingredient, it is central to our manufacturing process and necessary to grow the agricultural ingredients on which we rely. That’s why we’re improving our water efficiency; providing reliable access to safe water to communities across Africa; and replenishing an amount of water equal to what we use in our finished beverages back to communities and nature. Through the Coca-Cola Foundation, we introduced the Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN) in 2009 to address the lack of water and sanitation faced by nearly 300-million Africans. Through RAIN we make catalytic investments to measurably improve the lives of over six-million people in Africa by 2020. Collaborative action with more than 140 partners has helped RAIN grow into one of the biggest public-private partnerships focused on water in Africa, operating in over 2 750 communities across 41 African countries. We have backed this with a six-year US$30 million commitment. RAIN recently reached a milestone, providing three-million Africans with improved access to safe water and is on track to reach an additional three-million Africans by the end of 2020. We focus on making a strong, lasting community impact while supporting The Coca-Cola Company’s water stewardship goals and helping Africa meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal on water and sanitation. We are also making a positive difference by building sustainable communities, catalysing investment in clean water access, improving water and sanitation access for school children, replenishing nearly 9-billion litres of water annually back to communities and nature, and empowering women through clean water access and entrepreneurship. Our RAIN projects are tailored to address the specific water issues in target communities by focusing on the following areas: • W ater, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH): we improve access to water and sanitation and promote improved hygiene behaviours for positive impacts on health and development. Approximately 80 percent of our RAIN projects have WASH components. • W atershed Protection: we establish or enhance sustainable water management practices, improving environmental stewardship and community health. • P roductive Use of Water: we promote efficient and sustainable use of water for economic development.

12 GEJ 35.indd 12

Because we believe that integrating economic empowerment and entrepreneurship is fundamental to creating sustainable and lasting impact, in addition to providing water access, our RAIN partners are also reaching women and young people with skills development training, networking groups, and access to assets or financial services that amplify the impact for their families and communities. To date, RAIN has economically empowered 23 000 youth and women to sustainably protect and manage water in Africa. Closely linked to this is sharing our expertise to build capability. For example, working with Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor, we have strengthened 17 water utilities to deliver city-wide water services across the continent. Through RAIN we also support Water Funds across the continent. Pioneered by The Nature Conservancy, which operates more than 30 Water Funds across the world, Water Funds identify large-scale water users who need secure and clean supplies ‘downstream’ at the tap who pay for naturebased programmes to improve water quality and quantity ‘upstream’. Today, 34 watersheds covering 65% of Africa have been positively impacted through RAIN. In South Africa, our RAIN programme has funded six projects focused on replenishing water in key watersheds. While spread across the country, the projects share a strategic focus on addressing the country’s water security by removing invasive alien plants in critical watersheds across South Africa. In total, these projects will improve water access for downstream users across South Africa; train 400 youth with WASH skills; empower 370 women and youth with sustainable skills; and secure the livelihoods of 1 400 cattle farmers in rural areas. RAIN is partnering with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Endangered Wildlife Trust, and Living Lands to help replenish water through these projects. Underpinning these actions is ensuring that our operations are as efficient as possible and that we do the right thing in our own operations. Our bottling partner in Cape Town uses 50% less water than 11 years ago, and we are working on a new water strategy to ensure we reuse, reduce and recycle as much water as possible in our operations and our agricultural value chain as well. This type of innovative thinking, collaboration and doing business the right way helps us not only unlock inclusive growth across the continent but empowers communities while securing this precious resource for generations of Africans to come.

2019/07/04 11:23 PM

ONE-THIRD of Africa’s population does not have access to safe drinking water TWO-THIRDS of the population does not have access to proper sanitation.

GEJ 35.indd 13

2019/07/04 11:23 PM


Community development

the Coca-Cola way GEJ’s editor Melissa Baird met Dorcas Onyango, Head of Sustainability Southern and East Africa Business Unit for the Coca-Cola Company at the recent Africa Utilities Week conference. GEJ asked Dorcas about her journey with the company and how the corporate social responsibility endeavours she was a part of, shaped her vision in managing the company’s commitment in assisting with the development of resilient communities and fostering economic empowerment of women. Melissa Baird (MB): Tell me about how you came to be in the position that you are in and what it took to get you there? Dorcas Onyango (DO): I have a background in community development, but my education was in marketing and communications. I was the first student from Africa [she hails from Kenya] to attend the Red and Yellow School of Creative Business in South Africa and was employed by the company as their marketing and communications manager for the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation. Since my time with the company, I have realised my heart is all about sustainability. I saw how serious the company was about community development and after the devastation of the HIV virus, the company launched a bold programme to give health services to HIV infected staff at a time when health insurance companies wouldn’t do it. This showed how we were focusing on issues that were not immediately business related and from there we turned our focus to water and health. They didn’t call it ‘sustainability’ then, but they realised a community needs much to thrive; education, job creation and this relates to entrepreneurship. As data in education became more available, it was clear that women were marginalised, so we started to focus on women in our supply and value chains. How could these women benefit? This is where project 5by20 has had a major impact. When your company is a leader, you bring in everything you must, to positively impact a community. MB: Coca-Cola is so pivotal to the African experience; we all remember the promise of “sharing a coke and a smile” so how is Coca-Cola adapting to water demands and increasing uncertainty of supply? Are there any plans to look at the recycling of water and is there any strategic interest in recycling plants? DO: The company is very concerned about water, it’s critical for our business, the communities and for delivering health and energy. We are focused on how to secure access to good clean water for our bottling plants and poorer communities in peri-urban areas. It’s also about how to expand the water network; whilst municipalities are doing their best, they don’t have the capacity to expand or repair aging infrastructure, so the company assists and helps where demand is most needed. Now in our bottling plants, there is an element of water recycling, so where water can be re-used, it is – for secondary purposes such as cleaning our truck fleet. The company’s current water strategy is coming to an end in 2020. In 2021, we will reveal our 2030 water strategy after a consultative process in each region with key stakeholders in the value chain.

14 GEJ 35.indd 14

MB: You are one of the powerful female leaders active in sustainability right now; talk to me about how you see your role within the context of a large multi-national. DO: Leadership to me is about “followership”. You manage yourself to manage others. In sustainability, it’s about building value for others, the company and getting the gratification of a job that matters and consistently revisiting the visions of sustainability, which is a long-term thing. I also know that you can’t show results every day, which in a corporate environment is not that easy to do. Sustainability, by its very nature, means giving things time to thrive which is not always easy to articulate. Partnerships are a big part of what we do and how we are successful at it.

When your company is a leader, you bring in everything you must, to positively impact a community.

2019/07/04 11:23 PM

Interview MB: How do you see the southern African region evolving in the face of climate change, societal change and growing inequality? DO: There is a lot of change at scale and global issues are getting more complex. We are facing unemployment, poverty, extreme weather, water issues (both droughts and floods) and urbanisation. We want to do business in the right way and be the company that adds and shares value. Our vision is to consider social and environmental aspects and create a water secure region and a region where women have equal access to economic development. All in all, creating resilient and thriving communities is key to a successful business. Sustainability is not an adjective anymore. It is about environment, economic and social regeneration development and building, true personal and business empowerment.

Our vision is to consider social and environmental aspects and create a water secure region and a region where women have equal access to economic development. All in all, creating resilient and thriving communities is key to a successful business.

Project Last Mile This innovative public partnership between The Coca-Cola Company, The Coca-Cola Foundation, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, USAID, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Coca-Cola’s bottlers aims to support African governments in delivering life-saving medicines and supplies to the hardest-to-reach communities across the continent. In South Africa, Project Last Mile worked with USAID and the South African Department of Health to revolutionise access to chronic medication and Anti-Retroviral Treatment for more than 2-million people through the development of patient-friendly, alternative pick-up points.

GEJ 35.indd 15

5by20 This is the Coca-Cola Company’s global commitment to enable the economic empowerment of 5-million women entrepreneurs across the company’s value chain by 2020. This initiative, in partnership with TechnoServe, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, International Finance Corporation, Inter-American Development Bank and hundreds of organisations around the world makes a positive and locally relevant impact on women in communities. It offers business skills training, financial services and connections with peers or mentors to encourage entrepreneurs to build successful microenterprises.

15 2019/07/04 11:23 PM


Funding for

Climate Change Adaptation Melissa Baird interviewed Jonathan First – Lead specialist of the product innovation unit and member of the innovation hub for the Development Bank of South Africa about the initiative that will establish a R2-billion Climate Finance Facility (CFF) that will be available to infrastructure projects and businesses that mitigate or adapt to climate change. MB: This is wonderful news for South Africa. Explain how you see this fund directly contributing to the speedy advancement of projects that are looking for investment and can you say which sub-sectors the funding will offer the most support to? JF: The CFF co-funds alongside both private sector commercial banks and other development finance institutions to catalyse or crowd in funding for projects and businesses that mitigate and /or adapt to climate change. It does this by offering credit enhancement products in the form or subordinated funding and/or tenor extension. The “speedy” advancement is achieved by providing risk mitigation where new technology in involved or the projects and businesses are still in a development phase. MB: Explain more about the green bank concept – being a first for Africa – and how this will work in practical terms for companies in South Africa needing investment to enable them to amplify climate mitigation projects? JF: The green bank concept is not new and there are several green banks in the developed world but none in the developing world. Green banks are targeted to achieve the climate commitments emanating from the Paris Accord and to support and advance the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The DBSA supports both programmes and the CFF

The sectors where we anticipate there will be most deal flow will be in renewable energy, energy efficiency, water, waste and transport.

Jonathan First – Lead specialist of the product innovation unit and member of the innovation hub for the Development Bank of South Africa

16 GEJ 35.indd 16

2019/07/04 11:23 PM

Photo by


is one of the facilities and initiatives, co-funded by the Green Climate Fund, which illustrates the DBSA’s commitments to these programs. Companies in the private sector that have projects that mitigate and/ or adapt to climate change can apply for CFF funding through their commercial banks or where other DFIs are providing funding. The CFF is a debt facility made available on a co-funded basis alongside the main funders, who provide equity and debt. The CFF’s primary relationship is with banks and other DFIs. South African commercial banks and the DFIs, both local and international are aware of the CFF and its mandate and should refer qualifying projects to the CFF for co-funding. MB: From where will the balance of the funds be sourced to multiply the fund from R795m to the proposed R2bn? JF: The Green Climate Fund has match funded the DBSA and the balance will be provide by a local asset manager of additional funding from the DBSA. MB: What is the process by which projects are awarded funding and is it the intention to make funds available to start ups? JF: The projects and business referred to the CFF, which is managed internally by the DBSA, will be evaluated to understand the climate benefits and if satisfied will go through the DBSA’s internal approval process. The funding once approved by the DBSA’s investment committees can then be drawdown, there is not requirement to obtain any external investment approvals. The projects and business that are proposed for CFF funding emanate from other financial institutions and as such have been through an evaluation process which represents a “gate” which should ensure that only projects eligible (meet the CFF’s investment criteria) are put forward by the financial institution.

GEJ 35.indd 17

MB: Are funds being earmarked for solutions to social and environmental problems such as sustainable housing projects, and urban waste and sanitation initiatives? JF: Yes, funding is available for those sectors as long as they mitigate and/or adapt to climate change. We do not allocate specific funds to a sector but operate on an effective “first come first funded” basis for eligible projects. MB: Are you allocating a percentage of the fund to support projects in the common monetary area of Namibia, Swaziland (eSwatini) and Lesotho or will this be determined on a project by project basis? JF: No. All projects in these geographic areas are eligible and we have no specific allocation against each country. MB: Explain how the fund will enable South Africa to meet its targets set under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change? JF: The projects need to mitigate and/or adapt to climate change and as such enable South Africa to meet its Nationally Determined Contributions committed by South Africa under the Paris Accord. MB: The Sustainable Development goals set by the UN are varied and complex to address certainly by developing countries. Do you see the fund being able to support communication efforts to enable broader understanding of these goals by civil society? JF: Yes. The CFF meets seven of the 17 SDGs and the constant message provided by the DBSA in launching the CFF is that the facility supports the SDGs.

17 2019/07/04 11:23 PM


Turning a brighter shade of


South Africa’s green economy offers the opportunity for significant fiscal growth by working in step with nature, instead of against it.


outh Africa scores a middling “five out of ten” for its current transition to a green economy, according to The Green Economy Barometer 2018 on South Africa, produced by Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS) and The African Centre for a Green Economy, members of the Green Economy Coalition. This snapshot is drawn from evidence of policy progress as well as the insights of civil society organisations, who are tracking transitions on the ground. The economy is still overly reliant on fossil fuel-based energy and transport systems and carbon-intensive industries and, with over 38% of the population currently unemployed, these sectors are, quite simply, failing to provide enough jobs. South Africa’s brown economy model is struggling. What then of the aspirations and robust foundations the country has on which to build

18 GEJ 35.indd 18

a green and fair economy? In 2011, the South African government, together with business, trade unions, and civil society organisations adopted the Green Economy Accord, with a similar strategy mapped out in the country’s National Development Plan. The Accord targeted the creation of 300 000 additional jobs by 2020 through activities that contribute to greening the economy. This was across activities as diverse as energy generation, manufacturing of products that reduce carbon emissions, farming activities to provide feedstock for biofuels, soil and environmental management and eco-tourism. While it has not helped unlock change in areas where it was needed, some progress has been made in providing green jobs and employment. For example, the government-led Expanded Public Work Programme (EPWP) creates temporary and/or part-time opportunities for unemployed and poor households as a labour absorption and income transfer strategy. Almost

2019/07/04 11:23 PM

INFRASTRUCTURE one-million work opportunities over the 2004-2017 period were located in the environmental sector, through programmes centering on ecosystem restoration and maintenance and rehabilitation, such as Working for Water, Working on Waste and Working for Forests. The green jobs sector is far more extensive than those limited to the green field itself, and the informal sector (small businesses feeding into industries such as construction, renewable energy and public transport) presents excellent opportunities for job creation. The challenge facing this sector is that its economic activities are unrecorded and difficult to measure. A research report entitled Green Jobs – an estimate of the direct employment potential of a greening South African economy analyses four broad types of activity leading to employment opportunities in the formal sector. Across these, it estimates the creation of approximately 98 000 new direct jobs, on average, in the short term, almost 255 000 in the medium term and around 462 000 in the long term, including: Natural resource management: Activities pertaining to biodiversity conservation and ecosystem restoration, as well as soil and land management, predominate over the three consecutive timeframes, due to the country’s exceptional natural capital. The share of such activities in the estimated total employment potential rises from around 45% in the short term to almost 50% in the long term. Energy generation: In this progressively expanding segment, the contribution increases from 14% in the short term (just over 13 500 jobs), to more than 28% in the long term, by which time some 130 000 employment opportunities are, on average, expected to be associated with this type of activity. Energy and resource efficiency: New direct employment opportunities from these critical activities are expected to rise, on average, from around 31 500 (32% of the total) in the short term, to almost 68 000, or just under 15% of the total in the long term. Emissions and pollution mitigation: These activities are anticipated to result in approximately 8 400 new direct jobs, on average, in the short term, with this number expanding to just under 32 000 in the long term. The whole value chain of economic activities which fuel these four sectors employ white- and blue-collar workers who are increasingly turning green in their activities and approach. The traditional skill sets involved in management, engineering, development as well as health and safety, are focusing on how to work in a way that benefits the natural environment and ecosystems already present. These actions lessen the load on infrastructure by allowing the environment to, for example, provide cool, shaded walkways, rejuvenate soil, slow stormwater runoff and filter air – simply by planting more trees. South Africa requires organisations like the Green Building Council South Africa to align cross-sector industry activity in the built environment and beyond to accelerate the growth of the green economy. Future global economies are going to be built around sustainable roles that contribute to the economy rather than extract from it, and green jobs do this by their very nature.

19 GEJ 35.indd 19

2019/07/04 11:23 PM

GEJ 35.indd 20

2019/07/04 11:24 PM


New technologies for the ARC Agriculture has the capacity to create jobs through harnessing opportunities in agribusiness entrepreneurship along the entire value chain. Digital innovation is the masterstroke that will unlock agribusiness and will bridge the rural and urban divide.


o achieve this the Agricultural Research Council (ARC) understands the need to develop a comprehensive framework to deal with opportunities presented by the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) while mitigating the risks of the transition to the agricultural digital industrial revolution.

Photo by from Pexels

The ARC works tirelessly to improve agricultural economics and capacity development as well as research in animal and crop sciences, which are necessary for the development of appropriate agricultural engineering techniques for both small and large-scale producers. The ARC’s research and development project findings have been integral to the agricultural community’s successes for over 100 years in South Africa.

What is the motivation for participating at the Swiss Blockchain Hackathon? The Swiss Blockchain Hackathon is characterised by a wide range of new technologies, which are combining digital and biological worlds, affecting all disciplines, economies, and industries, including the agricultural and related sectors. In line with the 4IR, there is a need for the ARC, as a custodian of agricultural research on behalf of the South African government, to safeguard food security for future generations, across the agricultural value chain using Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and distributed ledger technologies, to mention a few. What are the current challenges for the agriculture and food sector in South Africa? The South African agriculture and food sector is faced with the challenge of increasing food production and the fact that the food should adhere to strict consumer tastes and preferences while being produced in an environmentally benign manner. Transparency and traceability related to product sources and the safety of foods in retail is all important. Consumers are increasingly demanding more information that relates to the source of their food; how it has been produced; as well as other matters that relate to animal welfare and carbon footprint. Will blockchain technology foster innovation to support and develop the agricultural sector? Blockchain technology is based on three pillars; namely transparency, security and authenticity. It has the potential to reduce time delays, added costs and human error that constrains transactions in supply chain management today. For the agriculture sector, blockchain technology has the potential to improve transparency and provide a platform to digitise the flow of assets in the value chain between partners and in turn, deliver safe and quality produced food consistently.

Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

How can ARC further its international cooperation and impact? For the ARC to compete on the global scale, there needs to be a greater investment in research and development, hence the organisation’s decision to participate in the Swiss Blockchain Hackathon (#SBHACK19). The hackathon presents an opportunity for the ARC to collaborate with other global industry leaders in the agriculture and food sectors, and to share ideas on how to address challenges and leverage opportunities presented by 4IR. The ARC will have more opportunities for joint technical solutions to be manifested into future models that will support the food and agriculture sectors. As the premier research institution, the ARC is committed to providing scientific knowledge and technical support and expertise to the agricultural sector as a whole. The ARC is also committed to supporting programmes of government through its training to alleviate poverty and hunger. Telephone: 012 427 9700

GEJ 35.indd 21

21 2019/07/04 11:24 PM

Fo r








Loo kin g

s olution That Make S e l ab n i a st u S


i ce i s yo u

m S r

Twinsaver has embarked on a journey to deliver environmentally friendly, cost-effective processes and products, without compromising on the quality and performance you expect. The Green Choice range by Twinsaver complements your environmental initiatives with sustainable, eco-friendly product solutions.

For more information on our Green Choice journey, visit

GEJ 35.indd 22

TWC 7982

It’s the small steps and the smart choices that make a big difference.

2019/07/04 11:24 PM


Cut the greenwash

Get the facts straight about paper and recycling BY SAMANTHA CHOLES, Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa

Greenwashing is when an organisation makes unsubstantiated or misleading claims about the environmental benefits of a product, service, technology or company practice.


hink before you print”, the signature line at the bottom of emails is the most common form of greenwash. If you need to print it, print it. And re-use the sheet of paper or recycle it once it’s been dealt with. If you are going to refer to a document regularly, rather print it and file it. Every time you open a document, your computer or device consumes energy. In South Africa, energy is fast becoming a rare commodity. Facts about forestry and farmed trees Paper along with a myriad of wood-, paper- and tissue-based items are made from farmed trees, and recycled paper. Certain species of trees are planted as crops in South Africa specifically for the paper and wood industries, with a small percentage harvested for use each year, which are then replanted within the same year. This is very different to deforestation, which is the denuding of forested land for the likes of urban development and agriculture. Plantations are not irrigated. They get their water from rain and groundwater, which makes trees – and anything made from them – a renewable resource.

Recycled printer paper is not necessarily greener Recycled printing and copy paper is not made in South Africa; it is imported, carrying an additional carbon footprint. Companies should purchase locally made copy paper. So: Consider the environment before you greenwash your marketing claims. But make a noise about using locally produced paper, your recycling programme and your support of informal used paper collectors or other small recyclable businesses. Visit and Follow @paperrocksza on Twitter and Instagram.

Photo by Mondi

TWC 7982

Paper recycling – from the collection and buy-back centres to the reprocessing and manufacturing into new products – also sustains local jobs.

Recycling paper does not save trees Stating that your company has saved X number of trees because you’ve implemented a paper recycling programme is also misguided. As trees are farmed for the purpose of making paper, they do not need to be saved. Paper recycling is important for other reasons. It diverts useful material from landfill, which paper, packaging and tissue manufacturers re-use. The recycling of one tonne of “paper does not save 17 pine trees” but it will save around three cubic metres of landfill space and it keeps the carbon in the paper fibre (absorbed from the air by the tree) locked up for longer. Recycling reclaimers and waste pickers have helped to increase the collection of hard-to-get post-consumer waste, especially office paper, which is why keeping your paper recycling separate and dry helps with the collection of cleaner paper.

GEJ 35.indd 23

23 2019/07/04 11:24 PM

Recycle plastic bottles. They become stuffing for duvets. They are turned into many, useful items such as duvet stuffing, polyester clothing and sleeping bags. This creates employment opportunities, contributes to GDP and saves the environment.

14 BILLION PET bottles collected for recycling

Plastic bottles do not belong in landfill and much less in oceans and rivers, where many end up when not recycled. Here’s what we’ve done since 2004. With you, we can do so much more. Plastic bottles are not trash. Do 1 thing. Recycle.

64 000

income opportunities created**

R5.4 BILLION injected into South Africa’s economy * ±1511 Olympic sized swimming pools

3 777 639 m3 of landfill space saved*

1904775_E_FP.indd 1 GEJ 35.indd 24

913 107

tonnes of CO2 emissions saved

** In 2017

Find us on Social Media:


Plastic cool-drink and water bottles are made from a material called PET, which is very valuable when recycled.

2019/04/17 14:07 2019/07/04 11:24 PM

4/17 14:07


Petco crest South Africa’s

recycling wave By Janine Osborne

As the global movement away from single-use plastics gathers momentum, South Africa continues to make significant strides in its PET plastic recycling efforts.


ccording to the latest statistics released by national industry body PET Recycling Company (PETCO), 98 649 tonnes of post-consumer PET plastic bottles were recycled last year, saving 612 000 cubic metres of landfill space and lessening the country’s carbon emissions footprint by 148 000 tonnes.

Describing the results as “encouraging”, Scholtz said it meant that PETCO was on track to meet its target of seeing 70% of post-consumer PET bottles recycled by 2022, adding that 2018 had seen unprecedented pressure and attention on plastics in the public space. “Now, more than ever, companies failing to address environmental performance in product design and development will find it increasingly difficult to compete in the global market. This represents a 6% increase on the 2017 figures of 93 235 tonnes of “Globally, product stewardship or Extended Producer Responsibility polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles recycled. [EPR] has become the requirement for all producers. In South Africa, the PETCO chief executive officer Cheri Scholtz said an average of 6.2 Waste Act now makes this a legal requirement,” said Scholtz. million PET plastic bottles were collected for recycling across South “Clearly, it cannot be right to allow plastics to leak into the Africa last year, creating 68 000 income-generating opportunities for environment, but neither is it acceptable to lose the opportunity to small and micro-collectors – up from the 64 000 total for 2017. utilise plastic as a fit-for-purpose and cost-effective material for so many In addition, an estimated R1.2 billion was injected into the applications.” downstream economy, through the manufacturing, distribution and sale She said PETCO had responded to the call by the Department of of products made from recycled PET. Environmental Affairs and submitted an industry waste management plan last year, which she described as a “massive collaborative effort” by 2014 2014 2014 2014 2015 2015 2015 2016 2016 2017 20142014 2015 20152015 2016 2016 20162016 2017 2017 2017 20172017 2018 2018 2018 2018 20182018 ENVIRONMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS BENEFITS BENEFITS BENEFITS BENEFITS BENEFITS all stakeholders in the PET value chain. 1.51.5 1.71.7 1.7 2 2 2 2 2 2 2.15 2.15 2.15 2.15 2.32.3 2.3PETCO chairman Dr Casper Durandt, who is also head of sustainable Bottles recycled Bottles perper recycled year [billion] per year [billion] Bottles Bottles Bottles Bottles recycled recycled recycled recycled per per year per year year [billion] year [billion] [billion] [billion] 4.74.7 4.7 5.75.7 5.95.9 6.26.2packaging 4 4 4 4 4 6.2 Bottles recycled Bottles perper recycled day [billion] per day [billion] Bottles Bottles Bottles Bottles recycled recycled recycled recycled per per day per day day [billion] day [billion] [billion] [billion] for Coca-Cola’s Southern and East African business unit, 44 000 44000 000 50 50 000 400 44 50 000 50 000 62 64 400 64 000 68explained 000 4444 000 44 000 000 50000 50 000 000 6262 400 62 62400 62 400 400 64 000 64 000 64000 64 000 000 6868 000 68 000 68000 68 000 000 Income oppertunities Income oppertunities ** ** **** ** ** Income Income Income Income oppertunities oppertunities oppertunities oppertunities that high collection and recycling numbers could only be 96111 162 111136 540 136 124 139 000 148 000 162 96 162 540 111 111 540 540 136 124 136 136 124 124 124139 139 139 000 139 000 139 000 000 000148 148 148 000 148 000 148 000 000 000 96 162 96162 162 111 111 540 540 136 124 Carbon saved Carbon [tonnes] saved annual [tonnes] annual 9696 Carbon Carbon Carbon Carbon saved saved saved saved [tonnes] [tonnes] [tonnes] [tonnes] annual annual annual annual achieved by industry players working together as a team. Carbon saved [tonnes] cumulative Carbon Carbon Carbon Carbon saved saved saved saved [tonnes] [tonnes] [tonnes] [tonnes] cumulative cumulative cumulative cumulative Carbon saved [tonnes] cumulative 526 443 637 983 774 107 913 1 061 526 526 526 443 443 443 637 637 983 983 774 107 526 443 526 443637 983 637 637 983 983774 774 107 774 774 107 107 107913 913 913 107 913 107 913 107 107 107 1 061 1107 061 1 1061 107 061 1107 061 107 107 107 107“Brand owners must design packaging to be 100% recyclable by, for 3 ][m 3annual 3 ] annual removing colour, PVC and multi-layered packaging,” Durandt said. Landfill saved [m Landfill Landfill Landfill Landfill saved saved saved saved [m [m ] 3annual [m ]3 annual ] 3annual ][m annual Landfill saved 397 470 461 032 562 644 578 000 612 000 397 397 397 470 470 470 461 461 032 032 562 644 397 470 397 470461 032 461 461 032 032562 562 644 562 562 644 644 644578 578 578 000 578 000 578 000 000 000612 612 612 000 612 000 612 000 000 000example, 3 3 3 3 3 3 ] cumulative Landfill saved [m cumulative Landfill Landfill Landfill Landfill saved saved saved saved [m][m [m ] cumulative [m ] cumulative ] cumulative ][m cumulative Landfill saved 2 175 2 636 3 199639 3 777 4 389 2 175 963 2963 175 963 2 636 995 636 2995 636 995 995 3 199639 3 3199639 199639 3 199639 3 777 3 777 3 3777 639 777 3639 777 639 639 639 4 389 4639 389 4 4389 639 389 4639 389 639 639 639 639“We in the PET industry must also work together in collaboration 2 175 2 2175 175 963 963 2963 636 2 2636 995 3995 199639 with other material streams to optimise the collection of post-consumer ** 1**income 1**** income 1 1** income income 1oppertunity income ** oppertunity 1oppertunity oppertunity oppertunity equates equates oppertunity equates equates toequates one to one toequates to waste one one to waste one waste pickcollecting waste topickcollecting waste one pickcollecting pickcollecting waste pickcollecting 200 pickcollecting 200 bottles 200 200 bottles 200 bottles bottles perbottles per 200 day per day per bottles for day per day for 240 day for 240 per for days 240 for 240 days day 240 days per days for per year. days 240 per year. peryear. days One per year. One year. tonne One per One tonne year. One tonne contains tonne contains tonne One contains contains tonne 33 contains 33 000 33 contains 000 33 bottles 000 33 000 bottles 000 bottles bottles 33bottles 000 bottles ** 1income income opportunity equates to one waste pick collecting 200 bottles per day for 240 days per year. packaging and create sustainable jobs in the process.” One tonne contains 33 000 bottles.

GEJ 35.indd 25

25 2019/07/04 11:24 PM



a Circular Continent By Alexandre Lemille

Western economists could argue that Africa has not yet fully “benefitted” from what is historically known as the linear economy. On the contrary, innovative new business solutions are emerging that are beneficial for profit, the planet and its people. The circular economy is no longer a hype; Africa may yet prove to be the continent playing the tune that others will follow in this economic revolution.


he linear economy is based on extraction models (often from African soils) to manufacture, assemble and then distribute consumer products. In its entirety this process is designed in a way that the extracted raw materials are sent several times around the planet in the assembly of goods, with obvious negative impacts on our environment as a result. The consumer product is not built to last; it either becomes (technically) outdated or is replaced in favour of the “new” and, repairs are often a higher cost than replacing the item. The result is that a huge waste of products are dumped into the environment, end up at a landfill or get incinerated as “residue” when near the end of their perceived “useful” lifespan. The waste perception of end-of-life products does not factor in the multitude of costs and investments that are lost forever: • Costs of environmental destruction • Lost investments in research and development • Loss of residual energy • Loss of working hours In contrast to this model, the circular economy suggests preserving consumer goods for as long as possible in our market economies and changing our way of thinking about the object by using it differently. The aim is to preserve the investments made, reduce our environmental impacts and make companies sustainable with innovative approaches based on a service economy rather than the consumption of goods. In Africa, some countries have already banned single-use plastics and implemented decrees on electronic waste. In 2016, the African Circular Economy Network (www.ACEN.Africa) was born in South Africa based on the belief that Africa could thrive on circular economy principals. This movement has now spread across the continent to more than 29 countries with great results that showcase the regeneration of soils and the reuse of products available over the longer term, based on innovative service models. Of the many examples in upcycling, there is the start-up in Cameroon that turns tyres into flooring, or AmbiReciclo in Angola that recycles tyres and vegetable oils. In Senegal, many recycling programmes exist such as SeTIC and Proplast (Recuplast). In Egypt, UpFuse has recycled more than 50 000 plastic bags since 2013. In Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana, Coliba has developed a mobile application for municipalities to identify the value of unused resources and monetise it. In Ghana, the Agbogbloshie Marketspace Platform (AMP) is creating value from e-waste by giving it a second life. The African Development Bank in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, for its part, has rolled out a programme aimed at creating 2 000 jobs in the collection and transformation of plastics. In Morocco, Tawafouk

26 GEJ 35.indd 26

values waste. In Uganda, it is a car cleaning company that reuses water in closed loops. In Rwanda, an e-waste plant has collected more than 120 tonnes of electronic waste and repaired 400 computers in the first six months of its launch. In Mauritius, Belle Verte provides resource management solutions while reselling upcycled products, as does Environment 360 in Ghana, through its resource recovery cooperative. If we continue our journey in the re-manufacturing and refurbishing loops, we find a social enterprise in Kenya, the “Circular Economy Hub”, which is about to launch its refurbishment unit for electronic products. In South Africa, Barloworld re-manufactures Caterpillar machine parts for resale on the market with the same warranty as a virgin product. In the smaller beneficial loops, which are the maintenance and repair of products there is Hello Tractor in Nigeria which gives access of shared agricultural equipment to hundreds of farmers. In eco-design, innovations abound in the Abidjan FabLab and Nairobi Circular Design in Kenya. In the biological and agricultural cycles, Lono Côte d’Ivoire facilitates the lives of small farmers through permaculture solutions that negate the need for expensive fertilisers. The famous Songhai Farm in Benin has been using permaculture for several decades and influenced the concept of the Blue Economy. There is the award-winning Agriprotein unit, in South Africa, that produces animal feed from black soldier fly larvae. ICLEI Africa (Zambia) is implementing an ambitious composting programme. A study on regenerative thinking in Mozambique was carried out in the Açucreira sugar factory in Xinavane based on the concept of industrial ecology. This same concept is being studied within the South African Economic Development Zones and supported by the three industrial symbiosis programmes. Zimbabwe has the unique Eastgate Shopping Mall running on a 90% natural air system and Ethiopia, for its part, has a national programme to regenerate its agriculture. Meanwhile, the social enterprise Djouman organises Agri-Bootcamp in permaculture throughout West Africa and organic restaurants are open in Accra where you can eat the leaves of Katemfe. Most of these examples come from the ACEN Network members, that have implemented innovative solutions and shared them in order to inspire further circular thinking. For more information on how to co-create a beautiful definition of Africa write to: Info@ACEN.Africa Alexandre LEMILLE is a co-founder of the African Network of Circular Economy and its Secretary General. Creating human value is the foundation for triggering answers to our economic, environmental and societal issues.

2019/07/04 11:24 PM


GEJ 35.indd 27

27 2019/07/04 11:24 PM


Business case for

Biomass and Waste to Energy Heat is a fundamental requirement in many industrial processes, and in South Africa, this heat is sourced either from burning coal or from electricity, generated largely from coal. As such, South African industries are high generators of C02 emissions, and this carbon intensity is transferred into everything we produce, and a great deal of what we consume.


he need for heat in industrial applications will not change going forward, the 4th Industrial Revolution will not change this, so it remains an enormous challenge – how can heat be created sustainably? Electrical power from renewable sources such as solar and wind is intermittent. Gas is an excellent and efficient source of energy for heat, but remains a fossil fuel and is expensive. Can burning biomass or waste as a source of heat and/or electricity provide a feasible environmentally satisfactory large-scale long-term solution?

Current reality South Africa produces 70% of electricity in the southern African region; and 91% of this electricity comes from fossil fuels: of which almost 80% is produced from coal. Switching from coal to natural gas will decrease C02 emissions by almost 48%; and from oil to natural gas there will be a reduction of nearly 25%. A coal-to-gas conversion is less technically challenging than replacing the energy source with a renewable and is a suitable bridge when evolving towards a fully sustainable energy mix.

“Recor Waste to Energy Solutions have the capability to produce fuel like Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel (<10ppm) from tyres, waste plastics, biomass, municipal solid waste etc. Green technologies like gasifiers and pyrolysis are the most efficient, environment-friendly and sustainable way to convert waste into energy. It is the future of waste management, the disruptor of the 4th Industrial Revolution as far as waste, energy and waste management is concerned.� Anton Pieterse, Managing Director, Recor Waste to Energy Solutions

The Waste Plastics to Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel (5ppm) plant in Alrode destined for California.

28 GEJ 35.indd 28

2019/07/04 11:24 PM

ENERGY considered renewable because the CO2 emitted was sequestered from the atmosphere ‘recently’, that is, to say not in ancient times as is the case with fossil fuels. The absorption and release of CO2 by growing trees and burning of these trees is regarded as a circular process. As such, if biomass to heat/energy offers a commercially feasible solution for industry, then biomass would offer the simplest and most obvious environmentally intelligent solution.

Biomass to steam/electricity What are the key challenges to using biomass to create industrial scale heat? Photo by Recor

Coal is cheaper than other fossil fuels and it has a more stable price than natural gas or oil. Coal-dependent regions are often poorer, so it is important to support the economic and employment changeover to alternative energy industries. The short-term economic loss by a coal phase-out would need to be carefully managed at regional and national levels, especially in South Africa, because of the magnitude of the layoffs required in the mining sector. By 2040, three-quarters of coal plants are expected to terminate operations. According to Recor MD, Anton Pieterse, “Waste to Energy is overlooked as a serious solution to base load (24/7) power generation, which can result in substantial base load power supply to the national grid. South Africa’s municipal waste can supply hundreds of megawatts power to the grid, with green pyrolysis technology even the smallest municipality can generate power from waste. This will result in serious grid stability and load shedding mitigation”.

Biomass deemed to be a renewable fuel Emissions from burning wood cut from sustainably grown forests; wood waste, such as sawdust; or wood from harvested invasive species, is

Logistics: Harvesting, processing, and transporting wood from source to point of use. Processing: In many cases available biomass comes in the form of offcuts, sawdust and twigs – all of which must be processed into pellets in order to be useful for industrial applications. Bespoke technologies required: Due to the moisture content in wood, and resins that are secreted during burning, both of which vary according to feedstock, in many cases converting from coal to wood biomass requires bespoke equipment such as biomass boilers, or additional down time from cleaning, etc. Security of supply: Given that a large-scale project requires hundreds of tonnes of biomass per day at a set price, increasing at a set percentage over a long period. The question is how to feasibly guarantee supply? Africa Biomass Company (ABC), a leading supplier of biomass – provides answers some of the most frequently asked questions for biomass-toenergy projects.

Why biomass to energy? For several reasons: The abundance of harvestable and unwanted biomass in the riparian zones and catchments of the Western Cape river systems, and the highly mechanised approach of ABC to effectively harvest these alien and invasive tree species, has put ABC in a position to compete with fossil coal as a boiler fuel and heat source. • The delivered cost of ABC’s biomass chips measured in Rand per tonne, as well as Rand


Figure by GreenCape

The rising costs of waste management has driven the uptake of anaerobic digestion (AD) of solid waste in South Africa. With AD, complex organic molecules are broken down to simpler molecules in the absence of oxygen. AD technology uses an organic material mixture as a food to produce biogas as product and digestate as a by-product. Biogas is a mixture of bio-methane (CH4), carbon dioxide (CO2) and trace amounts of other gases such as hydrogen sulphide (H2S). Applications include direct combustion; either for domestic use, such as cooking and heating; or industrial applications that include the fuelling of boilers and turbines; as well as to produce electricity. Biogas can also be either compressed or bottled and stored for later use. Another product of AD is a nutrient-rich digestate (liquid and solid) which can be used as an organic fertiliser. Source: GreenCape

Figure 1: Schematic diagram of the anaerobic digestion process

GEJ 35.indd 29

29 2019/07/04 11:24 PM

GEJ 35.indd 30

2019/07/04 11:24 PM


Can I generate electrical power/steam/heat from unwanted woody biomass at a commercial scale? Yes. The technologies exist to use biomass chips from invasive alien trees or old orchards, as fuel to fire boilers to generate high pressure superheated steam to turn steam turbines for cases > 5 MWe. The > 5 MWe biomass fired power stations will be able to compete with Eskom within the next four to five years in terms of R/kWh and in technical availability of baseload power supply. For smaller power generating applications, other technologies, like the Organic Rankine Cycle [ORC] or the Sterling Engine can be applied at a lower cost per kWh than diesel driven systems.

Can the above be done on demand, any time of day as an uninterrupted base load power supply?

Photo by Recor

per Giga Joule energy is cheaper than that of coal delivered anywhere in the Western Cape. The same would apply to the Eastern Cape and Namibia. The positive impact clearing of aliens has on the environment. Alien clearing of rivers are far more cost effective, from a water saving perspective, than enlarging dams or desalinating seawater. The potential to generate baseload electricity on a continuous, uninterrupted basis for the long term has now become possible with woody biomass.

Yes, a biomass-to-energy power plant or combined heat and power plant can run 24 hours per day for say 360 days p.a. (Allow say 5 days p.a. for statutory and annual maintenance).

specific reference to: The average calorific value [15.0 to 16.0 GJ/t] or better. The required moisture content [20 to 22%]. The required particle size distribution [PSD] Ash content [2 to 5%].

What would the typical fuel consumption of a 10MWe power plant be?

Can ABC’s hog fuel compete with coal? Yes. ABC biomass competes with coal in several ways: Biomass chips delivered over 100km can compete favourably with coal in R/GJ energy output in e.g. the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Namibia. The ash of the burned biomass can be returned to the agricultural soils as an ameliorant to improve soil health – unlike toxic coal ash. Biomass is a renewable resource with friendlier emissions than coal.

Running at full load, a 10MWe plant would consume 9.7 t.p.h of woody biomass chips (At 22% moisture content and at a calorific value of 15.6 GJ/t average), translating to approximately 79 100 t.p.a of biomass. [ABC is currently harvesting > 180 000 t.p.a. of biomass].

Will my area have enough biomass to drive a 10 MWe power plant for 25 years? The Western Cape, Eastern Cape, KZN, Mpumalanga and Namibia have large sources of unwanted biomass. Alien and invasive species (and encroacher species in the case of Namibia) as well as old fruit orchards can feed several of these small power stations with unwanted biomass for decades to come. At the moment, these infested areas expand at a much higher tempo than the efforts to clear it. Does ABC have the equipment to harvest large and bulky trees like eucalyptus, black wattle and pines, mill it into chips and transport it over say 100km to the nearest power plant? Yes. ABC has a fleet of 10 harvesting trains consisting of tree felling, loading, chipping, offroad shuttling, hook-on-hook-off bulk bins and road transport equipment to deliver chips at the proposed power plants. ABC is already harvesting biomass at a tempo of 180 000 t.p.a. This represent a continuous power generating output of nearly 25MWe. Sufficient baseload power to drive towns like Robertson and Hermanus. Can the technical availability of these equipment be guaranteed for a contract period of 20 to 25 years? Yes. ABC is also the agent for Africa for the key heavy-duty chipping and milling equipment and has two large maintenance workshops (Worcester and Robertson) at its disposal, as well as a trained technical team and a fully equipped field service fleet to maintain the 10 harvesting trains.

Can hog fuel (biomass boiler fuel) be delivered to the required specifications to the power plant operator? Yes, ABC prides itself to deliver to an agreed set of specifications, with

GEJ 35.indd 31

Waste to Energy Can Waste to Energy become a viable solution for industrial heat and/or electricity in South Africa? The country has a vast amount of organic waste and a large fraction of these organic waste streams are currently going to landfill. A GreenCape report entitled, The business case for biogas from solid waste in the Western Cape, found that the lack of economies of scale, access to markets and the cost of logistics for aggregation are the some of the barriers to uptake in the South African market. Other significant barriers include:

• F eedstock insecurity: obtaining enough feedstock is difficult given the competing uses for feedstock, for instance, compost, animal feed and biogas; • Our national legislation: the cost of obtaining licences is often cited as a major hindrance; • South Africa has a major lack of operational skills and capacity. There is a need for training and local capacity within the design, construction, operation and maintenance sectors of the industry. The business case will be stronger, too, if the cost of landfill was increased to give an incentive to organisations to consider alternatives.

Composting and anaerobic digestion Opportunities such as composting and anaerobic digestion to enable energy recover can be used for organics going to landfill, whereas improved quality of products, including feed and further value add can be derived from organics that are diverted to animal feed. The main determinants for the uptake of biogas technology include the need for organic waste management, in conjunction with the growing costs of disposal as well as the latent on-site energy use.

31 2019/07/04 11:24 PM

ENERGY Gasification and Pyrolysis GEJ speaks to Martin Botha from A-Thermal about the environmental characteristics of pyrolysis, gasification, and anaerobic digestion. GEJ: How do these technologies compare to basic incineration such as the technologies being used in Europe and the US in terms of scalability, efficiency, and environmental impact? MB: Pyrolysis, gasification and anaerobic digestion (AD) are considered more specialist thermal treatments for waste management and energy recovery. They are all more efficient and have less impact than basic incineration i.e. a mass burn facility. This is because they can trap carbon from the wastes in different forms and utilise more effectively, which means lower CO2 emission. For waste to energy from mass burn incineration, a steam cycle is typically used, which has an efficiency of about 33% energy recovery, but all carbon is emitted as CO2. Pyrolysis traps the carbon as solid residue and has potential for fuel recovery as waste oils. It is not generally used for energy production, but more for product recovery, destruction of hazardous chemicals including contaminated land. Gasification allows for electricity generation from gas combustion using gas engines. i.e. no steam cycle required. This improves the overall efficiency. They can also be integrated for combined heat and power (CHP). AD is more suited for organic wastes, for example, foods and animal carcasses and wastewater sludges. The gas produced is a combination of methane and CO2. This is also used in a gas engine to make electricity. The advantages are that there is no release of methane (greenhouse gas). The resultant sludge can also be used for compost, provided no industrial effluents have been added, which may contain metals or chemicals that cannot be broken down in the AD process. Again, since steam is not used as transfer fluid, the efficiency is higher than incineration. Effective gas cleaning prior to the engine is critical. In terms of scalability, the plants are typically an order of magnitude lower than basic incineration. One needs to be careful of what technologies are marketed by companies, and what are actually in operation, and at what production rates. The information is available, but must be researched carefully. GEJ: Can Waste to Energy provide baseload electricity to the South African grid? MB: This comes down to economics and government implement policy. For significant baseload to be added, say 20MWe, this corresponds to 350 tonnes/day plant of prepared wastes. A “mass burn” incinerator would require higher amounts. The capital costs are high, and the electrical synchronisation system is very important. In order to maintain baseload, the plant must run consistently for weeks without breaking synchronisation. With wastes, the variability can be a problem, resulting in fluctuating plant conditions and fluctuating outputs. All these aspects can be addressed, but there are costs involved for the advanced engineering. For feasibility, the projects require that gate fee (cost of disposal) to be realistic for the waste generators to pay, i.e. comparable to landfill which is the general alternate, but has larger environmental impact and no beneficiation. Currently landfill is the cheaper alternative. The gap can be closed by government policy. For example, taxing landfills to make them more expensive option. Note that methane generation from landfill is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Optionally, there is also the option of landfill gas to energy. This provides small scale electricity production to the grid, and is done in eThekwini. Other Waste to Energy options are sewage sludge to power using a fluidised bed reactor type unit. Currently significant sludge (often

32 GEJ 35.indd 32

incompletely treated) is pumped out to sea or dumped on land. There are times when land application is acceptable. However, generally sewage sludges from urban and industrial areas contain metals and other toxic components that can be absorbed by plants. Sewage sludge waste to energy is preferred treatment option in EU. The advantage is that is a very stable process and therefore suitable for baseload. To conclude, provided funding is available and waste is available, it is possible. But the waste availability is cost driven, i.e. the generator will pay least cost for disposal. For interest, a feasibility study for Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality in 2014 showed that a 185 000 tonnes annum (506 tonnes/day), would have a gate fee charge of R 576 /tonnes and a capital cost of R 1.293 billion with additional R 200 million required during project. GEJ: Can Waste to Energy be a meaningful source of vehicle fuel in South Africa? MB: I think there is definite application for CNG (compressed natural gas). City of Johannesburg has started for buses from traditional sources. It is possible for the CNG to come from waste sources e.g. AD or landfill gas. Here, gas cleaning is critical when making CNG. For liquid fuels from wastes, current technologies in South Africa either are very limited (including actual production achieved, uptime or quality of product), or are projects are restricted compliance requirements (i.e. safe plant with emissions in order) result in high capital costs that make the overall project unfeasible. Then there is registration and quality control. I do not see contribution to the market at this time from waste derived liquid fuels.

DRIVERS FOR THE UPTAKE OF WASTE TO ENERGY Waste disposal costs Electricity price increases Fluctuating fertiliser prices Climate mitigation Reduced landfill usage Cleaner energy production Increased energy security Nutrient-rich by-product Potentially lower agricultural carbon footprint Job creation Changes in legislation Renewable energy incentives and programmes

o r w


Source: Green Cape

WOOD TO CASH Sawmills generate substantial quantities of sawdust and wood shavings, which need to be disposed of immediately as they are a fire hazard. While sawdust has a high carbon content, it lacks nitrogen and water, which makes it an ideal additive to a traditional compost heap that requires carbon, while also adding to its value, as composting needs a balance between the amount of carbon, nitrogen and water in the feed material. If the carbon to nitrogen ratio is correct, the sawdust assists the aerobic digestion process and acts as a “bulking agent”, which results in economic gain.







2019/07/04 11:24 PM


World leaders in the wood chipping industry

Orchard, Vineyard & Windbreak Recycling

Mulch Spreading

Land Clearing & Preparation

Excavators, with specialised attachments, 3-wheel loggers and other loading equipment is used to remove old orchards, vineyards and windbreaks from root to top. This is then fed into a Bandit horizontal grinder (wood recycler) and recycled into usable wood chips.

Apply mulch in existing and/or new orchards & vineyards. Africa Biomass Company’s patented designed mulch spreaders is the most effective method to spread woodchip mulch evenly. Woodship mulch offers a wide range of benefits to existing and new plantations.

In partnership with Môreson Grondverskuiwers, an earthmoving company, Africa Biomass Company is an expert in land clearing. ABC’s extensive range of highly specialised wood chippers and equipment will clear and prepare land quickly and efficiently.

Since 2004 Africa Biomass Company has been in the forefront of the development of biomass processing such as wood chips, biofuels and more in Southern Africa. ABC is the only authorised dealer for Bandit Industries, Inc. (Arjes included) in Africa, Dezzi dealer in the Western Cape as well as a dealer for Pronar. Visit or call ABC today for more information!

GEJ 35.indd 33

2019/07/04 11:24 PM

WHEN WE FINANCE AND MANAGE INFRASTRUCTURE SOLUTIONS, WE BEND THE ARC OF HISTORY TOWARDS SHARED PROSPERITY. At the D BSA , in f r as t ruc t ur e d e ve lop m e n t i s a bou t m or e t h a n j u s t fi n a n ci n g br i ck s a nd mo rt a r. It is ab out imp ro vin g p e o p le’s live s a n d i n t e gr a t i n g Afr i ca’s e con o m i e s . We o ffe r exp erti se and infrastruc t ur e s o lut io n s , ran g in g fr o m pl a n n i n g, p r oj e ct p r e pa r a t i on , fi n a n ci ng, del i v ery and m aintenan c e. Th ro ug h s o lid p a r t n e r s h i ps w i t h o u r cl i e n t s a n d s t a ke h ol de r s , we p ro mo te sustainab le d e ve lo p me n t imp ac t in So u t h Afr i ca a n d a cr o s s t h e con t i n e n t . We are DBSA . B uild in g Af ric a’s P r os p e r i t y. To partner o n t h is jo urn e y o r t o f ind ou t m or e a bou t u s , v i si t w w w.dbsa .or g

GEJ 35.indd 34

2019/07/04 11:24 PM

Millions discover their favorite reads on issuu every month.

Give your content the digital home it deserves. Get it to any device in seconds.