SUSTAINABLE ISSUE 04/16
B U S I N E S S
M A G A Z I N E
PORT AUTHORITY OF TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
GRENLEC GUILLAUME BIDAN PRESIDENT AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GE CENTRAL AMERICA & CARIBBEAN
ENMAN GROUP MBJ AIRPORTS ALSO FEATURED THIS ISSUE
CARILEC â€¢ BAHAMAS STRIPING
S U S TA I N I N G T O M O R R O W. T O D AY
B U S I N E S S
M A G A Z I N E
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CONTENTS ISSUE 04/16
Welcome to the latest issue of Sustainable Business Magazine Sustainable Business Magazine aims to spread awareness of the values of sustainability, as well as the brilliant ways in which organizations continue to meet challenges and champion corporate social responsibility. Our latest issue focuses on the Caribbean and starts with a Q&A with Guillaume Bidan, President & Executive Director, GE Central America and Caribbean, about how GE is contributing to the sustainable economic development of the region. In Trinidad and Tobago we spoke to Trudy Gill Conlon, Acting CEO of the Port of Port of Spain, about the challenge of updating a major international seaport, and Donald Baldeosingh, President of the ENMAN Group, about the future of energy and achieving a balance between profit and public benefit. This issue also includes the latest installment of our ‘Caribbean Energy’ series in partnership with CARILEC. The series showcases how CARILEC members are contributing to a more successful and sustainable Caribbean energy industry, and is prefaced by a foreword from CARILEC’s Interim Executive Director Thomas Hodge. For this installment we spoke to Clive Hosten, Chief Engineer at Grenada Electricity Services (GRENLEC), about the huge strides they have made towards renewable energy over the past year, and Surindranath Ramsingh, Acting General Manager at the Power Generation Company of Trinidad and Tobago (PowerGen), about modernization, generating cleaner energy, and putting the community first. We also spoke to Earle Kelly, CEO of the St. Kitts Nevis Anguilla Trading and Development Company Limited (TDC), about how one of St. Kitts and Nevis’ largest companies is also one of its most philanthropic, and Atario Mitchell, President of the Bahamas Striping Group of Companies (BSGC), about how road striping can be environmentally friendly and a strong source of community building. The issue concludes with a focus on aviation. In Jamaica we spoke to Rafael Echevarne, CEO of MBJ Airports, and Keisha Mohan, Environmental Health & Manager at Sangster International Airport, about environmental management, training opportunities, and providing a space for local entrepreneurs. In Guyana we looked at how Cheddi Jagan International Airport is changing, and we spoke to Captain Gerry Gouveia, CEO of Roraima Airways, about sustainable practices, medevac flights, and showcasing the beauty of Guyana. Details of upcoming sustainability events can be found on our events calendar. For more information on Sustainable Business Magazine, or to view our previous editions, please visit www.sustainablebusinessmagazine.net. We hope that you find this issue both interesting and inspiring. Thank you for reading. The Sustainable Business Magazine Team
Q&A Guillaume Bidan, President & Executive Director, GE Central America & Caribbean
Port Authority of Trinidad & Tobago (Port of Port of Spain)
Caribbean Electric Utility Services Corporation (CARILEC)
Grenada Electricity Services (GRENLEC)
Power Generation Company of Trinidad and Tobago (PowerGen)
St. Kitts Nevis Anguilla Trading and Development Company Limited (TDC)
Bahamas Striping Group of Companies (BSGC)
Cheddi Jagan International Airport
ISSUE 04/16 FRONT COVER IMAGE IMAGE COURTESY OF GRENADA ELECTRICITY SERVICES (GRENLEC).
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Q&A GUILLAUME BIDAN
President and Executive Director GE Central America & Caribbean.
Can you tell us a little about the history of GE in Central America and the Caribbean? General Electric has been present in Central America and the Caribbean since 1906 when we opened our first branch in Honduras. Since that moment, GE has participated in major infrastructure projects, including, for example, the equipment supply for the Panama Canal. In 2012, General Electric marked an important milestone with the establishment in Panama City of a regional hub that coordinates the activities of 150 employees working 2 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
for our 8 businesses in the 39 countries and territories of Central America and the Caribbean.Â Our presence in the region has been growing in a sustained way. Since 2012, the number of employees in Central America and the Caribbean has grown 40%, reaffirming our commitment to the sustainable growth of every territory where we are present. Our objective is to provide efficient solutions to our customers and end-users for generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity; intelligent lighting systems; oil and gas drilling technology; water plants; med-
ical equipment; and aircraft engines; all of these while maintaining a strong philosophy of talent development and leadership promotion in the region. For example, in Trinidad and Tobago, General Electric has been present since 1966, when the first GE turbine was installed on an 80-MW steamer. Today, General Electric has 40 direct employees in the country, an installed base of more than 2GW, and provides high-tech service to different infrastructure industries. Now, we can look back and say that everything began with a simple bulb in 1878; but today, being the world´s premier Digital Industrial Company, GE is transforming the whole industry with software-defined machines that are connected, in order to achieve better predictions of customer’s assets, competitive operating costs, lower risk, and improvement of operational performance. How are you contributing to the sustainable economic development of the region? With 138 years’ experience in the electricity sector and the recent acquisition of Alstom Energy, GE delivers one of the most complete portfolios across all energy sources: General Electric can bring solutions to produce electricity from fossil fuels or from all renewable sources (hydro, wind, biomass, solar, geothermal, etc.). GE currently leads the energy market with around 40% of the worldwide installed capacity. Central America and the Caribbean’s growth is around 3% and every day people are demanding more efficient access to electricity, water, and health care. GE is committed to accompany such growth with the most advanced technologies and local investment while contributing with greater competitiveness in our countries. Here again, our new digital strategy towards software integrated machines is key to achieve this sustainable growth by increasing reliability, efficiency, and security for end-users in constant change and development. How are you bringing modernization, cleaner technologies, and renewable energy to the people of Central America and the Caribbean? Our 150 employees in the region are focused on providing intelligent solutions to our customers that fit their needs and improve their current processes. When we talk about cleaner technologies in the energy sector we think of the diversification of the current energy matrix either through cleanest fuels, such as natural gas, or increasing even more the portion of renewable power from sources such as wind or solar. General Electric brings these environmental-friendly technologies which could also help to reduce operating costs, in a more reliable way for people. The natural gas coming to our region is now a reality and great news for us. This fuel not only provides better efficiency to operations, but also a reduction in the cost of electricity and in CO2 or pollutant emissions compared to other fuels. We are very proud to participate in the new adventure of the arrival of LNG in Panama; based on GE’s high-technology in gas turbines, our customer AES will operate the first natural gas power plant in the whole region. Innovation is in our DNA and sustainability is a driver to us, so we are committed to provide the best solutions to enable growth in the region.
How do you ensure your own operations have minimal adverse environmental impacts? Ecomagination is GE’s growth strategy to enhance resource productivity and reduce environmental impact at a global scale. As a part of this strategy, we invest in developing technology and business innovation, solutions to enable economic growth while reducing emissions and water consumption. We are committed to reducing the environmental impact of our own operations. Since the launching of this initiative back in 2004, we have invested USD17 billion in research and development (R&D) and have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 12% and freshwater use by 17%. Reinforcing our commitment, we have planned to invest an additional USD10 billion in research and development, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions and freshwater use by 20%, compared with 2011, by 2020. What contributions are you making to social development in the region? GE´s products and services offering is focused on building a more efficient infrastructure for people and communities, and also having our employees get together to lead and execute social initiatives in the countries where they live and work. In our region a great example of how employees help develop our communities is the Developing Health Globally program (DHG), which aims to improve healthcare access. The program was developed in Honduras in 2007 and to date GE has contributed more than 10 million dollars in medical equipment and water sanitation systems that improve health care for mothers and newborns, through a partnership between the GE Foundation, the Ministry of Health, and 10 medical facilities in Honduras. Child mortality has decreased 39% at hospitals in Honduras thanks to the equipment and the “Blankets for Babies” initiative, through which 23,000 blankets - made by GE employees - have been donated over the past 5 years. Can you tell us about some of your corporate citizenship commitments? At GE we solve problems for customers and we find solutions that make things better for society and the environment. Besides “Ecomagination”, we also have an initiative called “Healthymagination” which helps to bring better health to more people. Our social commitment is also guided by our different volunteering programs, where our employees work together to identify opportunities to help communities and design activities to be executed locally. For example, in Trinidad & Tobago we have executed cleaning of beaches, an educational project through the “Junior Achievement” association and visits to hospitals and care centers. What does sustainability mean to GE? To us, sustainability means aligning our business strategy with social needs to produce sustainable growth. This commitment is present in General Electric at every level of our organization: From high-visibility initiatives, products, and services, to day-today compliance management around the world, to transforming our vision to become the First Major Industrial Internet Company in the world. c SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
PORT AUTHORITY OF TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
PPOS PROVIDES THE EQUIPMENT AND PERSONNEL NEEDED FOR PORT USERS TO COMPLETE THEIR IMPORT, STORAGE, AND EXPORT OF CARGO SUCCESSFULLY.
4 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
PORT Trudy Gill Conlon, Acting CEO of the Port of Port of Spain, speaks to Sustainable Business Magazine about the challenge of updating a major international seaport.
There has been a port at Port of Spain, Trinidadâ€™s capital city, since 1939, but the Port Authority of Trinidad and Tobago was not formed until 1962, a year after an Act of Parliament established the Port Authority as a Statutory Authority. Today, the Port Authority is divided into four distinct business units: The Port of Port of Spain (PPOS), the Trinidad and Tobago Inter-Island Transportation Company (TTIT), the Port of Spain Infrastructure Company (POSINCO), and the Port Authority of Trinidad and Tobago Governing Unit (PATTGU). The PPOS is responsible for the receipt, storage, and delivery of all types of cargo at the port including containers, roll-on/rolloff (RORO) vehicles, breakbulk, and others.
TTIT undertakes all tasks relating to the ferry service running between the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, while POSINCO is the landlord body that makes decisions regarding investment and development of
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PORT AUTHORITY OF TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
the port environment itself. PPOS, TTIT, and POSINCO all operate under the governing unit of PATTGU. Together, they are the Port Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (PATT). PPOS provides the equipment and personnel needed for port users to complete
their import, storage, and export of cargo successfully. This includes ship-to-shop (STS) cranes, rubber tired gantry (RTG) cranes, reach stackers, terminal tractor trucks, and both empty and full container handlers. PPOS has managed to improve
the efficiency of their existing equipment to dramatically improve productivity over the past 18 months. Following a strike in 2014, when berth moves per hour (BMPH) dropped to just 18, last year saw BMPH rise to 21; this year it rose once more to approximately 26 BMPH. NAVIS SPARCS N4 There are many factors behind this improved productivity, one such being the implementation of a terminal operating system (TOS) in 2012, called Navis SPARCS N4. This TOS is the direct result of PPOSâ€™s Management Team together with Trudy Gill Conlon, Acting CEO of PPOS, and her career-long push to bring the port up to date. She speaks in detail about her experiences introducing the Maher Terminals Logistics System (MTLS) Container Terminal Management System (CTMS), followed by Navis SPARCS N4. â€œI am proud of being very instrumental in moving the port from a paper-based environment in 2004 to the first terminal operating system (TOS). I played a critical role
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in seeing the need for a TOS and then following through with the approvals from the Board for funding, as well as working closely with the New Jersey-based provider and local consultant towards successful implementation. The CTMS was meant to be an interim solution because it was not a highend TOS like Navis and, because we were moving from a fully manual to computerised approach at the time, the level of proficiency was not at the level needed for a sophisticated system. CTMS was more customised, less technical, and simpler. It ended up being with us for about 10 years even though it was an interim system because it worked very well. With it the company increased its proficiency with this type of technology and it paved the way for the Navis TOS.” “We are the only port in Trinidad and Tobago that currently uses Navis SPARCS N4. PLIPDECO, the second container port in Trinidad, has certain aspects of Navis and is now implementing it fully, but we have had the TOS since 2012. All our container processes are handled electronically through the container terminal module, from appointments to entry and exit passes for trucks, which means we can more ef-
ficiently put our resources into different areas of the terminal. We know at any point in time how many trucks are coming into the terminal and exactly where they are going to be at the terminal. As a result, the turnaround time for a truck at PPOS is now 42 minutes. Prior to Navis it was 1.5 hours, and prior to having CTMS it was anywhere between three and five hours.” The Navis SPARCS N4 is currently utilized for containers only. This means non-containerized cargo such as RORO (Roll-on, roll-off) vehicles must be handled manually. Ms. Conlon continues in her quest to utilize the best technology possible by pushing for the implementation of the Navis General Cargo Module instead, which would bring all aspects of PPOS’ operations to the same ease of use. This is especially important as the port’s RORO business continues to grow steadily. PRODUCTIVITY Upgrading and implementation of Navis modules is just one small way in which PPOS makes the best of what they have. Having achieved impressive figures of 26 BMPH at the start of 2016 and continuing
into February, the company is now looking at how they can push that even further. “When measuring ourselves against other ports in the region, PPOS is not top of the charts,” Ms. Conlon says. “Others are doing 30 to 40 BMPH and as Acting CEO my focus is to get our productivity levels in line with this. We want to be at 30 by the end of this year and to do this we need to have improved availability of equipment and to invest in further training of our people.” Better productivity levels have provided a big win for PPOS, with major customers such as King Ocean and CMA CGM returning business which was lost due to the strike of 2014 which impacted productivity levels negatively. Lack of investment in equipment over the past decade means that some of the port’s equipment is outdated. Two of the STS cranes, for example, are over 40 years old. Though functioning, age of machinery means maintenance plays a vital day-to-day role, so the training and skills of the port’s operators and engineers is even more critical for operating, upgrading, and managing equipment. Investment in staff therefore plays a very important role. In-house training
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PORT AUTHORITY OF TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
of new employees by experienced operators and engineers, as well as expanding the knowledge base of existing staff, has been key to the rapid increase in productivity levels over the last 18 months. PPOS is now looking to ensure staff are qualified up to international standards, and are therefore partnering with the University of Trinidad
and Tobago (UTT). The port is looking at the possibility of using a simulator and gaining certification for ports throughout the country. None-the-less, PPOS is also looking at potentially acquiring its own stimulator in the coming years and continues to look for opportunities to improve in-house training programmes.
MATERIAL IMPROVEMENTS Incremental changes have been undertaken to improve the long-term sustainability of the facilities. One such project was the demolition of Shed 9 in 2013. This opened up space for a further 500 container ground slots, raising the upper limit on storage capacity. The tractor truck availability has
Gantrex takes great pride in its association with PATT on recent and past projects. Services provided included: • Crane runway system structural inspection. • Provision of an inspection report based on deficiencies found and consequent remedial action. • Rail system design and component selection, based on duty cycle. • Working with PATT’s preferred engineering and construction partners. • Special rail welding services and site technical support. Gantrex can also provide special trolley rail solutions for crane boom hinge connections.
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PORT AUTHORITY OF TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
PPOS IS NOW LOOKING TO ENSURE STAFF ARE QUALIFIED UP TO INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS, AND ARE THEREFORE PARTNERING WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO (UTT).
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possibly even more RTG cranes. An in-house IT system for all of our vehicle deliveries is also about to be implemented.” SUSTAINABILITY As part of PATT, a governmental authority, the port is already part of the fabric of the community. In order to extend this further, they run a number of community support initiatives which include taking on summer internships, community participation events, and donating to groups in neighbouring areas engaged in programmes for youths. The aim is to be a caring corporate
entity by supporting ventures that promote the nation’s young people. The port plans to continue updating its facilities and operations and as its revenue grows it will be in a better position to invest in the future. “It is really about sustaining and improving the current business so that customers are being serviced at the highest level possible,” explains Ms. Conlon. “We are already seeing it with our productivity rates, but we also need to increase our volume. It will be challenging but we have a lot of hardworking, committed employees that have given, and continue to give, a lot to the port.” c
also increased from 15 to 22 over the past two years. In the coming months PPOS will be making other incremental changes to support the drive towards 30 BMPH. “The barrel shop, for instance, will be having a slight makeover,” explains Ms. Conlon. “That is where we handle all the barreled and less-than-container load (LCL) cargo for customers in Trinidad. On the operations side, which I will be directly involved in, we have put forward a request for a fifth STS crane for which we have already received approval. We are also looking at new back up equipment, some tractor trucks, and SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
DOING GOOD WHILE DOING WELL
Sustainable Business Magazine speaks to Donald Baldeosingh, President of the ENMAN Group, about the future of energy, lunar landings, and achieving a balance between profit and public benefit.
DONALD BALDEOSINGH, PRESIDENT OF THE ENMAN GROUP.
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The ENMAN Group is a set of Trinidad and Tobago-based companies operating throughout the Caribbean. Founded in 1993 by Donald Baldeosingh, Sahadeo Partap, and Aldwyn Lequay, the ENMAN Group started out as an engineering management company, specializing in work for power and process plants. Since then, ENMAN has branched out to offer a diverse array of technology-oriented products and services, from marketing (representing brands like Mitsubishi Electric and NOJA Power), to ICT
ventures (including a call center in Grenada), to conferencing and training. What makes the ENMAN Group remarkable is its embrace of social entrepreneurship, embodied in its motto: ‘Doing good while doing well’. The November 2015 issue of Sustainable Business Magazine featured one of the group’s most extraordinary projects, a proposed power and communications interconnection between the Caribbean and South America. This time around, Sustainable Business Magazine
caught up with Donald Baldeosingh to talk some more about sustainable initiatives the ENMAN Group has been pursuing under their motto: ‘Doing good while doing well’. SUSTAINABILITY EXPERTISE Mr. Baldeosingh has been addressing sustainability issues for a long time. In the ‘90s and early ‘00s, he served as the Non-Executive Chairman of the Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago (Petrotrin), where
he presciently implemented a Caribbean Climate Change Center. “Even at that time, we saw that oil companies needed to be concerned about climate change and invest in renewable energy,” says Mr. Baldeosingh. “What inspired us was the underlying idea of longevity for the company, and the sustainability of its presence in Trinidad and Tobago as a mainstay of the economy.” When Mr. Baldeosingh completed his term at Petrotrin, he continued this same
philosophy with the ENMAN Group. ENMAN recognised that, in the relatively small geographical space of Trinidad and Tobago, they couldn’t remain sustainable without being flexible. “We had to be responsive to the needs of the industry and the communities in which we operated,” explains Mr. Baldeosingh. “Therefore we focused on developing systems, techniques, and competencies that could be moved to where the challenges or the great opportunities are. Over the last century, Trinidad and Tobago moved from coffee and cocoa production to sugar, then to the oil industry, then to the gas industry. Now that we’re starting to see the horizon for the gas industry, what’s next?” HYDROELECTRICITY FOR ALL This search for the future of Trinidadian energy led the ENMAN Group to Guyana, home of CARICOM’s headquarters. With a population of less than 750,000 people, Guyana also hosts one of South America’s largest rivers, the Essequibo River. “We realized that hydroelectric potential in Guyana could supply a large part of the energy demands for the whole Caribbean region,” says Mr. Baldeosingh. “We found partners out of Canada, ex-Ontario Hydro professionals, and we took the project to the point where it has been proved it’s possible to build. We’ve also done feasibility studies to show SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
WE REALIZED THAT HYDROELECTRIC POTENTIAL IN GUYANA COULD SUPPLY A LARGE PART OF THE ENERGY DEMANDS FOR THE WHOLE CARIBBEAN REGION.
that the power price would be the lowest unsubsidised price in the Caribbean. The main challenge is that currently hydropower in Guyana and Suriname is a stranded resource. It’s like how gas was in Trinidad and Tobago in the ‘70s – either you have to take it to market, or you have to take the market to it. That’s where the Southern Caribbean Cable Project was born.” By linking mainland South America to Trinidad initially and then other Caribbean islands by an undersea power cable, the Southern Caribbean Cable Project would create an energy marketplace in
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the region, allowing the expansion of hydropower from Guyana and Suriname and then geothermal power from the volcanic islands. The ENMAN Group is well-positioned to advance this sustainable energy agenda. The Group has been working with major energy companies in Trinidad for more than two decades, providing a breadth of services, from consulting to engineering to project development and everything in between. Now it has brought on board several world leading technology providers for the power project.
CARBON ZERO Another project where the ENMAN Group is pioneering sustainability is the Carbon Zero Initiative of Trinidad and Tobago (CZITT). CZITT is a non-profit organization dedicated to making Trinidad and Tobago carbon neutral through research, promotions, engagement with stakeholders, advocacy, and developing and supporting new projects. “It’s a target like a lunar landing,” says Mr. Baldeosingh. “It’s something you might feel is impossible, but when we analyze what we have to do to get there, there’s a path to achieving it.” CZITT is investigating several practical measures to reduce Trinidad and Tobago’s carbon emissions, from working with a local school, to waste-to-energy programs, to expanding Trinidad’s forests and wetlands. “We have to understand the carbon situation in the world and our contribution to it, even as a small country,” says Mr. Baldeosingh. “CZITT’s role is to develop ideas, to provide consultation, and to lead implementation while working with key stakeholders. At this stage, we have individual
contributors from industry and academia. We’re now looking to partner with the major energy companies and the relevant ministries, so we can all work closely together towards a common objective.
industry. One such undertaking is a joint venture with Oceans-EWS, a world leader in engineered wetlands for wastewater treatment. Oceans-EWS is a Canadian firm which has an extensive track record of success in treating highly toxic waste-waters, and is the holder of significant awards for wetland projects to prove it. With treatment systems comprised solely of an engineered wetland, there is
SUSTAINABLE WETLANDS As with CZITT the ENMAN Group is working on other projects that address the sustainability of Trinidad & Tobago’s rich energy
no electricity, very few moving parts, and thus very low operating costs, making it one of the most sustainable treatment systems there is. With the current incentive to have wetland systems certified for carbon credits, their energy savings may also generate revenue while treating waste. The sustainability of the wetlands, and the green innovative technology, is what attracted ENMAN to this system, as well
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ENMAN GROUP as the benefits it will bring to Trinidad and Tobago. This is a good example of ‘doing good while doing well’. “To install treatment systems that will last for centuries rather than only several decades, and take almost no resources or costs to run, will not only help clean up our country at lower costs, but will also do it with a much lower carbon footprint,“ says Mr. Baldeosingh. HEALTHY TRINBAGO The ENMAN Group has also made deep investments in public health. Carin Television Ltd, one of the ENMAN Group’s subsidiaries, provides information on health, wellness, and family life online, on electronic billboards, and through TV monitors at fifty public and private medical centers around Trinidad under the brand name Healthy Trinbago. The initiative is supported by sponsorship and operates at a net cost to the ENMAN Group, meaning it is run for charitable purposes. One initiative operating under Carin’s auspices is the Bite Back! national mosquito eradication campaign, which intends to inspire action to prevent the spread of
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CARIN TELEVISION LTD, ONE OF THE ENMAN GROUP’S SUBSIDIARIES, PROVIDES HEALTH INFORMATION ONLINE, ON ELECTRONIC BILLBOARDS, AND THROUGH TV MONITORS.
mosquito-borne diseases. “It’s a partnership with corporations and citizens,” explains Mr. Baldeosingh. “We want to eradicate diseases like zika, dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever.” Among other engagement activities, Bite Back! uses an innovative approach through a free mobile app to “crowd source” data on mosquito breeding grounds and high risk areas. This information is collated and forwarded to the relevant authorities. SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP For Mr. Baldeosingh, running a sustainable business comes down to achieving a balance between generating revenue and delivering socially and environmentally de-
sirable results. “In every project we do, we look for the right balance between making it a commercial success and delivering to the community,” says Mr. Baldeosingh. “If you’re just commercially driven, sometimes a project will fail simply because you didn’t look at the human side. And on the other hand, sometimes we’ve had initiatives which have been only human-based, and have only delivered to the community, which we’ve had to consider charity projects. They’re not sustainable either if they don’t have an income side to them. That’s what we mean by ‘doing good while doing well’ – you can make a profit and you can be sustainable at the same time.” c SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
CARIBBEAN ELECTRIC UTILITY SERVICES CORPORATION
CARILEC TEAM, CHAIRMAN AND EDF CEO.
THE CARIBBEAN ELECTRIC UTILITY SERVICES
CORPORATION (CARILEC) SUPPORTS THE CARIBBEAN
IN ITS THRUST TOWARD SUSTAINABLE ENERGY CARILEC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR MR. THOMAS HODGE.
A foreword to the ‘Caribbean Energy’ series by Thomas Hodge, Interim Executive Director of CARILEC. The Caribbean power sector is witnessing important changes in the energy landscape: Changes to the regulatory framework, high-penetration of renewable energy technologies, increased use of electric vehicles, and greater customer demands. Electric utilities are at varying stages of readiness, and have their own unique challenges for renewable energy adaptation, and future demands. CARILEC recognizes the benefits of the changes in the power sector and welcomes them.
CARILEC TECHNICAL TOUR AT BAHAMAS ELECTRICITY CORPORATION.
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BACKGROUND CARILEC was formed in 1989 (as part of an electric utilities modernization project funded by USAID) nearly 16 years after the oil crisis of 1973. The corporation’s main focus was on “modernization of electric utilities” – which at the time, was not particularly
focused on generation diversification or renewable energy production. By 2008, oil prices skyrocketed, and the levelized cost of electricity for wind power and solar PV continued to decline. Almost overnight, renewable energy had firmly asserted its position in the region’s energy landscape and things began to change rapidly. CARILEC’s role in the region’s thrust towards sustainable energy is to facilitate capacity building, communication, and cooperation among its electric utility members, associates, and other stakeholders. In the context of this task, CARILEC’s role is particularly important. CARILEC’S SERVICES CARILEC understands the importance of collaboration, shared learning, and networking in improving utility operations.
quakes, flooding, and volcanic eruptions. This service is especially important to strengthen energy security for all member utilities. Some of the activities undertaken by the secretariat under this programme include the deployment of engineers to undertake damage assessments and line crews to carry out transmission and distribution line restoration work.
With the introduction of IPPs, regulatory bodies, and consumer groups, forums are necessary to promote effective communication between stakeholders. In this regard, CARILEC organizes several utility symposiums and conferences for utility industry professionals and stakeholders. CARILEC understands the need to promote engagement and effective communication between utilities, governments, regulators, and other stakeholders. Since 2010 CARILEC has brought over 550 utility personnel and Caribbean regulators together in renewable energy and regulatory forums. Technological advances in the industry (such as AMI and Internet of Things)
have brought changes to the way power is served to consumers. Today’s customer also demands a higher quality of service, is digitally connected, and sensitive to the environment. In preparing Caribbean utilities for the new environment, CARILEC trains approximately seven hundred utility employees in about 35 courses each year. The courses cover diverse disciplines ranging from utility-specific technical courses to management training. CARILEC also offers technical certifications and web-based training. CARILEC’s Disaster Assistance Programme (CDAP) is one of the many benefits afforded to members of CARILEC and is a service which is opportune during times of major disasters such as hurricanes, earth-
THE PURSUIT OF PARTNERSHIPS CARILEC is aware of the importance of partnerships and the potential to influence change on a larger scale. As part of its strategic objectives, CARILEC fosters relationships with organizations that have mutual interests or shared visions including CARICOM, CDB, IDB, OAS, the Clinton Foundation, Carbon War Room, and Rocky Mountain Institute, among others. With varying perspectives and a diverse pool of strengths, CARILEC’s collaborative projects bring the best in experience, research, and financing to the region. THE FUTURE CARILEC will continue to play a constructive role in the transformation of the region’s electrical sector to a more robust, modern, and sustainable model. Although oil prices are low, the utilities know that history is capable of repeating itself. U.S. Vice President Joe Biden recently quipped, “There’s an old saying: The best time to fix a roof is when the sun is shining.” The sun is shining now, figuratively speaking. The time is now. c
BOUILLANTE GEOTHERMAL PLANT, GUADELOUPE.
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GRENADA ELECTRICITY SERVICES LTD
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FOR THE FUTURE Clive Hosten, Chief Engineer at GRENLEC, speaks to Sustainable Business Magazine about the huge strides they have made towards renewable energy over the past year.
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GRENADA ELECTRICITY SERVICES LTD
Grenada Electricity Services Ltd (GRENLEC) is responsible for the generation, distribution, and transmission of electricity throughout the Caribbean state of Grenada. The company started in 1928 as a government department and, after changing hands a few times during its history, became a privatized entity in 1994. The government retained 10% of the shares, but WRB Enterprises is today the majority shareholder with 50% and has management oversight of the company. Grenada is a tri-island state incorporating the main island of Grenada as well as the two smaller islands of Carriacou and Petit Martinique. Electricity on all three islands is supplied by GRENLEC. The main islandâ€™s generation facility is a primarily diesel-fired plant in Queenâ€™s Park offering 22 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
a total capacity of 49 megawatts (MW); the Carriacou facility is rated at 1.92MW; and Petit Martinique has just 483 kilowatts (KW). All of this is distributed through more than 300 miles of distribution lines. RELIABILITY IS THE KEY GRENLEC have always focused on efficiency and gaining reliability out of their systems. During the past five years, for example, they have achieved just under 8% system losses. Credit for this is given to their excellent staff, in particular well trained linesmen that are capable of working on live wires at 11kV using hotline gloves and bucket trucks. Holding themselves to high standards of reliability and sustainability motivates their present focus on renewable power generation.
In 2008, GRENLEC made the decision to aim for 35% of their generation capacity to come from renewables by the year 2020; in 2014 this was revised to what they felt was a more realistic goal of 20%. In order to reach this figure, they have focused on the integration of solar PV and wind turbines into the grid. Solar panels are already supplying electrical energy into the system and wind energy is being actively pursued. It is important for a small island nation such as Grenada to increase control over their power generation. Grenada is dependent on imported diesel to power their islands, leaving them open to the volatile fluctuations of the oil market - in 2008, for example, the cost per barrel was $150 while at present it is just $28. Locally generated
installations to be installed on company property and represents the largest single investment into renewables yet made in the country. This will include some land in the northern parish of St. Patricks where around 300KW of ground-mounted solar will be installed. The contract was signed in October 2015 and the equipment for that has already arrived. The panels are expected to be installed by August 2016.” “In December 2015 we signed a lease for 29 acres of land on the eastern side of Grenada. Some of it is marshy property so can’t be used, but we can get a sizeable amount of solar panels on there. It will be fairly large by our standards, between 3MW and 5MW. Studies are being done right now to see how much solar we can accommodate on that property and on the
grid. It is something we want to get going this year and to have installed by 2017.” PAPERS IN THE WIND Wind, though not currently generating for GRENLEC, is a major focus for the company for the coming years. They are focusing on two major sites: One on Grenada and the other on Carriacou. The latter is currently closest to coming online. For the Carriacou wind farm, tendering documents have been sent out and GRENLEC is talking to a grid systems integrator so that once the project is completed the wind generation can be hooked directly into the island’s grid. It is expected to deliver between 1MW and 1.4MW. Storage options are also being considered - either battery or fly wheel - to maximize the effectiveness of the turbines.
renewable electricity offers a means of stabilizing these peaks and troughs, resulting in a more reliable and consistent service for the end user - the residents and businesses of Grenada. MASSIVE SOLAR Presently, GRENLEC has 148KW of solar PV installed in Grenada on company-owned property which includes their offices. On Petit Martinique there is 30KW of solar, making it a significant chunk of the 150KW peak demand on the island. During the past year, however, major new additions have been underway. “In 2015 we signed a contract for 937KW of new solar PV on company property,” explains Clive Hosten, Chief Engineer at GRENLEC. “This is 11 separate solar PV SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
GRENADA ELECTRICITY SERVICES LTD
The wind project for Grenada, however, is a more challenging prospect. “On Grenada we have with wind the same challenge as we have with solar, which is getting suitable land,” explains Mr. Hosten. “Land at good wind points on the island has been identified at several locations , but the challenge is getting ownership. Land on the island is divided into small acreage so that there are many landowners within a large area. The particular wind site we are looking at has about 50 landowners, making it a nightmare to arrange common terms and conditions and to sign bankable leases. It is a mess of paperwork. Before we can start any projects, we need to have signed leases giving us total control of the land so that we can install infrastructure to put up the turbines. Getting those leases has been our biggest challenge.” This isn’t the only difficulty, though. The terrain of Grenada is also a challenge. Transporting 100 foot components for turbines
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along the narrow roads that wind through the island’s hills can be a challenge. Infrastructure that needs to be installed includes modifications to existing road systems; including widening the roads themselves, strengthening bridges on route, and breaking down corners. Nonetheless, GRENLEC has risen to the challenge and continues to carry out surveys and studies to prepare for the coming wind farms. Meteorological towers have recorded wind data to pinpoint ideal locations, and generation capacity comparisons are identifying the most suitable turbines. Once the leases have been acquired, the company will be well placed to complete the projects rapidly. CUSTOMER INTERCONNECTION PROGRAM As well as making the move to renewables in order to provide a greener, more reliable service for their customers, GREN-
LEC also undertakes a diverse range of community initiatives to give back to the people of Grenada. “The Renewable Energy Interconnection (REI) plan enables customers with their own generation source to connect to the grid,” says Mr. Hosten. “Last year we launched the third phase of that program and it was subscribed in less than two months! There are around 100 customers on that with an aggregated power capacity approaching 1.3MW. Phase four will be launched later in 2016. This initiative is part of our drive towards 20% renewable generation by 2020.” REI intersects perfectly with the GRENLEC Community Partnership Initiative (GCPI), an effort to partner with communities on projects sponsored by GRENLEC. In 2015, 40KW of solar PV was installed into three buildings: Bel Air Home for Children, Queen Elizabeth Home for Children, and Grand Anse Home for the Aged. Not only can they generate their own power but through REI they will be able to sell surplus back to GRENLEC in order to raise further money for their own needs. Another GCPI
GRENLEC HAVE ALWAYS FOCUSED ON EFFICIENCY AND GAINING RELIABILITY OUT OF THEIR SYSTEMS.
project was a partnership with the Ministry of Health to buy an x-ray machine for one of Grenada’s hospitals. Annually, 5% of pretax profits are given to GCPI. This amounts to more than $1m every year and in 2015 totaled $1.5m. PUTTING THE FUTURE FIRST GRENLEC recognizes that serving a small nation is both a challenge and a blessing.
On the one hand, small islands are the first to be affected by rising water levels and other effects of climate change. Furthermore, when measured on global scales, the nation uses little energy meaning the impact of moving over to renewables could be seen as globally negligible. On the other hand, the Grenada community benefits more greatly from the relatively small changes implemented by the
company. If GRENLEC can bring Grenada to the point where a significant portion of their power is generated from renewable sources, then the country will be held up as environmentally conscious and a leader in sustainability. Mr. Hosten sees this as imperative, and succinctly sums up how GRENLEC plans to continue providing clean, reliable electricity: “Our focus is renewable energy”. c
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POWERGEN HAS A DEDICATED ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAM TO ENSURE THEY PROVIDE FOR AND PROTECT THE LOCAL ENVIRONMENT.
POWERGEN TO THE PEOPLE Sustainable Business Magazine speaks to Surindranath Ramsingh, Acting General Manager at the Power Generation Company of Trinidad and Tobago (PowerGen), about modernization, generating cleaner energy, and putting the community first. The Power Generation Company of Trinidad and Tobago, or PowerGen, began operations in December 1994 when T&TEC divested its generation assets. 26 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Today, PowerGen produces electricity, with power stations in the central and south of the island. 51% of the company is still owned by T&TEC, with 39% owned by
Maru Energy Trinidad, and 10% owned by the Trinidadian governmentâ€™s investment holding company National Enterprises Limited (NEL).
programs every year and deciding upon new safety-improving critical activities. “We’ve really pushed safety down to the lowest levels of the organization,” says Mr. Ramsingh. “Safety isn’t a business for one person; rather, it’s the responsibility of everyone. The corporate initiative works to guide that process, and make sure all employees are well-equipped to deal with the work environment that they’re exposed to. We also bring in external experts to review our safety procedures and practices, and to advise us on what are the best practices in the industry.”
ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITMENTS PowerGen has a dedicated environmental program to ensure they provide for and protect the local environment. “We comply with all the rules and regulations from the Environmental Management Authority (EMA),” says Mr. Ramsingh. “Then, when there isn’t a specific rule or regulation for a particular aspect of the environment, we refer to the EPA from the United States as our standard. So we always proactively look for ways to protect the environment, and we make sure we play our part in the government initiatives to conserve elec-
SAFETY AND RELIABILITY PowerGen’s original team was retained when the company split off from T&TEC, and today PowerGen’s employees are the torchbearers of a 50-year tradition of safe, reliable operations. “Our staff have excellent training, so our units are well-maintained and operate within strict guidelines,” says Surindranath Ramsingh, Acting General Manager at PowerGen. “We have a number of reliability programs that are in place to ensure energy is available as the grid requires. That includes a number of preventative maintenance programs, and condition-based maintenance programs that look at the maintenance needs of the equipment.” The same broad, proactive approach applies to employee safety at PowerGen. Each power plant has its own in-house safety officers, and the corporate office coordinates health and safety, reviewing SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
tricity and natural gas.” All PowerGen’s emissions and discharges are thoroughly monitored and fall within standards, and the company relays this information back to the EMA every month. “We are also always looking into upgrading our units so they stay current with the technological developments in the industry,” says Mr. Ramsingh. “We are currently upgrading two of our engines at the Penal Plant. This means improved efficiency, a better heat rate, improved reliability, and an increase in output as well, which is excellent for our gas conservation efforts.” A series of recent upgrades at Point Lisas and Penal means PowerGen’s facilities continue to become more efficient. “The Penal facility is the most efficient facility on the island,” explains Mr. Ramsingh. “Therefore it is this plant which determines the heat rate we’re looking to achieve overall as a company. We’ve also been moving away from oil circuit breakers to vacuum-type breakers, 28 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
which are much more reliable, dependable, and less hazardous to work with.” SUPPORTING THE COMMUNITY PowerGen’s facilities are based in two very different locations on the island, giving them the opportunity to positively impact diverse communities. “We have a number of programs to support our local communities,” says Mr. Ramsingh. “In some cases, we’re putting in new sporting facilities, like near our Penal Plant. In Port-of-Spain, we support an arts and crafts competition for schools. Then around Point Lisas, we do a lot of community projects upgrading facilities in the community.” The company also emphasizes Corporate Social Responsibility as one of its major initiatives. Mr. Ramsingh stated that PowerGen has been sponsoring a Special Children’s Fun Day for special schools throughout Trinidad and Tobago for the past twenty-one years, and that over the
last three years this has also included a special school from Barbados. He indicated that this is one of the biggest initiatives for the Company together with partnering with the Secondary Schools Cricket League to sponsor the League’s activities. The Company has also been known to sponsor events throughout the communities surrounding its plants such as Christmas Treats. Assistance is also given with the purchase of school books and supplies for needy children and many other community related activities. MODERNIZING INFRASTRUCTURE In 2007, PowerGen successfully increased their installed capacity by 208MWs, from 1150MW to 1358MW, by adding two additional units to the Point Lisas facility. Over the next two years, the company will be involved in demolishing the Port-of-Spain plant. “The generation capacity has been transferred across to our other facilities,
and to other independent power providers on the island,” explains Mr. Ramsingh. The Port-of-Spain facility, unlike PowerGen’s other plants, uses oil as well as natural gas. “Because it’s the oldest facility, it has the most manual systems,” says Mr. Ramsingh. “It works in a very corrosive environment; it operates in the middle of the city, which is not the best location to operate a power station. In general, it is becoming more inefficient than the other stations. Once the demolition is complete, the site will be returned to a green field site.”
Additional power lines have been installed by the grid operator to supply power to the Port-of-Spain area, meaning the supply of power won’t be interrupted. Next, PowerGen intend to build on their energy efficiency efforts. “We’re looking into co-generation by using the exhaust of the gas turbines at Point Lisas to generate steam,” says Mr. Ramsingh.” After twenty years of service to the people of Trinidad, PowerGen is going into the next twenty prepared to be even more efficient, reliable, and sustainable. c
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ST. KITTS NEVIS ANGUILLA TRADING AND DEVELOPMENT COMPANY
TDC IS ONE OF THE MOST RECOGNIZABLE BRANDS IN THE FEDERATION OF ST. KITTS AND NEVIS.
TO THE NATION Sustainable Business Magazine speaks to Earle Kelly, CEO of the St. Kitts Nevis Anguilla Trading and Development Company Limited (TDC), about how one of St. Kitts and Nevisâ€™ largest companies is also one of its most philanthropic. The St. Kitts Nevis Anguilla Trading and Development Company Limited is better known as TDC, parent to the diversified TDC Group, and is one of the most recognizable brands in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. The TDC name can be seen
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today across sectors including trading, shipping, aircraft handling, insurance, finance, real estate, and tourism. Apart from business, TDC also has a strong philanthropic presence in the country, particularly supporting the
educational needs of young people and adults through various scholarship schemes. The Group also sponsors sporting and cultural events so as to provide well-rounded support for the needs of St. Kitts and Nevis.
the most important roles that TDC play is the wide support net they cast throughout the local community, especially with support for young people and education. Earle Kelly, CEO of parent company TDC, talks more about the different financial support programs they offer to employees and non-employees: “We provide educational opportunities to our staff. For members of staff that have worked with us for at least three years, they can apply to get a scholarship from TDC and
the company pays their salaries during the time they are studying. If they don’t go away to study then we will pay half of the local fees.” “We also provide scholarships for people in the community who are not employees of TDC. We offer scholarships under the Michael L. King Scholarship Grant Program worth up to USD$20,000 per year to students that are accepted to, or already in college. In 2015, for example, three students each received US$5000 grants.
EARLE KELLY, CEO OF THE ST. KITTS NEVIS ANGUILLA TRADING AND DEVELOPMENT COMPANY LIMITED (TDC).
TDC itself began in 1973 with the merger of two companies heavily involved in the sugar industry of the time: JW Thurston & Company Ltd, and HF Wildy & Company Ltd. The following year a third asset, AM Losada Ltd, was acquired, establishing the pattern of acquisition and takeovers through which TDC would expand into the future. Today the Group is represented by 11 different major divisions and subsidiaries, most of which now bear the TDC name following a recent corporate re-branding in February 2016. These divisions and subsidiaries include: TDC Home and Building Depot, TDC Automotive Division, TDC Shipping, TDC Financial Services Company, TDC Insurance Company, TDC Rentals Limited/ Thrifty Car Rentals, City Drug Store (2005) Limited, TDC Airline Services, TDC Tours, and Ocean Terrace Inn. HIGH SCHOOL CHAMPIONS The TDC brand is part of the fabric of everyday life in St. Kitts. However, one of SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
ST. KITTS NEVIS ANGUILLA TRADING AND DEVELOPMENT COMPANY
Education is very important, not only for our employees but also for our company, our community, and our country. The more educated people are, the more successful we are likely to be as a nation. That is one way we support our country.” Perhaps most impressively of all, however, is the Warren Tyson Scholarship Program. Since 1981, TDC has financially supported
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high school students throughout the Federation with uniforms, books, tuition costs, and other school-related requirements. In the last financial year the program supported one student in every classroom in each of St. Kitts and Nevis’ seven high schools and the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College: A total of USD$100,000 was used to help 42 students.
CULTURAL ACHIEVEMENTS TDC also recognize a need for community activities, alongside education. The annual Inter-High School Track and Field Championships, for example, is one of the most important events in the St. Kitts and Nevis sporting calendar and has been sponsored by TDC for 39 years. Successful athletes have come up through this event including international track star Kim Collins. “Not only does the company help, but managers of our company are directly involved,” adds Mr. Kelly. “One of the directors is the president of the local Athletic Association and is in charge of the organizing committee.” TDC also maintains support for a range of other cultural activities including the National Carnival, Culturama, Inter-Primary-School Cricket Championships, Annual Music Festival, and the cancer support group Pink Lily Foundation. One recent addition to TDC’s portfolio is Farmers Month. Started in 2013, this celebration of the Federation’s local farmers sees the group provide a broad range of
support initiatives to give the farming sector a small boost. One particularly notable feature is the pop-up market, in 2016 held during March, where farmers are able to sell their produce from stalls outside TDC Home and Building Depot stores.
PANELS AND LED’s Also in 2013, TDC started making a concerted effort to update the sustainability of their energy profile. Most significantly, solar panels were installed on rooftops across a majority of the group’s buildings with the
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ST. KITTS NEVIS ANGUILLA TRADING AND DEVELOPMENT COMPANY
intention of displacing as much energy from diesel generators as possible. At present, between 15% and 20% of the group’s total energy needs are met by these panels. “Another area we are trying to improve is vehicles: We are trying to buy more fuel efficient vehicles that have less impact on the environment,” says Mr. Kelly. “Our air conditioning units are being changed to more efficient units that don’t use environmentally harmful refrigerants. For lighting, our buildings are now using primarily LED
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lighting. That way we save on energy costs. Most of our local generating capacity comes from diesel generators so if we can assist with keeping the fuel consumption down, we will.” Mr. Kelly continues: “Since we started this exercise we haven’t done any major construction of new buildings, only refurbishments. Those lighting and air conditioning improvements are being made when we reconfigure buildings in order to minimize disruption. Three buildings have
been improved in the last two years, and each has received the full sustainability upgrades. As time goes on the whole TDC Group infrastructure will become greener.” BEYOND THE BOARDERS To build on the possibilities and value of TDC’s activities the company is looking to expand its activities beyond St. Kitts and Nevis, where it has operated since its inception. In particular the Group is looking at their insurance offering.
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To provide a secure and reliable service, TDC Insurance is currently undergoing a rating process with international insurance services company, AM Best. That company was chosen as it already provides a rating service to many of TDC Insurance’s peers in the region. “In terms of where we want to expand with our insurance company, we want to start small,” explains Mr. Kelly. “There hasn’t been a decision on any specific location yet but we are looking to places in the sub-region. We are not looking to work on our own, but with partners. We are looking for opportunities and with our partners we believe that together we will succeed.”
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Everything about TDC is captured in its new slogan: Together We Succeed. “The tag line speaks to the partnership we have with all our shareholders, our customers, our employees, and with the communities that we serve,” explains Mr. Kelly. “There is also
a partnership with our environment. We try not to do anything that will have an adverse effect on it. With a population of only approximately 50,000 people, most know us and we have to work together as partners. Their success is our success.” c
SUCCEEDING TOGETHER TDC clearly has a lot to be proud of and, when asked what he feels most proud about, Mr. Kelly emphasizes the important role that the company has played in the lives of individuals and the national community. Approximately 650 people work for TDC, making it one of the largest employers in the country, and each one of those has been able to contribute to the society in some way. SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
BAHAMAS STRIPING THE TRAINING PROGRAM IS A KEY COMPONENT TO BSGC. PRESIDENT, ATARIO MITCHELL AND TEIKO MOSS A NEW TEAM MEMBER OF BSGC MARK THE ROADS IN ELEUTHERA.
“THE MOST IMPORTANT THING HERE IS ROAD SAFETY AND OBVIOUSLY THE WORK WE DO IMPROVES THE CAPACITY FOR SAFETY ON OUR ROAD NETWORK.”
OPEN HANDS Sustainable Business Magazine speaks to Bahamas Striping Group of Companies about how road striping can be environmentally friendly and a strong source of community building. Bahamas Striping Group of Companies (BSGC) is a fledgling and unique group that offers the Commonwealth of the Bahamas high quality striping and maintenance services. It was started in 2010 by Atario Mitchell, President of BSGC. Having spent time as a youth learning the striping trade alongside 36 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
his uncle, he recognized a business opportunity after learning of a Government program that provided 18 to 30 year old entrepreneurs with capital of up to $5000. Mr. Mitchell was granted the full $5000 to pursue his idea and immediately set about using his knowledge of painting
road safety markings to create a company that would benefit not only himself but his community and country. Having begun as just one company, six years later BSGC now comprises four distinct entities. Mr. Mitchell explains: “Bahamas Striping is the parent company but we also
have Airport Maintenance Service Ltd, which deals with airport maintenance and safety management work. The third subsidiary is Caribbean Pavement Solutions, a company set up to bring innovative pavement maintenance and protection products to the market: It is this company we intend to use as a catalyst for driving us through the Caribbean. The fourth company is Bahamas Theme Photography, which specializes in bringing professional photography to tourist destinations throughout the Bahamas.” Bahamas Striping was a one-of-a-kind in Bahamas in 2010, with only one other company providing striping services. That company was a multinational organization and owned by foreign investment, while Bahamas Striping was started by just one Bahamian and has grown into a success sto-
ry for local business through strong support from both the public and private sectors. FLOURISHING BASELINE BSGC’s success can be seen in the milestones of its brief six year history. In 2012, for example, a UK certified striper was brought in at great financial cost to BSGC to provide staff with international standards of training. In 2014 the company had already been able to construct a brand new headquarters and manufacturing facility with part capital funding via the Bahamas Entrepreneurial Venture Fund and less than two years later the mortgage on this building has already been paid off. Innovative products have been important in this success, products that not only make business sense but are environmen-
ROAD SAFETY IS IMPORTANT. IT IS EQUALLY IMPORTANT TO HAVE REFLECTIVE STUDS, OR CAT EYES ENHANCES THE SAFETY ON THE ROADS FOR MOTORISTS BY OUTLINING THE LANES AND EDGES OF THE CARRIAGEWAY.
MR ATARIO MITCHELL, PRESIDENT OF BSGC.
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BSGC COMPLETES ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL JOB OF PROVIDING ROAD MARKINGS AT A KEY INTERSECTION ON A MAJOR THOROUGHFARE BAY STREET AND WESTERN ESPLANADE JUNCTION NASSAU BAHAMAS.
tally friendly as well. “Bahamas Striping is a company that specializes in road maintenance,” says Dr. Allen Albury, Managing Director of BSGC. “One of the most important things here is road safety and obviously the work we do improves the capacity for safety on our road network. One thing we have done is introduce the innovative Bond-X Green Cold Patch product to the Bahamas, a cold mix material used for road repair.”
“What stands out about our thermoplastic product beyond it being a highly durable striping material, is the fact that we are the only company in the Bahamas that provides our clients with a three year guarantee.” Another example is the Pavement Rejuvenation products that Caribbean Pavement Solutions is the sole distributor for throughout the Bahamas and the Caribbean. Pavement rejuvenators are ALL-IN-ONE rejuvenators and sealers which are used as a preventative
maintenance process to reverse the aging process of asphalt thereby extending its lifecycle up to seven years. They are chemically designed to penetrate the asphalt sealing out motor oils, gas, hydraulic oils, aviation fuels, water, and other contaminants, and comes with a three-year performance warranty. This is a conscious decision to imbue the company’s work with higher safety capabilities, reduced maintenance requirements, and longer life – not just with Bahamas
RESORTS WORLD PRESIDENT, DANA LEIBOVITZ, AND PRESIDENT ATARIO MITCHELL STAND ON THE NEWLY APPLIED CENTER LINES AND APRONS WHICH PLAYED A KEY ROLE IN THE TOURISM INDUSTRY OF SOUTHERN BIMINI. AS A RESULT, THE ISLAND IS NOW ABLE TO ACCOMMODATE NIGHT FLIGHTS.
When it comes to partnering in the airfield maintenance industry, you simply need the best. Bahamas Striping is the leader in the Bahamas and Hi-Lite is the worldwide leader in airfield maintenance & safety. We congratulate our trusted partner, Bahamas Striping, for all their success and playing a critical role in the safety of Bahamian airfields.
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REJUVENATION IS A PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE PROCESS THAT EXTENDS THE LIFECYCLE OF ASPHALT AND WHEN TREATED PAVEMENTS ARE STRIPED AND INFUSED WITH REFLECTIVE GLASS BEADS MOTORIST CAN SEE 1500 FEET AHEAD ESPECIALLY WHEN APPROACHING DANGEROUS CURVES.
CHALLIS BAY CORNER IN ROCK SOUND ON THE ISLAND OF ELEUTHERA.
THE ISLAND OF ELEUTHERA IS ONE OF THE BENEFICIARIES OF THE COMPANY’S NEW ENVIRONMENTAL FRIENDLY PRODUCT, ASPHALT REJUVENATION.
Striping, but for all the road and airport maintenance work that BSGC carry out. In 2015 the group received a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) from the Bahamian Government after submitting two public-private partnership (PPP) initiatives worth approximately $50 million for works to be carried out on roads and airports across ten islands. The Group will be providing the funding through the US Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank at favorable interest rates of less than 3% to the Bahamian Government. This will be the first (PPP) that BSGC has engaged in and marks yet another significant milestone in the history of the group. In the Bahamas and especially in the Family Islands, most of the roads are built using a process called sand-seal, which is a layering of cold-tar, sand, and pea rock, as opposed to typical asphalt. While this is a cost-effective road building method used not just in the Bahamas but throughout the Caribbean, it is prone to rapid pothole development and is in constant need of repair. Hence, this major milestone will not just be significant because it is the first time that the government of the Bahamas is entering into a major PPP with a young Bahamian group, but it will signal the development of a PPP model that can and will be developed all across the Caribbean. Works will include pothole repairs, reflective road studs, standing road sign installation, pavement rejuvenation, road striping, and installation of solar street lighting resulting not just in safer roads for these communities but increased employment for jobseekers.
GREEN ROADS “Part of our core philosophy is that we are an environmentally friendly company,” states Dr. Albury. “From the top, all the way down to basic operations, we look for products that are part of the recyclable life cycle. For example, our Pavement Rejuvenation products are used to extend the life cycle of roads, airport runways, taxiways, and aprons at a fraction of the cost and it is an environmentally friendly product. We are also always lowering our carbon footprint in terms of the equipment we use and the type of fuel we use, to ensure that we are being a sustainable company.” This desire to take a green and environmentally friendly approach does, on the one hand, make business sense. However, Dominic Sturrup, Sr. Vice President of Business Development, is keen to point out that this sentiment first comes from a place of
love: “We live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. The only way to keep it that way for our grandchildren is that we must do our part to protect the environment of our country. Just looking at it as a citizen, we have a responsibility to protect all aspects of the country – especially its environment.” PART OF THE COMMUNITY Throughout its existence BSGC has consistently invested money and man hours into supporting the local community through training and support for charitable organizations. The Dollar That Could, an example of BSGC’s charitable efforts, is an initiative through which they work with the community to raise money for three charities annually. In 2016 approximately $18,000 was raised for Grand Bahama Children’s
ABACO RESIDENT ARSENIO BURROWS IS GIVEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN A TRADE ON A RECENT ROAD PROJECT.
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BAHAMAS STRIPING Home, Grand Bahama Humane Society, and Bahamas Rotary Club. Every year, BSGC also returns to the Ranfurly Home for Children, the Salvation Army, the Bahamas Humane Society, and the Cancer Society, to provide free restriping of their parking lots. Every Christmas, BSGC also provides the Grand Bahama Children’s Home with toys, food, and clothing. “We have also striped over 40 basketball courts free of charge throughout the communities of the Bahamas as we see these community spaces as places where young people can develop leadership skills, teamwork, and build lasting friendships,” says Mr. Mitchell. “In addition, the company also provides thousands of school bags to children at the beginning of the school year as they head back into the classroom. Commenting on why BSGC believes so firmly in its charitable
causes, Mr. Mitchell says: “As a company we don’t believe it makes sense to keep your hands closed. When you keep your hands closed nothing goes out, but at the same time nothing comes in.” There are also many examples of community support through business, such as the previously mentioned training of local Bahamians as stripers and other staff, which provides young men in the Bahamas with trade skills. “Our training program is vital to the company’s success and it provides BSGC with a prime opportunity to expand the niche market of road striping and maintenance across the Bahamas thorough increase skills capacity.” The company strongly believes that training is important in any sector as it lends to vibrant competition, growth, and a more robust market. President Atario
THE BSGC EXECUTIVE TEAM MEETS WITH THE PRIME MINISTER OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF THE BAHAMAS THE RT. HON. PERRY GLADSTONE CHRISTIE TO DISCUSS THEIR PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP INITIATIVE (FROM THE LEFT ATARIO MITCHELL PRESIDENT OF BSGC RT. HON. PERRY G. CHRISTIE DR. ALLEN ALBURY MANAGING DIRECTOR OF BSGC).
THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF GRAND BAHAMA ACCEPTS A CHEQUE DONATION AS A RECIPIENT OF THE DOLLAR THAT COULD PROJECT 1.0 IN GRAND BAHAMA.
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Mitchell highlighted the fact that “with increasing levels of crime and unemployment rates in the double figures, the company’s commitment to giving young men with a troubled past an opportunity and gainful employment is a way of assisting in correcting many of the social ills in the Bahamas. It keeps these young men on the straight and narrow and gives them a new lease on life to become productive and law abiding citizens.” In support of its commitment to training, the facility built in 2014 has a fully interactive training room as part of its setup to allow first-class training of employees. “We spend an enormous amount of resources and man hours ensuring the staff we hire show they have the willingness and desire to work, that they are able to grasp the information, and that they receive the chances they deserve through our training,” explains Mr. Sturrup.
BAHAMAS STRIPING HAS RESURFACED, AND STRIPED OVER 40 BASKETBALL COURTS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY IN THE SIGNATURE NATIONAL COLORS OF THE BAHAMIAN FLAG. THIS COURT WAS RECENTLY COMPLETED IN THE PINERIDGE COMMUNITY OF FREEPORT GRAND BAHAMA.
OVER THE COMING YEARS, BSGC HOPE TO USE THEIR SUCCESS WITHIN THE BAHAMAS TO PUSH OUTWARDS INTO THE REST OF THE CARIBBEAN.
POINTING OUTWARDS BSGC has been widely recognized in the Bahamas for its work and success, with both the company and Mr. Mitchell receiving a number of public accolades and awards. Recognition by international bodies such as US Ex-Im Bank, as well as the faith placed in them by the Bahamian Government, suggests that the company is only strengthening. Despite this, focusing on day to day operations remains important. When asked about achievements, Dr. Albury’s immediate response is to highlight that they are able to pay their staff every month, on time, and that they are training enough stripers to the correct international standards to ensure that within a few years they will all be Bahamians. Mr. Mitchell adds: “The biggest achievement for BSGC as a group is that we have shown Bahamians and other people of the Caribbean that you don’t have to come from
a rich family, you don’t have to come from a politically connected family, to be successful in the Bahamas. Once you are prepared to work hard, sacrifice, and build a strong foundation, it is possible to be successful in the Bahamas – or any other country.” Looking forward, there is a long-term plan that begins with the PPP. The $50 million agreement will see BSGC provide road and airport maintenance services to ten islands throughout the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. In addition to physical work, the group will also provide public awareness campaigns to inform users. Over the coming years, BSGC hope to use their success within the Bahamas to push outwards into the rest of the Caribbean. The group recognizes that the surfacing problems faced in their home country are also faced by other islands of the region. A storage and regional distribution warehouse
will be built on Grand Bahama, an island that has become central to trade across the Americas, making them ideally placed for their leap across the sea. Mr. Mitchell concludes with insight on how BSGC will continue to embrace its community roots: “One of the things we will do when working in different Caribbean countries is make it clear that we are not coming in to dominate the local environment or space. Ideally our goal is to work with local partners that are there so we can help them to strengthen their business model, so they can benefit and take advantage of the advances through PPPs.” We see ourselves extending the same company culture in terms of the training of locals, engaging and being involved in local communities, and investing and reinvesting in cutting edge technology, while bringing funding to these Caribbean islands.“ c SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
CONSERVATION, Sustainable Business Magazine speaks to Rafael Echevarne, CEO of MBJ Airports Ltd, and Keisha Mohan, Environmental Health & Safety Manager at Sangster International Airport, about environmental management, training opportunities, and providing a space for local entrepreneurs.
Sangster International Airport (MBJ) is the largest airport in Jamaica, and one of the largest in the Caribbean, handling 3.8 million visitors in 2015. Located three miles east of Montego Bay, Sangster International is located directly in the center of Jamaica’s main tourist region. Approximately 90% of MBJ’s visitors are tourists from the United States, Canada, and Europe, attracted to 42 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Jamaica’s beaches, hotels, and resorts, as well as nearby cruise ports. MBJ Airports Ltd is the company which holds the concession for the operation, maintenance, and running of Sangster International. 74.5% of the company is owned by Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico (GAP), the largest private airport services company in Latin America, while the remaining 25.5% is
owned by Vantage Airport Group, who run eight airports worldwide including Vancouver International Airport. “We have several sets of environmental standards we have to live up to,” explains Rafael Echevarne, CEO of MBJ Airports Ltd. “On the one hand, we have the Jamaican regulations. Then, because Vantage is a Canadian company, their environmental consciousness is very
MBJ AIRPORTS IS CURRENTLY IMPLEMENTING A NEW SET OF KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS (KPIS) IN ACCORDANCE WITH GAP’S STANDARDS, WHICH AMONG OTHER THINGS WILL COVER SEVERAL ASPECTS OF ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT.
strong. GAP are heavily scrutinized too, because they’re listed on the New York Stock Exchange and because Mexican environmental standards are very high.” ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE MBJ Airports is currently implementing a new set of key performance indicators (KPIs) in accordance with GAP’s standards,
which among other things will cover several aspects of environmental impact. “We’re looking at energy consumed per passenger and water consumed per passenger,” explains Keisha Mohan, Environmental Health & Safety Manager at Sangster International Airport. “We’re also going to measure our total waste, and our waste accumulated per passenger. We’re making sure our monitor-
ing and our measuring are up to scale, and are compatible with what GAP has in place.” In order to match up to these standards, MBJ have implemented several energy and water conservation initiatives. “We have a long-term initiative in place which reduces our energy consumption from the HVAC systems used for cooling our terminal buildings,” says Ms. Mohan. “As for water reducSUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
tion, we have a rigorous monitoring system, where we measure our usage and maintain an aggressive program to identify and correct any leaks in the piping network.” SUSTAINABLE LIGHTING Next, MBJ are going to install LED lighting. “That’s an interesting one for us,” says Mr. Echevarne. “There’s a purely
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economic impact, reducing our electricity bills, which from a business perspective makes sense. But also it will serve another purpose, to actually improve the lighting in the terminal building. The lighting is very poor, and we want to see an increase in the spend-per-passenger at the shops. This new technology will allow us to achieve several goals at once.”
MBJ also recently installed solar-powered lighting around the perimeter fencing. “It’s a pilot project led by our maintenance team,” says Ms. Mohan. “It’s reducing our energy use, and saving us money on our energy bill.” “It’s one of the first times it’s been done,” explains Mr. Echevarne. “That’s not just in the Caribbean, but in other parts of
the world. It’s a great saving economically, and obviously it also improves the security of the airport.” ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT PLAN It’s especially important MBJ carefully monitor their environmental impact because Sangster International borders the Montego Bay Marine Park, a protected marine ecosystem. “The runway basically starts on the beach, and the approach lights to the airport are actually installed in the water,” says Mr. Echevarne. Consequently, MBJ has a fully-implemented environmental management plan, which looks at their operations holistically and makes sure they aren’t negatively impacting the surrounding environment. “One of the main items relates to our pollution monitoring and our liquid effluent discharges, for example,” says Ms. Mohan. “We have an extremely aggressive monitoring program for our stormwater runoff, and we also monitor our groundwater quality. Even though the park is a protected area, it’s very much in use for recreational activities, and tourism is our main business. So we make
sure our operations in no way impact on the quality of that environment.” MBJ intends to commit further to positive environmental practices. “The United Nations Development Program and the International Civil Aviation Organization have come up with a project which they’ve
selected us for,” says Mr. Echevarne. “We’re working with the Civil Aviation Authority of Jamaica on it right now.” “It’s called Transforming the Global Aviation Sector: Emissions Reduction from International Aviation,” says Ms. Mohan. “We’re vying for funding to be the site for
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MBJ CONTRIBUTES TO VARIOUS SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE PROGRAMS, INCLUDING EMPLOYEE WELLNESS PROGRAMS AND SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMS FOR CHILDREN OF EMPLOYEES.
the implementation of a project which will seek to reduce overall aviation emissions. We’re far in advance in putting forward our case, and we’re hoping we’ll be successful.” SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY MBJ contributes to various socially-responsible programs, including employee wellness programs and scholarship programs for children of employees, as well as spon-
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soring football competitions and donating to local charities. They also contribute to local initiatives, like International Coastal Clean-Up Day. “It’s run by Montego Bay Marine Park,” says Mr. Echevarne. “We’re very actively involved in cleaning debris from the beaches and reefs.” “Rafael was hands-on at our last CleanUp,” says Ms. Mohan. “That’s very important for us as an organization – to show our
executives are involved as well. We’re committed to maintaining the pristine condition of our beaches.” Another new initiative involves local entrepreneurs. “I encouraged some small businesses who were finalists in the Branson Initiative to come to the airport and test their concepts,” explains Mr. Echevarne. “There were local fruit vendors, a couple of sisters who make ice cream from local ingredients,
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ACI TRAINING CENTRE Prior to assuming the helm at MBJ, Mr. Echevarne was Director of Economic Affairs at Airports Council International (ACI). Now, he’s bringing ACI to Jamaica, making Sangster International an official ACI training center. “The training center will take the whole ACI curriculum and bring it here,” says Mr. Echevarne. “It’s open to anyone, and this year we’re focusing on operational matters
like air-site safety and safety management system courses. Next, we want to organize an environmental management course.” “We’ve also recently received the Carbon Emissions Calculator from ACI,” says Ms. Mohan. “It’s a template that allows you to more easily calculate your emissions. We hope to use that to bolster our environmental monitoring.” MOVING FORWARD “I’m very proud we have Keisha, who is extremely committed to environmental matters,” says Mr. Echevarne. “I want her to become a member of the Environmental Committee at ACI. We’re also very excited about upgrading our environmental management system, and bringing it up to ISO14001.” “We’re fortunate because various departments have really taken the initiative on conservation projects,” says Ms. Mohan. “It’s a true collaborative effort. For an environmental program to be truly successful, and to ensure that sustainability is imprinted in the organization, it has to span multiple departments where everybody knows the role they play and how they can contribute.” c SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
CHEDDI JAGAN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
THE TERMINAL RENOVATION WILL DOUBLE THE NUMBER OF AIRCRAFT POSITIONS AND PASSENGER BOARDING GATES FROM FOUR TO EIGHT PROVIDING MORE ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE AIRPORT.
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Guyanaâ€™s main international airport is undergoing a major expansion to meet the needs of an increasing passenger count. Sustainable Business Magazine looks in closer detail at how Cheddi Jagan International Airport is changing.
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CHEDDI JAGAN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) is the main international airport of Guyana. Located near the country’s Atlantic coast, on the north coast of South America, CJIA started life in 1941 as an airbase for the United States Army Air Force. Following the end of World War Two, the airfield started operating commercial air flights in 1946 and by 1969 was renamed the Timehri International Airport to reflect its new focus. The CJIA name was adopted in 1997 following the death of Guyana’s president Cheddi Jagan.
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Created on October 5, 2001, all non-regulatory functions are handled by CJIA Corporation (CJIAC) including administration, operation, maintenance, and development of the airport. Seven guiding principles inform CJIAC’s operations: Integrity, professionalism, safety, service, shared purpose, partnership, and stewardship of resources. With these values the corporation has helped grow CJIA’s business and traffic massively, leading to a need for expansion.
Between 2000 and 2012, annual passenger footfall at CJIA increased by 42% from 384,000 to 544,000. This growth, while excellent for business, began putting a strain on the airport’s facilities. Proposals were first put forward in 2008 and by 2011 a formal contract was signed, enabling work to begin. EXPANDING OUTWARD A $150 million deal was signed between the Government of Guyana and renowned
across two floors served by two escalators and two elevators. A second floor will also improve safety by enabling the introduction of jet bridges, eliminating the need for passengers to walk across the apron.
international contractors Chinese Harbour Engineering (CHEC) for expanding both the terminal and runway. Signed in November 2011, the original contract sought to relocate the arrivals terminal building as well as extend the runway. Following financial renegotiation, however, the existing terminal building is instead being renovated with the runway expansion going ahead as before. Of the $150 million, the main investors are the Chinese government’s EXIM Bank with $138 million. The remaining $12 million is being put up by the Government of Guyana. With this budget, the runway is being extended by more than 3000 feet, from 7500 to 10,800 in total. This will help it accommodate large Boeing 747-400 class planes. Excavation and back-filling tests have already been carried out on a 524 by 524 foot test plot to model the techniques that will eventually be used to build the entire extension. Meanwhile, the terminal renovation will double the number of aircraft positions and passenger boarding gates from four to eight providing more arrival and departure opportunities for the airport. The final terminal design includes 172,000 square feet
SAFETY FIRST Safety and security have been keywords in the $150 million project. For example, a brand new CCTV system will be installed into the final terminal building incorporating more than 300 cameras. The elimination of passengers from the apron decreases health and safety risks as there will no longer be mixing with vehicles and machinery. A brand new departure control system will make it easier for airlines to manage passengers. Arriving passengers will now have an enclosed, gated arrivals area that provides many advantages. For example, this hall is staffed with security guards and security gates to ensure that illegal taxi operators cannot approach people that have just arrived. In a public statement Andre Kellman, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of CJIAC, explained this initiative: “When passengers leave customs and enter the Greeters Hall they could choose to remain in the enclosed area within the protection of the barriers and wait to be picked up. Additionally, it would prevent any solicitation from illegal taxi operatives. Also passengers would not be subjected to the harassment of illegal baggage handlers in the car park.” Drivers arriving to pick up from the arrival hall will enter through a designated gate, picking up arriving passengers from an area that is also sheltered against bad weather. Security officers are present to not only help passengers and crowd control but to assist with traffic flow as well. Customer service representatives are on hand to inform people of the system, helping them understand the new initiative that will ultimately provide greater safety and security for both the airport and passengers.
including the recent squatting of land surrounding the airport, something that is currently being addressed through a relocation program. There has also recently been a gold smuggling incident at CJIA, for which there is a major investigation underway, but one that has illustrated the important role that CJIA’s security forces play. A proven track record of effective airport security will therefore be an important factor when selecting a new security contractor. The Government of Guyana’s Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson has said: “Passenger and cargo security is being looked at and firms specializing in such measures will be considered, but a proven track record will weigh heavily in favor of such firms in consideration of the proposals.” TOMORROW’S GATEWAY The original contract, which contained plans to relocate the terminal, was recently changed following hidden costs not originally laid out to CJIAC. The relocation would have increased the projected cost by another $65 million and discussions are currently underway with CHEC to iron out the details of these costs. In the meantime, work contained in the bulk of the contract continues. It is expected that the expansion project will be completed by the end of 2017. This will help the airport stay ahead of projected growth in figures, ensuring that CJIA remains one of the key entry points for tourism and business into Guyana. With the country named as a top travel and adventure destination for 2016, and having received accolades in recent years as one of the top undiscovered locations for tourists, the expansion will ensure passengers continue to receive a hassle-free experience as they arrive into and leave from Guyana. c
INTERNATIONAL SECURITY Alongside safety, security is an important element of the airport expansion project. Contract for the work is being tendered to the private sector, with companies from across the world taking an interest. In particular, there is a Canadian company with a track record of successful airport security at Israeli sites catching the Government of Guyana’s eye. A number of different issues surrounding the airport have made security an important topic in CJIAC’s discussions SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
“IT’S IMPORTANT TO US THAT WE ENGAGE IN ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE ACTIVITY.”
THE SKY’S THE LIMIT Sustainable Business Magazine speaks to Captain Gerry Gouveia, CEO of Roraima Airways, about sustainable practices, medevac flights, and showcasing the beauty of Guyana. 1992, when Roraima Airways began, was a time of transition for Guyana. “Free market systems had just started to be introduced into the country,” says Captain Gerry Gouveia, CEO of Roraima Airways. “Our economy depended on products – gold, diamonds, and bauxite – and we didn’t have much of a service industry at the time. I had spent fifteen years in the army as a pilot, and in that time I’d learned a lot about Guyana’s hinterland. So I started Roraima Airways with my wife Debbie, who is also a pilot, to cater to the needs of tourists and 52 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
investors. To start with, we didn’t have any planes, so we used to rent them, and we only had four employees. It was a gamble on the future of the country.” The gamble paid off. Today, Roraima Airways employs two hundred people, and in addition to owning their own planes, the company has two hotels and an eco-adventure resort in the rainforest. “We’ve developed a synergy of travel and tourism services,” says Captain Gouveia. Now, a traveler can fly from New York to Guyana with one of Roraima’s international partners, get picked
up at the airport by a Roraima chauffeur, eat and drink at a Roraima hotel in Georgetown, catch a Roraima flight to an investment site or the Kaieteur Falls, and then take a Roraima boat to the Roraima resort. “And then when they’re leaving Guyana, they’re at our check-in counter at the airport, and they can wait for their flight in our executive lounge,” says Captain Gouveia. LOW CARBON “Guyana has a national development strategy which is called the Low Carbon Devel-
ARROWPOINT NATURE RESORT.
opment Strategy,” says Captain Gouveia. “That means all economic development has to result in minimal carbon emissions. At our hotels, we make sure the air conditioning is environmentally friendly. We make sure the materials we use are environmentally friendly. Even the washing detergents and conditioners we use are environmentally friendly. Then, when we fly clients into the rainforest, we pay a lot of attention to ensuring those clients operate in an environmentally friendly way as well, and comply with that strategy. Our staff also have regular meetings where we discuss potential impacts on the environment, and how we can avoid those. We’re very conscious that, as a country, we can’t ring-fence ourselves away from the practices that all countries in the world need to practice. We embrace those things because it makes sense from an economic standpoint, and from a social standpoint too.” BEAUTY AND GRANDEUR A representative example of Roraima’s emphasis on environmental sustainability is
the Arrowpoint Nature Resort. The resort is situated deep in the rainforest, not far from one of the world’s most spectacular single drop waterfalls, the Kaieteur Falls, which, at 741 feet high, is four times the height of Niagara Falls. Arrowpoint itself is located in an Amerindian village, and visitors can go hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, and birdwatching in the jungle. “The architecture of the buildings was done in keeping with the architecture of the community,” explains Captain Gouveia. “The material used was material from the area. There was minimum clearing of the rainforest around the resort, to protect it and not to disturb the wildlife. We use solar power for green power, we use rainwater, we bury our garbage when it needs to be buried, and we use waste food for compost. It’s important to us that we engage in environmentally responsible activity. My national service took me all over the length and breadth of Guyana, and it gave me an enormous appreciation of the beauty and grandeur of our country, in
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terms of the diversity of the human cultures here, and the biodiversity of our rainforest and our wildlife.” MEDEVAC The service has not ended. When Sustainable Business Magazine spoke to Captain
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Gouveia, he had just returned from flying a medevac flight in the rainforest, and during our conversation another of his planes flew out on a different call. “Because a lot of the country is covered in rainforest, and in the hinterlands there’s sometimes no roads, it can be the case that people have medical
complications and the medical facilities in those areas can’t handle it,” explains Captain Gouveia. That’s where Roraima’s planes come in. One reason Roraima is particularly needed for medevac is the challenge of flying in the jungle at night. “It’s something I did when I was in the army,” says Captain Gouveia. “When I came into the private sector, I started doing it to help the Ministry of Health. We would go into the jungle and we would teach the police or the teachers in the area how to light a runway. You get some bottles, you put fuel inside, you put a cloth inside, you light the bottle, and you’ve got a lamp. Then you put ten of those either side of the runway. Then we use those to guide us to make a safe landing at night.”
THE SKY’S THE LIMIT Next for Roraima will come an expansion of their domestic fleet. “We’ve expanded into the international market with our partnership with Dynamic Airways,” says Captain Gouveia. “So we run five flights a week into New York, and we’re expanding into Toronto later on this year. We also partner with InselAir out of Curaçao and Aruba. Europe is a target market for tourism. Basically, we want to showcase Guyana to the world. The future here is very exciting. The Brazilians want to build a US$15 billion, 4,500 MW hydro station here; and there’s lots of solar farms going up to power villages in the hinterlands.” NATIONAL RESPONSIBILITY For Roraima, the reward of success is greater prosperity for the whole country. “We recognized that, even if our company was doing well, if the rest of the society around us wasn’t then we wouldn’t be sus-
tainable,” explains Captain Gouveia. “I’ve been involved as a private sector advocate in the Chamber of Commerce, in the Hotel and Tourism Association, and in the Private Sector Commission, to contribute to making Guyana a better place socially, economically, and politically. I came from a very poor family, and the government gave me a scholarship to go to one of the best universities in the world, the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach. So when I came back, I felt obligated to this country, to give back. Today, we are very proud to give young, ordinary Guyanese boys and girls the opportunity to come and work with Roraima, and we develop them into adults that are doing extraordinary things. We have staff who’ve been working with this company for ten, fifteen, twenty years. They’re amazing; they make this happen every day. That’s my proudest achievement.” c
RORAIMA DUKE LODGE HOTEL.
RORAIMA DUKE LODGE HOTEL.
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Held once every four years, the IUCN World Conservation Congress brings together several thousand leaders and decision-makers from government, civil society, indigenous peoples, business, and academia, with the goal of conserving the environment and harnessing the solutions nature offers to global challenges.
26th - 30th
International Global Atmospheric Chemistry (IGAC) Project 2016 Science Conference Breckenridge, CO, USA
The IGAC 2016 Science Conference is a high profile event that will attract approximately 600 top international scientists, industry leaders, early career scientists from around the world, and representatives from all of the major U.S. funding agencies.
Retail Sustainability Conference 2016 Washington, DC, USA
Each year, the top retail sustainability and compliance professionals gather at RILA’s Retail Sustainability & Environmental Compliance Conference for t he outstanding educational program and exceptional networking opportunities.
27th - 30th
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TORONTO, ON (SEPT 19-20)
CERTIFIED SUSTAINABILITY PRACTITIONER PROGRAM, ADVANCED EDITION 2016 Don’t miss out on the opportunity to become the next certified CSR Practitioner!
This challenging 2-day training offered by Centre for Sustainability and Excellence (CSE) aims to give you all the latest tools and resources required to implement or upscale existing sustainability initiatives taking place in your organization. Training will provide explanations of: • Sustainability Reporting: Key concepts used in the GRI G4 guidelines • Ways to benefit from all the new trends and legislation on sustainability • Tips for creating beneficial stakeholder and community engagement • Several misconceptions and risks about Corporate Social Responsibility • Ways to use the CDP system to mitigate environmental risk in supply chains For more information visit http://www.cse-net.org/article/127/upcoming-trainings or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
ADVERTISERS INDEX A Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Inside Back Antarctic Maintenance & Repairs P50 Aerotel Ltd. P47 C Caribel P07 Centre for Sustainability and Excellence P57 Clinicare Pharmacy P47 Cox Industries, Inc. P25 D Donald Witter Ltd.
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G Gantrex Canada Inc.
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L Lendorâ€™s Marketing P10 Lubeco P35 M Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Inc.
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R Rentokil Initial Jamaica Ltd.
S Sterling Insurance Services Ltd.
V Vento Distributors Corp.
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P07 Back Cover
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businesses with innovative products and services to make your job easier.
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