Eastern Cape organisations recognised for innovative green initiatives

29 Nov Eastern Cape organisations recognised for innovative green initiatives

Goodyear South Africa (top left image), Heraeus (top right image), The Waste Trade Company (bottom left image) and Kabega Primary School (bottom right image) were amongst the winners honoured at the 2016 Eastern Cape Top Green Organisation Awards. Coordinated and sponsored by the Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEDEAT) in partnership with the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA), the greenest organisations in Eastern Cape were acknowledged at an awards ceremony last week (17 November 2016) at The Venue in Hemingways, East London.

The biennial Eastern Cape Top Green Organisation Awards recognises organisations in the province for their achievements in responsible environmental management practices. This year’s entrants showcased compliance with legislation and innovative green initiatives. Member of the Executive Council (MEC) at the DEDEAT, Honourable Sakhumzi Somyo, explains: “While government recognizes the duty of the State to develop infrastructure talking to the Green Economy trajectory, we see private enterprise as the driver of the green economy with government as a responsive partner, doing its utmost to streamline regulation to ensure sufficient and resilient infrastructure and most importantly, to educate and train our people with appropriate skills set for opportunities that will be presented by future needs. As government looks to the future, support from all sectors of society is the basic building block towards prosperity. Inherent to the Province, Eastern Cape prides herself as a biodiversity hotspot and having competitive advantage over other provinces due to our extraordinary biodiversity, unique landscapes and heritage these initiatives enhances this environmental abundance.” Nomakhwezi Nota, Vice-Chairperson for the IWMSA Eastern Cape Branch and responsible for the Awards portfolio, says: “It is wonderful to see the work that is done in the province to promote responsible environmental management. The awards are a vehicle to promote and recognise these achievements in the industries relating to their responsible environmental practises.”

The following special Member of the Executive Council (MEC) awards were presented at the ceremony:

– Individual Award: Trevin van der Walt (Urban Gardens);
– Community Involvement Programme Award: Umthi Wolwazi Community
Development (UMCD);
– Climate Change Mitigation Award: Border-Kei Chamber of Business;
– Cleaner Production Award: Mercedes-Benz SA;
– Most Improved Organisation Award: General Motors SA (GMSA); and
– Innovation Award: Amahlathi Eco Tech.

Jan Palm, President of the IWMSA, says: “Organisations that enter are enabled to improve waste management and environmental practices. It is encouraging to see the innovative practices organisations have incorporated, we applaud them for their efforts.”

The judging process included a site visit and audit, which was conducted by DEDEAT, IWMSA and included an independent lead auditor. The winners’ results are:

Goodyear SA, winner of the large organisation with high environmental impact category, was applauded for their approach to cleaner production and the degree to which their environmental targets are directed to all areas within the business. Their SAFARI project (R700M) is being implemented to improve process capability, and the improved technology and equipment will result in waste reduction and improved energy efficiency.

The Boardwalk Hotel Casino and Spa, first-time entrant and winner of the large organisation with medium environmental impact category, received the accolade for the green initiatives implemented since the inception of the hotel which focussed on green building methodologies. The facility has since implemented additional green initiatives such as reusing glass bottles instead of plastic bottles.

Corning SA, first-time entrant and winner of the medium organisation with high environmental impact category, has implemented reuse and recycling initiatives.

Johnson and Johnson SA, first-time entrant and winner of the medium organisation with medium environmental impact category, through their Make to Win programme, have optimised their production processes and commissioned energy efficient machinery. The organisation also has an employee suggestion scheme with a R50 000 reward for best waste reduction ideas.

The Waste Trade Company, winner of the medium-size organisation with low environmental impact category, was acknowledged for their extensive school and community programmes, and dedication to environmental education. The company has also procured a new bailing machine to reduce the amount of electricity and reduce noise.

Heraeus SA, first-time entrant and winner of the small organisation with high environmental impact category, has had significant energy reduction since 2015 (19% reduction) and reuses materials within their processes extensively.

Kouga Wind Farm, first-time entrant and winner of the small organisation with medium environmental impact category, has since its inception in 2015, generated energy from a renewable source (wind energy) and has offset the emission of 385 585 tonnes of CO2.

Kabega Primary School walked away with first prize in the small organisation with low environmental impact category as a result of their extensive environmental programmes that extend beyond the school boundary as it involves the community as well. Thanks to the funds generated from its extensive recycling programme, the school has bought outdoor benches made from recycled materials as well as a solar photovoltaic panel to drive the school gate motor.

The Eastern Cape Top Green Organisation Awards are essential in fostering and nurturing a progressive society that protects the unique Eastern Cape environment. “The partnership between the DEDEAT and the IWMSA’s Eastern Cape Branch helps us to achieve this goal,” concludes Nota.

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