Part of an initiative to engage employees in the Industrial Equipment division on sustainability issues and to ensure a better understanding of how our operations impact the environment, green teams have been set up in business units. Green team ‘champions’ ensure that the use of resources, fuels, electricity, water and waste management are reported and recorded on a monthly basis. Now that employees know that we have a carbon footprint, they have been given the mandate to pursue activities that aid in the reducing our impact on our environment.
Key environmental challenges are managed on a project basis and the philosophy underpinning this approach is that employees within the business take ownership for their business environmental impact. Our ‘Go Green competition’ held in 2011 created the ideal platform to create awareness and drum up employee involvement. Our activities are not limited to making a difference inside our business, but also touching lives in communities within which we operate. In partnership with Food and Trees for Africa, employees and management have planted over 500 trees nationally for disadvantaged schools in South Africa. This is one way in which we manage to offset our carbon footprint.
What have we done differently since the launch of the Go Green campaign?
Water care: we have become increasingly aware of the value of this scarce resource, and some of our branches have fitted water tanks to harvest rain water that is used to wash their forklifts or to water the gardens.
Energy savings: with our electricity being recorded provides a baseline for future reduction plans. Lights, unused appliances and computers are switched off at night to reduce our use of electricity. With building upgrades, special attention were paid to incorporating natural lighting, replacing high wattage bulbs with low wattage bulbs and installing water saving aerator taps and boilers to replace geysers.
Waste Management: By partnering with our waste management companies certain business units have embraced the challenge of moving less waste to landfill and have been successful in their efforts. In the last year we have been able to reduce our general waste by 8.6 tonnes through our recycling and waste separation initiatives.