Perspectives

Volume 7, Number 2 - March/April 2012

According to KROHNE, suitable battery-operated water meters can become a long-term solution in effective water management. Water management done successfully should enable water-scarce communities and countries to draw a water-flow profile that will help them to allocate and solve a water-loss problem.
Wastewater can be a sustainable resource of energy if wastewater-to-energy projects are implemented successfully. In South Africa such projects could fill a gap in generating enough power to provide for the country’s energy needs. 25º in Africa investigates the possibilities and opportunities to develop wastewater-to-energy projects.
A year after the Tohoku-oki earthquake and tsunami caused a meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, the disaster is set to have another environmental impact. Some of the estimated 20-million tons of debris is set to meet up with the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, swelling it significantly. The impact on the already embattled marine life in the area must still be determined.
Ecowize’s Gareth Lloyd-Jones advocates implementing stricter water-saving disciplines to save this scarce resource. Lloyd-Jones says the local food industry is a key player in achieving this goal. With simple measures such as stopping water leaks, recycling water and training staff, the industry can help to save massive amounts of water.
BASF launched a six-month pilot scheme at one of their sites to illustrate the pitfalls and benefits of the new European Water Stewardship Standards. The stewardship aims to enable industries in Europe to better manage their water resources to create a sustainable future.
The World Future Council (WFC) launched a Future Policy Award campaign this year to inspire the international community to develop policies that will protect the world’s oceans.
Greenpeace and local Senegalese fishermen recently took a stand against overfishing in West African waters. The conservation group wants to see the establishment of a sustainable, low-impact fisheries policy that takes into account the interests of the local communities that depend on healthy oceans.
Hundreds of litres of water damp up on highways and pavements in urban cities all over South Africa. The water is wasted as it evaporates before it could be absorbed by the ground and nourishes the earth. Hydromedia, a concrete product launched by Lafarge Readymix, now provides an easy solution to this problem.
Frost and Sullivan investigates the feasibility of waste-to-energy projects in South Africa. According to their expert, coal-based electricity generation will still be part of the energy mix for a long time. The future of alternative energy solutions lies in the feasibility of projects such as waste-to-energy generation and if it could be competitive enough when compared to coal-based electricity generation.
Concentrated solar power (CSP) could create a number of new jobs in South Africa. The CSP industry encourages the country’s government to invest in the renewable energy sector and create a platform that will encourage the CSP community to get involved.
The sun is a powerful alternative source of clean energy. Crosby Menzies empowers people in the rural areas in Africa to use solar energy rather than firewood for their cooking needs.
The insurance industry spends thousands on water damage due to burst electric geysers. However, various companies and industry leaders are advocating that South Africa must follow the Australian government and replace electric geysers with solar water heating systems.
The local solar industries are set for growth. The search for renewable energy sources are on to help Eskom supplement its electricity demand and forecasted energy price escalations from Eskom make these technologies an investment. It also helps that the country experiences twice as much sunny days as Europe.
Students from the University of Johannesburg participate every two years in the Solar Challenge. The UJ’s solar team designed a solar car to take part in this race. The Solar Challenge seeks to drive science development of alternative energy by racing solar and hybrid vehicles across the country.
A draft of the new national Integrated Energy Plan will be available in June as the government is in the process of formulating this document. A panel of experts on energy discussed the importance of such a document at the Critical Thinking Forum in March.
Riding a bicycle to home and work might seem like a daunting task, but the main responsibility to lower the transportation carbon footprint lies on the shoulders of commuters. Explore the possibilities of riding your way to a greener future.
The National Building Regulation (NBR) has been updated to include Part X, which addresses environmental sustainability and Part XA which establishes requirements for energy efficiency in new buildings and renovations ( which require plans), will come into effect from the 10 November 2011. The application of this new legislation is good news for the environment and will help you save electricity.
The SABS and TIA joined forces in March to stimulate entrepreneurship and innovation amongst young South Africans. This partnership will ensure that young businessmen with a great idea will be able to follow their invention through and introduce it to the market, with the stamp of approval of the SABS.
Bosch Munitech is the first company in South Africa that receives a triple 7 rating from the Construction Industry Development Board. CIDB ratings are aimed at screening the industry to ensure service delivery by all participants, as well as promote excellence.
Chris Adonis, a structural engineering technologist at Bosch Projects, received the Institute of Professional Engineering Technologists (IPET) award for achieving the best results in B.Tech Engineering (all disciplines) by a male in South Africa.
Vodacom and Vodafone are serious about green design. These companies recently put their money behind a project that explores innovation in energy-efficiency in building and the result is the greenest building in Africa. Vodacom unveiled the completed Vodafone Site Solutions Innovation Centre (SSIC), the first ever six-star Green Star South Africa design rated building, at its head office in Midrand. The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) states on its website that this rating is the equivalent of a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum status.
Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management, went straight to the 26th place on the Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World list. This classification cemented the group’s commitment to sustainable development.
The engineering consultancies DHV and Royal Haskoning recently announced that they will merge. The new company will become one of Europe’s leading engineering consulting companies.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity for training in the new energy savings income tax regulations. Sign up for certified measurement and verification training courses to understand the new regulations.
Michael Gibbon took up the position of chief executive at Bosch Holdings on 1 February. Gibbon was formerly the managing director of Bosch Projects. He replaces Clive Swaisland, who led the company since 2001.
Promethium Carbon, a carbon advisory firm, says the industry is pleased with the announcement made by Minister Pravin Gordhan that the government is going to move  away from a proxy-based carbon tax system. According to Promethium, the new direction taken by the government will better motivate companies to reduce their carbon footprint.
As South Africans struggle under increasing energy tariffs and fears over energy-supply security growth, the need for mines to become even more energy-efficient is crucial. Not only does energy-efficiency mean a reduction in energy costs, but becoming more efficient just makes good business sense. 25° in Africa investigates how mines can achieve this.
Aurecon was involved in the completion of the tallest eco-tower in the world. The design of the building raises the bar in the design and development of sustainable design approaches.
In this day and age it is essential to incorporate sustainable green technologies in a business as South Africa is striving to transform into a low-carbon economy. Industry is constantly looking for new innovative products that would satisfy their need to lower their carbon footprint. Bullion IT is a South African based company that meets the need for retail environmental products in the market.
Eco-friendly heat pumps are not only beneficial to the environment, but also result in huge cost savings for a company. Thermowise developed energy-solution driven heat pumps that also enable users to qualify for the various Eskom rebates.
Buildings are a long-term investment in a community as such as structure will be part of an environment for a long time. It is important to design buildings that would not feed on the resources of the community, but will contribute towards a sustainable future. Insulation plays an important role in achieving this goal.
Minister Pravin Gordhan’s budget speech earlier this year emphasized that South Africa should move towards a low-carbon economy. The WWF looked at the budget and is excited about the new green prospects of growth that was included in the speech.
While Sierra Leone is slowly recovering from a civil war that ended in 2002, experts are upbeat about the country’s ability to become energy-efficient. Several projects and studies are underway, especially in the hydroelectric sector, to achieve this as Sierre Leone needs to find the correct energy mix to support the country’s development goals.
The impacts of climate change, whether they are physical or commercial in nature, have the potential to affect all aspects of a company’s operations. Camco suggests that to address the multiple challenges which climate change brings requires an integrated, systematic approach and implementing a comprehensive climate risk management framework.
In the latest Environment Performance Index assessment done by Yale University, South Africa was listed among the bottom ten countries when it comes to environmental investments and management. This paints a dark future in terms of sustainability and South Africa’s position in the global goals set to move to greener approaches.
The impact of climate change not only influences energy security and the availability of water resources, but it also has a dire impact on food security. Strong action needs to be taken to improve agricultural techniques as this sector is currently part of the problem. The World Bank and various other organisations urge farmers to adopt climate-smart agriculture to become part of the solution.
Simple changes to a company’s corporate culture can save 30% in carbon emissions. According to Davide Vassallo of Dupont Sustainable Solutions, these adjustments can reduce emissions as well as maximise carbon-efficiency, increase productivity and reduce the costs of energy spending.
A new CDM-approved methodology will open the doors for rural households in developing countries to benefit from CDM projects. Projects registered under the CDM can earn saleable credits when they reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to sustainable development.
Lafarge Gypsum recently concluded its national drive to plant trees all over the country as part of its Conference of the Parties (COP) 17 campaign. Close to a hundred trees were planted in Cape Town, Gauteng and Durban.
Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management, recently acquired the Viridity EnergyCenter 2.0 platform. For customers this means that they can confront their most challenging data centre energy needs while also gaining efficiency in all levels of their data centre operations.
I-CAT started as an environmental management service provider in 2005. Due to their clients requiring a more comprehensive service, they expanded their service offering over the past seven years and have become a leading one-stop environmental solutions provider, offering innovative solutions for any environmental challenge, including air pollution and energy integration, in various industries.
Samsung Electronics South Africa recently launched their green-air solution product range that, according to them, will save the user costs on energy consumption and promote sustainable smart technology solutions for air-conditioning.
The 2011 Water Carbon Disclosure Report for was released in March. The report paints a dark picture for South Africa, showing that the country is heading towards a water crisis. The report also reflects on the strategies local businesses are undertaking to deal with the looming crisis.
South Africa is in need of solutions to deal with its mine water and acid mine drainage (AMD). Various research groups are currently looking into initiatives which could be developed to pro-actively deal with mine water and AMD. The ultimate goal is to create opportunities to utilise this liability in an acceptable business and environmentally-friendly way.
The local PV industry is set for growth. The search for renewable energy sources is on to help Eskom supplement its electricity demand, and forecasted energy price escalations from Eskom make these technologies an investment. It also helps that the country experiences twice as much sunny days as Europe.
The local PV industry is set for growth. The search for renewable energy sources is on to help Eskom supplement its electricity demand, and forecasted energy price escalations from Eskom make these technologies an investment. It also helps that the country experiences twice as much sunny days as Europe.
Waste-to-energy projects in South Africa will increase as the national government urges municipalities to get involved with the programme. 25º in Africa gives and overview on the feasibility of such  projects and the prospects of implementing it successfully in the country.

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