Comply or pay?

The second deadline for reporting your greenhouse gas emissions is steadily approaching (31 March 2019). Why wait until the beginning of the new year with collating your data? Why not put measures in place now? So that you can capture ánd manage the data required for your emissions reporting requirements.

But more importantly, why not ensure compliance nów and mitigate the risk of facing a R5 million penalty due to failing submission of information required by the National Greenhouse Gas Emission Reporting Regulations, that were promulgated on 3 April 2017.

The most important aspect of the Reporting Regulations is to assess whether or not the regulations are applicable to your business. This is determined by the capacity of your company to generate greenhouse gas emissions.

Should the outcome be that the Reporting Regulations are applicable to your company, a number of requirements must be met:

  • Firstly, you must ensure that your company, including all facilities where ‘listed activities’ are exceeding a pre-defined capacity threshold level, are registered within 30 days after the promulgation of these regulations (i.e. before 3 May 2017). If the regulations are applicable to your business and you have not submitted the required information to the Department of Environmental Affairs, you are committing an offence in terms of regulation 16 of the Reporting Regulations and could therefore face a 5 million penalty.
  • Secondly, relevant activity data must be collated for the reporting period (1 January up and until 31 December) to enable quantification of greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the “Technical Guidelines for Monitoring, Reporting, Verification and Validation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Industry”.
  • Finally, you must submit the calculated quantities and activity data for all relevant facilities to the competent authority within the Department of Environmental Affairs before 31 March following the reporting year.

Climate Neutral Group is here to help you assess your reporting obligations and ensure compliance with the regulations. For more information visit our website, or contact me at 010 300 6015 or at silvana.claassen@climateneutralgroup.com.

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First African company announces science-based greenhouse gas target

Original article was published on engineering on 19 July 2018, Click here to view full article.
Emira Property Fund has become the first African and South African company to have a greenhouse gas emissions target approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

The initiative is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) which mobilises companies to set science-based targets and boost their competitive advantage in the transition to the low-carbon economy.

In a statement, WWF South Africa said Emira’s science-based target provided a clear road map in line with the ambition of the Paris climate agreement to keep global warming below 2°C. It sets out how much and how quickly the company will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

Emira has committed to reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions 13% by 2022, from a 2015 base year.

 

“We congratulate Emira Property Fund on becoming the first South African company to have their emission reduction targets validated by the Science Based Targets initiative,” the WWF’s Alex Farsan said.

 

“By setting targets that align their business with global efforts to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, Emira Property Fund is positioning itself to thrive as the global economy transitions to a low-carbon future.”

Science-based targets are validated by technical experts and can help to safeguard a company’s growth and profitability by keeping business relevant and competitive during a transition to a low-carbon economy.

These targets can also help companies buffer themselves against imminent national policy changes like the South African Carbon Tax Bill, due to be passed in January 2019.

Ten other South African companies, namely ExxaroGrowthpointMediclinicNetcare, Pick ‘n Pay, SPARTiger BrandsTongaatVirgin Active SA and Woolworths have already committed to the international effort to limit global temperature rise with the SBTi, but have yet to have their emissions targets validated.

Are you ready to take your measures to the next step and set science base targets for your company or organization? Contact our expert Silvana Claassen today, silvana.claassen@climateneutralgroup.com for more information.

 

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CNG in the Event Greening Forum spotlights

The Event Greening Forum interviewed Nishanthi Lambrichs, CNG carbon advisor and Programme Manager for GreenDreams and GreenSeat. Both initiatives were developed by us to help the accommodation and the travel sectors, respectively, take action on climate change.

Q. WHEN AND WHY DID YOU, PERSONALLY, START TO DEVELOP AN AWARENESS ABOUT SUSTAINABILITY, AND A DESIRE TO CHAMPION IT THROUGH YOUR WORK?

Growing up in a country where it’s the norm to separate your waste, cycle everywhere and take public transport on a daily basis, creates a certain awareness for green living and sustainability. Moving to South Africa was a wake-up call in many ways. I worked in the event industry in the Netherlands and the sustainability aspects are important topics on the agenda. When I moved to South Africa, I realised that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done. This inspired me to get involved in the sustainability sector; help set the standard and raise awareness in order to create change.

Q. WHAT IS YOUR ROLE AT CLIMATE NEUTRAL GROUP SOUTH AFRICA, AND WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT IT?

I’m a carbon advisor at CNG and mainly focus on assisting companies within the hospitality industry to gain insight into their carbon footprint, enabling them to reduce and offset their emissions. Our GreenDreams initiative helps hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses in South Africa put measures in place to take responsibility for their environmental impact. [You can read an article on The Maslow’s success with this programme here.] I’m also responsible for GreenSeat: our carbon initiative for the travel sector (we would like to refer to it as the boarding pass to climate neutral flying). We offer several unique tools that help businesses measure, change and finally green their business travel habits.

And, last but not least, there’s Climate Neutral Events. The first step we take to create a carbon neutral event would be to get insights into your event’s carbon footprint in order to set a baseline. The second step is to set targets and reduce your carbon footprint. And, because we, unfortunately, can’t reduce the footprint to zero carbon emissions, investing in offsets is a great way to reduce your climate impact. Assisting companies during this journey and making this world a little greener is what motivates me to go to work every morning.

Q. DOES CLIMATE NEUTRAL OFFSET ITS OWN CARBON FOOTPRINT, AND IF SO, HOW? 

Yes, we do offset our own carbon footprint with a basket of various Gold Standard projects: Biogas Tanzania, Kenya and Cambodia.

Q. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE CARBON OFFSET PROJECT YOU’D LIKE TO TELL US ABOUT?

There are currently two projects within our portfolio that I really like. The Wonderbag and, our latest addition, Boreholes in Africa. The Wonderbag is a non-electric heat-retention cooker that allows food that has been brought to the boil by conventional methods to continue to cook for up to 12 hours without using additional energy usage. The Wonderbag offset has significant sustainable development benefits. Firstly, the program creates employment in South Africa, where the bags are used in large numbers. Secondly, field surveys indicate that users of the bags have reduced fuel bills and finally, there is published evidence that reduced consumption of fossil fuels drives down illnesses caused by fumes, smoke, and soot.

The Boreholes in Africa initiative operates in Uganda, Rwanda, Malawi, and Eritrea. Here, like anywhere else in the world, clean drinking water is vitally important. Offsetting 1 tonne of CO2 translates into 1.405 litres of clean drinking water for rural households. I think this is a great offset project, especially since access to water is one of the highest threats climate change poses.

Q. IF YOU COULD WAVE A MAGIC WAND AND CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT THE SA EVENTS INDUSTRY TO MAKE IT MORE SUSTAINABLE, WHAT WOULD THAT ONE THING BE?

I find it difficult to pin this down to just one thing, as there are still so many aspects we need to work on. Education and creating awareness for what we try to accomplish is very important though. People need to get a better understanding of what will happen if we don’t take action because we are destroying our beautiful planet if we continue like this.

Transport is an important topic as well, especially since people in South Africa are so used to driving by themselves in their own car to events etc. Of course, safety is playing an important role in this, but organizing more shared transport for events would be a great start. On top of that a lot of people are flying in from different cities, therefore, it would be great to make flight offsetting the norm.

Personally, I’m big on plastic, we should really stop using it, and make conscious decisions to do so as event organizers. For example no straws, but supply bamboo straws instead. At the end of the day, it is better to start with something small, rather than doing nothing at all.

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Greenhouse Gas Reporting & Carbon Tax courses

We have decided to reschedule the first series of our new training courses on the Carbon Tax, reporting regulations and carbon inventories, originally scheduled for 18-22 June in Johannesburg, to a later date around end August/beginning September. The reason is to allow the content to be better aligned with a number of relevant regulatory announcements and publications that are expected to be made by the Department of Environmental Affairs and the National Treasury. We will provide additional information as soon as possible.

We regret however any inconvenience this has caused to your busy schedule. For more information please do not hesitate to contact Silvana Claassen at 078 097 0852 or silvana.claassen@climateneutralgroup.co.za.

The tools to achieve and maintain compliance

Three new courses on topics relevant to South Africa’s transition to a low-carbon economy. Presented by Silvana Claassen of Climate Neutral Group and Adam Simcock, Chairman of Carbon Check South Africa, in collaboration with Naresh Badhwar, Head of Sustainability of Carbon Check India.

 

When?      18 June – 22 June 2018 from 08h30 to 16h00 (registration from 08h00)

Where?    Future Space, 1st Floor | 61 Katherine Street | Sandton 2196

Why?        To equip companies with the tools to manage and report on Greenhouse Gas emissions and ultimately enable businesses to calculate their own carbon tax liability.

 

What to expect:

These exciting and comprehensive courses focus on the following topics:

  • Mandatory reporting – why, what and how must reporting be done?
  • Carbon Tax – how to calculate tax liability and use allowances to maximise tax reductions?
  • GHG Emissions Inventory – how to identify, calculate and report emissions as per regulatory requirements?

 

Mon 18 June – Mandatory GHG Emissions Reporting 1-day Course @R2,900 (Excl. VAT)  

Tue 19 June – Carbon Tax 101, 1-day Course  @ R2,900 (excl. VAT)                                       

Wed 18 – Fri 22 June  GHG Emissions Inventory 3-day Course @ R7,900 (excl. VAT)          

Register for all three courses and pay only R 12 500 excl. VAT instead of R 13,700 excl. VAT

 

REGISTER NOW

 

In partnership with:

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Welcome to the CNG Team: Silvana Claassen

Global climate change awareness is growing, particularly in terms of what companies can do to reduce and eliminate their environmental impacts and become corporate climate action leaders. Climate Neutral Group, as a result, has been growing too! Earlier this year we welcomed senior carbon advisor Silvana Claassen to our South African team.

1) Why and when did you join Climate Neutral Group?

I joined Climate Neutral Group on 1 April 2018 after a very inspiring meeting with its country director Franz. I figured that my own aspirations to contribute to climate change management and mitigation are in line with Climate Neutral Group’s mission and vision.

2) What do you hope to achieve as a carbon adviser at Climate Neutral Group?

I am passionate about helping businesses understand how climate change can impact their organisations and how they can adapt to the dynamics involved with South Africa’s transition to a low carbon economy. I would love to play an active role in this. I have to note that the country’s journey, including the recent promulgation of the Emissions Reporting Regulations, its carbon tax measures and the approval of the Climate Change Bill, is in line with the objectives of the National Development Plan (NDP). This government-initiated strategy aims to foster inclusive and sustainable economic growth, eliminate poverty, and reduce inequality whilst protecting the environment.

3) What has been the highlight since you joined Climate Neutral Group?

What has stood out are the face-to-face dialogues with several clients. These have contributed to an increased understanding of the challenges these businesses, and the country’s private sector as a whole, are facing when it comes to managing their greenhouse gas emissions.

4) How important is it that companies in South Africa (and beyond) start and up their efforts to minimise their impact on the planet?

Having specialised in the matter since 2011, I know climate change is a genuine threat to the planet, to every living being, and to every single business. Global action by companies in South Africa and elsewhere, as well as measures from governments and citizens, is fundamental to protect the planet for current and future generations. We all need to become corporate climate action leaders.

5) How important is offsetting to mitigate climate change?

Offsetting is necessary to achieve carbon neutrality, or at least to mitigate emissions that would not have occurred without it. It is a tool that is used to compensate for greenhouse gas emissions that are unavoidable given the current state of technology. Last but certainly not least, fighting climate change also forms part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Because of my background and the work I do, I fully support these 17 goals, which were adopted in 2015.

6) What are your three best tips for carbon tax-liable companies who seek to become climate neutral?

Start by measuring your organisation’s carbon footprint to understand the impact of your business activities in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. Secondly, talk to a carbon specialist to design a meaningful strategy to reduce your footprint, set future reduction targets and identify cost-effective measures to enable achieving these targets. Finally, offset what you can’t avoid and make an impact somewhere else through the purchase of carbon credits from verified offset projects. It is important to know offsetting has socioeconomic benefits too, such as improved (indoor) air-quality, women empowerment, and food security.

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The Maslow Hotel partners with GreenDreams

The Maslow Sandton has partnered with GreenDreams – developed by Climate Neutral Group to help hotels take action on climate change – as part of its efforts in optimising the eco-friendliness and resource efficiency of its conferencing facilities and achieving its green goal to be carbon neutral.

The Maslow hotel will offset the carbon emissions generated by the use of their meeting rooms and conference facilities by investing in carbon offsets which will be used to fund the Wonderbag Project. Certified under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), the project provides communities with access to greener, safer and more reliable energy to cook their everyday meals.

“The Maslow Sandton cares about the environment and takes to heart its obligation to operate in a sustainable manner. As the need for lighting, catering, heating and cooling in conferencing venues contributes to the generation of greenhouse gas emissions, we wanted to limit the impact of these operations on the environment, with the goal to make our venues carbon neutral,” says Ashwin Jose, general manager at The Maslow.

Boosting resource efficiency

The Wonderbag, developed in South Africa, is an innovative cooker that relies on the age-old concept of heat retention cooking to reduce energy needs. Once food has been brought to the boil using a heat source, the warm pot containing the food is placed immediately in the Wonderbag and the food slowly cooks without using any additional energy. A Wonderbag can be used to cost-effectively prepare a wide range of one-pot dishes, casseroles, curries, cooked salads, and more. The Wonderbag also saves water (due to less evaporation), with one bag saving as much as 150 litres per year.

“Both business and leisure travellers are becoming more responsible about their travel choices, and are looking for convenient ways to green their travelling as much as they can. Also, an increasing number of companies are looking for conference venues that are carbon neutral. We are excited that the Maslow Hotel Sandton has joined an ever-increasing number of hotel chains across the world that are taking action against climate change,” says Nishanthi Lambrichs, Programme Manager for GreenDreams.

“We have various initiatives underway to improve the resource efficiency of our operations and we are also pursuing carbon offsetting. By offsetting the carbon emissions generated by our meeting rooms and conference facilities with the Wonderbag project, we are making strides towards being carbon neutral while supporting a sustainable project that is aimed at improving the quality of life of people in our local communities. About 22,485 people have been reached with clean cooking thanks to The Maslow’s contribution in carbon offsets,” says Jose.

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Canon SA on its way towards climate neutrality

For the third consecutive year, our client Canon South Africa has reached its target to offset its carbon footprint by a minimum of 365 tons of CO2e. Now well on its way to becoming a climate neutral business, Canon South Africa offset over 365 tonnes of emissions, equaling 19,34% of its carbon footprint, in 2017. This is buoyed by the 23,11% and 15,03% the company offset in 2016 and 2015 respectively.

“Canon South Africa is on the road to climate neutrality,” says Iza Daly, sustainability manager and EMEA internal environment auditor. “This is a goal close to our heart. We have several optimisation programmes in place to improve the resource and energy efficiency of our operations.”

Greener business through offsetting

“Carbon offsetting is aligned with these initiatives to make our business greener. Carbon offsetting allows us to reduce our carbon footprint while supporting sustainable projects that are aimed at improving the quality of life of people threatened by the impact of climate change,” she said, not9ng that Canon South Africa is working with Climate Neutral Group to offset its carbon emissions by supporting carbon reduction projects.

“Three years ago, we set our target to reduce our carbon footprint by offsetting a minimum of 365 tonnes of CO2e annually. We have managed to achieve this target every year since and we are steadfast in our commitment to do the same again in 2018. The more we are able to offset, the more we can help communities.”

Offsetting and the SA Carbon Tax

Carbon offsetting is achieved by taking responsibility for one’s carbon footprint by financing carbon reduction projects elsewhere. Carbon offsetting will ultimately see Canon South Africa reduce the amount it pays in carbon tax. Canon South Africa offsets its annual carbon emissions through the Wonderbag. Developed in South Africa, the Wonderbag is a cooker that relies on the age-old concept of heat retention to save on energy costs.

Once food has been brought to the boil using a conventional heat source, the warm pot containing the food is placed immediately in the Wonderbag which slowly cooks the food without using any additional energy. Wonderbags can be used to cost-effectively prepare a wide range of one pot dishes, casseroles, curries, cooked salads, and more.

The power of the Wonderbag

The Wonderbag also saves water (due to less evaporation), with one bag saving as much as 150 litres per year. So this means for every one ton of CO2 emissions that Canon South African helps to offset, it also enables three Wonderbags to be distributed, which in turn saves 450l water per year.

According to Franz Rentel from the Climate Neutral Group, by offsetting over 365 tons of CO2e in 2017, Canon South Africa helped to distribute 1095 Wonderbags.

“This contributed to water savings of around 160,000 liters per year. And remember a Wonderbag can last for up to 10 years, so the water savings will be higher over the lifespan of the bags,” Daly adds. “This is particularly significant in the Western Cape which is in the grips of a severe water shortage that has called everyone in the province to find more water-economical ways of living and working.”