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3 Steps to a Climate Neutral Business

In 2018, the world’s leading climate scientists warned us that to avert climate change catastrophe we must cut global carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 and become climate neutral by 2050. In order to do this, government and businesses must make unprecedented changes to implement climate adaptation and mitigation strategies.

Becoming a business on a journey to climate neutrality is no longer a matter of simply “doing the right thing”. It has become a necessary way of future-proofing against environmental risks and threats that will negatively affect business and all people around the world.

Many places around the world are starting to declare a climate emergency whilst many large companies around the world are now addressing these threats by investing in short and long term strategies to mitigate environmental and social risk factors.

How to become a climate neutral business

1: Measure

Like a doctor measuring a patient’s pulse, establishing a baseline carbon footprint provides a valuable indicator of possible areas of where your business needs to improve. By identifying the internal carbon cost and the emission “hotspots” across your business, a clear climate strategy can be defined in order to reduce emissions and ultimately save money too.

At Climate Neutral Group, we use the footprinting software solution CO2management which allows you to set up and be in control of a standardised monitoring system to continuously measure and adjust your targets and strategy.

2: Reduce

Setting science-based targets provides companies with a clearly defined pathway to future-proof growth by specifying how much and how quickly greenhouse gas emissions will need to be reduced while ensuring transformational action is aligned with current climate science.

What is a science-based target?
A science-based target is a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target that is in line with the level of decarbonisation required to keep global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial temperatures, as described in the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR5).

Once science-based targets have been set, potential emissions reductions can be identified and a low-carbon transition plan can be developed.

3: Offset

Not all carbon emissions can be eliminated. The remaining unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions can be offset by financing cost-effective low-carbon energy projects which reduce emissions elsewhere.

By offsetting the impact of your business and purchasing the equivalent amount of carbon credits from certified offset projects, you are taking full responsibility for emissions that can’t be eliminated.

Carbon offsetting should not be the only step in a low-carbon strategy and should only be for the emissions that cannot be eliminated.

At climate Neutral Group, we have a number of offsetting projects worth supporting.

How Climate Neutral Group can Help

We are a leading carbon specialists providing carbon management and offsetting services, as well as being an established carbon tax consultant in South Africa.

Contact us to find out how we can assist to become a low carbon and climate neutral business.

How SA companies can use carbon offsets to pay less carbon tax

Written by Franz Rental, originally published on LinkedIn on February 20, 2019

Yesterday, 19 February, the National Assembly passed the long-awaited carbon tax bill, clearing a key hurdle in keeping the measure on track to enter into force 1 June 2019. The bill will now be submitted to the Council of Provinces before it is sent to President Ramaphosa to be signed into law.

Under the Bill, offsets can be used to help companies pay less carbon tax. And these savings can be considerable. Many companies, including the large emitters most impacted by the tax, are not aware that by using carbon offsets they can pay up to 20% less in carbon tax, while at the same time boost their Corporate Social Investment mandate.

MARGINAL VS EFFECTIVE TAX RATE

The Bill will apply a marginal tax of R120 rand/tonne of CO2e on virtually all areas of South Africa’s economy, covering greenhouse gases sources from fossil fuel combustion, fugitive emissions, and industrial processes.

The levy will rise annually by 2% plus inflation until the end of the first phase in 2022, and then align with inflation after that.

However, emitters will initially face an effective tax rate of R6 – R48/tonne based on the suite of tax allowances available and the admissibility of offsets, with some companies able to reduce their tax burdens by as much as 95%.

Seeing that the effective tax rate is only R6 – R48 per tonne many people are under the false impression that offsets need to be priced under this rate in order to pay less carbon tax and therefore using offsets will hardly make a difference in reducing a company’s carbon tax.

But this is not the case, as I will explain below.

CARBON TAX OFFSETS

Carbon offsets, or carbon credits, from projects certified under the CDM, Gold Standard, and Verified Carbon Standard (Verra) will be allowed providing they meet certain criteria.

Some project types have been branded ineligible including HFC-23, N2O adipic acid, nuclear, CCS, and installations that have renewable energy generation capacity in excess of 50 MW.

The regulations also stipulate that projects can only be eligible if they don’t benefit from other government incentive programmes such as the Energy Efficiency Savings Tax Incentive (12L) or the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).

Carbon offsets generated by activities that are covered under the carbon tax are also not eligible. For example, if a company implements a project that reduces the coal use in their boilers the project activity cannot be registered as a carbon offset project for use under the carbon tax as this project will result in a company paying less carbon tax (i.e. to avoid double counting).

SAVINGS FROM USING CARBON TAX OFFSETS

As mentioned above, the marginal tax rate is R120 / tonne, which means that for those emissions you are taxed on, you pay R120 / t. The effective tax rate is calculated if you divide the R120/t by the % allowances.

So for example, if your company has 1000tCO2 of process emissions you do not have to pay tax on the first 70% (tax free allowance) and therefore you only pay tax on 300t (this is your “taxable emissions”). This means you have to pay R36,000 in carbon tax (300t X 120/t).

The effective tax rate is then calculated as follows:

(R120 / 100) X 30 = R36/t.

This means you are paying R36 / t on the full 1000t (and R120 / t on the 300t). From 2022 the basic tax free allowance of 70% falls away, then you are paying R120 / t on the full 1000t.

In terms of offsets, using the above example, a company would be allowed to use 5% of the total 1000t in offsets (process emissions allows 5% offset use). This would be 50t. If this company buys offsets for, say R60, then they would save R60 / t (R120/t tax rate less R60/t offset price). Their carbon tax saving would be calculated as 50t X R60/t = R3000.

So if this company does not make use of offsets they would pay R36,000 in carbon tax. If they use offsets they only pay R33,000 (R36k – 3k). This is a saving of 8%.

As such it can be clearly seen that even though the company paid R60 / t for the offset (much higher than the R36 / t effective tax rate) they still saved carbon tax.

To conclude, as long as a company purchases offsets for less then the price of the marginal tax rate they will still pay less carbon tax.

Generally, how much carbon tax a company can save by using offsets will depend on:

  • price of the offsets – the lower the price, the higher the savings (but offsets are not free!)
  • percentage offset allowance – combustion emissions allow for 10% offset allowance – hence higher the savings compared to using 5% offset allowance for process and fugitive emissions
  • emissions profile – a company with mostly combustion emissions will save more carbon tax when using offsets compared to a company that has mostly process and/or fugitive emissions (this is due to the fact that combustion emissions have a 60% tax free allowance compared to 70% tax free allowance for process and fugitive emissions).

Due to the considerable tax savings to be had, and the fact that there will be more at least 5 times more offset demand than supply, carbon tax liable companies are advised to develop a carbon offset strategy that addresses the following crucial questions:

  • To purchase offsets, and save tax, or not?
  • Linking offsets to broader company objectives?
  • Linking offsets to CSI / social development programmes?
  • Purchasing a function of price and / or project type?
  • Who will manage this process (internally or outsourced?)
  • When to act?

Climate Neutral Group can help your company lower its carbon tax liability through a robust carbon tax offsetting strategy. We also have a large portfolio of eligible South African carbon offsets thereby maximising your carbon tax savings.

Two Important Dates Not to Miss in 2019

2019 is a landmark year for South Africa with Carbon Tax Regulations coming into effect by the middle of this year. Make sure you are in the know and stay up to date with the upcoming deadlines. If any of the following dates apply to your company, be certain to diarise them and start preparing to ensure you are ready when they do arrive.

31 March: Deadline for Mandatory Green House Gas Reporting

What is Mandatory Green House Gas Reporting?
The National Department of Environmental Affairs gathers information from businesses that have the capacity to exceed a certain green house gas emissions threshold. This is in line with international commitments to update and maintain a National Greenhouse Gas Inventory. At the same time this database provides SARS with information regarding carbon tax liable entities. The reports which are due by 31 March 2019, must be submitted in a prescribed format that differs from conventional corporate calculation methodologies such as GHG Protocol Corporate Standard and ISO14064.

Does it Apply to my business?
Companies are required to report if their installed capacity exceeds the applicable threshold for a specified activity. For example, for energy generation, this is typically 10MW total installed capacity. So if your company has 5 X 2MW coal boilers or 10 X 1MW back up diesel generators, you are above the threshold and have to report.

If you are uncertain whether you are required to submit a Mandatory Green House Gas Report, or if you would like guidance throughout the reporting-process, please do not hesitate to contact us.

1 June: Implementation of Carbon Tax Regulations

What are the Carbon Tax Regulations?
A carbon tax is a fee imposed on greenhouse gas emissions, caused by activities including the combustion of fossil fuels, emissions associated with certain chemical processes and fugitive greenhouse gas emissions. A carbon tax is globally recognized as a core policy-instrument for reducing and eventually eliminating the use of fossil fuels. Finance Minister Tito Mboweni introduced the Carbon Tax Bill in the National Assembly in November 2018 after a culmination of eight years’ worth preparing and stakeholder consultation processes. The bill which is aimed at reducing fossil fuel emissions in South Africa will come into effect on 1 June 2019. Businesses who emit beyond a certain threshold will be forced to implement greenhouse gas mitigation strategies, to engage with carbon offset solutions or pay the tax-rate at R120 per tonne greenhouse gas emitted.

Does it Apply to my Business?
Only companies who are required to submit a Mandatory Green House Gas Report will be liable for carbon tax. Companies that are liable can be awarded relief when purchasing carbon tax offsets. By doing so, a company can pay up to  20% less in carbon tax.

Our carbon tax solutions include a Carbon TaxScan which helps you measure and understand how much carbon tax your business might have to pay, a Carbon TaxCoach which helps your company lower its carbon tax liability, and a wide selection of South African Carbon Offsets.

Take a look at our Carbon Tax Q&A to find out more.

Owners of emission reduction projects with a hidden carbon component should act now to be able to meet the expected demand for offsets under the carbon tax. Do you have a project that you think could generate carbon offsets? Or do you have an existing (CDM) project that you are not sure whether you could trade the offsets under the carbon tax? Find out more about our carbon credit purchases and project development services.

Stay on top of your businesses’ role in these upcoming dates. Contact us to find out how we can assist to ensure that you comply with regulations and become a climate leader.

 

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.”