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.

The Race to Net Zero

While many of the top 100 companies listed on JSE Limited are currently calculating their carbon footprints, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Before long, most companies will need to calculate, reduce and disclose their environmental impact as a regulatory requirement. – and not just as part of an energy audit. This will likely lead to organisations requiring a team of carbon footprint reduction champions.

It is ironic that technical people are mostly responsible for calculating carbon footprints, while commerce people are responsible for doing the audits. If we do not find a way to establish a common ground for those calculating the footprints and those checking them, we are setting ourselves up for failure.

The 11th annual Green Building Convention is one of the key annual events that is organised by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) that acts as a check in and building of common ground for all major market players and advocates of the green building movement. This year the convention theme is: THE RACE TO ZERO. The focus will be on buildings that achieve net zero carbon emissions, as well as building with net-zero water, waste and ecological impact.

This is in line with one of the latest and most exiting initiatives of the GBCSA: the ‘Net Zero’ Programme. Imagine a world where the built environment does not simply minimize its impact, but achieves neutrality or positive carbon emissions (i.e. a building that absorbs more greenhouse gas pollution compared to what it generates)?
A Net Zero/Net Positive carbon building is a radical idea and is defined by the GBCSA as “Highly energy-efficient buildings, with remaining energy demand supplied by on-site and/or off-site renewable sources, or through offsets”.

However, the GBCSA’s Net Zero Certification Scheme goes one step further by rewarding projects for completely neutralising (Net Zero) or positively addressing (Net Positive) their environmental impacts. This is not only for carbon, but also for water, waste and ecology. Net Zero certification is awarded over and above any project’s Green Star certification.

Should a project make use of carbon offsets to help achieve net zero or net positive status, then only African offset projects that are registered under one of the international carbon standards, the Gold Standard (GS) or the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) are be eligible. A building project and/or property developer that make use of offsets would also be able to strengthen its CSI mandate, depending on the type of offset project it supports.Just imagine the build environment and world that awaits us!

For help along your climate journey, get in touch or speak with us at the Green Building Convention, 3 – 5 October 2018 at the Century City Conference Centre in Cape Town.

Franz Rentel
Country Director – South Africa at Climate Neutral Group
Franz.Rentel@climateneutralgroup.com

Dr Marco Lotz
Nedbank Sustainability Carbon Specialist
marcol@nedbank.co.za

Voluntary Carbon Market Insights: 2018 Outlook and First-Quarter Trends

Original article was written by  Kelley Hamrick and Melissa Gallant.
Forest-Trends.org Jul 27, 2018, Click here to view full article and download the report.

Since trading of voluntary carbon offsets first took off in the late 2000’s, voluntary carbon projects have helped to reduce, sequester, or avoid over 437.1 MtCO2e–equivalent to notconsuming over one billion barrels of oil. These projects are supported by companies, individuals and governments purchasing carbon offsets, whose growing demand resulted in a record-high of 42.8 MtCO2e retired in 2018.

Yet the carbon markets landscape is changing fast. New compliance markets, in the form of domestic carbon pricing schemes, international trading through the Paris Agreement, or the international airline industry’s CORSIA program, may generate unprecedented levels of demand for carbon offsets. How those markets are designed and implemented will determine whether voluntary carbon markets thrive, adapt, or diminish.

To reflect the rapidly changing carbon markets landscape this year, we are excited to announce our new mini-report, Voluntary Carbon Market Insights: 2018 Outlook and First-Quarter Trends, that examines the key trends that have emerged in the first quarter (Q1) of 2018. In this report, we present:

  • Key findings from the last decade of voluntary carbon project activity.
  • New insights about 2018 first-quarter trends of voluntary carbon offset issuances, transactions, and retirements.
  • Upcoming policy decisions that might radically change the voluntary carbon markets in upcoming years – including an extended analysis of CORSIA.

 

Africa sees 1st carbon neutral brewery amid climate concerns

Original article was written by Neil Shaw, associated press. 
Darling, South Africa — Jul 21, 2018, 5:24 AM ET, Click here to view full article.

A South African brewery is said to be the first in Africa to go carbon-neutral as more businesses across the continent adjust to climate change, and as consumers become more careful about the products they buy.

Darling Brewery, in a village near Cape Town, decreased its carbon footprint by using water and energy more efficiently — then brought it to zero in April by purchasing carbon credits at a reforestation project in Zimbabwe.

The brewery’s overhaul comes as South Africa’s Cape region emerges from an extreme drought that saw the city of Cape Town, population 4 million, rationing water and warning of a “Day Zero” when taps would run dry. The crisis has eased amid water conservation efforts.

“I don’t think a lot of people understand what carbon-neutral means or what impact all the businesses around us are having on the environment,” said the brewery’s owner, Kevin Wood. “The damage being done by climate change has a lot to do with our carbon footprint. Just look at the extreme weather here in the Western Cape.”

Greenhouse gas emissions have damaging environmental impacts such as global warming, acid rain and ozone layer damage, according to the sustainability consultant who conducted a greenhouse gas audit on the brewery, Andre Harms.

Darling Brewery was already known for raising environmental issues via the labels on the 17 beers it produces, educating drinkers about Africa’s threatened wildlife.

Now the labels tell drinkers about the brewery’s carbon-neutral status. “They’ll start connecting the dots and change their consumption habits to more environmentally friendly products,” Wood said.

Darling Brewery opened in 2010 as the craft beer sector exploded in South Africa. When the brewery opened there were 30 others and today there are around 215, according to beer journalist Lucy Corne.

She said craft brewery consumers are more likely to be aware of their carbon footprint than regular beer drinkers, as craft beer is a niche product that only South Africa’s middle class and above can afford.

“I think what Darling Brewery has done is really great for the industry,” Corne said, adding that the shift to carbon-neutral could get other breweries thinking about sustainability measures. “They’re leading the way.”

Globally there are only a handful of carbon-neutral breweries, experts say.

Sustainability consultant Franz Rentel confirmed that Darling Brewery is the first carbon-neutral one in Africa. He said he thinks more companies will follow its example.

South Africa will introduce a carbon credit tax by January, which will affect large emitters and is expected to make products from carbon-neutral companies “the cheaper option,” Rentel said.

As more countries put such taxes into place, large breweries could move toward carbon neutrality as well.

Darling Brewery’s brew master, Rene du Toit, said going carbon-neutral is not just about doing the right thing. “A lot of the measures you put in place to reduce your carbon footprint . make economic sense in the long run: You’re paying less for your water, you’re paying less for your energy, you’re putting out less solid waste.”

Sitting at one of Cape Town’s trendy bars, beer lover Nicole McCreedy said choosing to drink a carbon-neutral Darling Brewery beer is about supporting a progressive South African initiative.

“We’ll see far more of (that) globally, I hope,” she said.

Also interested to be a front-runner and make your products climate neutral? Contact us today via franz.rentel@climateneutralgroup.com and receive more information. We will be happy to assist you and walk this journey together with you.

 

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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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SA cabinet approves climate change bill

24/5/18 (Carbon Pulse) – South Africa’s cabinet on Thursday approved the government’s proposed carbon tax bill, bringing the long-delayed legislation a step closer to becoming reality.

The bill, which finally entered the parliamentary process after years of hold-ups, will now proceed to a public consultation before it is put to MPs for a vote, with the government hoping to formally introduce the tax in Jan. 2019. The proposal has already had two years of extensive consultation on various drafts and at least another five years of planning before that.

Under the current draft, the tax’s base level would start at R120/tonne ($9.66), rising annually by 2% plus inflation until the end of the first phase (2022), and then align with inflation after that.

However, all emitters will face an effective rate of R6-48/tonne based on the suite of exemptions available and the admissibility of offsets, with some companies able to reduce their tax burdens by as much as 95%. A basic tax-free allowance of 60% is offered to all emitters, with an additional 10% for having process or fugitive emissions.

Another variable allowance of up to 10% is available for trade-exposed sectors, with an additional 5% available for above-average performance relating to sectoral benchmarks. Beyond that, a further 5% can be applied by companies who have developed an annual carbon budget and report it to the government, which itself is planning to design national carbon budgets to help South Africa’s Paris Agreement targets.

Companies will also have an offset usage limit of 5-10% depending on what sector they’re in. The government in June 2016 published draft guidelines outlining the eligible certification and project types but limiting use to credits generated domestically. But big energy users including Sibanye-Stillwater and ArcelorMittal oppose the tax, arguing that even the heavily-discounted levy is unaffordable and will jack up power prices, and therefore should be scrapped or further delayed.

The tax will affect virtually all areas of South Africa’s economy, covering most stationary and non-stationary sources and applying to fossil fuel combustion, fugitive emissions, and industrial processes.

Waste, agriculture, forestry, and other land-use sectors are exempt from paying it or performing MRV until 2022 due to the difficulty in accurately measuring the output from those sources.

A national carbon tax was first suggested by South Africa in 2010, a year before it hosted the annual UN climate talks. But progress has been slow, with the government only publishing the first draft in Nov. 2015.

South Africa’s Paris Agreement pledge requires its GHG emissions to peak in 2020 to 2025, plateau for a 10-year period from 2025 to 2035, then decline from 2036 onwards. More than 80% of its emissions come from its coal-dominant energy sector.

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WORKSHOP: Developing carbon offset projects

Climate Neutral Group cordially invites you to attend our business breakfast and informal discussion on the topic: “Developing Carbon Projects”.

After a successful Carbon Tax Essentials business breakfast in Johannesburg, businesses started to contact us for more information about how to develop carbon offset projects. Therefore, Climate Neutral Group is hosting another workshop, and this time during African Utility Week in Cape Town. The focus will be on the essential elements of developing an emission reduction project that can generate additional income through the sale of carbon credits within the context of South Africa’s future compliance carbon market.

The key objective of this essential workshop is to simplify the highly complex nature of carbon asset development. The timing of this workshop is very appropriate: there are only eight months left before the implementation of South Africa’s carbon tax. By purchasing carbon offsets, carbon tax liable companies will be able to reduce their tax liability. This can be a good opportunity for project developers.

This workshop will provide clarity to businesses who are unsure whether their envisaged project could yield carbon credits or to those who simply want to better understand the processes and costs involved in developing a carbon project.

Key focus areas to be covered include the South African carbon market and legislative landscape, stages of a carbon project as well as transaction costs, timelines, and carbon revenue potential. The various structures of an Emission Reduction Purchase Agreement (ERPA) will also be discussed. A number of practical examples will be used to ensure participants of the workshop leave with a good understanding of all the key elements of a carbon project.

Speakers:
•    Franz Rentel, Country Director South Africa, Climate Neutral Group
•    Silvana Claassen, Senior Carbon Advisor, Climate Neutral Group

Please note: seating is limited to 30 people. Please RSVP early to avoid disappointment. 

CostR350 (ex VAT) / person; CNG clients: Free

Date:      16 May 2018
Time:      07:30-09:30 (breakfast served from 07:00)
Venue:    Robben Island Room, The Westin Cape Town (across from the CTICC)

CNG partners with Confronting Climate Change

Working together to make agricultural value chains climate neutral

Climate Neutral Group (CNG) and Confronting Climate Change (CCC) have joined hands to assist South African fruit and wine farmers towards achieving climate neutrality for their products, including climate neutral wine. Through this collaboration, CNG and CCC offer a turnkey approach that turns challenges associated with climate change into opportunities for their clients.

Taking 100% responsibility

CCC helps South African fruit and wine farmers calculate and understand the carbon footprints of their operations and value chains by calculating the amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions they generate per year and identifying key emissions sources. Typical GHG sources within agriculture include the use of agrochemicals, cooling, packaging, and freight as well as fuel consumption.

Through the implementation of new technologies and operational strategies, farmers are working hard at reducing the carbon footprints of their operations and/or products. Inevitably, some elements of a product’s carbon footprint are incredibly difficult and costly to eliminate. From here, the best and most cost-effective option is to offset these unavoidable emissions through the purchase of carbon credits from verified carbon offset projects. This allows farmers to take 100% responsibility for their environmental impact whilst labelling their product “climate neutral”

Climate Neutral Guaranteed

Gaining momentum across Europe’s food and beverages sector, Climate Neutral Group’s Climate Neutral Guaranteed standard and associated climate neutral logo ensure that the steps taken by businesses towards climate neutrality have been tested against strict international criteria.

The Climate Neutral Guaranteed standard helps businesses to efficiently and clearly communicate their climate leadership role to consumers, suppliers, partners, and other stakeholders. This is critical in fostering a new generation of socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable businesses.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FACTSHEET ABOUT OUR EXCITING PARTNERSHIP!

Please contact Anel Blignaut (Blue North Sustainability) or Franz Rentel (CNG) for more information.