21 Dec 13 News South Africa

Thinking sustainably in project development and the workplace, South Africa

Our employees are determined to ensure that they reduce their carbon footprint at the workplace as far as possible. One of the company’s core shared values is “Sustainability” and staff are committed to putting this into practice through not only the projects they are involved in but also through initiatives taken at the office and their homes.
  • At our Round 1 solar PV construction sites, there are solar/diesel hybrid system that power the construction offices.
  • There are waste diversion programmes where all useful wood and cardboard have been donated to the local community.
  • Solar powered lighting has been installed around the perimeter fences as well as at the security huts at the site entrance, with a further consequential reduction in CO2 emissions and fossil fuel use.
  • At our Jeffreys Bay wind farm site, concrete used in the foundations is environmentally-friendly and “low carbon” as it includes 40% fly ash from the Kriel coal-fired power station.
  • The security system is powered by solar panels and, rainwater harvesting systems have been installed at the substation and operations and maintenance building.
  • In addition, cable drums and waste timber have been delivered to the SPCA in Humansdorp and will be used to erect fencing.
The landlord of the Cape Town office (Growthpoint) has embarked on an initiative to green their buildings. Mainstream has signed an agreement to confirm our commitment to this initiative, which will include energy efficient lighting and air-conditioning; window glazing and insulation; solar PV panel installation on roofs; and water efficient technologies. Already in operation are waterless urinals; switches for each of the separate offices and kitchen; and sensors in the open plan area – which is effective when staff work overtime/few staff members in office so that the entire complement of lights in the area do not remain on. A water filter has also been installed so that staff may drink directly from the main water supply - no need for bottled water. Waste recycling is in place and green cleaning fluids are being used. A number of staff are frequent travelers so monthly carbon emissions on vehicle usage and flights are tracked. Monthly electricity usage of the office is also monitored. In order to offset some of our carbon footprint, the intention is for staff to actively participate in a tree planting event at one of the local, under-privileged schools early in the New Year.