After the adoption of carbon-cutting measures to drive energy efficiency across a network of more than 600 branches in South Africa, financial services provider First National Bank (FNB) has reduced the carbon dioxide (CO2) footprint of its branches by nearly 50% over a period of five years.
FNB’s energy efficiency measures include, but are not limited to, fitting light-emitting diode (LED) lighting in new branches and retrofitting existing branches with LED lighting to enable a substantial reduction in electricity consumption.
In addition, all FNB branches have been equipped with Meteringonline technology for central monitoring of electricity use through a Web-based platform.
The bank has also asked that, during work hours, all air conditioning units in branches are set at 22 oC, thereby enabling the branches to run at lower energy consumption levels. Further, unused equipment that consumes electricity is switched off after hours.
FNB CEO Jacques Celliers says the bank’s aim is to ensure energy efficiency, as well as an adequate mix of energy sources for its operations in support of efforts for a cleaner environment and relieving pressure on the national electricity grid.
“Energy is the lifeblood of any vibrant economy and it remains a key enabler for long-term business sustainability.”
FNB Points of Presence CEO Lee-Anne van Zyl says the bank’s energy efficiency efforts are not limited to its branches.
“Our efforts to [reduce our] carbon footprint include the use of photovoltaic (PV) solar panels in some of our campuses.”
FNB’s solar campus project started in 2015, with the panels having the ability to generate a cumulative capacity of up to 4.3 MW.
She says the activated PV panels, with a capacity of 3.7 MW, currently produce 5.8 MWh/y, while a further 613 kWh installed capacity is waiting for approval to switch on.
“Energy efficiency is a long-term commitment for us, because we believe it is the right thing to do. Similarly, we encourage our staff, individual and business customers, as well as corporate partners to continue playing their part in energy efficiency,” Van Zyl concludes.