The National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA) has, through its industrial energy efficiency project, assisted industry to reduce its carbon emissions by two-million tons since 2011, allowing it to confidently commit to meeting the industry target of a 6% reduction by 2020, NCPC-SA director Ndivhuho Raphulu said on Tuesday.
The NCPC-SA is the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI’s) key industrial sustainability programme, hosted by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s Strategic Initiatives Implementation Unit.
Speaking at an NCPC-SA-hosted event in Ekurhuleni, he said industry had saved two-million cumulative tonnes of carbon dioxide to date and that industry would most likely meet its nine-million-ton benchmark, indicated by the desired emissions reduction outcomes (Dero), by 2020.
South Africa said it would lower its carbon emissions to 34% below current expected levels by 2020 and about 42% below current trends by 2025.
“The Department of Environmental Affairs, together with the DTI, has divided the allocated 34% into different sectors including energy, agriculture, tourism, and the commercial and residential sectors,” Raphulu pointed out.
He noted that a 6% cap was given to industry “because we felt that a higher percentage cap would negatively affect small businesses.”
Raphulu added that the DTI had decided that the drivers for the next three annual Industrial Policy Action Plan iterations would prioritise environmental considerations, focusing on air quality and climate change issues.
He noted that businesses would have to start looking at ways to cut their electricity consumption to meet Dero targets, noting that the use of renewable energy was imperative in achieving Dero goals.
“Water and electricity are the greatest consumption factors for most business. Looking at ways of reducing costs and consumption is a must,” Raphulu emphasised.