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Environmental News

Balwin registers over 16 000 EDGE certified units

By: Simone Liedtke     Updated 6 hours ago JSE-listed Balwin Properties has registered more than 16 000 units across seven of its built-to-sell and three of its rental developments as excellence in design for greater efficiency certified with the Green Building Council South Africa. The registration will be completed over the next six... 

Aviation technology leaders reaffirm their determination to cut industry’s CO2 emissions

By: Rebecca Campbell     Updated 7 hours ago At the 2019 Paris Air Show on Tuesday, the Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) of seven of the world’s major aerospace companies issued a joint statement on their joint and cooperative commitment to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by the aviation industry. The companies were, in alphabetical... 

Aviation technology leaders reaffirm their determination to cut industry’s CO2 emissions

Swiss refiner Metalor to stop processing artisanal gold

By: Reuters     18th June 2019 Switzerland's Metalor, one of the world's biggest gold refineries, said on Monday it would work only with gold from large industrial mines in order to reduce the risk of illegality in its supply chain. Informal methods of gold production, known as "artisanal" or small-scale mining, have grown... 

Construction sector biggest greenhouse gas contributor

14th June 2019 Building construction and operations account for 36% of final energy use and nearly 40% of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions globally, making the sector the largest energy user and producer of greenhouse gasses, says Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) CEO Dorah Modise. 

Construction sector biggest greenhouse  gas contributor
DORAH MODISE The GBCSA welcomes the introduction of these instruments in an effort to promote energy efficiency

New green building certification introduced in South Africa

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     14th June 2019 Green building consulting company Solid Green Consulting is the first company to be working on an actual Living Building Challenge project in South Africa. The programme was developed by nongovernmental organisation International Living Future Institute (ILFI), to lead transformation towards a... 

New green building  certification introduced  in South Africa
MARLOES REININK The Living Building Challenge is possibly the most rigorous green building certification programme and sustainable design framework globally

Health club receives net zero waste rating

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     14th June 2019 Through rigorous waste reduction, separation and recycling on site, and the assistance of net zero-accredited professionals Ecolution Consulting, Health Club Virgin Active Constantia, in Cape Town, achieved a Net Zero Waste certification from the Green Building Council of South Africa.... 

Health club receives net  zero waste rating
Photo by Julian Goldswain
NOTHING GOES TO WASTE Currently 93% of the gym’s waste is being diverted – an amount that was possible through an initial waste audit calculation

Green light for ‘net zero’

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     14th June 2019 Following then Energy Minister Jeff Radebe’s announcement paving the way for small projects generating between 1 MW and 10 MW of their own renewable electricity to feed it back into the grid, green building consultants ecocentric see this as a crucial opportunity for companies to accelerate... 

Green light for ‘net zero’
RATINGS The GBCSA Rosebank office received a 4-Star Interiors Rating based on the assessment of the environmental attributes of the building’s interior fit-outs

NCPC-SA to drive resource efficiency in manufacturing

By: Mamaili Mamaila     14th June 2019 If the South African manufacturing sector wishes to mitigate the effects of rising tariffs and the new Carbon Tax, then it needs to become more resource efficient, according to the National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa (NCPC-SA) 

NCPC-SA to drive resource efficiency  in manufacturing
GREEN ECONOMY The manufacturing sector has not been growing because of its mounting challenges

Air Products, Jeka highlight benefits of solar rooftop installations 

By: Simone Liedtke     13th June 2019 A solar photovoltaic roof-mounted power plant system installed at industrial and specialty chemicals supplier Air Products’ Kempton Park facility generates sufficient energy to meet between 60% and 70% of the facility’s day-time requirements, Air Products GM Maropeng Bahula says. The plant,... 

Air Products, Jeka highlight benefits of solar rooftop installations
Air Products GM Maropeng Bahula speaks to Engineering News Online about the company’s newly-installed solar rooftop PV system, while Jeka Energy CEO Thembani Marhanele touches on some of the system’s specifics. Video: Creamer Media’s Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Creamer Media’s Christo Greyling

Sustainable cities integral to combating climate change

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     12th June 2019 Combating the effects of climate change will require a collective response from developed and developing cities, which need to pursue the development of sustainable cities, regardless of the disparity between the biggest contributors to and those most affected by climate change. This was a key... 

Saving Earth with electric cars means wrecking a fragile desert

By: Bloomberg     11th June 2019 The oases that once interrupted the dusty slopes of the Atacama desert in northern Chile allowed humans and animals to survive for thousands of years in the world’s driest climate. That was before the mining started. Sara Plaza, 67 years old, can still remember guiding her family’s sheep along... 

Erratic weather boosts energy demand, denting climate goals – BP 

By: Reuters     11th June 2019 Extreme temperatures around the globe drove a sharp acceleration in energy demand and carbon emissions last year, oil giant BP said on Tuesday, issuing a stark warning that the world risks losing the battle against climate change. And while 2018 saw another sharp pick up in renewable power such... 

Ugandan critics oppose Nile river power plant plan

By: Reuters     11th June 2019 A plan by South Africa's Bonang Power and Energy to develop a 360 MW power plant on Uganda's River Nile has met resistance from critics who say the project will destroy the popular tourist attraction of Murchison Falls. Located on the Nile between the Ugandan lakes Kyoga and Albert, the Murchison... 

Greenpeace study recommends Eskom sell its coal-fired power stations

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     11th June 2019 A study commissioned by Greenpeace Africa recommends that State-owned Eskom, as part of its reform, gradually spin out its coal-fired power generation activities to new generation companies that will operate the power plants for the remainder of their operating lives. Greenpeace had commissioned... 

Greenpeace study recommends Eskom sell its coal-fired power stations
Photo by Creamer Media's Terence Creamer
The Lethabo power station

Environmental organisations take Highveld pollution matter to court 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th June 2019 Environmental justice group groundWork and community organisation Vukani Environment Justice Movement in Action have launched “landmark litigation”, demanding that government clean up the air in the Mpumalanga Highveld. GroundWork and Vukani on June 7 served papers to the High Court, asking that... 

Environmental organisations take Highveld pollution matter to court

City of Johannesburg unveils revamped air quality monitoring station

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     10th June 2019 The MMC for Environment and Infrastructure Services in the City of Johannesburg (CoJ), Councillor Nico de Jager, last week officially relaunched the newly revamped Air Quality Monitoring station, in Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg. This event formed part of the World Environment Week. It was... 

The Concrete Institute highlights composite road benefits

By: Cameron Mackay     7th June 2019 The benefits of concrete for roads can be exploited by the South African roads industry, says South African concrete education and skills organisation The Concrete Institute MD Bryan Perrie. While concrete is generally more expensive in terms of initial costs, it does offer reduced life-cycle... 

The Concrete Institute highlights composite road benefits
BRYAN PERRIE South African roads are predominantly asphalt, and The Concrete Institute has been trying to make inroads for the use of concrete for roads

Producer achieves 35% emission reduction, supports carbon tax

By: Cameron Mackay     7th June 2019 Construction materials supplier AfriSam has reduced the company’s carbon emissions, per ton of cement produced, by 35% from 1990 to 2018 and is focusing on further carbon reductions, sustainability and the implementation of the carbon tax in South Africa. “The 35% is close to the targets being... 

Producer achieves 35% emission reduction, supports carbon tax
CARBON TAX COMPLICATIONS AfriSam has significantly reduced its carbon emissions

Oil giants' chemical lifeline threatened by plastic-trash crisis

By: Bloomberg     6th June 2019 As the world strives to wean itself off fossil fuels, oil companies have been turning to plastic as the key to their future. Now even that’s looking overly optimistic. The global crackdown on plastic trash threatens to take a big chunk out of demand growth just as oil companies like Saudi Aramco... 

Reclaimers progress towards formal inclusion in waste collection system

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th June 2019 The African Reclaimers Organisation (Aro) has partnered with consumer goods manufacturer Unilever South Africa and the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in starting a pilot project to help reclaimers advance towards formal integration into the Johannesburg waste collection system. The... 

Reclaimers progress towards formal inclusion in waste collection system
ARO committee member Luyanda Hlatshwayo, Wits lecturer Dr Melanie Samson, Wiego organiser Eli Kodisang, Unilever homecare VP Lethepu Mashaba and Unilever South Africa VP Luc-Oliver Marquet

Waste is the new gold, says Gauteng MEC Ramokgopa

By: African News Agency      5th June 2019 As the world marked World Environment Day on Wednesday, Gauteng MEC for Economic Development, Agriculture and Environment Dr. Kgosientso Ramokgopa urged communities to recycle waste, avoid illegal dumping and constantly consider the environmental impact of their actions. "This World Environment... 

 Waste is the new gold, says Gauteng MEC Ramokgopa
Gauteng MEC for Economic Development, Agriculture and Environment Dr. Kgosientso Ramokgopa

Companies lag in climate-related disclosures – G20 Task Force

By: Reuters     5th June 2019 Companies are failing to disclose sufficient detail about how exposed they are to the potential risks of climate change, a global task force said in a report on Wednesday. Many investors have called on companies to provide better communication on how climate change could impact their businesses,... 

Companies lag in climate-related disclosures – G20 Task Force

Anglo American Coal study shows ecological value of mining sites

By: Creamer Media Reporter      5th June 2019 Anglo American Coal’s Isibonelo Colliery is emerging as a noteworthy case study for how rehabilitated landscapes can play an important role in conservation and biodiversity, including a ground-breaking study on the population of serval in the Mpumalanga coalfields. Isibonelo is home to a large... 

Anglo American Coal study shows ecological value of mining sites

AMSA to face emissions charges 

By: Reuters     3rd June 2019 ArcelorMittal South Africa said on Monday it had received a summons instituting criminal proceedings for three charges relating to transgressions of its atmospheric emissions licence at its Vanderbijlpark operations. The charges relate to allegedly conducting certain activities without the... 

Environmental affairs department welcomes SCA ruling in Interwaste and FG landfill site

By: African News Agency      3rd June 2019 The environmental affairs department (DEA) has welcomed the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein's judgment this week upholding, with costs, the appeal by the Gauteng agriculture and rural development department (GDARD) against the findings of the High Court in Pretoria with respect to... 

Consortium appointed to manage climate resilience fund

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     31st May 2019 A consortium of Dutch nongovernmental organisations and financiers has been awarded the tender to manage the €160-million Dutch Fund for Climate and Development (DFCD), which aims to help developing countries build climate resilient economies. The consortium comprises Dutch development bank FMO,... 

SA carbon tax law will pressure big firms to find strategies for sustainable operations 

By: African News Agency      31st May 2019 The long-awaited Carbon Tax Act, due to be implemented from Saturday, will put large companies operating in South Africa under increasing pressure to find viable strategies to make their operations more sustainable, an industry expert said on Friday. The Act, which President Cyril Ramaphosa... 

SA carbon tax law will pressure big firms to find strategies for sustainable operations

Standard Bank shareholders vote for disclosure on lending to coal projects

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     31st May 2019 In a first for South Africa, climate-conscious shareholders of Standard Bank have compelled the bank to adopt and publicly disclose a policy on lending to coal-fired power projects and coal mining operations. Fifty-five per cent of shareholders in attendance at the bank’s annual general meeting... 

Startups strive to recycle emissions for 'new carbon economy'

By: Reuters     31st May 2019 Jennifer Holmgren, CE of carbon recycling firm LanzaTech, explained modestly how the Chicago-based startup had cut multimillion-dollar deals on four continents, including in China, aimed at helping curb climate change and air pollution. At the Jingtang Steel Mill in Heibei province, the company... 

Oil monitoring technology prolongs gearbox life

31st May 2019 Advanced monitoring technology company Atten2 presented its OilHealth and OilWear on-line optical sensors at the Wind O&M EU 2019 trade fair, held in February in Munich, Germany. Atten2 produces and markets the OilHealth and OilWear on-line optical sensors for the analysis of industrial fluids,... 

Oil monitoring technology prolongs gearbox life
WINDING ME UP The wind turbine’s gearbox and oil efficacy can be monitored by sensors

New coatings range launched in S Africa  

By: Halima Frost     31st May 2019 Specialised construction product manufacturer a.b.e. Construction Chemicals announced its partnership last month with coatings supplier Rustopak to launch the a.b.e. Rustopak range. The range consists of the a.b.e Rustopak Red Penetrant Sealant, and the Rustopak Top Coat. 

New coatings range launched in S Africa
a.b.e. Construction Chemicals CEO Warren Trew & Watsons Coatings president Gary Watson discuss the Rustopak range. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Christo Greyling.

Sector shows decline despite strong market growth

By: Mamaili Mamaila     31st May 2019 Although the local chemicals sector has recently been characterised by strong market growth, it has shown a consistently weak performance, with its contribution to total manufacturing output having declined significantly over the past ten years, says the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)... 

Sector shows decline despite strong market growth
Photo by Bloomberg
RAW MATERIALS Domestic chemical firms face multiple challenges such as access to appropriately priced feedstock, as well as large volumes of raw chemical materials that continue to be imported and are subject to exchange rate fluctuations

Chrome ore exports contribute to stainless steel production

By: Cameron Mackay     31st May 2019 The export of chrome ores from South Africa for use in the ferrochrome smelter of Chinese stainless steel group Tsingshan’s stainless steel plant has contributed to global growth in chrome ore supply. “Although the plant receives supply from China, which is re-routed South African material, and... 

Exxaro hands over Ga-Nala landfill site to community, local municipality

By: Simone Liedtke     30th May 2019 Black-empowered resources group Exxaro officially handed over the Ga-Nala landfill site to the Emalahleni local municipality and Ga-Nala communities earlier this week. The transfer of the landfill site near the Thubelihle township, in Mpumalanga, took place after three years. 

As resistance to plastic bottles mounts, Nampak offers cans and cartons as alternatives 

By: Terence Creamer     30th May 2019 Packaging group Nampak believes there is a significant opportunity to replace plastic bottles, particularly those used for noncarbonated and carbonated water, with aluminium beverage cans and paperboard cartons as consumer resistance to plastic grows. The JSE-listed company, which reported... 

As resistance to plastic bottles mounts, Nampak offers cans and cartons as alternatives

IEA urges support for research into small modular reactors

By: Terence Creamer     28th May 2019 The International Energy Agency (IEA) says countries intending to retain nuclear power as an option in their clean-energy transitions should support innovative new reactor designs with lower capital costs and shorter lead times, such as small modular reactors (SMRs). The recommendation is made in... 

DEA declares 20 marine protected areas

By: Marleny Arnoldi     27th May 2019 The Department of Environmental Affairs officially declared 20 marine protected areas (MPAs) in South Africa last week. The department said in a statement on Monday that the declaration of these MPAs was similar to an insurance policy for the benefit of the current and future generations.  

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