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Environmental News

Company eases burden of understanding carbon tax

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     12th June 2020 Companies have shifted their focus from attempting to lower their carbon emissions to making a budget allowance to pay for these emissions, owing to their misunderstanding of carbon tax, says software developer EDS Systems business development head Eckart Zollner. The new Carbon Tax Act is said... 

Development will create demand for office space

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     12th June 2020 Following the achievement of a 5-Star Green Star Design Certification from the Green Building Council of South Africa on the work done for the 144 Oxford Road office development in Rosebank, Gauteng, engineering, design and advisory firm Aurecon, rebranding as Zutari, believes that the building... 

Sustainable building designs on the rise

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     12th June 2020 Although it was previously widely thought to be prohibitively expensive to make the upfront capital investments to go green, uncertainty about the availability of power and water resources, as well as cost volatility, for example, is influencing a mindset change, says professional services... 

Circular economy offers many benefits

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     12th June 2020 The move towards a circular economy model away from the traditional linear approach can assist companies in reducing carbon emissions and other environmental impacts associated with their operations, says sustainability consulting firm The Green House director Brett Cohen. “A circular economy... 

Circular economy offers many benefits
BRETT COHEN A circular economy will, amongst other benefits, reduce the amount of raw material used and incorporate more recycled and reused products

Cogen technology heating up in Africa

By: Tracy Hancock     12th June 2020 South Africa needs to realise that the rest of Africa is becoming more business friendly, and it may no longer be the sole gateway to Africa, which is showing noticeable demand for co-generation (co-gen) technology, says heat generation technology specialist Steam Generation commercial director... 

Cogen technology heating up in Africa
PLANTATION POTENTIAL Steam Generation receives many enquiries from Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania, which is known for its tea plantations that present potential for the supply of biomass and co-gen technology

Forum focusing on networking, opportunities for women in renewable energy space

By: Simone Liedtke     10th June 2020 While South Africa has forums and conferences specific to women in energy, WE Connect co-founder Karen De Bruyn laments that there is no platform specifically focused on connecting women in the renewable energy space. WE Connect was launched as a networking forum for women in this sector in South... 

Forum focusing on networking, opportunities for women in renewable energy space
WE Connect co-founder Karen De Bruyn

Sasol-sponsored study marks start of waste elimination in two critical KZN rivers

By: Marleny Arnoldi     9th June 2020 Petrochemicals giant Sasol on June 9 released a baseline assessment report after it commissioned a study to understand the challenges around waste pollution in the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast, specifically in the Amanzimtoti and Umbogintwini rivers. These rivers flow directly into the Indian... 

Commonwealth urges members to focus on care of seaborne economies

By: Donna Slater     9th June 2020 Commonwealth secretary-general Patricia Scotland urges governments to ensure their countries’ post-Covid-19 economic recoveries are environmentally sustainable and safe for the ocean. She also asks that they reform their development of strategies in a way that supports vibrant and sustainable... 

Standard Bank denies conflict of interest claims

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th June 2020 Standard Bank has reiterated its commitment to a climate-related risk approach and defended its board members, after activist organisation Just Share questioned the election or re-election of directors that have ties to fossil fuel operations. The organisation said seven of Standard Bank’s 18... 

Giant spill in Russia offers a glimpse of the Arctic’s future

By: Bloomberg     8th June 2020 Investigators have determined that the leakage of of 20 000 t of diesel (about 150 000 barrels) from a reservoir at a power plant in Russia’s Far North was caused by damage from thawing permafrost—just the latest sign of the catastrophic effects climate change is having in the Arctic. “Entire... 

Giant spill in Russia offers a glimpse of the Arctic’s future

South African R&D investment insufficient to transition to a green economy – study

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     5th June 2020 Fast-tracking the transition to a green economy – globally acknowledged as the pathway to sustainable development – could be undermined and hampered by the insufficient focus and commitment to research and development (R&D) expenditure in South Africa. This emerged as a central theme from a... 

E-waste recycling key to managing and unlocking value

By: Schalk Burger     5th June 2020 Organisations should adopt responsible e-waste disposal strategies, as only 25% of end-of-life information technology (IT) equipment worldwide is being recycled and the value of e-waste is about $62.5-billion a year, says IT equipment disposal and refurbishment company Xperien IT asset disposal... 

Climate Justice Coalition launches Green New Eskom campaign

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th June 2020 The Climate Justice Coalition (CJC) has launched a Green New Eskom campaign, which demands a rapid and just transition to a more socially-owned renewable energy-powered and zero carbon economy. The CJC comprises trade unions, civil society and community organisations working together on a... 

Climate Justice Coalition launches Green New Eskom campaign
Photo by Creamer Media
Jeffreys Bay wind farm

Climate change should still receive attention in the midst of Covid-19

By: Donna Slater     5th June 2020 The leaders of nations belonging to the Commonwealth should continue to prioritise climate change and the mitigation of dangerous emissions with the same urgency they did pre-Covid-19, says the Commonwealth of Nations (Commonwealth). The organisation states that, even with the Covid-19 pandemic... 

Pilot programme starts bearing fruit for reclaimers

By: Marleny Arnoldi     5th June 2020 A pilot programme jointly executed by recycling organisations, fast-moving consumer goods company Unilever and the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg has, for first time, started integrating individual waste reclaimers into the circular economy of the city. It is the first project in... 

Pilot programme starts bearing fruit for reclaimers

Sappi aligns to World Environment Day 2020 #ForNature theme

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     5th June 2020 Pulp and paper company Sappi says the lockdowns implemented across the world to help curb the spread of Covid-19 have brought to light the need to make 'Time for Nature’, which is also the theme for this year’s World Environment Day, on June 5. ‘Time for Nature’ focuses on the role nature plays... 

Rolls-Royce commits to United Nations’ zero carbon emissions goals for 2030 and 2050

By: Rebecca Campbell     5th June 2020 UK-based industrial technology group Rolls-Royce has announced that it has joined the United Nations’ (UN’s) ‘Race to Zero’ campaign, as a consequence of which the company has committed itself to achieving net zero carbon emissions from its operations by 2030. In its statement, the company... 

WEF, Prince of Wales launch Great Reset initiative to drive global change  

By: Simone Liedtke     4th June 2020 With the Covid-19 pandemic having exposed various existing societal fault lines and laid bare a fundamental lack of social cohesion, fairness, inclusion and equality, the World Economic Forum (WEF) on June 3 announced the launch of its Great Reset initiative. Drawing from the vision and vast... 

Waste-derived fuels viable to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, says Interwaste

By: Donna Slater     3rd June 2020 For energy to be sustainable in South Africa, not only by increasing capacity, but also by ensuring the country is able to meet carbon tax objectives, the energy industry needs to look beyond the use of fossil fuels such as coal, and find alternative energy providing sources, says waste... 

Responsible sourcing of critical minerals in focus as energy transition drives up demand

By: Terence Creamer     3rd June 2020 The accelerating pace and scale of the global clean-energy transition is poised to dramatically increase demand for critical energy minerals and metals, from aluminium to zirconium, with implications not only for the resources sector, but for geopolitics. The future energy system will be far more... 

Responsible sourcing of critical minerals in focus as energy transition drives up demand

Covid-19 hampers Wits platinum recycling laboratory

By: Donna Slater     3rd June 2020 The prevailing Covid-19 pandemic has brought research and innovations into recycling platinum-group metals (PGMs) from disused catalytic converts, led by two University of Witwatersrand (Wits) MSc graduates Collins Saguru and Muofhe Singo, to a near standstill. The duo have ventured into the... 

Covid-19 hampers Wits platinum recycling laboratory
Collins Saguru

Growthpoint’s Cintocare Hospital development first healthcare property to achieve Africa’s Green Star

By: Simone Liedtke     3rd June 2020 JSE-listed real estate investment trust Growthpoint Properties’ Cintocare specialised surgical hospital development, in Pretoria, has become the first healthcare property or the first facility of its kind in South Africa, and Africa, to be awarded a Green Star rating. Cintocare received a... 

Growthpoint’s Cintocare Hospital development first healthcare property to achieve Africa’s Green Star
An exterior construction view of the Cintocare hospital

Greenpeace to screen plastic-waste exposé on World Environment Day

By: Donna Slater     2nd June 2020 To celebrate World Environment Day on June 5, Greenpeace Africa will, this week, screen 'The Story of Plastic', a new documentary directed and produced by Deia Schlosberg, which exposes the international environmental, climate, justice and health impacts of the plastic industry. The virtual... 

Swiss institute advances technology to trace pearl origins

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd June 2020 The Swiss Gemmological Institute (SSEF) has introduced a new service to support the documentation of the origin and provenance of pearls, assisting the pearl trade in documenting origins and improving the traceability of pearls. The service is supported by the SSEF’s deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)... 

Ukwazi launches sustainable mining, environmental and mine closure management division

By: Schalk Burger     1st June 2020 Mining service specialist company Ukwazi on June 1 launched a new division to provide solutions for environmental and closure liability management, including post-closure plans. New approaches in environmental and social governance are required to successfully manage complex country, market and... 

Different scenarios possible for country’s energy sector in face of pandemic

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     29th May 2020 With the uncertainty and ever-changing environment resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, it is difficult to predict what the impact will be on South Africa's energy sector; however, there are different scenarios that could play out and industry role-players will need to navigate these new energy... 

Enviro association calls for admin, practitioners to be allowed to resume work

By: Marleny Arnoldi     29th May 2020 The Environmental Assessment Practitioners Association of South Africa (Eapasa) has called on government to allow environment-impact assessment (EIA) processes to continue, particularly for projects related to the provision of services and infrastructure with a public-interest focus. The... 

Covid-19 an opportunity for better resource management

By: Darren Parker     29th May 2020 The national lockdown because of Covid-19 presents a good opportunity for manufacturing companies to improve their resource and utilities management, says government-funded programme National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa (NCPC-SA) KwaZulu-Natal regional manager Kevin Cilliers. There is... 

Covid-19 an opportunity for better resource management
KEVIN CILLIERS It is important to have a good management practice in place for utility use while there is time and space to focus on it

Lockdown further strains stainless steel recycling

By: Tracy Hancock     29th May 2020 Prior to the national lockdown, South Africa’s stainless steel recycling industry was under strain, facing a dramatic drop in available recycling material and increasing input costs, says Johannesburg-based stainless steel recycler Cronimet director Bernard Maguire. The stainless steel recycling... 

Lockdown further strains stainless steel recycling
SIGNIFICANCE OF SCRAP The cost of recycled stainless steel is much less than that of virgin primary alloys

New emissions blow for VW as German court backs damages claims

By: Reuters     25th May 2020 Volkswagen must pay compensation to owners of vehicles with rigged diesel engines in Germany, a court ruled on Monday, dealing a fresh blow to the automaker almost five years after its emissions scandal erupted. The ruling by Germany’s highest court for civil disputes, which will allow owners to... 

Integration vital for construction-project life cycle

By: Mamaili Mamaila     22nd May 2020 There is a need for integration between the engineering design and environmental processes, before the final submission stage of a project, to avoid the possibility of environmental authorisation for construction on the preferred site being denied, says environmental consultancy Environmental... 

Integration vital for construction-project life cycle
SUSTAINABILITY MATTERS Identifying the environmentally sensitive areas on-site early during the design phase can increase the probability of a sustainable and integrated development

Auto-battery makers mull alternative chemistries to lower costs, increase driving range

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     22nd May 2020 Battery makers and car manufacturers have seen a shift in the pursuit of altering battery chemistry to lower the costs of new energy vehicles (NEVs) that are being manufactured and extend their driving range. Speaking to Engineering News & Mining Weekly, independent research house Afriforesight... 

Auto-battery makers mull alternative chemistries to lower costs, increase driving range

Waste management vital during pandemic

By: Theresa Bhowan     22nd May 2020 With Covid-19 infections on the rise, waste management company Averda plays an active role in the removal of contaminated waste products while following strict disposal regulations according to legislation. 

Waste management vital during pandemic
CLEAN RIDES Vehicles transport the waste to one of eight hazardous waste sites in the country

System gaining traction in building conversion projects

By: Mamaili Mamaila     22nd May 2020 Alternative building technology solutions provider SanteQ Liteweight Building Technology’s bespoke Plaswall building technology provides for simple and rapid installation using unsophisticated skills. 

System gaining traction in building conversion projects
BACK TO THE WALL SanteQ's walling systems use between 80% and 90% recycled and waste materials

Company calls for households to instil recycling habits during lockdown

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     21st May 2020 With many South Africans working from home, the lockdown is an opportune time for households to set up recycling systems and; for those with children, to involve them, especially from a young age, comments plastic rotational moulding solutions provider Pioneer Plastics. Recycling services for the... 

Company calls for households to instil recycling habits during lockdown
130 L Wheelie Bin Double Hood

As Eskom rolls out boiler fixes to more Medupi units, it confirms FGD talks with World Bank 

By: Terence Creamer     21st May 2020 Electricity utility Eskom is rolling-out design modifications made recently to Medupi Unit 3 to Medupi Unit 6, rather than waiting for the results of an evaluation of the fixes, which is proceeding in parallel. The unit was shut for 75 days on January 26 to address defects that emerged, mostly in... 

As Eskom rolls out boiler fixes to more Medupi units, it confirms FGD talks with World Bank
COO Jan Oberholzer on the rolling-out of design modifications at Medupi. Camera Work: Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd

Dubai conservation park furthering environmental protection

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     21st May 2020 The Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR), the United Arab Emirates’ first national park, is undertaking several initiatives as part of its mandate to manage and represent the Dubai inland desert ecosystem, and a South African, DDCR Conservation manager Greg Simkins, is involved in all aspects... 

Dubai conservation park furthering environmental protection
Arabian Gazelle
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