Responses to the global challenge of climate change cannot be disconnected from the other global challenges of the financial crisis, peak oil/energy security, food security, waste generation, water and soil degradation, and the destruction of habitat and the extinction of species.
From the food we eat to the buildings we occupy and the vehicles we drive. From the goods and services we procure and which are procured on our behalf, to the mining and processing of resources. Everything co-exists in a global system that is interconnected, and thus everything has an affect on everything else. Understanding this interconnectedness is fundamental to understanding the true cost of everything we do.
time to get the full picture
The most compelling arguments for change cannot therefore be made in the absence of the ‘full picture’. If decision makers can only see the immediate cost and return of their investments, then the opportunity to contribute to the long-term solution is lost, and the risk that it might contribute to the problem is exacerbated. In the event of the latter, this negative consequence is locked in for the duration of the investment. This can last for decades, even centuries.
Sustainability Week takes place from the 25th to the 29th of July at the Sandton Convention Centre. This convention will feature multiple exhibits and demonstrations on the latest green building techniques and technologies, as well as a number of other educational and entertaining initiatives.
- Fashion shows by leading eco fashion designers.
- Live music by well know SA artists and DJ.
- The Eco-Motor Show, where the country’s leading motor manufacturers will be displaying their planet friendly offerings, and where product and service providers will demonstrate ways in which they can reduce petrol consumption.
- An Eco film festival featuring the latest films from award winning producers and directors.
- ‘Youth and the Green Economy’ – Environmental leaders will speak about the opportunities inherent in the green economy, for the present and the future. This will take place on Saturday 28 July from 11am – 1pm.
- Organic Food Market – On Sunday 29 July Gauteng’s leading organic market will be running a special market.
- Commuter Cycle Exhibit – Cycle Lab will be on hand to showcase the best commuter bicycles available in SA along with the protective kit and the latest cycling fashion.
For those interested in learning how to green their home, the following workshops can be attended, free of charge:
- Energy Efficiency and Water Efficiency
- Waste Recycling, Green building and décor
- Organics and gardening
- Shopping and Eco Labels
Car Free Friday
The launch of a national campaign in favour of sustainable mobility will coincide with the Sustainable Mobility Conference on Friday 27 July. This will possibly become a monthly concept – the last Friday of every month. This initiative hopes to be adopted by major employers and combined with fun activities like group train and bus tickets, and commuter cycling and scooting.
Conference delegates can choose from 16 different conference modules, and attend a combination of up to 6 half day modules, or even attend only 1 half day module. In a business world where time and money are in short supply, Sustainability Week offers executives and professionals efficiency and focus.
Green Building Conference – 25-26 July
Join international architects Stephan Zop from Switzerland, Jimmy Lim from Malasia and Antoine Perrau from France, together with a host of leading South African green building experts, across engineering and architecture, to share knowledge and best practice. Modules will include International Leadership, Research and Innovation, Energy Efficiency in Buildings, Design Charrettes and a workshop on Social Housing.
Sustainable Energy Seminar – 27 July
IPP’s contracts are being awarded and mega renewables projects are rolling out. This is an opportunity to update yourself on the technologies and role players that are shaping our energy future. Smart grids tackle peak demand and drive intelligent behaviour among energy consumers. Leading experts will discuss this tantalising prospect for SA cities.
Sustainable Transport & Mobility Seminar – 27 July
The SA transport sector has resorted to trucking as the solution for freight logistics, significantly increasing the sectors impacts – tail pipe emissions, profound degradation of secondary roads and road accidents are the most obvious. Experts and industry leaders will be sharing insights into best practice logistics. SA cities are designed around the car – we have become so conditioned that some of us will drive journeys of less than 1 km, but we forget the impact this is having on the environment and on our national psyche. Local and international experts will be discussing mechanisms to make public and non-motorised transport attractive to SA commuters.
The Sustainable Water Resource Conference – 25-26 July
Water is a scarce resource in SA, and due to climate change will become even more scarce, and it may become more destructive. Join the experts to get the latest facts and thinking on how to adapt and improve our resilience to these changes. Water efficiency is the key to the sustainability of this precious resource. Acid mine drainage has the potential to devastate a significant proportion of Gauteng’s water resource. Leading experts will be presenting the latest technologies and best practice, as well as strategies and solutions that are being implemented.
Vision Zero Waste Conference – 26-27 July
South Africa is experiencing an explosion of waste. Our landfills are overflowing. Mining, power generation, construction, cars, electronics and consumer trash are just some of the primary waste streams. If we designed our systems and products with reuse, recycle, recapture, reincorporate as a primary objective, we could begin to image a world with zero waste. Meet some of the leading thinkers in this field.
Green Business Seminar – 26 July
Market forces are such powerful drivers of ingenuity and innovation that they have created the modern world with all its wonders, and all its terrors. Harnessing these forces to drive innovation towards sustainability is the only way to redirect the planet away from its current cataclysmic path, and the wheels are already in motion. Compliance with standards, regulations or just principals, and competing to deliver the greenest product or service is driving SA towards the green economy.
Responsible Tourism Seminar – 27 July
Tourism and conservation are inextricably linked. Tourism is fundamentally linked to economic development and depends largely on conservation to create value. Therefore, conservation is also fundamental to economic development. Tourism also has a high environmental impact, in which long flights and a reputation for wastefulness are just two aspects. Attend this seminar to learn more about responsible tourism and the link with environmental sustainability.
Check out the official website of Sustainability Week here.