The Climate Leadership Awards (CLA), the first awards in Africa that recognise, reward, motivate and celebrate businesses, communities, youth, schools and individuals, have attracted significant sponsorships and partnerships in 2011 from some of South Africa’s leading businesses, non-governmental and not-for-profit organisations.
Chief among these partners are Global Carbon Exchange, South African Post Office, Pick ‘n Pay, Talk Radio 702 and sister station 567 Cape Talk, ABI, the soft drink division of SAB, Avis Rent a Car, kulula.com, the National Business Initiative and the Carbon Protocol of South Africa.
“In the wake of the COP17 event, which unfortunately did not reach a fair, equitable and binding agreement that will address the catastrophic extreme weather events climate change brings, it is organisations like our partners and sponsors that will ensure strong foundations and long lasting effects in the fight against climate change here in South Africa,” says Jeunesse Park, founder of Food & Trees for Africa
Park and other members of the CLA attended COP17 in Durban this year, the so-called environmental World Cup an annual gathering of Kyoto Protocol signatories to enact resolutions and make decisions about curbing and reversing the effects of climate change.
The CLA offers prizes and awards recognising leaders in the field in South Africa to lead by way of example.
Pick n Pay sponsors the Climate Hero Schools or Youth Groups category and R35 000 in Pick n Pay gift cards will be awarded to the winning schools or youth groups that show they have taken the most action against the impacts of climate change.
“Pick n Pay was the first retailer to highlight the importance of sustainable living in the early 1990s and in the past two decades we have invested a considerable amount of time, energy, money and commitment in making sure our business moves rapidly to the highest levels of sustainability,” says Andre Nel, Pick n Pay, manager, sustainable development.
“We support the Climate Change Leadership Awards as it helps to instill the values we need to ensure the sustainability of our resources while motivating everyone to action. Earlier this year, we also reaffirmed our leadership in addressing climate change as we pledged to phase out climate-damaging refrigerants and halt deforestation practices, as a signatory to the global Consumer Goods Forum agreement.”
Sustainability targets and raising awareness
“One of the SA Post Office’s sustainability targets is to participate in the debate around sustainable development,” says Kgabo Mokgohloa, environmental engineer, South African Post Office.
“The CCLA, especially the community awards, gives us a platform to encourage this dialogue and create awareness around climate change, particularly in rural, marginalised and underserviced areas.”
ABI offers financial assistance to winners in the waste minimisation category for schools, communities, and youth groups and will deliver financing for additional, necessary equipment directly to suppliers on their behalf.
“The CCLA proposal was ideally suited to ABI’s commitment to producing our product with as little impact on the environment as possible,” says Gaopaleloe Mothoagae, sustainable development specialist at ABI.
“As a business we make up about 60% of the beverage industry and we are very conscious of our responsibility to society. The interests of business and the wider community are inextricably linked. The health and prosperity of those communities in which we operate is essential to our profitability and growth. Therefore, ensuring the sustainability of the world around us is vital to our success. As a founding member of South African PET recycling company PETCO and other similar industry bodies, we have always been concerned about the impact that waste generated through our value chain has on the environment, and are always looking for ways to ensure that we minimise this impact.”
GCX, the carbon and energy management company, has added to the CCLA’s bouquet of prizes by sponsoring additional rewards in the form of Carbon Footprint Analyst certificates to CCLA category winners worth in excess of R70 000.
Supporting green transport
kulula.com and Avis assist in their own way by providing services in the air and ground transport requirements of the competition.
“The CCLA contribute significantly to inspiring and promoting awareness and action towards a low carbon economy, and thus a healthier society and a more sustainable planet,” says Ingrid Mech, responsible for Global Carbon Exchange marketing and communication.
“Those contributions dovetail perfectly with our goal to work closely with clients to identify and build their eco advantage, which is the opportunity for sustained growth and profitability while demonstrating reduced environmental and social impacts over time.”