Volkswagen South Africa (VWSA) walked away with the highest accolade in the waste industry last night, adding to their green credentials when they received first place in the large organisations category in the Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEDEAT) and Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA)’s Top Green Organisation Awards achieving a platinum award.
The prestigious gala event formed part of the IWMSA’s bi-ennial waste management conference, which is being hosted at the East London International Convention Centre this year. WasteCon2012 is the largest and most comprehensive waste management conference in South Africa.
Every two years, organisations in the province are encouraged to participate in the Top Green Organisation Awards. Acting General Manager Environmental Affairs from the DEDEAT, Gerry Pienaar explains, “The aim of these awards is to promote and recognize responsible Environmental Management Practises in the Eastern Cape while fostering better relationships between government, industry, business and any other organisation.
Khanyisa Gazi, Acting Head of Department (HOD) of DEDEAT, concurred that through these awards DEDEAT are showcasing their relentless efforts to foster partnerships with all sectors and restoring the integrity of the environment. Gazi added, “The deliberate focus of prioritizing the green economy sector as one of the strategic thrusts will yield positive results through our active participation on creating awareness about the green revolution as one of the levers for socio-economic transformation in the province.
“By competing, Industries are enabled to tackle their environmental management issues and improve their housekeeping. Proper environmental risks management in any business leads to a reduction in overheads and management of potential environmental impacts, thereby improving efficiency and profit margins.”
Pienaar indicated, “There is a perception and fear that this initiative is about enforcement with a view to identifying those who do not comply with the environmental law. The reality is that government is trying to build relations with all its stakeholders. This competition is essential if we are to foster and nurture a progressive society with a vision which meets our future challenges and skills, embracing our unique environment in the Eastern Cape.
“Through the partnership of DEDEAT and the IWMSA’s Eastern Cape Branch, we have teamed up and are working tirelessly to galvanize industry and other organisations to embrace the importance of environmental sustainability,” said Pienaar.
The Awards focuses on excellence and innovative practices which result in maximizing environmental resources while improving air quality protecting Biodiversity, combating Climate Change, maximizing Energy Efficiency, and Water usage and reducing, reusing or transforming waste into a resource. It is a great opportunity for companies to showcase their best practices.
The judging process included a site visit and audit by a team of professionals led by DEDEAT and the IWMSA consisting of waste, air quality, climate change environmental and safety specialists.
There were three categories; the other winners included:
Small Organisation High Impact: Langkloof Bricks, achieving a Bronze Certificate
Medium Organisation High Impact:
1. Winner = Eveready (Pty) Ltd
2. Runner up = Transnet (Coega Harbour)
Large Organisation High Impact:
3. Winner = Volkswagen South Africa (VWSA)
4. Runner up (2nd place) = General Motor of South Africa (GMSA)
5. Runner up (3nd place) = Mercedez Benz South Africa (MBSA)
A special award for the Individual who stood out by adopting Zero Waste production in their lifestyle was awarded to Jo-Anne Allie through the VWSA Environmental Management programme.
The IWMSA is a professional, multi-disciplinary organisation with voluntary membership established to promote the science and practice of waste management and is a non-profit organisation. For more information, contact the IWMSA visit: www.iwmsa.co.za
- Volkswagen South Africa (VWSA) walked away with the highest accolade in the waste industry last night, adding to their green credentials when they received first place in the large organisations category in the Department of Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEDEAT) and Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA)’s Top Green Organisation Awards achieving a platinum award. From left to right: Deidre Nxumalo-Freeman, President of the IWMSA (left); Simon Leleka from Volkswagen South Africa (centre); Khanyisa Gazi, Acting Head of Department (HOD) of DEDEAT (right).
- The winner in the category impressed the auditors with their renewable energy technology and their take back technology. The IT units are totally dependent on electricity from wind turbine generators. They have achieved remarkable reduction in water usage. Sales people have reduced their carbon travel footprint by utilizing skype to conduct their meetings. Wood wasteage is reduced by the use of a finger jointing machine, which means that waste timber is reused. They have removed 60% of their lead content by substituting with less harmful materials. And the winner is: Eveready, who achieved a Gold certificate.
- Mercedes Benz: 3rd place, achieving Platinum Certificate.
- The Head of Department Award on Innovation goes to Langkloof Bricks.