Nedbank achieves carbon neutrality

first_imgPhase Two of Nedbank’s head office is a certified green building. (Image: Nedbank) South African banking group Nedbank announced in July 2010 that it has achieved carbon neutrality – becoming the first bank in Africa to do so.The group’s chief executive Mike Brown made the announcement at the Nedbank head office in Sandton, in Johannesburg’s northern suburbs.“This achievement sees us following through on the commitment we made in September 2009 to completely offset our carbon footprint,” said Brown. “As our group executive of enterprise, governance and compliance, Selby Baqwa, likes to say: there is no Planet B.”Nedbank is now green not only in corporate colour, but also in deed. Brown said that it made sound business sense to go green, but was also very much the right thing to do.“As a large business we have to strike a balance between economic, social, cultural and environmental issues,” he said. “An overt focus on one area can be successful only in the short term. In order to achieve sustainable returns, all of Nedbank’s interdependent parts must be in balance.”The mammoth achievement involved not only the group head office, but all the regional buildings as well as some 500 branches and kiosks across the country. It also took the support of 90% of the staff, who were equipped with the knowledge and tools to make a difference at the office, and then to apply the concept in their own homes.Phase Two of Nedbank’s head office, now complete, is the first four-star green-rated commercial building in the country. It’s been certified by the Green Building Council of South Africa and operates 30% more efficiently than a normal building.Positive impact on communitiesThe Nedbank group made the commitment to go green as many as 25 years ago, determined to make a positive impact on the communities it serves and set an example for its customers and suppliers in the process.Brown believes that the bank’s integrated approach was the key to achieving a zero carbon footprint.“We didn’t achieve it merely by going out and buying up carbon credits, but by a genuine and substantial reduction in our carbon footprint. We started by measuring our impact on the environment – this process was initiated back in 2007 – and now we have a robust measuring system in place.”To ensure integrity in the measuring process and set up the required framework, the bank’s carbon neutral task team worked closely with the local chapter of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Brown said.“The support from the bank’s leadership is particularly encouraging,” said Richard Worthington of the WWF, “and it has contributed to the bank’s success in its green endeavours. Business and industry in South Africa is generally not doing well in this sphere, and we appreciate Nedbank’s role in setting the pace for others to follow.”Once an accurate measurement had been recorded and then verified by Ernst & Young, a target was set in terms of behaviour change; more efficient operation; and cutting down on paper, electricity, water, travel and waste.“Once we had achieved those reductions that we’d committed to, we offset the remaining unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions, around 213 000 tons, with carbon credits.”After much research, the bank settled on the sustainable Rukinga project in Kenya to obtain its carbon credits. Rukinga is Africa’s first large-scale gold level-accredited Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation initiative.“We took great care in choosing our beneficiary,” said Brown. “We analysed projects involving biodiversity, renewable energy, and the reduction of deforestation. Unfortunately we couldn’t find a suitable project in South Africa, but other projects have sprung up in the meantime and in the future we’ll be able to secure a more diverse portfolio here at home and elsewhere in Africa.”The Rukinga initiative, situated on 75 000 acres of land in the Kasigau Corridor, focuses on reducing deforestation and degradation of wildlife habitats, eliminating about 3.5-million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, and providing residents with a conservation-related income.The community has benefited richly from its Climate Community and Biodiversity Alliance-approved programme, receiving 18 new classrooms, a boost to its citrus industry, and better healthcare. A large amount of land was reclaimed for wildlife and numerous jobs were created.A journey of many stepsNedbank’s achievement of carbon neutrality took many steps, both big and small. It involved the extensive use of compact fluorescent lamps and motion-controlled lighting, turning off appliances when not in use, encouraging employees to use the stairs and not the lifts, using biodegradable cleaning materials, and installing water filters on taps instead of supplying bottled water.In addition, the bank only uses environment-friendly paper and recycles as much as it can. In 2009 it recycled 124 tons of paper and 34 tons of other waste.“The electricity we saved during 2009 could power 317 houses,” said Brown.Video- and teleconferencing helped to cut down on travel costs, resulting in a 30% reduction in the number of flights taken by Nedbank employees during 2009 and a 34% reduction in car rental.“We are also flexible with working hours and don’t mind if our people want to work from home from time to time – this has saved about 3.5-million kilometres of travel.”In total, said Brown, the bank saved R28-million (US$3.7-million) during 2009. This figure contrasts favourably with the R2-million ($264 398) spent on putting the measuring and monitoring system into place, and the R12-million ($1.6-million) spent on carbon credits.“This is not the end,” said Brown. “Rather, it marks the beginning of an ongoing process in greenhouse gas reduction. We aim to address the issue of water conservation in South Africa, as this is a key sustainability issue for us.”Nedbank is also already working on a number of innovative green retail products for its clients. The bank intends to use its leadership position to encourage all corporates in South Africa to operate in a responsible manner and play their part in mitigating climate change.last_img read more

OpenWeb Asia: Opening the Asian Web to the World

first_imgTags:#international#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketcenter_img Everyone working on the web around the world would like to connect with people in Asia, but it’s not easy to do. That dynamic and populous region is often focused inward and it’s made inaccessible to outsiders because there is so little information about what goes on there available in the web’s dominant language, English. OpenWeb Asia is a new project that aims to change those trends.Led by top English language Chinese tech blogger (and occasional RWW guest contributor) Gang Lu, OpenWeb Asia is launching with an aggregation page for top English language blogs about Asian tech and plans for an international tech conference. Called OpenWeb Asia 08?, the conference is being organized by people from China, Hong Kong, Korea, the US and Japan.Asian TechI just spent last week visiting startups in Japan (more on that later) and found a strong desire to connect with the outside world. Language was the number one barrier, followed closely by a concern that people in the US and Europe were inaccessible to the smallest startups in Japan. There’s a strong mutual interest in connecting Asian tech and the rest of the world, though. As a writer, for example, I feel like my writing is incomplete if I don’t incorporate some knowledge about how startups in Japan are tackling the problems I’m writing about that US and European companies are engaging with. In one meeting in Tokyo last week, I met government representatives from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry who were working on open standards for geo-location services. How cool is that? I had no idea that work like that, so grounded in the same kinds of open standards conversations we’re having here, was going on there.OpenWeb AsiaEnter OpenWeb Asia, where English-limited readers around the world can learn about what’s going on in Asia. I’ve imported the 15 blog OPML file into my feed reader and encourage you to do the same. (If you’ve never imported an OPML file into Google Reader, for example, save the file linked to on OpenWeb Asia to your desktop, then go to “settings” in G Reader, then to the Import option, then upload the file and you’ll be subscribed to all 15 blogs at once.)One addition that I think would be nice would be filtered feeds for the 15 blogs on the page, using AideRSS, so that casual readers could catch just the most popular stories from the OpenWeb Asia blogs. We can, however, set up a Google Custom Search Engine easily – see below. I’ll be using this whenever I can to check and see who’s doing what in the Asian tech scene. Feel free to do the same yourself.I hope that OpenWeb Asia succeeds in building bridges from the Asian tech communities out into the rest of the world. marshall kirkpatrick A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

10.5-second goal sets Spurs on way to win over Man United

first_imgSEA Games: PH still winless in netball after loss to Thais Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen, center with back to camera, celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at Wembley stadium in London, England, Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)ONDON — Watched by the Premier League’s biggest-ever crowd, Tottenham scored one of the competition’s fastest goals.Manchester United hadn’t even had a chance to touch the ball when Christian Eriksen put the ball in the net after 10.5 seconds at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday.ADVERTISEMENT Suns guard Isaiah Canaan breaks ankle in gruesome injury Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim “We prepare that situation,” Pochettino said, “… and give the signal to the opposition that we want to play in the opposition half and dominate the game and put pressure on them.”United should have been more alert, based on its preparations.“After kickoff is ridiculous, especially ridiculous because the players they watched it before, we analyze opponents,” Mourinho said. “The players knew the long ball, they knew Harry Kane normally he is already inside, before the kickoff, he is already inside the opponent. We knew everything and then we don’t press the ball.”Mourinho broke down United’s shortcomings in detail.“One mistake, we don’t clean the ball in the air,” he said. “Second mistake, we don’t win the second ball on the ground. Third mistake, we don’t cover the fullback inside when Eriksen comes. Four mistakes.”It was timed at only 0.1 seconds slower than Alan Shearer’s 10.4-second goal in 2003 for Newcastle against Manchester City. Tottenham does hold the record, with Ledley King netting after 9.9 seconds at Bradford in 2000.“One of the criticisms of ourselves over the last couple of weeks was our slow starts, it was something we wanted to improve on and we definitely did today,” Tottenham midfielder Eric Dier said. “We were in control of the game from beginning to end, we came out and pressed them and didn’t give them any time. They suffered under it.”For a Tottenham side that couldn’t even beat fourth-tier Newport in the FA Cup on Saturday — drawing 1-1 — beating United so convincingly reasserted its top-four credentials.Tottenham is two points outside the Champions League places in fifth, and heads to third-place Liverpool on Sunday. Liverpool felt the full force of Tottenham’s formidable counterattacking potency in October when Juergen Klopp’s side lost 4-1 at Wembley but inconsistency has proved costly.“You can win a game if you’re ready to fight,” Pochettino said, reflecting on a third successive home win over United. Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games “It feels a bit weird to score from your first touch,” Eriksen said after Tottenham’s 2-0 victory.Jose Mourinho watched aghast. “Ridiculous,” was the United manager’s assessment after his conceded for the first time since Dec. 26.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingBut not quite as hard to fathom as the second goal.On a night when Mourinho’s side was outrun and new recruit Alexis Sanchez struggled to make an impact, United’s pitiful performance was summed up by the own-goal that sealed Tottenham’s win. Phil Jones inadvertently turned Kieran Trippier’s cross into his own net in the 28th minute when the United defender was under no immediate pressure. LATEST STORIES ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims BeautyMNL open its first mall pop-up packed with freebies, discounts, and other exclusives ‘We cannot afford to fail’ as SEA Games host – Duterte PH military to look into China’s possible security threat to power grid Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was rarely troubled by one of the league’s most-expensively assembled teams, with only one save of significance required to block a shot from Romelu Lukaku.With the title appearing unattainable, United will have to settle with locking down second place for the team’s highest-place finish since Alex Ferguson won a record-extending English title in 2013 before retiring.“The distance to the leader was already considerable, even before this match,” Mourinho said.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MOST READ “Unlucky is a different thing than ridiculous,” Mourinho said. “And after that Tottenham has the game in their hands.”It was a damaging defeat for Mourinho’s team, with Manchester City allowed to surge 15 points clear of its second-place neighbor by beating West Bromwich Albion 3-0.United was second-best all night in front of a Premier League record 81,978 fans at English soccer’s national stadium, which is Tottenham’s temporary home while a new venue is being built at White Hart Lane.Tottenham set the tone with its explosive start, producing the third fastest goal since the Premier League’s inception in 1992.After the kickoff, Jan Vertonghen’s high, long pass from inside his own half reached Harry Kane who headed to Dele Alli and the midfielder flicked the ball across for Eriksen to finish.ADVERTISEMENT Do we want to be champions or GROs? – Sotto View commentslast_img read more