Radisson Hotel Group releases its 2022 Responsible Business report outlining milestone achievements and pioneering, sustainability initiatives focused on People, Community, and Planet
Building on its long heritage as a leading sustainable hotel group, Radisson Hotel Group had a successful 2022 in which the Group committed to Net Zero by 2050, published approved near term Science Based Targets and pioneered key milestones and innovative Responsible Business initiatives aligned with its three pillars of People, Community, and Planet, as outlined in its 21st Responsible Business Report.Continue reading View more
A pallet-able approach to sustainability
To ensure that pallets don’t end up as pollution in landfills, an entrepreneur started a circular business model. The business supplies pallets to farmers during harvest season and also sells refurbished pallets to companies that repair and recycle them.Continue reading View more
Sustainable Travel: Epic Train Routes to Add to Your Bucket List
In line with a growing trend towards sustainability and environmentally conscious travel, leading hospitality organisations are creating innovative offerings that minimise carbon footprint, while providing a new luxury travel experience.Continue reading View more
Huawei white paper shows communication tech will be vital to sustainable grids
A white paper released by Huawei and IDC has underlined how significant communication technologies will be in building the sustainable, carbon neutral energy grids of the future.
The white paper, titled “On Electric Power Communication All-Optical Network, Accelerating Digital Transformation of Electric Power”, was released locally at the Huawei Sub-Saharan Africa Electric Power Summit, which formed part of Enlit Africa 2023, one of Africa’s largest energy and utility conferences.
It underlines how the power communication network is the basis for automatic power grid dispatching, market-oriented network operations, and modernised management. Such a network, it says, is an important means to ensure secure, stable, and economical operations of the power grid as well as the core infrastructure of the power system.
The white paper further describes how to build an intelligent optical base for power communication networks based on the all-optical architecture. It also aims to help the electric power industry cope with digital challenges, meet technical requirements for digital transformation, and accelerate digital transformation.
“Digital technologies are vital to leading the transition to a more sustainable energy sector,” said Victor Guo, President of Huawei Sub-Saharan Africa Enterprise Business Group. Using the expertise it’s gained from more than three decades in the communication sector, he added, Huawei ideally placed to “pave a digital way to a global energy transition.”
Edwin Diender, Chief Innovation Officer, Global Electric Power Digitalisation Business Unit, Huawei Technologies concurred.
“Energy transition and digital technology combined are able to drive us towards carbon neutrality,” he said. “We want to leverage our experience in the worldwide web of communications into a worldwide web of energy.”
According to Diender, achieving that will require a mindset shift from many players in the energy sector.
“Where having a smart grid is often the end-stage for the energy industry and electric power companies, we see much more potential,” he said. “With such aspiration, the informatisation of the power grid becomes more significant, more meaningful. And this digital journey will lead to more sustainable future power systems.”
“We’re looking at capabilities from our past and seeing how they can be applied to the energy sector,” he said.
As Wenchen Wang, Solution Manager of Transmission and Access, Huawei pointed out, the organisation is ideally positioned to do so.
“Huawei makes full use of its technological prowess to continuously explore the electric power industry,” she said. “Together with the upstream and downstream of the industry chain, it has provided secure, stable, and reliable all-optical communication network solutions for countries and regions such as China, Thailand, Brazil, the UAE, and Austria, accelerating the digital transformation of the electric power industry and reshaping industry productivity.”
Transmission Line Intelligent Inspection Solution, for example, allows for the automated and remote monitoring and inspection of transmission lines. It’s significantly safer, more efficient, and affordable that manual inspections. It also means improved transmission line efficiency, fewer outages, and faster fault response and repair efficiency improvement.
Huawei’s Power Utility Campus & Substation Security Solution, meanwhile, ensures that utilities are able to operate more safely and securely. Integrating WiFi 6 and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, it ensures that utilities can identify and react quicker to hazards and falls, know the real-time location of employees, geo-fence specific areas, and conduct intelligent inspections.
Diender added that utilities need to embrace that digital transformation is an ongoing journey that can’t be achieved as a one-off project or by adopting specific technologies. That journey starts with digitisation (eg. the switching from analogue to digital meters), moves on to digitalisation (building a network of smart meters), and ultimately results in full digital transmission (which might look like having full digital twins of every meter on the grid).
“Knowing and working with the right partner(s) with the right experience(s) and skillsets are key in helping to find the right technologies that drive the digital journey of the energy industry,” Diender said. “At Huawei, we’ve got mature, commercially available, off-the-shelf technology building blocks that have proven their value over the years in different industries, including the energy industry.”
As Diender noted, a lot of existing communications technology can be repurposed to ensure a more sustainable, carbon neutral grid.
“Parts of this journey have not been taken yet, but a lot of work has already been done,” he said. “There’s a lot of communication technology already within the energy industry.”
Taking this approach, he said, could also open up new revenue streams for utilities. They could, for example, use the technological backbone needed for digital transformation to become fibre to the home (FTTH) provider in partnership with internet service providers (ISPs). There is also potential from a data perspective.
“As an electricity provider, the amount of data you’re able to collect is far more than a cable company or mobile operator is able to,” he said.
But for that technology to be used effectively and sustainably, partnerships will be crucial.
“Alone you can go very fast, but together you can go much further,” he concluded.
For more information, please visit Huawei online at www.huawei.com or follow us on:
Calling all Eco-Champions: entries are open for 2023 Eco-Logic Awards
The Eco-Logic Awards showcase and promote South African individuals, organisations, projects, products and services that are beneficial for People and Planet.
“It’s also a platform to educate consumers about environmental challenges and motivate them to be part of the solution by leveraging their consumer spending to support and buy from those that demonstrate a commitment to building a sustainable society and environment” explains David Parry-Davies, editor of The Enviropaedia and founder of the Eco-Logic Awards.
If you are an Eco-Champion, or want to support another who is, we invite you to enter yourself or nominate another by the 31st of July 2023.
Enter now at www.eco-logicawards.com.
The televised award show, which will air on DSTV’s People Weather Channel 180 and Open View Channel 115 (available to over 11-million households) will showcase Gold, Silver and Bronze award winners in 12 categories, namely:
- Climate Change
- Nature Conservation
- Water Conservation
- Circular Economy and Waste innovation
- Eco-Fashion and Lifestyle
- Eco-Health and Wellness
- Eco-Hospitality and Tourism
- Eco-Friendly Products
- Eco-Communities and Schools
There is no cost to enter the Eco-Logic Awards and all entries will be judged by 12 independent, highly-respected, environmentally conscious executives from a diverse range of occupations and professions.
“With a media reach of over 52 million, these awards have a huge social impact and consumer influence. They provide us with an opportunity to make a positive contribution to the world by supporting our Eco-Champions who are working tirelessly to build a more sustainable society and environment for us all to live in,” concludes Parry-Davies. For a taste of what’s to come, see the winners and highlights from last year’s event on www.eco-logicawards.com.View more
Are you protecting your business against emerging water risks?
Every business relies on water. It requires more than 140 000 litres of water to produce one car (Automotive World) and 2 700 litres to make a single t-shirt (University of Waterloo).
By Chetan Mistry, Strategy and Marketing Manager, Xylem Africa
Daily consumption by offices and their employees is as staggering. Office buildings consume almost half of municipal water supply (Stellenbosch Business School) and large office buildings use an average of 75 litres of water per square foot and 50 litres per employee (Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey). This scope also extends to the external: community relations, environmental concerns, and something as simple as customers needing water to remain economically viable.
South Africans are currently experiencing the ongoing impact of electricity undersupply, which gives us a reasonable expectation of what could happen when water supplies fail to meet demand. But unlike energy or practically any other resource input that businesses rely on, there is a tendency to treat water access as reliable and thus without many nuances in monitoring or risk management.
That attitude has to change because the world is changing. Water sources are under growing stress, weather events are becoming more intense, and urbanisation has already changed general water access and consumption patterns. If we consider that without water, every organisation will soon cease or severely curb operations, managing water risks should be a strategic priority.
Types of Water Risks
What are the water risks we should consider? Here are examples:
Are you spending too much on water? Your water consumption might be a significant cost centre, but only tracking general consumption hides nuances problems such as leaks or other wastage, not to mention old pumps and other legacy equipment moving water around.
Are you assuming a regular supply? Water is a human right, and events such as droughts or demographic changes can rapidly constrain how much water a business could access.
Are you contributing to worse water quality? Whether for Environmental Social Governance (ESG) requirements or impact on surrounding communities, if your actions reduce a region’s water quality, you may face backlash and punitive harm.
Are you at risk of water-related damage? Floods, erosion, hail damage and drought can harm infrastructure and supply chains.
Can regulatory changes impact operations? Since water is a public resource, State policies can suddenly and rapidly reduce water access, particularly during droughts.
Is there a reputational risk? Poor water management can hurt your brands or corporate reputation, especially if customers link responsible behaviour to your business.
Are you exposed to climate change or urbanisation? Your risks will grow if you operate in regions at growing risk from extreme weather events or high urbanisation rates.
Addressing water risks
The above are common examples. But water risks are often very specific, relating to a business’s physical region, operations and supply chain. Knowing a business consumes X amount of water daily or weekly is insufficient. Companies must understand their reliance on water down to the specifics.
Fortunately, you only need a small group of actions to address the broad church of water risks:
Do water footprinting: Understand what types of water your business uses. At the highest level, a water footprint looks at your interactions with green (rain), blue (surface/underground), grey (usable but unfit for consumption) and black (contaminated) water. Water footprinting can show how much you rely on external sources and what mitigation options you have, such as recycling greywater or capturing rainwater.
Contextualise water use: Know where your business uses water, such as consumption, cooling, dust management, or as an integral part of processes (cleaning vegetables, mixing chemicals, etc.). This context helps determine the different priorities water represents to your operations.
Track water more directly: A monthly water bill tells you nothing about where exactly all that water is going. Once you have a context for your business usage, measure key areas for a clear view of consumption. This is helpful for several reasons, such as knowing how to prioritise supply in the event of water restrictions.
Do water life cycle assessments: Water flows in and out of your business and connects it to the outside world. Water life cycle assessments are crucial to understanding surrounding environmental and community impact, and will inform ESG and regulatory decisions. You can conduct assessments that include water with other resources—just be sure water is a priority in those assessments.
These four actions can cover most, if not all, of your water risk insights, and there are several ways to tackle each of them. The World Resources Institute and WWF provide tools covering many regional water concerns. More directly, options such as the Water Alternatives Corporate Water Risks Framework and Xylem Water Loss Management can give direct insight into business water usage. Modern analytics using historical data, smart metres and artificial intelligence can bring significant granularity to water strategies.
The more we rely on water to produce goods and services, the more severe the impact when that water supply runs low. Businesses can prepare and put measures in place. Is your business doing that yet?View more
Creating a sustainable supply chain makes business and environmental sense
More and more manufacturers are starting to shift their focus to the sustainability of their supply chains. This is attributable to an increasingly prominent conversation around climate change, and to recent and growing legislation around supply chain sustainability, along with increasing demand from customers that their products be sustainably produced.
By Mark Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, SYSPRO EMEA & APAC
Sustainable supply chain management can be a strong driver of value and success – for business as much as for society. But achieving a sustainable supply chain is more challenging than it first may appear, and requires manufacturers to think strategically about their ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) targets. Currently, many manufacturers are falling short of these goals.
Sustainability is a business prerogative
According to the EPA Center for Corporate Climate Leadership, organizations’ supply chains often account for more than 90 percent of their greenhouse gas emissions, when taking into account their overall climate impacts. That’s a sobering statistic.
In a challenging and volatile economic environment, ESG may feel to some like a luxury. However, research from the IDC on key trends in sustainability and ESG found that in both revenue and profit, digitally mature manufacturers that emphasised sustainability outperformed their non-digital and non-sustainability-focused counterparts.
ESG considerations are crucial in supply chain management, as they impact everything from the products consumers buy to investment in companies. Furthermore, many regulatory authorities are signalling that they may make reporting on ESG mandatory. Companies will therefore be obliged to publish sustainability information.
The increasing scrutiny of ESG factors means that procurement and supply chain management need to incorporate sustainability practices throughout, and not just regard it as an optional add-on. To achieve sustainability and ESG goals, manufacturers need to create a tangible plan that embeds key principles around sustainability and transparency across the business.
Sustainability runs throughout the entire supply chain
It’s not enough for manufacturers to focus on their own process management, they must also look at their downstream suppliers to adhere to social and environmental standards. In an ideal world, manufacturers would require their first-tier suppliers to comply with their ESG standards and ask that those suppliers in turn seek compliance from their suppliers, and so on, creating a cascade of sustainable practices throughout the supply chain. In practice, however, we know that this is extremely difficult to achieve, and many manufacturers have been caught short by undesirable practices from suppliers in their larger supply network.
Manufacturers with a clear ESG strategy need to engage with their suppliers to assess those ESG practices, understand their ESG practices and encourage them to adopt sustainable practices that align with the manufacturer’s own. The best way to mitigate the risk of supplier non-compliance and ensure transparency and tracking across the supply chain is to adopt technology that provides such insights.
Business technology such as an ERP system provides a comprehensive view of a manufacturer’s operations, providing an indispensable tool for tracking and reporting on ESG metrics. As a repository for data from across the business, this data can be used to measure and reduce waste and carbon emissions, optimize processes to be more efficient and measure machinery for energy waste.
You can’t manage what you don’t measure
There are many benefits to incorporating ESG goals throughout the supply chain. By managing and improving environmental, social and economic performance throughout the supply chain, manufacturers can conserve resources, optimise processes, save costs and increase productivity. However, first, you need a transparent view throughout the supply chain.
Digital supply chains enable manufacturers to track and monitor their ESG performance in real time, providing greater transparency and accountability, which in turn can help managers identify ESG risks and opportunities. Digital tracking and evaluation tools also help manufacturers to easily communicate and collaborate with their suppliers, sharing ESG measurements and goals. Having a wider view of data from suppliers can give manufacturers greater insights into streamlining sustainability operations. Asking suppliers for information on their own sustainability measures and actions should be framed as generating more value.
The right ERP system can be used to collect data from external partners, offering a wider view of data from suppliers that can offer greater insight into streamlining sustainability operations. An added benefit is that reporting and analysis of ESG metrics also provides data that is readily available for meeting compliance requirements for ESG reporting standards.
Adopting sustainability metrics in the supply chain is a necessity
The visibility that an ERP system enables can help manufacturers streamline their operations, reducing waste and emissions, and improving the overall sustainability of their operations through better data management, enabling data-led decision making.
Fossil fuel energy prices are expected to remain high, so reducing energy consumption can reduce costs. New industrial processes that reduce emissions can also lower the cost of energy. On the other side, changing regulations may penalise unsustainable practices and companies may be forced to move away from non-sustainable activities.
By incorporating ESG into their operations, manufacturers can improve their performance, reduce risks, and build trust with customers and stakeholders. Companies that embrace it will be well-positioned for future success, while those who ignore it do so at their peril.View more