Midrand Johannesburg - On Friday, Green Building Council SA awarded a Net Zero Carbon and Net Zero Positive Ecology certificate to the Vodacom Group for its carbon neutral building, the Vodacom Innovation Centre.
Now the centre is fully powered by renewable energy following recent refurbishments to the building that was South Africa and the continent’s first six-star Green Star rated building when it was completed in 2012.
GBCSA is the only programme in the world that verifies net zero energy building performance and is one of three certification paths under the Living Building Challenge. The certificate by GBCSA enhances Vodacom’s commitment to low carbon emissions and playing a part in reducing the carbon footprint and energy usage as a company.
Managing Executive: Vodacom National Facilities, Shobana Singh said: “This aligns directly to the company’s commitment to climate action and helping to minimise its impact on climate change. The certificate also sets the tone for other corporates and businesses to follow suit.”
The certificate is aligned to Goal 13 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which is to take urgent action to combat change and its impact.
“Through initiatives such as these, Vodacom is committed to continue minimising the GHG emissions generated by its operations. Since 2012, the company has saved approximately 34 GWh of electricity in its national property portfolio,” says Singh.
The 17 SDGs, adopted by 193 world leaders in 2016, are a shared vision for humanity. If achieved, it would mean an end to extreme poverty, inequality and the worst threats of climate change by 2030.
Singh adds that going green is the new gold standard for businesses with a commitment towards sustainability.
She says: “The trend comes with a variety of benefits - applying environmentally-friendly processes to the workplace creates a healthy environment for employees, reduces unnecessary waste, leads to cost savings and recognises the role that businesses play in leading the way for social change.”
Last year Vodacom also officially launched its second green building in Lesotho. Covered with solar panels, the building is carbon neutral and powered by renewable energy at its headquarters in Maseru.