JSE-listed Growthpoint Properties is encouraging the adoption of waste management practises and initiatives by its staff, tenants and contractors to enable it to contribute to a cleaner environment.
“We have initiated environmental policies to drive these initiatives,” says Growthpoint Properties procurement manager Donna-Liza Gidlow.
Growthpoint Properties head of corporate social responsibility Shawn Theunissen adds that the company encourages its employees to shred and recycle paper, as well as to make double-sided copies, as opposed to singled-sided copies.
“We use half the quantity of paper by printing on both sides of the paper. We also sort waste according to waste classifications before it is recycled by using different bins for glass, paper and other waste,” adds Theunissen.
Further, the property group has implemented sensor-based lighting at its Sandton offices to ensure that the lights are on only when there is someone in the room.
Old light bulbs are sent to waste management and recycling company Apple Green, which then crushes the light bulbs and provides Growthpoint with a compliance certificate for properly disposing of the waste.
Growthpoint is currently exploring opportunities to save water and assess its air conditioning systems to calculate its impact on air pollution. All waste management measures take into account the long-term maintenance and sustainability of the building.
Gidlow notes that the group creates awareness campaigns for its employees and tenants through marketing banners and provides a yearly breakdown of the waste recycled. The results form part of its carbon disclosure project.
Growthpoint also engages with its contractors and encourages them to apply environment-friendly initiatives in their business operations.
“For a contractor to be our vendor, we take into account what green initiatives, policies or products the company has in place. There is no set percentage, but we give preference to companies that have environmental policies and practices in place,” says Theunissen.
“We also occasionally undertake energy audits to assess how we can provide more energy efficient services through our contractors to our tenants,” says Gidlow.
Meanwhile, Property Point, Growthpoint’s enterprise development programme, reports it has for the past three years been mentoring black-owned start-up company Apple Green.
Gidlow says that this company approached Growthpoint with a business proposal to clean its waste bins, but Growthpoint saw this as a small- scale initiative and, instead, offered to mentor Apple Green.
“Over the years, we have financially supported the company and created networking opportunities for them to service other clients with AAA-grade buildings,” says Theunissen.
The waste management company now recycles over one-quarter of Growthpoint’s waste, earning about R3-million a year from this venture.
Apple Green runs awareness cam- paigns for Growthpoint’s tenants and the cleaning contractor for each building to ensure that everyone understands the importance of sorting and managing waste.