Energy saving tips for SA businesses

By on April 22, 2014

As the wave of global consciousness grows for businesses to be more environmentally, socially, and economically responsible, South African businesses need to strongly consider integrating sustainability strategies into their workplace, according to Arthur Chien, CEO of Talesun Energy.

According to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) Global 500 Climate Change Report 2013, 50 of the 500 largest listed companies in the world are responsible for nearly three quarters of the group’s 3.6 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

“Energy efficiency needs to be the most important facet of greening a business. The solution for businesses to go ‘green’ and to save on energy costs is to build sustainability into the business strategy,” says Chien.

Chien advises local companies to consider developing a comprehensive green business plan, which encompasses energy efficiency measures, including improving the efficiency of utilities, equipment and transport. “Energy wastage often goes unnoticed and lowering the overall energy use will automatically reduce a business’s carbon emission footprint, which in turn will also help to improve a business’s bottom line.”

He says that electricity is one of the most easily controlled costs. “Office buildings, for example, are major users of electricity as they use energy for lighting systems, office equipment, air conditioning and heating.

“By switching to renewable energy sources by installing photovoltaic solar energy systems for example, businesses will become self-sufficient suppliers of electricity, as well as save on increasing energy costs. Furthermore, businesses will do their bit to tackle climate change.”

There are other measures that Chien suggests businesses take into account when planning their sustainability strategy going forward.  These include the following:


  • Make it an office rule to switch off all lights and electrical equipment when not in use – especially  overnight  and over weekends
  • Replace all incandescent lighting with fluorescent bulbs
  • Heating and cooling are responsible for the majority of the costs found on utility bills. Businesses need to ensure that heat or air-conditioning is turned down or switched off, or to look at the option of installing a thermostat to regulate temperatures. Furthermore, ensure that regular checks, repairs and tests are conducted to ensure that there are no leaks or defective filters;
  • Install low-flow showers, nozzles, toilets, urinals, tap faucets, etc.
  • Source suppliers, partners, products, and services that share the same green sustainable principles as your businesses; and
  • Encourage education and innovation within the business by setting staff incentives such as car-pooling to work. Car-pooling is a good method to reduce carbon emissions and to contribute to cleaner air.

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