Saving energy will save South Africa

By on January 29, 2014

Going green is not only becoming increasingly fashionable within the corporate world, but it is also a necessity for it.

South African businesses need to consider sustainability strategies in order for them prosper economically whilst keeping the environment in mind.

With 3.6 billion tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) being emitted into the atmosphere by 50 of the 500 largest listed companies in the world, an environmentally conscious South Africa is what is needed to help reduce this figure. 

According to Arthur Chien, CEO of Talesun Energy, a leading supplier of solar energy solutions, companies need to look at championing green concepts by taking sustainability into consideration – especially with the ever-increasing energy costs which South African businesses have been subjected to. 

“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’ carbon emission footprint, which in turn will also help to improve a business’ 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 should take into account when planning their sustainability strategy for 2014.  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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