Corporate Social Responsibility writer for Justmeans, Antonio Pasolini is a journalist based in Brazil who writes about alternative energy, green living and sustainability. He also edits Energyrefuge.com, a top web destination for news and comment on renewable energy and Elpis.org, a recycled paper bag/magazine distributed from health food stores in London, formerly his hometown for over a decade....
BMW Announces Sustainability Initiatives at COP17
While delegates grapple to find common ground at the UN's climate change conference in Durban, BMW announced three sustainability initiatives during a conference held within the framework of the UN event.
Among the plans to tackle climate change, BMW said it wants to be the first manufacturer to bring e-mobility to South African roads "We will give our customers the opportunity to experience the Mini E at a series of countrywide road shows in the first half of 2012," said Bodo Donauer, BMW's South African MD.
The road shows will provide the company with information about local customer's e-mobility requirements and highlight infrastructural hurdles the country needs to overcome to embrace e-mobility as a tool to reduce emissions.
BMW said it has almost halved its energy usage and emissions at its plant in Rosslyn, Pretoria. "However, we believe we can do more and have conducted a renewable energy project investigating the technical and economic feasibility of supplying the Rosslyn plant solely by means of renewable energy, or in combination with the existing power supply," announced Donauer. "We will take further steps in this regard by partnering with the City of Tshwane on a waste-to-energy project next year."
Methane gas will be piped to Rosslyn from a landfill site in Onderstepoort about 5 miles away. The gas will be converted from unusable organic waste and depending on the quantity supplied, it will be used to produce electricity via gas generators or supplement the use of natural gas in the production process.
BMW's South African plans also include social responsibility projects related to health and education. The company will implement its BMW Maths, Science and Technology Excellence Project in two high- and three primary schools in the Nyavini district south of Durban. These schools will also be incorporated into the BMW SEED (School Environmental Educational Development) Programme, which teaches learners about a sustainable lifestyle including farming techniques, taking care of their surroundings and entrepreneurial skills. The program will ensure that learners receive at least one nutritious meal each day.
BMW has also partnered with KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health to construct an HIV and AIDS clinic in the Nyavini district. The clinic will provide basic health care to the community, which is situated some 50km from the nearest hospital.
Image credit: @CityTshwane