Making a difference daily

Who continues to take the lead in curbing emission levels after global climate change events, such as COP17 in Durban last year, have come and gone?

The focus needs to shift to regions, countries, private-sector organisations, bodies such as the Large Cities Climate Leadership Group as well as individuals who continue to make a difference in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

Take, as an example, the Mail & Guardian‘s Greening the Future awards. They demonstrate commitment to sustainability and raise awareness of the need to conserve resources such as energy and water.

It is why ABB in South Africa is a proud supporter of the Greening the Future awards. The programme reaches a large, discerning audience that enables ABB to make many people aware of its technologies that increase energy efficiency, provide renewable energy and reduce water consumption.

The awards in the categories for energy efficiency and carbon management and innovation in renewables help to reinforce how ABB assists customers to get the most value from each unit of energy they use while lowering costs and emissions. Tight budgets, environmental pressures and a rising energy demand require the best technology and practice in energy efficiency.

Reducing emissions
In South Africa, which has an urgent and critical need to increase electricity power capacity and use energy efficiently, ABB is well placed to assist utilities, industry and commercial buildings to reduce energy consumption and save money.

As environmental pressures mount and demand for electricity grows, innovation in renewable sources of power is essential to reduce emissions. ABB’s power and automation technologies ensure that renewable power reaches about 70-million people in the world by integrating it into electrical grids, sometimes over vast distances.

The result? ABB’s efforts to harness renewable energy helps to make power networks smarter, protects the environment and effectively responds to climate change.

South Africa’s commitment to renewable energy power sources such as solar and wind makes the country a more attractive investment prospect with competitive power tariffs and greater policy and regulatory certainty. ABB has constructed two pilot solar power plants for Eskom in record time. The solar plants — a fixed-tilt photovoltaic power plant and a single-axis tracking photovoltaic power plant — are the first of their kind built in the country. They are located on greenfield sites at coal-fired power stations in the Free State and Mpumalanga.

At ABB’s own operations, measures have been introduced to meet targets to reduce energy and water use at 350 production and administrative sites worldwide. In South Africa ABB is a founding member of the Energy Efficiency Leadership Network. It has set energy and water targets at its three manufacturing sites and its main operations are in a green building in Longmeadow, Johannesburg. This head office, logistics and manufacturing centre is one of the lowest energy users in the country to demonstrate what can be achieved using ABB’s energy-efficiency technologies.

ABB looks forward to this year’s Greening the Future awards. No doubt about it, the entrants and winners help to inspire companies, organisations and individuals that are leading the way in responding to climate change challenges and sustainability.

Chesney Bradshaw is group communications and sustainability manager at ABB South Africa

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