South Africa prepared for 2010 ecological impact

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 02 June 2010

Like any major fixture involving large crowds of people and infrastructure there is a cost: the environmental impact. One feasibility study found that the 2010 event will generate a staggering 2.8 million tons of carbon emissions, largely due to the long-haul air travel. This is nearly 10 times the amount produced during the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

Soccer 2010 event will generate 2.8 million tons of carbon emissions

South Africa has faced up to its ecological obligations by taking a number of measures to limit these impacts. Clearly that not only makes good sense from an environmental perspective, but also from a reputational one.

The national Green Goal 2010 Programme was launched last November, with all of the nine host cities pledging their support. The programme being led by the Department of Environmental Affairs and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the World Cup is modelled on the 2006 Green Goal initiative in Germany.

World Cup Local Organising Committee CEO, Danny Jordaan, has said that the green initiative will focus on limiting the event’s impact on the environment, as well as general environmental improvement of the host cities in the form of waste management, water conservation and the planting of trees.

The City of Cape Town launched its own Green Goal 2010 Action Plan in October 2008. As part of this plan, the first phase of the integrated rapid transit (IRT) system will be in place for the start of the World Cup, while a new bicycle and pedestrian route is also being constructed around the stadium as part of the larger non-motorised transport network.

Other greening measures include biodegradable packaging for takeaways, separate bins for recyclable and non-recyclable litter at the fan parks and stadiums, installation of water-saving devices at stadiums and the promotion of non-motorised transport.

These are all worthwhile and commendable initiatives, but probably the single biggest environmental concern of the World Cup remains the carbon footprint. The government aims to try minimising this by encouraging visitors to cycle or make use of public transport, while also launching carbon offset programmes.

Nevertheless the World Cup will have a huge carbon footprint. WWF encourages all visitors to act responsibly by using water sparingly, buying local products and using public transport.

Visitors to South Africa’s famous winelands should support wines from farms that are members of the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative which works to conserve the Cape Floral Kingdom.

The World Cup provides the opportunity for thousands of people to fall in love with our beautiful nation. We hope that visitors enjoying our country’s many national parks and nature reserves will consider donating money back into conservation.

Source: WWF South Africa

Global temperatures unaffected by volcanic ash

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 21 April 2010

The volcanic ash cloud from the Icelandic volcano is not expected to have an impact on global temperatures.

Photo by Sverrir Thor under Ceative Commons licence 2.0

The volcano, located under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier has produced a 10-kilometre high plume of ash and rock that extends across most of northern Europe. While the particles may have an effect on local temperatures in the short-term, experts don’t believe it will have the same impact as the Pinatubo eruption two decades earlier that resulted in a 10% reduction in sunlight reaching the Earth’s surface, and a 0.4°C drop in global average temperatures.

Dr Blair Trewin of the National Climate Centre in Melbourne says, in its current form the ash cloud is unlikely to have the same impact on global temperatures. “For a volcano to have a significant global cooling effect it has to get its ash up into the stratosphere,” he says. “If it doesn’t, the ash will get rained out fairly quickly.”

Despite spewing an estimated 150,000 tons of carbon pollution a day into the atmosphere, the volcano may actually result in a net reduction of carbon pollution because of all the flights the volcano is grounding in Europe. Those flights would have a bigger carbon footprint than the volcano.

Dr Jeff Masters, Director of Meteorology at Weather Underground says the eruption isn’t expected to have a significant impact on weather patterns in the northern hemisphere. “However, the ash could bring spectacular sunsets to Europe over the next week, and to North America by sometime next week, as the jet stream wraps the ash cloud eastwards across the northern hemisphere.”

Cape Town commits to Earth Hour 2010

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems – 11 March 2010

On 27 March iconic buildings and landmarks in cities and towns around the world will go dark for WWF’s Earth Hour. The City of Cape Town is one of more than 1,100 cities and towns across the world who have already committed their support for Earth Hour.

Table Mountain at night. Photo by SteveG

As part of the city’s participation in this global event Table Mountain will go dark for Earth Hour, a symbolic act calling on leaders from around the world to respond decisively to the dangers of climate change.

“We cannot escape the fact that the planet is warming rapidly due to human activity.” said Mayor Dan Plato.

“If we fail to respond to the impending threat, this generation will start facing the disastrous consequences of uncontrolled climate change. If we act swiftly a climate crisis can be averted.”

In addition to the mountain going dark, the mayor’s office has requested that all municipal buildings be a part of the switch-off event on 27 March.

WWF is calling all cities and towns across the country to commit to supporting Earth Hour and to pledge to reduce their own carbon footprint by visiting www.wwf.org.za.

Netcare Saves Water

Posted by: Saving Water SA (Cape Town, South Africa) – partnered with Water Rhapsody conservation systems
07 January 2010

Netcare’s 2009 environmental focus in South Africa was centred on their Hospital division, which is the largest contributor to their environmental impact.

Reports show that water saving initiatives and increased staff awareness at Netcare hospitals has resulted in a reduction in water consumption of 19.2% (to 1,467,000 kl). All hospital facilities now have substantial on-site water reserves; with on-site water purification equipment in rural areas to address water quality concerns.

Further water saving strategies will be implemented in 2010 as part of their long-term commitment to minimise their environmental impact. To ensure adequate measurement, standard hospital reporting now includes monthly tracking of the carbon footprint of all facilities.

Read the full report: http://www.netcareinvestor.co.za/sus_review_environment.php