11 February 2013 – Aurecon has become the first global consulting engineering company to sign the South Africa’s 49M pledge. Launched in March 2011, 49M is an Eskom initiative which has been endorsed by the government, non-profit organisations, trade unions and the business sector to encourage the entire South African population to embrace energy saving as a national culture and to join the global journey towards a sustainable future.
Commending the group for taking this bold stand, 49M spokesperson Andrew Etzinger says, “We are happy that Aurecon has taken the lead by being the first global consulting engineering firm to join the 49M cause. Energy efficiency is a challenge that requires commitment and efforts from all of us in order to keep the country’s lights on and to ensure that the wheels of our economy continue to turn. The pledge by Aurecon gives us hope that the country is taking the issues of energy efficiency seriously and a demonstration that we all have a desire to secure a sustainable future for generations to come. This huge responsibility requires all of us to take action now.”
In support of their pledge, the group’s quality and environment team has launched an on-going environmental awareness campaign across all of its offices in South Africa.
The campaign, titled ‘Think Sustainably, Act Responsibly!’ aims to highlight important environmental issues and to share ideas around how staff can work together to lessen their environmental impact, including reducing the consumption of electricity both at work and at home.
In addition, the group is resolute in ensuring its own buildings and facilities have been built in a sustainable manner. In South Africa, the group’s Tshwane offices received the city’s first four star Green Star SA office design v1 rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA), another 49M partner, while its office building in Century City, Cape Town, was the first building in the country to be awarded a five star Green Star SA – office design v1 rating.
Although the group acknowledges the power of large businesses to make a significant difference toward reducing our national consumption, it also understands that real change relies on the everyday choices and actions of the individuals within those businesses. As such, Aurecon has encouraged each and every one of its staff members to take up the 49M challenge on a personal level.
To date, 49M has signed up more than 70 partners. Other corporate partners who are supporting 49M include AngloGold Ashanti, Anglo American, Santam, MTN, MassMart, Standard Bank, Nedbank, AfriSam, Food & Trees for Africa, Solidarity, NUM and all eight state-owned-companies under the portfolio of the Department of Public Enterprises.
More than 14% of the initiative’s corporate partners are top 100 companies listed in the JSE. Four of its partner NGOs are amongst the top ten environmental NGOs in SA, and three of its partner trade unions are amongst are the biggest trade unions in SA.