French Development Agency

One of South Africa’s largest financial services group, Standard Bank, has recently announced that the Standard Bank Global Leadership Centre (GLC) in Johannesburg, is Africa’s first ISO 50001 certified commercial facility.

Standard Bank adopts energy-savvy behaviour

The international transition towards becoming more energy efficient and energy-savvy has encouraged the financial services group to ensure that commercial property portfolios meet internationally adopted energy management standards and protocols.

“Organisations around the globe are beginning to implement ISO 50001-certified energy management systems to achieve and sustain energy, economic, and sustainability benefits – but Africa is still in the early stages of adopting this standard,” the Johannesburg-based group said in a company statement.

Keith Cassie, Senior Manager: Engineering and Energy Management at Standard Bank says it was decided to “take an extra step” and apply for ISO 50001 certification and to use that learning and implement it at other facilities across the property portfolio.

“Africa is our home and so we look to invest in sustainable resources on the continent, like solar and wind and hope that with these initiatives we can foster sustainable growth in in the countries in which we operate,” Cassie said.

Energy intensive businesses

Although ISO 50001 Energy Management System (EnMS) systems are mostly implemented at industrial facilities, as commercial facilities are generally not as energy intensive, the accumulative number of commercial facilities contributes a substantial energy demand.

The GLC facility’s primary function is a hotel and training facility, which hosts training and conferences for Standard Bank staff and guest delegates from South Africa and abroad.

According to Cassie: “The success of this project is scalable, repeatable and can be deployed throughout the organisation, country and continent ensuring sustainable growth.”

Advantages of being certified

The GLC facility reduced their annual electricity consumption, by changing boiler and air-conditioning set points, switching off unnecessary equipment, from a baseline of 4,810,283kWh to metered consumption of 4,456,770kWh – a reduction of 7.3% without any capital expenditure and annual energy cost savings at the facility of ZAR284,989.90 ($19,189).

Standard Bank’s group-wide multi-faceted sustainability programme is already reaping rich rewards, such as:

  • Saving nearly 1.1 million kWh on their lighting bill (savings of ZAR1,394,682/$67,326)
  • Savings of more than 1.5 million kWh (savings of ZAR1,333,006/$67,326) from heating, ventilation and air conditioning measures
  • Savings of ZAR175, 488 ($11,815) and a reduction of nearly 234,000 kWh in water heating

Savings of ZAR1,430,000 ($67,322) in IT and other services using 1.1 million kWh less, Standard Bank has been able to drop its energy consumption from about 350,000MWh in 2012 to about 250,000MWh in 2015.

In addition, it has reduced its carbon dioxide footprint from nearly 400,000 tonnes to around 250,000 tonnes annually.

It is expected that by 2020, Standard Bank will reduce this by a further 15% when using 2014 as a baseline.

Cassie explained: “We realise that our business needs to grow sustainably within the constraint of a reliable energy supply, a commodity in scare supply within the African continent. In line with our vision, we made a commitment to actively reduce energy consumption at all our facilities and we are doing this in a logical and incremental way as we realise this is not just an SA problem, this is why we looked at the best international mean out there and will now take the same standard to other properties in our portfolio.

“What is also important is that the certification of our facility will be used to extend certification authority scope in SA by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) to certify other commercial facilities in Africa.”