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Environmental conference commemorates World Environment Day

South African state-owned power utility Eskom, said that it will be hosting the second day of its annual Environmental Management Conference, at the Eskom Academy of Learning in Midrand.

Under the theme, “Resetting the heartbeat of Environmental Management in a changing climatic landscape” the two-day event attended by various stakeholders commemorates the internationally-recognised world environment day.

Speaking on day one of the conference, Thava Govender, Group Executive Generation and Acting Group Executive Risk and Sustainability said: “Eskom has a comprehensive climate change strategy that addresses the key pillars of mitigation, which deals with the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and adaptation, which deals with the adverse impacts of climate change on our people and infrastructure.

“South Africa is a signatory to the United Nations COP21 Paris Agreement and Eskom remains committed to assisting the country in meeting its obligations under the Paris Agreement.”

Conference delegates were also reminded of the theme for World Environment Day 2018, which is “beat plastic pollution”. Read more: S.Africa | 1.144m tonnes of recyclable plastic dumped in landfills

The conference is attended by  environmental practitioners, engineers and management representing Eskom’s divisions and  stakeholders from the Department of Environmental Affairs, Department of Water and Sanitation, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, University Professors and students.

Govender further added that: “Eskom cannot shy away from the reality that we are a large contributor to impacts on the environment, including our contribution to poor air quality and climate change, the use of millions of litres of water every day and our impact on bio-diversity.

“We have long been mindful that effective environmental management remains critical for business, country, and global sustainability, as environmental strategies and measurements continue to shape, service, and spearhead our business. Reducing our environmental footprint and pursuing a sustainable business can only be achieved through the continued commitment of Eskom’s leadership and the efforts of all Eskom employees.”

Eskom’s environmental management conference provides a platform for robust engagements and discussions on key environmental issues that must be addressed to ensure that Eskom maintains its license to operate, and for the protection of the environment for future generations.

The conference also creates a platform for Eskom’s employees to engage on how the company can still achieve its objectives as set out in the corporate plan, Eskom’s environmental strategy and lay the foundation, for the Eskom of tomorrow, by guiding it from an environmental perspective under the current financial constraints and poor reputational image.

The second day of the conference incorporates a panel discussion comprising Eskom executives who provided a strategic view in terms of how employees should respond to some of Eskom’s environmental management challenges.  In addition, the conference had exhibitions by both Eskom divisions and external stakeholders who showcased their work on environmental management.

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.