The second annual Sustainability Summit was held at one of South Africa’s greenest buildings – the conneXXion – Exxaro’s head office in Centurion, on 2 and 3 March 2020. This building holds a Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) Five Star sustainability rating, making it the ideal location to support “The Future Now” theme of the event. It also presented the perfect opportunity for the mining resources company to showcase the eco-friendly features of the building.
The event was well attended with over 700 delegates present, comprising of Exxaro staff and industry stakeholders. The importance of such an event was first brought to light in 2002 when South Africa hosted the World Summit on Sustainable Development. The event highlighted the need to conserve natural resources, which, in turn, will result in improving the lives of millions. As a company invested in ensuring a better future, Exxaro took this initiative to heart and considered every single element of this event and the effect that it could potentially have.
“Auditing an event of this calibre is always an interesting task as you are able to see the innovative ways in which various companies approach sustainability. There are so many factors to consider, and it’s easy for things to slip through the cracks. Something as simple as guest accommodation plays a significant role in determining the sustainability of an event. It is not only linked to the time an event takes place; it’s about everything that goes into ensuring that the event takes place,” said Greg McManus, Managing Director of Heritage Eco-Events, the auditors of the event.
Following an extensive audit by Greg McManus, the Exxaro Summit received a performance score of 98.7% and achieved the prescribed standards for a Green Event (Platinum Class).
“The success of this event would not have been possible without the tremendous amount of effort given by all parties involved – creating a sustainable event is not a simple task. A sustainability consultant was appointed by the events company involved, to ensure that all objectives were met – and they certainly were,” said Dr Joseph Matjila, Group Manager, Health and Safety at Exxaro, responsible for coordinating the event.
To achieve their aim of powering better lives in Africa and beyond, Exxaro factors in their impact on the environment, namely, carbon emissions. Their adaptive coal strategy, therefore, explores the possibilities of renewable energy sources to reduce their carbon footprint both now and in the future.
“We harness and steward natural resources so that people can share the value of these assets for the greater good. We ensure all mining and related activities are appropriately authorised and that they comply with all statutory environmental requirements as a minimum,” said Mr Mongezi Veti, Executive Head of Sustainability at Exxaro.
Exxaro’s dedication to their communities and to the country as a whole is not only illustrated through the Sustainability Summit, but also through their commitment to ensuring environmental sustainability.