1. Climate Change Position Statement
GIBS recognises that climate change is a pressing global issue that requires urgent attention by all sectors of society. GIBS recognises its role as an educational institution that has considerable influence over business thinking. It is therefore committed to responsible leadership on climate change. While GIBS is a relatively small contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, it acknowledges its contribution, and will strive to reduce its carbon footprint through implementing a carbon management strategy.
2. GHG Emissions
The greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that cause climate change are emitted mainly from burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas. Because heavy industry is a leading source of GHG emissions, most of the business-focused programs responding to the problem emphasize participation by “emitters,” manufacturers and utilities. Action by industry alone, however, is not enough. Long-term solutions require emission reduction efforts by the entire economy, including service sector operations like universities.
Even though universities are not considered large emitters of, these companies do emit GHGs and can help mitigate climate change through changes in their energy use and the products and services they offer. The most common greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide (CO2) and two of the largest global sources are electricity and heat and transportation. Service-sector companies’ activities contribute to these sources through their electricity use, heating, cooling and travel. They may also contribute to other large global CO2 emission sources such as land use change and forestry and manufacturing and construction. Service-sector companies have an opportunity to influence their operations, supply chains, customers, employees, and other stakeholders and to help change those behaviours necessary to curb the most dangerous effects of climate change.
In order to understand what impact our choices as an organisation has on our environment, we need to measure, report and effectively reduce our green house gas emissions. An annual inventory of the GIBS green house gas emissions is undertaken to accurately measure and track our emissions. The information gathered from the inventory allows decision makers within the business school to set emissions reduction targets, and effectively measure the performance of the organisation against these targets.
3. Energy Conservation
Together with significant climate change and sustainable development challenges, South Africa is facing huge energy security challenges.
GIBS has already developed and implemented an energy saving strategy that looks to address the use of electricity on the campus. Activities include electricity access management, replacement of redundant high energy use equipment with low-energy use equipment, staff education and behaviour changing activities, as well as identification of future projects to address energy saving. The benefits are not only a reduction in our financial outlay for energy, but also a more constructive, and proactive attitude from our operations towards efficient energy use.
4. Food Security
GIBS Permaculture Garden Launch 01/09/2009
The idea for the garden grew out of the perceived need to assist staff, who are at risk of food security concerns, in a time of rising food costs and inflation. GIBS also envisioned the garden as a model for sustainable practices and foresaw the possibility of using the garden as a Permaculture training site.
A year ago, in September 2008, GIBS contacted Food and Trees for Africa (FTFA) to assess the site situated behind the Illovo Lodge for a potential Permaculture garden. As many of you are aware, the site has had several past functions and has been used as a parking area and a site for prefab offices, and was at one time an ornamental garden with a large water feature.
The garden has been designed and planted to be a sustainable working model of Permaculture food gardening methods. It has been planted with a variety of nutritious, organic produce including vegetables, culinary and medicinal herbs, soil conditioners and insect repellent plants. With good planning and management the garden will earn an income from the sale of produce to contribute to the sustainability of the garden and supply the GIBS staff and campus restaurants with fresh produce.
5. Waste Reduction & Resource Recovery
GIBS is working with waste management partners from both the public and private sector to develop an effective method for managing our waste and recovering recyclables from operational activities.