Sustaining our planet and people
MAKING EVERY LITTLE BIT COUNT
"Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little." - Edmund Burke
Whether it's helping our local communities, creating greener operations or simply providing more food to more people, more often, at RCL FOODS we recognise that everything we do for our world now will help sustain our future for decades to come. Read about what we've been up to lately…
Do Good Market
For some time we have been supporting the communities around our operations to become more economically and nutritionally secure. Through our most recent initiative, we have been able to help the Hammarsdale community in KZN through a Food Garden project and an Economic Linkages project - both run by Lima Rural Development Foundation. What's more, we recently realised we could do even more for this embattled community by providing them with a market to sell their fresh produce. It's called the Do Good Market and if you live in or around Westville in Durban, you can support the Hammarsdale community too!
Fresh, attractively-packaged veggies and herbs are now delivered weekly to the shop at RCL FOODS' national office in Westville, and all profits go directly to the growers themselves. Since it opened in November 2016, the Do Good Market has already been a great success - staff from RCL FOODS and surrounding businesses love the competitively-priced, 100% organic produce that directly benefits the community.
"It's been wonderful for some of the poorest families in Hammarsdale to take the step from subsistence growing to a formal retail supply arrangement, which gives them a steady income and enables them to produce even more," said Group CSI Executive Warren Farrer. (For pictures and updates on the Do Good Market, visit the RCL FOODS CSI Facebook page.)
Doing more, using less
On the environmental front, we've been making steady progress towards reducing our carbon footprint - as our recent A-rating in the 2016 Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) confirms!
The CDP is an international survey of the carbon emissions of the world's largest companies, and how they plan to lower them. The South African CDP focuses on the top 100 companies listed on the JSE, and in both 2014 and 2015 we received a "B" rating. In 2016 we scored our first "A" - which means that we incentivise our senior leadership for the management of climate change issues, engage with our value chain, report our carbon emissions in mainstream reports, verify our direct and indirect emissions, and have implemented (or begun implementing) activities to reduce emissions.
As much as we are proud of our energy initiatives, we are also focusing on water and waste reduction. Our new national office is a prime example of how we've built this thinking into our planning, while balancing it against financial priorities - another critical aspect of sustainable business.
"It wasn't an option for us to go the full 'green building' route as we couldn’t have justified the huge extra cost - but we could make substantial resource savings by doing what counts the most," said Group Sustainability Executive, Ettienne Thiebaut.
As far as possible, green-rated materials, furniture and fittings were specified for the new building. A low-energy air handling system was installed - which in conjunction with thermally efficient glass and sun louvres that limit heat gain, mean less power is used to cool the building. The lighting and water heating systems have also been designed as efficiently as possible, while solar panels on the roof supplement the building's power requirements.
Rainwater runoff is also being collected and used to water the gardens. Finally, a designated waste separation area has been created at basement level and we have started a campaign to drive recycling of various 'clean' wastes.
"It all begins with each person's awareness of the impact of their actions and their commitment to making a difference, one small step at a time," Ettienne added.