Vodacom, and its parent company Vodafone, have broken new ground in South Africa by achieving the first ever 6-star Green Star SA rating for the Vodafone Innovation Centre building in Midrand, Johannesburg. This is the first time that a South African building has achieved this rating.
The Vodafone Innovation Centre will be carbon neutral and powered by renewable energy. Once completed, the Centre will house a team of experts tasked with creating energy efficiency solutions that are expected to significantly reduce Vodafone’s global emissions.
According to the Green Building Council of South Africa, a green building is a building which is energy efficient, resource efficient and environmentally responsible. It incorporates design, construction and operational practices that significantly reduce or eliminate the negative impact of development on the environment and occupants.
Pieter Uys, Vodacom CEO says: “We are delighted that our building has achieved this accolade. Over the last few years, we have worked hard to reduce the Group’s impact on the environment; it is a core strategic priority for both Vodafone and Vodacom. The Innovation Centre, as the hub of our creative thinking around a low-carbon future, will play a critical role in the reduction of carbon emissions across the Group.”
According to the World Green Building Council, the built environment is one of the main contributors to climate change.
There are number of international reports that state that buildings represent the single largest opportunity for greenhouse gas abatement, outstripping energy, transport and the industrial sectors combined. Building green really is an opportunity to use resources efficiently and address climate change while creating healthier and more productive environments for people to work and live in.
Bruce Kerswill, Executive Chairman of the GBCSA, says that the GBCSA is proud that South Africa has its first 6-star certified building. “6-star Green Star SA is equivalent to World Leadership – meaning that the Vodafone building puts South Africa firmly in line with global best practice in terms of green building – this is a fantastic achievement for Vodacom and Vodafone.
“Our rating systems are all about recognising excellence in sustainable design. The highest rating, six stars, is reserved for those projects that are truly world class. Vodafone has set a new South African benchmark and we are so proud that this huge international company chose South Africa for the location of this innovation centre and that they targeted, and achieved, the highest Green Star SA rating possible,” concludes Kerswill.
The Vodafone Innovation Centre is expected to open in the first quarter of 2012.
Source – CSR Africa – Millicent Njeri / Press Release, October 25, 2011