Canon South Africa Takes Steps Towards Becoming Carbon Neutral

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Canon South Africa is working with the Carbon Neutral Group to offset its carbon emissions by supporting carbon reduction projects. In 2015, the company succeeded in offsetting 365 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), equalling 15% of its carbon emissions. This allowed the company to purchase carbon credits to offset against the business’ travel carbon footprint.
 
‘Our goal is to become a carbon neutral business. While we continue to place emphasis on improving the resource and energy efficiency of our operations through various optimisation programmes, we are also pursuing carbon offsetting. This allows us to reduce our carbon footprint while supporting sustainable projects that are aimed at improving the quality of life of people threatened by the impact of climate change,’ said Iza Daly, Sustainability Manager: Sustainability Group at Canon South Africa.
 
‘We are pleased with the progress we have made in the past year and consider our carbon offset certificate for 365 tonnes of CO2e to be a reassuring step in the right direction. This year we hope to offset 500 tonnes of CO2e.’
 
Carbon offsetting is achieved by taking responsibility for and financing carbon reduction projects elsewhere in the economy. Carbon offsetting will ultimately see Canon South Africa reduce the amount it pays in carbon tax. The company offsets 15% of its annual carbon emissions through its support of a project to purchase and rollout Wonderbags™ in underprivileged communities.
 
The Wonderbag™, developed in South Africa, is a nifty cooker that relies on the age-old concept of heat retention cooking to save on energy costs. Once food has been brought to the boil using a heat source, the warm pot containing the food is placed immediately in the Wonderbag™ and the food slowly cooks without using any additional energy. Wonderbags™ can be used to cost-effectively prepare a wide range of one pot dishes, casseroles, curries, cooked salads, and more.
 
According to Daly, Canon South Africa is also working with the Carbon Neutral Group to get its sustainability project, the CANON Segametsi SOLAR Light Project, registered as a carbon project.
 
The Climate Neutral Group invests in emission reduction projects that combine energy, environment and developmental solutions into sustainable business opportunities in developing countries. Its offset projects are carefully selected for their wider social and environmental benefits. These socially progressive projects simultaneously reduce carbon emissions and improve the quality of life of people who are threatened by the impacts of climate change. As such, they are a powerful tool for sustainable development.
 
The process to register the CANON Segametsi SOLAR Light Project as a carbon project will take about two to three years. Once registered, it will allow Canon to offset more C02e and give further impetus to its drive towards carbon neutrality. 
 
‘Our solar lighting project has tremendous potential to reduce energy consumption while benefitting previously disadvantaged communities. The process of generating electricity is harmful to the environment. By using less electricity we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions which impact the environment,’ said Daly.
 
The solar lighting project is a joint initiative between Canon South Africa and the non-profit organisation, Segametsi Hope SA.  To date, Canon has sponsored R500000 worth of solar lighting units to the project, which forms part of the Lighting Rural Africa Project that hopes to install solar lighting solutions into three million households in Africa. This will be achieved through a phased approach. The project benefits people in areas such as squatter camps, rural areas, as well as areas with electricity access but where many households are unable to afford it.

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