A far greater response to the threat of climate change created challenging judging conditions for this year’s judges of the Climate Change Leadership Awards (CCLA).
The winners were recently announced at a carbon neutral event in Sandton which made use of elements such as live succulents instead of cut flower arrangements and recycled builders waste as table centre pieces. Other ‘green’ décor elements included, amongst others, leather table mats woven by self-sustaining communities and bees wax candles.
The CCLA is the first of its kind in South Africa to recognise, reward, motivate and celebrate businesses, communities, youth, schools and individuals who are leading the way in climate change response and mitigation.
The CCLA category award winners were as follows:
Climate Change Heroes: Schools (sponsored by Pick ‘n Pay):
• In first place was Mailakgang Primary School with its peer educator concept which involved recycling, tree planting, food gardening, water conservation and links to climate change awareness. The concept spread beyond Mailakgang’s borders to neighbouring schools.
• Strelitzia Secondary School came second and Inkwenkwezi High School came in third for their recycling, tree planting, food gardening and water conservation programmes and introduction of climate change awareness programmes.
Climate Change Heroes: Communities and Individuals (sponsored by the South African Post Office):
• First place went to The Reporting Development Network Africa for demystifying climate change. The network focuses on community education and training the media on how to report issues such as climate change, food security and overall global sustainability to the general public.
• Second place was awarded to the JNF Walter Sisulu Environmental Centre which developed a high impact programme for areas characterised by high unemployment, low income and minimal natural resources. Through its efforts, the centre demonstrates an alternative, low carbon future to 288 schools each year and facilitates job creation.
• Daniel Robinson scooped third place for ‘Project 90 by 2030’ which makes lifestyle changes possible through high impact carbon clubs, office carbon calculators and comprehensive lists of carbon reduction opportunities in Gauteng, the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
Climate Change Heroes: Waste Minimisation (sponsored by ABI, the soft drink division of SAB):
• Foodbank South Africa was the outright winner in this category. Foodbank’s project clearly deals with multiple aspects of climate change by reclaiming food which would potentially be wasted and redistributing it to those in need.
• The Soul Foundation delivered an exemplary project which earned it second place. The Soul Foundation deals with integrated waste management systems and river restoration programmes.
• Bergvliet High School: Bergvliet High earned a third place nod for its comprehensive on-going recycling project which involves the surrounding community
Private sector winners
The Agriculture and Food category was won by Coca-Cola which is addressing climate change through cutting carbon emissions and improving energy efficiency. The judges awarded a special mention to Fairview which is believed to be the country's first carbon-neutral cheesery.
The Energy, Minerals and Industrials category winner was Gold Fields Limited which has been aligning its business with emerging, global low carbon emissions economies since 2005. Gold Fields Limited also has a clearly defined carbon management strategy and has engaged in multiple energy efficiency projects.
Santam won the Financial Institutions category for its part sponsorship of a research project in partnership with the CSIR, University of Cape Town and WWF. The outcome of the joint effort illustrates how human-induced impacts on the ecological buffering capacity of the system have an equal or greater impact on risk, as compared to future climate change predictions.
RISO Africa won the Other Corporate Services category for their off – grid, solar powered printing solution called Risolar. Risolar makes it possible for rural educational institutions to print 90 pages per minute without electricity.
Pick ‘n Pay’s new world-class, eco-friendly stores and their on-going commitment to climate change education ensured a win for the group in the retail category. The SME category was won by Earth Patrol which is punching well above its weight. Earth Patrol is completely committed to providing environmentally sustainable solutions for its customers and partners and practices what it preaches.
The Municipality of Cape Town was the outright winner of the new Local Municipalities category. The municipality has employed a long term sustainability strategy and is raising the bar nationally. A special mention went to the eThekwini Municipality which implemented a range of activities over the past year.
In addition to recognising the various CCLA participants, the ceremony also acted as a platform for the introduction of the Climate Hero Awards Africa (CHAA). Andile Ncontse of Litha Communications announced the introduction of the initiative which is set to expand the CCLA’s reach into Africa. The CHAA is due to kick-off on World Habitat Day in October and have been established with a view to tackling climate change on a Pan African scale.