Columbit taking responsibility for carbon footprint
16 March 2011 by Columbit
In January 2009 Columbit launched a environmental carbon off-setting
Initiative; planting spekboom in Groenefontein Nature Reserve, near
Calitzdorp in association with the Department of Water Affairs and Cape
Nature to off-set the carbon created by the corks we sell.
Columbit is aware of how important it is for us all to take responsibility for the carbon we create, and, whilst Columbit is primarily a trading company; we are able to take responsibility for our own emissions and to do our utmost to ensure that all our suppliers are on a mission to do the same.
This is the first agreement of its kind and provides us with a unique opportunity to give back to our customers and restore natural capital in one of the world’s 34 bio-diversity hot spots and create jobs for underprivileged rural communities.
After establishing Columbit’s Carbon Footprint for Scope 1 and 2 emissions, we implemented procedures to measure and reduce energy consumption and to improve recycling. With our new environmental policies in place, it was time to approach our suppliers and find out what each of them is doing in terms of reducing their emissions and responsible environmental actions.
The pages that follow will give you some insight into how our project has flourished; expanding across suppliers and products.
Columbit Corks - Antonio Almeida in the South African Wine Industry
From January 2009 to the end of November 2010 Columbit’s cork sales have contributed to the planting of 31 232 spekboom or 12.49 hectares.
Working days created through the partnership with The Department of Water Affairs: 612
This is enough spekboom to off-set the emissions created by all the corks sold as well as those generated by the Columbit site in Maitland (calculations include energy and fuel consumption, paper, ink, distribution and business travel).
There is no additional cost to customers and all Columbit Cork customers receive quarterly updates with detail of their contributions. We encourage clients to file this information and to use it as part of their carbon reduction programmes.
Almeida - Global
Cork consists of natural, renewable, recyclable and biodegradable material and is obtained through one of the most environmentally-friendly harvesting processes in the world.
Not a single tree is cut down to harvest cork. The bark of trees is stripped every 9-12 years, causing no harm to the tree, which can live for up to 300 years.
Cork trees which have their bark harvested, fix between three to five times more CO2. The 736 700 hectares of cork forests in Portugal represent a carbon sink of around 4.8 million tons of CO2. Research conducted by Lisbon University shows that a single cork stores around 8.8 g of carbon.
Cork ecosystems support a rich diversity of animal and plant life which is key to the survival of some of the world’s most endangered species. Cork oaks guard against further desertification in North Africa, helping to conserve soil, buffering against fires and helping water tables to recharge.
Antonio Almeida owns cork forests in Portugal with 95 000 trees. Over the past 12 months, Almeida has planted an additional 3 000 cork trees and they have budgeted to do the same this year.
Columbit Filtration – Pall in the South African Wine Industry
Pall is in the process of calculating the carbon footprint for each of their products, so at this point Columbit is unable to quantify the number of spekboom which should be planted to “neutralise” the carbon footprint of the filters we sell.
In the interim, Columbit is pleased to announce that as of 1 July 2010; all purchases for Pall filtration media from Columbit, also contribute to the planting of spekboom on Groenefontein Nature Reserve.
At the end of November 2010, when this magazine went to print, your purchases of Pall filtration Media from Columbit have contributed to the planting of 3 033 spekboom / 1.2 hectares.
Working days created through the partnership with The Department of Water Affairs: 59.
There is no additional cost to customers and all Columbit’s filtration customers will receive quarterly updates with detail of their contributions. We encourage clients to file this information and to use it as part of their carbon reduction programmes.
Pall Corporation recognises and embraces its role as a global citizen, in 2007, Pall joined many other companies in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), a global initiative to draw up an inventory of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and evaluate the risks and opportunities resulting from climate change on business operations. Pall’s annual GHG inventory provides important baseline information used to make informed and effective policy decisions to reduce Pall’s carbon footprint.
Pall adopted aggressive environmental sustainability goals as part of its long-term plan and is actively shrinking its manufacturing footprint by consolidating operations and maximising the use of excess capacity.
Waste reduction and recycling form cornerstones’ of Pall’s environmental agenda; a comprehensive programme to map out the material and chemical waste streams at all Pall manufacturing facilities is underway, an approach which has yielded significant improvements:
Pall is dedicated to providing customers with filtration solutions which help to minimise their carbon footprints and maximise recycling and waste reduction.
44% reduction in industrial waste generation
42% reduction in solid waste generation
11% reduction in water use.
Pall water filtration technology offers customers the opportunity to conserve and reuse water, and to restore wastewater to environmentally safe levels before discharge. For more information, visit www.pall.com/water.
Pall Oeno-flow, membrane filtration systems reduce losses in wine during filtration to under 0.5%.
Pall is a partner in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Leaders Programme, an industry-government partnership committed to developing long-term climate change strategies.
On March 22, 2010, Pall’s head office in the USA announced that it had been contracted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to develop critical filtration and separation processes for a U.S. Department of Energy
Advanced Bio Fuels Project
To learn more about Pall filtration solutions and about the company’s corporate sustainability initiatives, visit www.pall.com/green.
Columbit Barrels – Seguin Moreau in the South African Wine Industry
At the end of September 2010, Columbit and Seguin Moreau came to an agreement to off-set the carbon created during the manufacture, shipping and delivery of all Seguin Moreau barrels sold by Columbit in South Africa.
There is currently no legislation regarding the responsibility of carbon offsetting in South Africa, this is a voluntary initiative and together Columbit and Seguin Moreau will fund the offsetting of the carbon at no extra cost to the customer through the Ernest Zeh project for the restoration of spekboom.
The allocation of funds from barrel sales commenced with all barrels sold for the 2010 vintage. The number of spekboom which will be planted as a result of 2010 barrels sales is 3 779 in 1.5 hectares.
Working days created through the partnership with The Department of Water Affairs: 74.
If customers would like to purchase certified carbon credits, they are available at a cost of €3 a barrel, from Seguin Moreau. In this case customers will receive certificates to verify that their barrels are carbon neutral.
Customers will receive annual updates with details of their contribution. We encourage clients to file this information and to use it as part of their carbon reduction programmes.
Seguin Moreau Global
PEFC is a control system set up by the French National Authority for sustainable forest management to make certain that trees cut from sustainably managed forests are clearly identifiable through every stage of their transformation and commercialisation.
In 2005 – Seguin Moreau became the first cooperage in the world to be PEFC certified.
Sequin Moreau can boast that 100% of the French oak timber used to make its casks and vats is PEFC certified. Of the French oak rough staves used to make Seguin Moreau barrels, 70% come from sustainably managed forests, the remaining 30% are purchased from smaller suppliers who are in the process of being certified and implementing the correct procedures to do so.
From 2007 to the end of 2009, Seguin Moreau funded the planting of two hectares of trees in the Bracone and Vierzon forests.
In 2009, Seguin Moreau became the first Cooperage to actively participate in re-forestation in conjunction with initiatives by the French Forestry Commission.
Seguin Moreau was the first cooperage to undergo carbon assessments by BILAN CARBONE®, in accordance with the programme set up by the French Agency for Environment and Energy Management.
The cooperage’s carbon footprint takes into account the entire barrel manufacturing process; from cutting down trees to the delivery of finished barrels, casks and vats. Evaluating the footprint helped identify the company’s dependency on fossil energy, as well as pinpoint key areas for the implementation of policies and procedures to ensure it reduces its GHG emissions.
Seguin Moreau received requests from winemakers in Australia and New Zealand for barrels certified as carbon neutral, which lead Seguin Moreau to approach a company called The CarbonNeutral Company®.
Carbon credits are purchased through them; the money is used to finance international programmes aimed at developing renewable energy to off-set CO2 emissions.
A total of 3 500 barrels certified as carbon neutral have been purchased by these markets since the beginning of 2010. In view of this demand, Seguin Moreau now offers carbon neutralisation as an option to all its customers.
Columbit Screw Caps – MCG screw caps purchased through Columbit in South Africa
Columbit approached MCG to off-set the carbon footprint of the screw caps Columbit purchases from them. An agreement has been reached and Columbit and MCG are pleased to announce that as of 1 July 2009, all MCG screw caps purchased from Columbit have their carbon emissions offset through the planting of spekboom in the Groenefontein Nature Reserve near Calitzdorp.
Between 1 July 2009 to the end of November 2010, screw caps purchased from Columbit have contributed to the planting of 22 025 spekboom or 8.8 hectares.
Working days created through the partnership with The Department of Water Affairs: 432.
There is no additional cost to clients who purchase their MCG screw caps from Columbit. Columbit’s screw cap customers will receive quarterly updates with details of their contributions. We encourage clients to file this information and to use it as part of their carbon reduction programmes.
MCG – Global
In 2008, MCG Industries commissioned Andy Roediger; a Stellenbosch-based independent analyst to evaluate the carbon footprint of their aluminium screw cap and crate manufacturing businesses.
The Roediger Report has formed an integral part of MCG’s strategy to reduce their impact on the environment. MCG has since reduced the use of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG), electricity and compressed air in their production processes.
With as much as 25% of the aluminium used to make screw caps; scrapped during the manufacturing process, recycling is important. MCG has entered into an agreement (to commence this year) with Hulamin to return their scrap aluminium to them for recycling.
MCG is thrilled to be involved in a local, community based, carbon offsetting project and as such; has endeavoured to persuade their suppliers to do the same.
Columbit Capsules – Colpak printing for the South African Wine Industry
Colpak is both a sister company and supplier of capsules to Columbit. The material for PVC, Poly-Laminated and Champagne Capsules is printed and formed locally.
During Columbit’s drive to gather information about suppliers’ green initiatives, we found a carbon calculator for the printing industry has recently become available; Colpak aims to establish its carbon footprint in the near future.
In the interim, Columbit invited Colpak to start investing in carbon off-setting through the Columbit spekboom project. Columbit and Colpak are happy to announce that for the period 1 July 2010 to end June 2011, Colpak has contributed to the planting of 10 000 spekboom or 4 hectares, which through partnership with the Department of Water Affairs will create 196 working days for impoverished people.
As soon as we have the emission values for capsules, we will calculate the carbon which needs to be offset and allocate spekboom to customers for their purchases of Columbit Capsules.
Colpak is alert to the fact that printing by its very nature; is both energy consuming and emission emitting.
For years Colpak has been recycling polyethylene waste from extruders, aluminium foil and aluminium foil laminates, used solvent and 210 litre drums.
Dedication from Colpak over the past two years has led to a further reduction of:
Solvent usage by 44.8% or 153 000 litre p.a. over the past year
•Waste to tip by 50% through recycling scrap cartons, wooden pallets, used ink tins and paper cores.
Over the past 12 months, Colpak has:
Sent two staff members on Carbon Footprint awareness training
Commissioned an Energy Audit by Eskom to highlight areas which allow for the reduction of electricity consumption
Invested in UV printing presses which use solvent free ink to reduce solvent emissions
Reduced the amount of ink scrapped by 27 000 litres per annum
Offered 20% thinner materials to shrink sleeve customers to reduce the weight of packaging they consume.
A greener future
Columbit is committed to enabling a greener future. Our message to customers, employees and communities is the same “Protecting the environment is the right thing to do; our futures depend upon it”.
Columbit would like to take this opportunity to thank all our customers for the business they do with us; we welcome your interest in our environmental activities, invite you to take part in our spekboom project; and to share in our vision for a cleaner, healthier world.
We would also like to thank the Department of Water Affairs and Cape Nature for making this project a reality.
For more information on the project and how you can get involved, please visit our website: www.columbit.com, South Africa under the corporate social responsibility button
Contact Bridget Davidtsz on (021) 593-3161, mobile: (083) 443-8110, e-mail: email@example.com.
This article has been read 2197 times.
The article above is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike License You may copy, re-use or re-print any of this information as long as wine.co.za is quoted as source. Any statements made or opinions expressed are the legal responsibility of the AUTHOR, and do not necessarily reflect the views of WineNet (PTY) Ltd. or its sponsors. 17354