Tsebo highlights its sustainability achievements, offerings

13th September 2023 By: Darren Parker - Creamer Media Contributing Editor Online

Tsebo highlights its sustainability achievements, offerings

Tsebo Solutions co-CEOs Dr Chris Jardine and Tim Walters

On the back of the recent launch of workplace management solutions group Tsebo Solutions' inaugural sustainability report, the company has reiterated its efforts to drive environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives across its divisions and throughout its value chain.

Speaking at a media roundtable event at the company's headquarters, in Johannesburg, on September 12, group co-CEO Dr Chris Jardine said that the company aimed to operate as a strategic ESG accelerator, working with like-minded companies, whether suppliers, partners or clients, to achieve ESG targets more effectively and efficiently.

"Our approach is consistent with our value system and our purpose statement," Jardine said.

Tsebo's sustainability framework is built on the foundation of the company's core values, culminating in a focus on positive people experience, engaging customer experience, commitment to sustainable partnerships, management of environmental impact, corporate governance and ethics and a robust approach to corporate social responsibility.

He added that to further Tsebo's ESG efforts, the company had partnered with organisations such as the World Economic Forum, the United Nations (UN) Global Compact and ESG rating platforms Risk Insights and EcoVadis.

Further, Jardine and fellow co-CEO Tim Walters have made a personal commitment to positive change in Africa by becoming official members of the UN Global Compact's Africa Business Leaders Coalition, which constitutes a call to action for business leaders to unite for a more sustainable and prosperous Africa.

Among the many initiatives across the group's various divisions, Jardine highlighted Tsebo's energy efficiency and energy management services, noting the R200-million worth of energy usage reduction achieved for clients as noted in the company's 2022 sustainability report.

"The one that's at the forefront of our sustainability initiatives is the energy initiative, not just to solve the problems around the current electricity crisis we have in the country, but also how we can help companies and society pivot to sustainable energy even faster than what is currently contemplated," Jardine said.

Tsebo chief sales and marketing officer Melusi Maposa explained that the company's range of energy management services was tailored to meet the specific requirements of its clients, with the team having expertise in the latest energy-related technology solutions, tax incentives and various funding options.

He explained that the company also had experience in optimising the use of existing assets during the transition to renewable energy solutions. The company's consumption intelligence system is designed to yield immediate cost savings, guiding clients towards achieving carbon neutrality.

Among the energy services offered by Tsebo are consulting, ranging from energy use analytics to the development of energy independence roadmaps. Energy optimisation is also a key feature of what is offered, with a focus on consumption analytics and bill verification, helping businesses improve their energy efficiency. The company also offers technical design expertise and recommends financing options to facilitate the implementation of energy solutions.

Project management, from procurement support to the installation and commissioning of energy plants, is another service in the company's energy offering, whereby Tsebo handles the entire project management process.

In addition, a spectrum of maintenance services is also provided, from basic upkeep of energy systems to continuous enhancements driven by consumption analytics.

Speaking to Tsebo's energy efficiency efforts, Maposa noted that most of the benefits accrue to clients rather than Tsebo itself.

"The impact is actually not so much to us as a business. The impact we make is to our clients, and the benefits thereof of the things that we do are actually less directly to us, it's more to the clients that we serve. So when we save energy, we're not saving energy from our own internal use; that's a small part of what we serve. It's really in how we optimise what we do for our clients so that their own energy footprint is reduced," Maposa explained.

With that in mind, he said the company was still aiming to reduce its energy consumption and greenhouse-gas emissions by 30% from its 2022 baseline levels through renewable and energy-efficient solutions by 2030.

Part of this would be to install a solar photovoltaic energy solution at the company's headquarters in Sandton, which Jardine said was possibly planned for 2024, pending approvals.

When the company moved into the office in July last year, the company immediately made plans to reduce energy consumption. This began with Block C and B of the Tsebo Office Park where the company installed smart meters to monitor electricity and water consumption, set after-hours shutdown targets, implemented an automatic electricity shutdown of non-essential heating, ventilation, and air conditioning and lighting in the evenings, and retrofitted energy-efficient light-emitting diode lighting in both buildings.

As such, the company managed to reduce energy consumption at the headquarters by 25% per building from July to December last year.

Jardine noted that capital-intensive renewable energy projects were not the only solution.

"The difference in the approach that we have taken is that we help clients realise the savings to be had before investing a cent. A lot of our approach to many of the clients is around how we help them save before they start investing in upgrades and systems, how we help them access some tax benefits upfront. We understand and appreciate that not everybody's got big capex," he explained.