Airports Company South Africa Joins Green Building Council

Part of George Airport Solar Plant (SAPeople)

South Africa – The Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) recently became a member of the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA). The GBCSA announced in a statement.

In addition, the GBCSA said that ACSA also signed a statement of commitment with the green building council to incorporate green building practice in development projects and has included sustainability principles in its development journey.

Thulani Kuzwayo, Managing Executive: Public Sector at GBCSA says, “ACSA has identified a number of key drivers which it needs to manage to reach this objective, including reducing energy consumption, water consumption, percentage of waste recycled, noise levels and energy efficient materials usage.”

ACSA joins the GBCSA after it has already committed itself to achieve “carbon neutrality”, or net zero carbon emissions by 2030.

In February 2016 ACSA unveiled Africa’s first solar powered airport in the South African small town of George located on the country’s south coast. The airport’s entire power needs are being met by a solar power station comprising 2 000 solar panels.

The solar power station has the capacity to produce 750kW of electricity a day. The airport only needs 400kW to power its escalators, check-in systems, baggage carousels, ATM machines, the control tower and restaurants among other things. The excess 250 kW is fed into the local grid.

ACSA has also installed two more solar power plants at another two of its airports: Upington and Kimberley in the Northern Cape province of South Africa.

Expressing his delight in ACSA joining the green building council, Kuzwayo said, “We are excited to work alongside ACSA in assisting them to achieve carbon neutrality in energy consumption and run green airports throughout South Africa, which they hope to reach by 2030. The aviation sector is undergoing a rapid transformation in line with the fast-changing world in which it operates. Like all sectors, the aviation sector has to evolve, and becoming sustainable has become a megatrend in the sector. It is encouraging to see ACSA responding to this in a responsible manner by aiming for international best practice within the near future.”

The GBCSA statement also pointed out that: on-boarding ACSA as a fully-fledged GBCSA member is another encouraging illustration of the public sector’s commitment to sustainability and greening the built environment.