South Africa – Carpet manufacturing concern Belgotex Floors has been awarded 6 stars in South Africa’s first custom Green Star SA – Existing Building Performance (EBP) rating for an industrial facility from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA).
The 6 Star certification was awarded in recognition of the company’s “World Leadership” for its sustainability practices in all aspects of their plant and carpet manufacturing operations at its Pietermaritzburg-based factory.
The Green Star SA -Existing Building Performance (EBP) rating tool is the foremost programme focusing on whole building operational performance over twelve months measured against eight key criteria for human and environmental health.
For the first time ever, this EBP tool was customised to cater for the certification of an industrial facility in order to evaluate Belgotex’s factory. The tool was adapted by expert green building consultants Ecocentric, who together with the company’s comprehensive historic operational data and a dedicated on-site sustainability team, accelerated the process and enabled the company to achieve their certification in just eight months.
The eight criteria under which Belgotex Floors demonstrated outstanding practical and measurable strategic solutions included management, indoor environmental quality, energy, water, transport, materials, land use and ecology as well as emissions.
Belgotex also earned extra credits for innovations which saw the company adopt several new eco-innovative production processes and product development strategies. Innovative raw material input strategies were implemented to reduce energy and raw material consumption, minimise waste, and allow the company to develop products with higher recycled content.
The acquisition of a R5-million recycling machine enables Belgotex to recycle waste fibre and yarn back into production, effectively reducing their waste rates from their carpet production processes to close to zero. It also offers up to 20% energy savings, resulting in lower production costs and reduced CO2 emissions.
Numerous energy optimisation initiatives were implemented to reduce non-renewable energy consumption. These include the installation of a R17-million photovoltaic (PV) solar power plant, energy-efficient LED lights and automatic motion sensors and extensive plant upgrades to more energy-efficient equipment.
“Our main goal is to operate a sustainable factory wherever economically and environmentally feasible,” explained Kevin Walsh, chief operations officer at Belgotex Floors. “For us, it makes good business sense. It improves operational efficiencies, product development and social upliftment and positions us as industry leaders.”
Congratulating Belgotex on their achievement, chief technical officer of the GBCSA, Manfred Braune said: “GBCSA congratulates Belgotex on their 6 Star rating and on embracing green building practices, leading the way in creating more sustainable industrial facilities in the country, and for having this independently verified through the country’s leading authority on green buildings.” He also added that, “It is encouraging to see companies of this stature ensuring that their environmental and sustainability measures and initiatives are at the forefront of their business practices. Going forward, we look forward to seeing more green transformation in the industrial and manufacturing sector in South Africa.”
Belgotex also operates an extensive education and training programme that seeks to identify and develop talent, especially women, in the production and management of its products.
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