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V&A Waterfront adds to awards for energy efficiency

At the 2012 Energy Efficiency Forum Awards, announced on 29 November 2012, Cape Town's V&A Waterfront continued to show strong leadership in energy efficiency and sustainable development and management with its win for Commercial Buildings.
L - R: Colin Devenish - Executive Manager of Operations of the V&A Waterfront and Alderman Belinda Walker - Economic, Environmental & Spatial Planning
The Forum is a collaborative initiative with the City of Cape Town, Eskom and the South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA) that recognises and commends leadership in energy efficiency and encourages businesses to continue their work in reducing energy consumption.

David Green, CEO of the V&A Waterfront said, "Our commitment to sustainability is at the heart of the precinct's business strategy. This includes incorporating excellent energy efficiency practices and responsible management of our resources in our operations.

"We are very pleased that our commitment and implementation of significant energy efficiency interventions have been recognised by our three recent accolades: - the Energy Efficiency Award for Commercial Buildings, the recent eta Eskom Award for energy efficiency win and the Heritage Gold Environmental Certification.

"It is the precinct's goal to set standards in sustainability for mixed-use developments in Africa."

Changing behaviour

The changes at the V&A Waterfront have not only been technical but include ways to change behaviour by adding targets to staff performance contracts, establishing a sustainability committee and energy efficiency training for tenants in the precinct.

Colin Devenish, executive manager of operations of the V&A Waterfront said, "As a commercial consumer, we recognised the part we had to play in an electricity saving campaign and raising awareness in this regard. Our energy efficiency initiatives have resulted in an annual saving on electricity of 11 261 449kWh or R5.6 million, while reducing our demand on the grid by 10.53%.

The Energy Efficiency Forum Award comes shortly after the V&A Waterfront claimed top honours in the 2012 eta Eskom Awards in the Commercial Category over runners up ABSA and Spier Wine Estate. The eta Awards have been awarded by Eskom for the past 22 years to reward exceptional effort in the field of energy efficiency.

The V&A Waterfront energy efficiency initiatives started in 2008 and forms part of the company's long-term vision and sustainability practices in development, building and operational management. Sustainability practices extend beyond energy efficiency, some of the initiatives include providing colour coded recycling bins for all visitors to dispose of their recyclable waste.

Environmental rating

These two awards go hand in hand with the Gold rating received in the Heritage Environmental Rating Programme, one of the world's top eco-labelling and rating systems.

The programme offers businesses recognition for the efforts being made to reduce impacts on the environment and towards sustainable and environmentally responsible practice. Some of the steps required to receive the gold rating include putting in place an environmental management plan, having an environmental vision statement and looking at issues such as business partners, design and construction, transport and biodiversity management.

"We have been reviewing the efficiency of the property over the past four years," continues Green. "Greening our operations is the right and responsible approach for South Africa's most visited destination and a much-loved Cape Town asset. We are delighted to be awarded a gold rating from the Heritage Environmental Rating Programme. This on the back of two energy efficiency awards is a wonderful acknowledgement of our hard work in environmental initiatives. "
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