The Green Building Council of South Africa has awarded Durban-based belt manufacturer Equator - the Belt Factory a five-star Green Star Certification for Existing Building Performance.
L-R: Employees Nosipho Zulu and Thabanie Mngoma and business development partner Lungani Manqele with the bins where all waste is collected for recycling.
The rating focuses on energy use and water efficiencies, waste management and peoples’ working environments – all factors that were not priorities, in a different era, when the factory was initially built by the then Frame Textiles in 1967.
Equator - the Belt Factory purchased the former textile mill in 2017 and has invested in implementing a number of sustainability interventions and initiatives. These include rainwater harvesting and water-saving fittings, energy-efficient fittings and systems, waste management systems (including reduction, recycling and composting), improved indoor environmental quality through the use of double-glazing, non-toxic paints and finishes, the use of second-hand and upcycled furniture, employee training and operational initiatives to improve efficiency, material offcut donations, and small business and employee development.
Managing director Leon Buhr says that it now requires less energy to make a belt from start to finish than it takes to make a cup of tea. He says that, while this significant five-star Green Star certification marks a notable milestone for the local belt manufacturer, this is just part of a long-term journey.
Leon Buhr, MD, Equator - the Belt Factory
“For us, sustainability is a company-wide, all-encompassing effort that is becoming deeply ingrained in the company culture. The Green Star certification is an important and credible marker of our progress and has taken a great deal of effort, says Buhr.
From vegan leather to green building, KZN-based design house and manufacturer Equator is on a journey to drive social and ecological sustainability behind the scenes of SA's fashion supply industry...
14 Oct 2019
“It is said there is no destination for a sustainability journey – just daily improvement. But if one could define sustainability goals, it would be a circular economy and carbon neutrality. So we use those as our guiding lights in terms of decisions and choices we make and innovations we implement.”
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