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Investing in sustainable and eco-friendly business practices and initiatives

'Going green' is a trend that has been around for a while now. Some might believe that there is a worldwide push towards a more environmentally friendly way of life. In recent years, though, big business has realised its role to develop cleaner, more sustainable business practices and initiatives. Companies are expected to make a positive contribution to society, through efforts that work towards bettering the communities and the environments in which they operate.

As an eco-conscious organisation, Total South Africa is constantly looking for more sustainable ways to do business and driving sustainability projects that educate the communities in which it operates, about their environments.

“Total South Africa is grateful to be part of projects and initiatives that are driving environmental stewardship. It is through long-term partnerships, forged with stakeholders who share our vision and passion for their communities and the environment, that we are able to move from a charitable sphere into one in which a meaningful change and impact can be realised,” says Pierre-Yves Sachet, Total South Africa’s CEO and Managing Director.

Committed to better energy

Two years ago, Total launched a programme to equip some 5,000 of its service stations around the globe with solar power by 2021. This in a bid to reduce carbon emissions and cut electricity bills. Through its California-based affiliate, SunPower, the company has since the launch of this programme already supplied high-performing solar systems to a number of service stations worldwide.

“As the global population - and its energy requirements - continues to grow, the need for responsible energy consumption, becomes more and more dire. We firmly believe that it is possible and necessary to produce, process and supply affordable energy while meeting the highest Health, Safety and Environment standards,” says Sachet.

Total considers a move towards renewable energy one of its priorities. As the fourth-largest oil and gas company in the world, Total is also an integrated player in low-carbon energies and is committed to energy that is affordable, reliable and clean. Total operates three solar farms in the Karoo and is looking to expand its footprint in solar production in South Africa.

Driving nature and environmental conservation

In 2018, Total South Africa and SANParks celebrated 60 years of working together to protect and preserve South Africa’s pristine natural beauty. As part of the celebration, Total’s solar project kicked-off with solarising the first two stations in the in the Kruger National Park.

In partnership with SANParks, Total has launched a variety of initiatives that have taken conservation beyond the parks’ boundaries into the surrounding communities and, ultimately, to South Africa..

Total sponsors the annual SANParks ‘Keep the Kruger Clean’ Campaign, during which staff members, community members and local school children join forces to participate in a clean-up campaign as well as in the ‘SANParks Walk and Learn on the Wild Side’ Project. This is a project for children at rural schools, who are studying Tourism in Grades 10 to 12; and involves taking them to the Kruger National Park for one week, to teach them about the importance of conservation.

Supporting sustainable practices

Total’s commitment to environmental stewardship filters through to its ‘Startupper of the Year by Total’ Challenge, as well. More than just a business challenge, this competition calls on entrants to demonstrate how their environmentally sustainable projects empower people and contribute to the overall economic well-being of their community.

The South African winner of the 2018-2019 ‘Startupper of the Year by Total’ Challenge, Nonhlanhla Phalama, shares Total’s passion for sustainability and her ‘Davinon Hydroponics’ project demonstrates this.

Davinon Hydroponics aims to establish 50x30m hydroponics farms in rural schools and orphanages across the country. This socially-focused project is based on a model in which 30% of all profit is re-invested back into the schools where the hydroponics farms are set up. This, in turn, enables these schools to improve their facilities and the quality of education on offer. This solar-based solution is targeted at rural communities, where there is little or no access to electricity. The re-use of water also minimises water consumption in water-scarce areas. The Davinon Hydroponics project will contribute towards sustainable employment, too, by creating opportunities for low- and semi-skilled individuals to be trained to operate the farms and supply produce to the surrounding communities and beyond.

Celebrating green initiatives

Total celebrates various green initiatives and a favourite amongst employees is Arbour day.

Under the 2018 National Arbour Day theme, "Forests and Sustainable Cities," Total partnered with Plant Nation. This non-profit organisation aims to promote the creation of functional farmland and to educate the surrounding communities about self-sustainable, high-quality lifestyles that allow them not only to earn a living, but to grow one too. The organisation focuses on municipal and communal land and on working in schools, fields, parks and recreational areas.

As a major energy player, Total is committed to contributing towards responsible corporate citizenship by supporting and driving various green projects, initiatives and services. By embedding ‘COMMITTED TO BETTER ENERGY’ in its brand promise, Total has set the course for a sustainable future and established a framework for everything it does.

Total's press office