SA Vodafone’s Site Solution Innovation Centre was late last month honored as the Highest Scoring Green Star Project 2008-2012 by the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) due to its water, energy and emissions efficiency.
The center was awarded six stars also dubbed World Class by the GBCSA late last year as Africa’s greenest building.
According to Maya Makanjee, chief officer corporate affairs at Vodacom in a statement the award is a testimony their commitment to growing their business in a sustainable way.
She said, “We all have a responsibility towards ensuring the sustainability of our communities, country and planet. The Innovation Centre, and what it aims to achieve, is a critical component of that philosophy.”
Vodafone’s Site Solution Innovation Centre has a dedicated team of engineers looking at ways to reduce the group’s carbon emissions and adoption of sustainable practices. The project was praised for setting the bar for addressing sustainability in all respects to minimize its impact on the environment.
Brian Wilkinson, CEO of the Green Building Council said; “Vodafone and their project team deserve this accolade as no other South African project has ever reached this level.”
The firm reused all its excavated materials, the building also its own power two times enough to run its operations through solar and the excess power is fed back into the Vodacom campus, creating a zero-rated energy building.
The building also boasts of a solar absorption chiller to cool or warm it, uses natural daylight as is enclosed in glass and it captures rainwater for irrigation of its gardens and toilets.
“The innovation center is one example of our commitment to sustainability. The scale of challenges on our environment demands ambitious action and we are responding with a continued focus on innovation to cut our carbon emissions across our business” added Makanjee in a statement.
Vodafone also has a hybrid generator dubbed ‘power cube’ and uses a slim-line solar ‘film’ solar panels for base stations in urban areas with limited space. Last year Vodafone developed a mobile base station running entirely on renewable energy during the Durban COP17 climate change conference.
At the moment, the firm is piloting a solar-base station that will give green power to the local community.
Vodafone also won the Mail and Guardian’s prestigious Greening the Future Awards for Innovations in renewables earlier this year. The firm said it plans to reduce carbon emissions within its organisations by 5 percent per year by 2014.