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If we really want to encourage the ‘nothing wasted’ mindset, investing in a circular economy model must be taken seriously. Whilst still a relatively new concept, in Africa, this model offers significant opportunities to truly deliver far more inclusive growth for the economy and includes an increase in job opportunities as well as positive environmental practices - all of which is needed for sustainable growth - a dire need for South Africa.
A third of the food that is produced in South Africa is destined for landfill sites, which are fast reaching full capacity. According to statistics, South Africa produces 10 million tonnes of food waste every year and reportedly, has the largest proportion of food wastage in Africa. Yet, an average of 14 million people go to bed hungry every night and 2,5million of these are children.
The mining industry has envisioned a new future where business, human and environmental interests are not competing priorities, but complementary strengths: a 'Triple Zero' future of zero harm, zero loss, and zero waste. In the Triple Zero future, where zero harm is lived out day-to-day, the health and well-being of the workforce act as a fulcrum for sustainable business operations.
South Africa remains in a dire energy crisis with utility costs having increased by 17% most recently and with the local provider desperately needing an additional 5,000 megawatts of generating capacity. And, if we consider that almost 77% of South Africa’s primary energy needs are reliant on coal, then there is no doubt that we are heading towards not only an energy, but an environmental crisis too.
Recent regulatory developments have helped to increase the pressure that communities are able to exert on mining companies. This highlights the need for companies to implement more effective negotiations with and solutions for their affected communities.
PEOPLE, PLANET, PROFIT - the triple bottom line! The concept of the Triple Bottom Line (TBL) being social equity, environment and economic factors, demands that a company’s responsibility lies with stakeholders rather than shareholders. This also indicates a commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).