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Marco Lotz, Sustainability Carbon Specialist at Nedbank, says: “Each generation wishes a better life for the next. Unfortunately our historic sustainability (financial, economic, social and cultural) endeavours did not produce the lasting legacy we had hoped for. The question then becomes: How do we leave a better world behind while making money and ensuring current prosperity? And this is exactly where we need the entrepreneurial spirit to come in.”

Wind power
Nedbank, having long been synonymous with green business  opened Africa’s first wind powered banking branch in Du Noon near Cape Town early this year. The branch currently derives as much as 35% of its energy from the wind turbine, and it’s hoped that eventually it will be completely reliant on this clean, renewable energy source.

To understand how this works, one needs to think of a hybrid car which uses both an engine and an electric motor. But in this case, a turbine would be installed on a tower and the energy generated would be used in conjunction with the power purchased from the utility company, such as Eskom. The price of the installation and the actual device would be determined by the location of your business, your requirements or list of machinery/appliances you use and your intended application – e.g. back-up power source or decrease to your grid power use.

Ecotourism
It’s almost impossible to detach nature conservation from tourism in South Africa because the beauty of our country is a drawcard for tourists and even foreign investment. While the term “ecotourism” has come include concepts such as planning before development, economic viability of the tourism product, responsible environmental development and the ability to sustain resources – it also implies that such tourism practices should benefit all parties involved, including communities, rather than benefitting some and neglecting others.

Whether it is accommodation, game parks or infrastructure development that you’d like to invest in, remember the popular ecotourism saying: “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing footprints, waste nothing but time”. This should apply to business objectives here. Consult with the locals and share your vision with them. Let them know that your mission is to protect the environment and its species while creating jobs and hoping that you’ll make a profit in return.

Recycling
The primary motivation for recycling should be the fact that it’s the right thing to do – for our children and future generations. With paper being the most commonly used and wasted commodity at many corporate buildings, it is thus advisable that you contact paper recycling companies such as Prasa to arrange collection at your premises. Find out if the company supply bags or drums and if you’ll have to pay or if they collect. However, if you have enough space to keep recyclable material such as glass, cans and rubber, you can keep them to sell at recycling companies and make money. Investing in the recycling or waste management industry also offers the potential to improve the environment and generate income. For more information about recycling, contact the National Recycling Forum on 011 675 3462.