S. African companies pledges on energy efficiency

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South African leading companies attending the 17 th Conference of Parties to United Nations climate change conference in Durban on Wednesday signed a voluntary pledge on energy efficiency.

The Energy Efficiency Leadership Network Pledge confirms the commitment of South African business to energy efficiency and a sustainable future.

The pledge is brought as part of the green economy accord and more companies and organizations are expected to sign it through the course of the conference of parties currently under way in Durban.

The initiative is supported by Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) and the National Business Initiative (NBI).

Andre Fourie, head of sustainable development at South African beer brewing company, South African Breweries (SAB), said a great number of actions to be taken by countries and corporations to mitigate against climate change and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are expensive and the technologies are complicated.

To outsiders, the negotiations may seem complicated, but at the heart of the discussions are the questions of "by how much can we cut" global emissions and who will pay for that, he said.

"One exception to the uncertainty and complexity of the climate negotiations is the issue of energy efficiency. In most cases an investment in energy efficiency will reduce not only a company's emissions profile but will also save money in the long term. It makes sense from both an environmental and bottom line perspective, " Fourie said in a statement.

Since the country's national electricity crisis in 2008, SAB has reduced its annual electricity consumption throughout its breweries by a total of 17 percent, well above the initial targeted electricity reduction of 10 percent, he said,

South African state owned power utility Eskom boss Brian Dames, said recently that Eskom commended SAB on the comprehensive actions taken towards making their plants as energy efficient as possible.

"We look forward to continuing our close co-operation with SAB, " Dames said.

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