Significantly greater response to the threats of climate change resulted in the toughest year yet for judges of the Climate Change Leadership Awards, who announced the ten category winners at a carbon neutral event held in Sandton at the end of March. This green competition and awards is the first in Africa to recognise, reward, motivate and celebrate businesses, communities, youth, schools and individuals leading the way in climate change response and mitigation.
“These third annual awards demonstrate that they are achieving their desired result with improved quality of entries from schools, greater diversity from individuals and communities, and growing carbon offset innovation from SMEs,” said Jeunesse Park, founder of Food & Trees for Africa and the CCLA. “The Local Municipalities category, however, had a unanimously clear winner and the private sector is growing from strength to strength in its efforts to deal with climate risks and opportunities.”
Andile Ncontse of Litha Communications announced the evolution to the continent wide Climate Hero Awards Africa, which will kick off on October 1, 2012, World Habitat Day.
“The Climate Hero Awards Africa has its origins in the resounding success of the Climate Change Leadership Awards,” said Ncontse. “As a continental response to climate mitigation, the Awards were established with the realisation that tackling the climate change challenge cannot be confined to artificial borders but require a concerted effort from all stakeholders in society across the continent.”
This year the scope of categories was expanded and judging methodologies evolved to sustain the spirit of the awards and cater to growing interest across the board.
Winners of the Climate Heroes of the Climate Change Leadership Awards, 2012 :
Schools or Youth Groups sponsored by Pick n Pay:
In first place is Mailakgang Primary School with its peer educator concept for recycling, tree planting, food gardening, and water conservation linked to climate change awareness, that reaches beyond its own school of children to neighbouring schools.
Communities and individuals sponsored by the South African Post Office:
First place went to The Reporting Development Network Africa, for demystifying climate change, with a specific focus on community education and training the media. It interrogates the way that issues of climate change, food security and overall global sustainability are being framed by journalists when they communicate to the general public.
Waste Minimisation sponsored by ABI, the soft-drink division of SAB:
Foodbank South Africa was the outright winner. It is a project clearly dealing with both aspects of climate change, mitigation (avoidance of emissions from landfills) and adaptation (dealing with food security), by reclaiming food which would potentially be wasted and redistributing this to those that really need it.
The Agriculture and Food category was won by The Coca-Cola Company, which is addressing climate change through two main areas: cutting carbon emissions and increasing energy efficiency. The judges awarded a special mention to a local firm producing what is believed to be the country’s first carbon-neutral cheesery: Fairview.
The Energy, Minerals and Industrials category was won by Gold Fields Limited, which has been aligning its business with emerging, global low carbon emissions economies since 2005, and has a clearly defined carbon management strategy, and multiple energy efficiency projects.
Santam won the Financials category for its part sponsorship of a research project in partnership with the CSIR, University of Cape Town and WWF, the outcome of which illustrates how human-induced impacts on the ecological buffering capacity of the system have an equal or greater impact on risk, as compared to future climate change predictions.
RISO Africa won the Other Corporate Services category for its off-the-grid printing solution called Risolar, which makes it possible for rural educational institutions without electricity to print 90 pages per minute using solar power.
Pick n Pay won the retail category due to its new world-class, eco-friendly stores and its ongoing commitment to climate change education programme.
The SME category was won by Earth Patrol for many reasons, summarised by its depth and breadth of commitment to environmentally sustainable solutions for its customers and partners.
The Municipality of Cape Town was the runaway winner of the new Local Municipalities category for its long term sustainability strategy, a string of deployed initiatives, and setting the national example. A special mention goes to eThekwini Municipality which implemented a range of activities throughout the past year.
Schools/Youth Group category winners share R35 000 in gift vouchers from Pick n Pay amongst the three winners, and winners in the Community and Individual category share R100 000 from South African Post Office. Waste Minimisation heroes get financial assistance from Amalgamated Beverage Industries, with educational courses sponsored by Global Carbon Exchange.
The Average South African Sacrifices Over R500 000 Worth Of Unused Lunch Breaks Over Their Career
Research released today by online job board CareerJunction has revealed that only one in three South Africans take their full lunch break.
The research conducted amongst 3,000 South African working respondents suggests that more than a third of South Africans skip their lunch break altogether between two to four times per week.
“The average South African works two and a half years overtime during their lifetime due to unused lunch breaks. That amounts to a staggering *R512, 465.00 worth of free work and unnecessary time spent at their desks instead of taking a break,” says Odile Badenhorst, CareerJunction’s Communications Manager.
Despite their being no written rule, employees have an unhealthy belief that it’s expected of them to skip lunch. “In this fast-paced world of work, it’s a common, and unhealthy, mindset that the more hours we work, with no break, the more we’ll be admired or rewarded,” she adds.
The truth is quite the contrary – According to †research, it has long been proven that regular breaks, and a healthy, well-balanced lunch break in particular, increase employee productivity, improve mental well-being, boost creativity, and encourage healthy habits in the workplace. The Cost of a Lunch Break Survey confirms this; when asked how skipping their lunch breaks make them feel, most respondents listed unhappy, indifferent and stressed as emotions that accompany them when working though their lunch breaks. So, why then, are we working ourselves until burn out?
CareerJunction says that the research also showed that while the average lunch break allocated to employees is 60 minutes, the average time taken each day by South African employees is only 24,5
minutes. Only 5% take their full 60 minutes and although over two thirds say their employer encourages them to take lunch, 19% claimed they feel pressured not to take lunch, while 38% have too much work. In fact, 73% of participants said the reason they skip their lunch break is because they have too much work to do or an unexpected task cropped up.
A large percentage, 67%, said they eat at their desks while working, with nearly 60% eating leftovers or a packed lunch. And, even though most workers have access to a full kitchen or seating area, many prefer to eat at their desks, with 45% saying they spend under R100 per week on lunch. Therefore, the fact that 57% of respondents said that the availability of amenities close to work – such as restaurants, shops, delis, convenience stores – has no impact on their choice of job application, makes sense when you look at the majority bringing lunch from home, or not taking lunch at all.
Smoke breaks have long been a contentious issue in the work place with many non-smokers resenting the number of extra breaks smokers get. Smokers in South Africa take, on average, three to four smoke breaks a day with 42% of their colleagues saying they don’t mind if they do. 29% said they didn’t know or care.
So, why aren’t South Africans taking lunch breaks? “While our research revealed that the majority of South African employees listed unexpected work responsibilities or too much work as reasons, other reasons included having to cover for others, sacrificing lunch breaks to leave work earlier, financial difficulties or simply not caring about lunch,” adds Badenhorst.
While it’s encouraging to see, from the research conducted, that the ‘work till burnout’ culture is largely coming from the employees themselves rather than being enforced by employers, Badenhorst is still calling on employers to encourage their staff to take regular breaks away from their desks and enjoy all the benefits that come with this.
For the full survey results, please visit www.careerjunction.co.za/lunch
Applications For MEST Class of 2020 Now Open To Aspiring Software Entrepreneurs Across Africa
Applications for MEST Africa’s 1-year, fully-sponsored entrepreneurial training program in Accra, Ghana are now open for aspiring entrepreneurs from across the African continent.
“This year, building on our 2018 admission of the most number of female founders in our history, we are also focused on continuing to increase our representation of female founders, as we recognise the incredible value female leaders provide in tech.”
Qisimah, the first MEST-funded company with a South African CEO, selected as the Best National Digital Solution for the International World Summits Award in Business and Commerce
Tress, the all-female team with a product that’s changing the billion-dollar hair industry, recently accepted into Y Combinator
Asoriba, the church management startup that’s swept through West Africa, recently partnered with payments giant, Interswitch and has been featured on CNN, BBC, Forbes
Meqasa, Ghana’s number one real-estate portal which went on to raise $500,000 from Frontier Digital Ventures, and recently acquired Jumia House in Ghana.
Kudobuzz, an advertising and marketing software, was selected as one of the 14 ventures to represent Africa at the 2017 edition of PitchDrive, and recently acquired MEST-backed company AdGeek.
SynCommerce, a start-up helping customers sell across channels and keep inventory in sync, recently won the gaming and entertainment category at TechCrunch in Nairobi.
Attend a local MEST information session
Complete the application form
Successful applicants are contacted for a phone interview
Qualified applicants are asked to complete an aptitude test
Top candidates in each region will be invited for an in-person interview in Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya or Cote d’Ivoire
Applications for the class of 2020 close February 8, 2019
Eskom Competition Winner Targets More Growth
The Eskom Development Foundation is tasked with implementing Eskom’s CSI strategy in sectors including enterprise development, education, healthcare, social and community development.
After recently winning a competition for small businesses, South Side Plumbing and Construction is looking at growing its brand and expanding its operations. Two months ago the company scooped R125 000 in prize money after winning the trade and services category of the 2018 Eskom Business Investment Competition (BIC).
The company, which is based in Eldorado Park (Johannesburg), provides specialised services in plumbing and construction. Director Peter Lengweng started the business in 2015 with his partners, Jonathan and Cathy Khan, and they now have 45 permanent and 20 part time employees.
When the company was started, they primarily wanted to attract clients in the insurance sector and that’s how they got most of their clients. They devised a clever way to get their end-user clients by approaching and securing contracts with insurance companies. The insurance companies receive claims from their clients, and the ones that require services that Lengweng’s company provides are then assisted through this relationship. The company also does domestic work but most of their business is generated through the insurance companies.
Lengweng has a strong background in marketing and he believes no company that is serious about succeeding can go about its business and actually achieve maximum success while completely ignoring the importance of marketing it.
“We are going to be using a big chunk of our winnings from the Eskom BIC to rebrand the company. When we started, I did the company branding myself, which is not my forte, so winning a competition such as this one that comes with this kind of cash injection gives us a great opportunity to do things right in that respect and also augment our cash flow. We also want to grow the company by opening branches in other provinces as we currently only service the Johannesburg area in Gauteng,” says Lengweng.
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