GENERAL REPRESENTATION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF FLANDERS

IN SOUTHERN AFRICA

EMBASSY OF BELGIUM
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Water and carbon footprint report 2019
Flanders Representative - South Africa 182

Water and carbon footprint report 2019

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In June 2016, the General Representation of the Government of Flanders commissioned a water and carbon footprint assessment of its Pretoria office. The Pretoria office has since committed to continue monitoring and reporting on this data and to actively work towards reducing its impact on the environment and on climate change, as well as offsetting the carbon emissions of the office by undertaking “green” options and activities.

The total carbon footprint for the General Representation of the Government of Flanders in southern Africa, Pretoria office, for 2019 is 37 282,17 kgCO2 (compared to 36 376,06 kgCO2 in 2018), i.e. an increase of 906,11 tCO₂e. The office increased its carbon footprint w.r.t. fuel consumption of office vehicles and increased emissions from business air travel. Although there was a decrease of electricity consumption, electricity remains a significant contributing factor towards the overall carbon footprint. It should be noted that company vehicles were used more in 2019 than in 2018, as employees made less frequent use of the shuttle service. Furthermore, our data assessment has steadily improved over the years. In 2016, data was based on monthly averages calculated from year totals. Year on year, we were able to capture more monthly actual figures, which has an impact on the numbers.

Water emissions increased from 320 kl per year to 1 441 kl per year and this concurs with our actual metre readings, which is equivalent to 120 083 litres per month. However, this extremely high figure was due to a serious water leak in 2019 that resulted in significant water loss from the pipes. Therefore, although the office was finally able to take accurate water meter readings in 2019, these do not reflect the actual daily water usage for 2019. It is hoped that the numbers for 2020 will be a more accurate reflection of our water consumption.

The Pretoria office is committed to reducing the carbon and water footprint and to manage office operations as sustainably as possible. An action plan was put in place and was followed up through a fixed agenda point at monthly office meetings. We have committed to ongoing measurements of our water and carbon footprints. The data for 2019 were more accurate than for previous years, particularly where mileage figures and paper usage are concerned.

We intend to refurbish our office building in the near future and every effort will be made to “green” the building as much as feasible during the process. This will, again, be partially dependent on the cooperation of the landlord.

The Pretoria office is committed to carbon footprint offsetting measures. In February 2020 we offset our office carbon footprint for 2018 by retiring 36 tCO2e in support of the Hout Bay Recycling Co-Op (2019 vintage) project. This was done via Credible Carbon, a carbon registry that allows individuals and businesses to offset their footprint by supporting green projects which alleviate poverty.

The water and carbon footprint data for the previous years can be viewed by clicking on the CO2 icon at the top right hand side of our homepage.
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