Estate Living Magazine Estate Living Issue 28 April - Page 20

Water Crisis Reality of the water crisis hitting home for south african businesses and people alike harsh reality is that is not the case, and many people have been warning us about a global water crisis over the last decade at least. This realisation also brings to the fore the fact that water scarcity has a direct financial impact on the economy, in trying to deal with and rectify the situation in a sustainable manner. of water conservation is losing a lush green and colourful Smith, efficient and mindful use of water by businesses results landscape to a dull, dry and dusty desert landscape. However, in the following benefits: this is not the case, and Servest has committed to adopting Cost savings – reduced municipal water consumption, which leads to direct savings. • Reduced waste water – less bulk water treatment is required. • • human development and beautiful landscapes. As part of our Office Plants division, we initiated a change in our interior plants operation in July 2017, and have changed the types of plants that are now in the working environment. We took the initiative to start replacing all plants that require a solving. As industry leaders, we have seen the lack of proactive if the environment conditions are applicable, some plants only approaches and have therefore committed to adopting a holistic require water once every three months. Servest will also still be include: and integrated approach to our overall sustainability, which using water that we harvest from our cooling systems at our draws knowledge from multiple disciplines. Some approaches depot. A pertinent question raised is: How important is the need for us to have office plants? The answer is that the need for • The first phase of our strategy, to become operationally sustainable by 2020, has focused on the following core output: of businesses. Plants remove harmful, volatile compounds showers to only a few minutes. • Resource consumption monitoring programs oxygen and water too, for the plants’ own nutritional needs. Fix leaking taps and pipes immediately and make sure • Becoming an ISO 14001 certified company concentration and the overall health of people, from indoor that infrastructure is well and regularly maintained to • Sustainable supplier sourcing plan • Social responsibility plan • Encourage colleagues and customers to limit • that we’ve com mitted to: The Servest (Pty) Ltd Policy and Strategy on Environmental Sustainability – ‘Environmental sustainability through innovation’ and convert to waterless urinals. city’s major water reservoirs are sitting at just 26% capacity. If avoid leaks. Our responsibilty, as Servest, regarding water conservation with the cost of water reflected on the balance sheet and more As leaders in the world of facilities management, we are a to do with the cost of not having water. Water is embedded business that relies on the use of water as a key resource in literally everything that we produce and consume.” Source: to deliver our core operations – a few of our services being Linden Smith – Energy Engineer at GCX Carbon & Energy Cleaning, Landscaping, Catering, Office Plants and Hygiene. It • Innovative solutions specific to operational Landscaping and Turf: • Installation of Astroturf as a substitute for conventional grass turf • Installing and implementing digital technology and sensors to improve water management and colleagues in Cape Town. • Substituting exotic lawns with indigenous lawns have a direct impact on basic human needs, are electricity World Water Day that took place on the 22 of March, themed production, sanitation, and clean drinking water. As human ‘Why waste water?', the event highlighted the severity of the • Substituting lawns with indigenous ground covers where heavy traffic isn’t an issue beings, our dependence on water is often underestimated, global situation. The consciousness that is developing among as we subconsciously believe it will always be available. The people and businesses in South Africa, especially due to the 20 | Reduce and reuse storm water and irrigation run-off Some of the quicker, and more common ways of saving water ‘Day Zero’, when municipal water supply will largely be shut off, Some of the major services that are in jeopardy, which • These plants require less than one litre every 6–8 weeks and, Replace single-flush toilets with dual-flush toilets, is looming over not only Cape Town, but the entire country. Spray to drip conversions (where applicable) Enhanced reputation and competitive advantage. • This statement aptly summarises the frightening reality that • high water intake with hardier, sustainable, water-wise plants. Use sensor-activated taps where possible. “The real risk of water scarcity to a business has less to do operations from environmental impacts, without sacrificing • Hydro-zoning global challenges with a fragmented approach to problem • The impact of water scarcity on businesses assist the process of decoupling our own as well as our clients’ Mulching of beds As a society, we have passed the stage of confronting our resulted in our precious water running out and, despite water- of water. innovative approaches, by using technological solutions to • Conservation of a life-giving natural resource. Do not wash dishes or hands under running taps. this happens, Cape Town will be the first major city to run out development goals pertinent to our Landscaping and Turf for all. There is a common misconception that the trade-off • comes after a report by the Western Cape government that the Global Sustainable Development Goals. One of the sustainable every part of their operations. According to the article by Linden A drought in the Western Cape, which began in 2015, has is fast approaching and is expected to become a reality. This in the process of aligning ourselves with the United Nations’ need to change their mindsets on the way they use water in Use water-efficient taps and showerheads. low levels. The City of Cape Town has reported that the infamous on our own day-to-day operations and actions, and are now division is Goal 6: Ensure access to water and sanitation • on sourcing indigenous plant species with a high aesthetic value associated with the regional vegetation type, to ensure that the species are adapted to the local climate companies to start acting. We have started to reflect seriously The large volume use of businesses means that businesses • saving measures, dam levels are predicted to decline to critically Cape Town crisis, has resulted in a greater urgency for private is vital that we reframe our thinking to take heed of the extreme state of the situation, specifically as a company with operations plants in offices is greater than ever before. The lack of water is affecting the atmospheric conditions in the work environment (VOCs) such as formaldehyde and benzene from the air by as much as 70% in a 24-hour period. Plants convert these into Plants also remove carbon monoxide, which affects attention, areas. Indoor plants also stabilise humidity by 30–60% and regulate temperature, creating a more comfortable and healthier environment. Besides eliminating harmful VOCs, plants still benefit our health and wellbeing in many ways. They can reduce coughs and throat dryness, headaches, dry skin and fatigue – most of these problems are exacerbated by dehydration and the lack of fluids. It is our responsibility to encourage our colleagues and clients alike to change their mindset. Water conservation is an opportunity as well as a necessity for us all. We can only save water while we have water to save, so let’s not waste any more time or any more precious life-giving water. • Substituting exotic ornamentals with local indigenous plant species; emphasis is placed | 21