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Growing a greener tomorrow

Global Payment Technologies (GPT), Compendium Insurance Brokers (CIB), South African Bulk Terminals (SABT) and Konica Minolta have partnered with Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) to carbon neutralise South Africa by offsetting carbon emissions and positively contributing to environmental sustainability.

Global Payment Technologies (GPT), Compendium Insurance Brokers (CIB), South African Bulk Terminals (SABT) and Konica Minolta have partnered with Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA) to carbon neutralise South Africa by offsetting carbon emissions and positively contributing to environmental sustainability.

The Konica Minolta partnership with FTFA dates to 2008 with a goal of reducing carbon emissions. In 2012/13, Konica Minolta completed its first carbon footprint calculation that showed what emissions they put in the air and what it would require to offset these emissions through planting trees. So far, Konica Minolta has been able to plant the right number of trees to reach a carbon neutral status.

Konica Minolta's emissions stem from the import of equipment from other countries through shipping. The local carbon emissions are through fuel due to the technicians and delivery vehicles on the road every day. To date, Konica Minolta has planted over 67 000 trees in about 1 300 communities, offsetting about 25 000 tonnes of carbon emissions.

The GPT and FTFA partnership is focused on planting trees at schools and to date, in excess of 9 000 trees have been planted in five South African regions. Through this partnership, GPT recognises the value of the environment and aims to create sustainable communities that are aware of the benefits of the environment.

GPT supplies cash handling machines, software solutions and after-sales service and this means that large amounts of fuel gets burnt through trips to and from clients. The partnership with FTFA has helped the business offset its carbon emissions.

SABT has partnered with FTFA to contribute positively to food security in the KwaXimba area in KwaZulu-Natal. The partnership includes the Getsemane Agri Farmers Cooperative - a registered co-op that produces staple crops and vegetables. With the support provided by SABT, a nursery structure was installed, along with an irrigation system and two water pumps. This was all in preparation for planting 8 000 seedlings in the garden that is now tended by two young men who recognised the opportunity to assist the community through gardening. The food garden was started by the Getsemane Agri Farmers Cooperative to sell their vegetables to local retailers, such as the Cato Ridge Spar, various tuck shops and through hawkers and walk-ins to the nursery. Some of the vegetables are donated to local pre-schools, primary schools, and needy families in the community.

CIB polled its employees asking for environmental initiatives that were close to employees' hearts, and planting trees was selected as the top choice. With that the FTFA partnership began in 2023 with 188 trees being planted – both indigenous and fruit trees that should produce nutrition for nearby communities. The CIB team regularly gets involved by planting trees and sees this as an opportunity to bond while greening the environment.

The CIB staff volunteer days have extended to planting at nearby schools, including Funulwazi Primary School, Brailsford Primary School and Mosaic Community Development all in honour of Earth Day. Tree planting methodologies, if done right, will mean a greater carbon impact on combating climate change whilst vegetable gardens will provide food security for the communities.

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