Nelson Mandela University's Energy Management Plan (developed in 2009) is downloadable from the right of this page.

At the right of this page, you will find a draft discussion document regarding sustainable energy managament at the University for you to download.

Article from the Weekend Post of 14 September 2009

Neslon Mandela University conference goes green, cuts back on emissions
by Guy Rogers, Environment & Tourism Editor (

NELSON Mandela University is using the latest international technology to offset the environmental negatives related to a major business conference which starts today.

Organiser Dr Suzette Viviers said yesterday the university’s School of Management Sciences (Saims) had commissioned the UN-affiliated Australia-based Cleaner Climate agency “to conduct a carbon footprint assessment of direct and indirect emissions related to the conference”.

“The scope three assessment that will be applied incorporates emissions associated with electricity from using lights, computers and data projects, as well as vehicle and airline travel, accommodation, waste and event collateral like the napkins at meals and the name tags.

“This is consistent with global best practice,” Viviers said.

Napkins will be made from a washable material and the name tags will be done on recycled paper. The delegates will be asked to return the lanyards and plastic name holders so they can be used at the next event, she said.

Papers presented at the conference will be printed on recycled paper, conference bags will be produced from natural sturdy fibre by the Warnyenga women’s co-operative in Grahamstown, and waste will be recycled where possible.

Instead of providing water in plastic bottles there will be water in jugs, and porcelain or glass receptacles to drink from as opposed to plastic or polystyrene. Surplus food will be passed on to hotel staff.

An energy manager will be responsible for ensuring that lights and computers and data projectors are turned off during tea and at the end of the day.

The remaining emissions will be offset using Kyoto-compliant carbon credits from registered carbon projects, Viviers explained. Carbon trade was ratified at a meeting of the UN Framework for the Convention on Climate Change in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997.

It allows for governments or corporations normally in developed countries to off-set a portion of their carbon emissions by buying credits from a clean air project in a developing country.

Exactly which projects will be used is still be worked out together with Cleaner Climate.

The Saims was keen to use the University's spekboom-planting project spearheaded by the botany department but it is not yet registered with the UN, she explained. “What we do know so far is that they will be projects that focus on wind and solar energy and they will be here in South Africa.

“This will mitigate the global warming effects of the event-related emissions that we are not able to eliminate, and will ensure the Saims conference is a low-carbon, climate-friendly event.”

The need to reduce the carbon footprint relates to climate change and the overwhelming scientific consensus today that it is being caused by vast quantities of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane.

These are generated by human activity ranging from the burning of coal and oil in power and fuel production plants and cars, to the transformation of indigenous forests and bush for agriculture.

It is predicted that climate change could result in an increase in the frequency and severity of droughts, floods and storms, and in a rise in temperature with unprecedented ramifications in turn for the global economy, the environment and human society.

The Nelson Mandela University conference will include addresses by business school director Dr Piet Naudé on “key challenges for business in the 21st century” and by Toyota marketing senior vice- president Andrew Kirby on “environmental positioning within the South African landscape”.