Following National Water Week, which ran from 15 to 22 March in South Africa, Vodacom would like to reiterate its call to all South Africans to join them in protecting and conserving the country’s water resources by using water sparingly.
South Africa is a water-scarce country and the World Wide Fund (WWF) for Nature has identified it as one of the 30 driest countries in the world. Rapidly growing urban areas are placing heavy pressure on water resources. Climate change is also having a devastating impact on the country’s water supplies.
In response to this, Vodacom has implemented water-saving strategies across its property portfolio by introducing water-wise gardens and a rainwater harvest dam on its Midrand campus. Additional measures include the installation of timed aerator taps, which reduce water flows, waterless urinals, chemical flushing of toilets and waterless hand sanitising stations.
Since 2015, Vodacom has reduced its water usage by over 63% and through the company’s enterprise business, it offers Internet of Things (IoT) technology solutions to improve water resource management, particularly in rural communities. This forms part of an overall strategy to develop new approaches to addressing challenges faced by managers of water facilities.
The IoT technology solutions are set to help drastically reduce water loss by giving municipalities a real-time view of their water infrastructure. Faulty meters and accurate consumption can be monitored, maintenance teams can receive instant alerts via email or SMS about faults and corrective action can be taken in a very short time frame. Alerts include the GPS location of the meter, its status, flow rates and consumption.
“As Vodacom, we are not an intensive consumer of water, due to the nature of our business. However, we realise that water is a scarce resource and have therefore implemented various water-saving measures, which have significantly reduced water consumption in South Africa since 2015. We also encourage our employees and customers to adopt water-efficient practices at home and at work.” says Takalani Netshitenzhe, Chief Officer for External Affairs at Vodacom South Africa
“We have also implemented various water-wise initiatives in communities across the country, including providing Jojo tanks with drinkable water to 23 teacher centres, 50 schools and 12 schools of excellence in the North West, Northern Cape, and Free State. In addition, Vodacom donated a total of R6,5million towards disaster relief in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal.”
“At Vodacom, we believe that urgent and sustained action is required to protect and conserve the country’s water resources and that business success should not come at a cost to the environment. Vodacom’s water conservation programmes support our contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) and through our commitment to halve our environmental impact, we will help to ensure a sustainable future for all.”
Vodacom – which generates less than 2 metric tons of carbon per terabyte of data a year – says it plans to halve its carbon footprint in South Africa by 2025.
“We have, for many years now, been working on reducing our carbon footprint,” says Shameel Joosub, Vodacom CEO.
“We have made meaningful progress over the last decade. For example, in South Africa in 2012, we generated 27.6 metric tons of carbon outside per terabyte of data.”
“Today, we are consuming less than 2 metric tons of carbon dioxide per terabyte of data. While we are pleased with this progress, our ambition requires even more as we strive to halve our carbon footprint by 2025.”
The effects of climate change – frequent storms, floods, and extreme temperatures – are the most urgent global issues the world is facing today. The negative impact could affect generations to come.
Experts say the world needs to halve emissions by 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5°C.