Newsclip Media Monitoring is embarking upon a green solar energy campaign, which will revolutionise the face of its business in the environment. The idea came about after conversations regarding the COP17 Climate Change conference, which will be taking place in Durban later this year.
When the Newsclip building in Roodepoort was built in 2004, it was created to be as eco-friendly as possible, with large glass windows to allow for natural light, and energy-efficient light bulbs installed throughout. As times changed, of course, so did the need to improve the existing infrastructure and, with that, the opportunity to lower the carbon offsets.
Newsclip’s MD, Simon Dabbs, who has been watching the Western world convert to solar powered energy, realised this needed to be implemented more locally, and so the dream to run the Newsclip offices off the sun was born. Dabbs says “It is every person’s responsibility to pave a better path for the future, and to do everything in his or her power to lower their carbon footprint. The timing couldn’t be better with the conference coming to our shores, and we are excited to be part of such a revolutionary process.”
The change over from traditional Eskom-powered electricity to solar-power will be a staged process, whereby specialists from the engineering and power sector will evaluate and decide on the best route forward. It is an exciting challenge as South Africa's solar radiation output is over twice that of Europe – making it one of the highest in the world – and is the most readily accessible resource available.
The Newsclip head office is a standalone building with 206 employees. This is fairly fitting, as 221 solar panels will be installed, which equates to almost one employee per panel. These panels will off-set approximately 92 tons of carbon dioxide per year through a 50kWp DC photovoltaic system that produces an estimated 90 000 AC kWh of electrical energy. 92 tons of carbon dioxide is equivalent to electricity usage that 10.4 average households would use over the space of one year. A large model of what a carbon ton actually looks like, will be constructed and placed alongside the solar panels, so interested visitors can see the scale of how much CO2 will be saved yearly. Construction commenced at the beginning of October, and the installation of the solar panels will happen in the last week of the month. With an average of more than 2 500 hours of sunshine every year, South Africa has the perfect climate for solar panel use.
Recently, a spotted (now ‘spotted thick-kneed’) dikkop bird had laid eggs in her nest, in the middle of the construction site. Upon discovering this, that section was immediately cornered off to protect the bird and her unborn babies. These birds have become the unofficial mascot for the Newsclip green campaign, and it’s exciting to see how technology and nature can exist in harmony.
There will also be a marketing campaign surrounding this, with internal staff ambassador programmes and a 360-degree social media campaign, which will utilise Facebook and Twitter to provide daily updates, images and green tips.
For more information on the COP17 campaign, go to http://www.cop17-cmp7durban.com/en/about-cop17-cmp7/what-is-cop17-cmp7.html