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25TH OCTOBER, 2018

Tackling Climate Change

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A report by leading climate scientists, released this Monday, by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has warned that we have just over 10 years to reduce CO2 emissions to keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5oC. Beyond this figure, we stand to see devastating impacts of climate change: rising temperatures, drought, extreme weather events and humanitarian crisis. The main findings conclude that the effects on marine life, rise in ocean levels, drought, wildlife and plants will be considerable, should we pass the 1.5oC mark. The authors of the report emphasise a need for urgency. 

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What does this mean for business? Since the Paris Agreement of 2016, SDGs have helped unify government policy and business to some degree. Schemes around the world to promote green energy, the circular economy and improved water management have led to greater awareness about climate issues than ever before. Camellia’s focus has always been to safeguard the environments in which we operate for the long term. In response to the urgency of the climate change agenda, we have accelerated initiatives to conserve energy and water across the Group. Importantly, a number of environmental projects also focus on protecting biodiversity and the delicate ecosystems within which we exist.

This work often reaches beyond our borders to surrounding communities. In our Maclands operations in South Africa a large area has been left unplanted to promote the regeneration of indigenous trees and wildlife, as well as provision of running water to the nearby villages. Water conservation is a high prority for all our operations, as the way that we capture, store and use water effects our operations and our neighbouring communities.

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We have identified over 200 energy and water efficiency projects across the Group, some of which have now been completed and others are currently in the implementation phase. Having considered the possibilities of reducing our Carbon footprint across our operations, we have aligned our goal of reducing CO2 emissions with the Science Based Target (1.5oC scenario) initiative. Projects are diverse, including installation of solar panels, green energy sourcing and more energy efficient technology and production processes.

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The IPCC report captures many aspects of nature that are inter-dependant and will be affected by a dramatic rise in temperature. For instance, micro-irrigation and grey-water reuse, which among others form part of our global initiative to improve water-use efficacy, are directly linked to how much energy is needed to pump water. As one circular economy expert, Kevin James of GCX, said recently,

"We have been able to demonstrate that ethically minded solutions make good business sense. The sustainability agenda is finally standing on its own two feet."

The challenge lies in the speed of adoption of SDGs across borders and sectors. For Camellia, this means continued action to manage our environments responsibly, locally and globally.

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Anna Chilton

Sustainability Manager