The production and beneficiation of locally manufactured parts and components is a key driver for economic growth in South Africa and the growth of these industries is a strategic priority.
Programmes such as the National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa (NCPC-SA) have been set up by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) to support such manufacturers and help them become competitive and sustainable, increasing local content and exports to international markets.
The NCPC-SA fulfils its mandate by assisting manufacturers to increase profitability and sustainability by reducing their use of energy, water and materials through resource efficiency and cleaner production (RECP).
The Valve and Actuator Manufacturers Cluster of South Africa (VAMCOSA), which operates under the auspices of the South African Capital Equipment Export Council, works to support the interests of manufacturers of valves and actuators.
In 2014, VAMCOSA partnered with the NCPC-SA to enrol its members in the RECP programme. This entailed identifying opportunities to increase resource-use efficiency, environmental sustainability and overall profitability of the participating companies through RECP assessments.
The key activities of the assessments included resource consumption trending, tariff structure analysis, baseline development, waste water and energy resource management maturity surveys, in-plant observations and data logging. In all the assessed companies, energy and water were the biggest concern, and thus the focus for the project.
During the first phase of assessment results in 2014/15, it was estimated that participating companies could realise an average saving of 35% on their energy bills.
The outcome of the RECP assessments offered the valve companies the opportunity to evaluate the possibility to promote and achieve operational, environmental and economical sustainability. In addition, these results presented an opportunity for both management and the operational staff to realise a shared understanding of resource efficiency and its benefits.
The enthusiasm with which the VAMCOSA members participated in the initiative and the support from the organisation as well as the dti sector desk prompted the NCPC-SA to use the opportunity to develop this best practice guide.
It is our sincere hope that this guide will increase the impact of the RECP initiative in the sector, empowering companies to save valuable resources, and thereby remain sustainable over the long term.
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