A user-friendly interface for South Africa’s Mitigation Potential Analysis

Main sectors: MINING, ENERGY and CLIMATE CHANGE, INDUSTRY, MANUFACTURING, TRANSPORT, URBAN SYSTEMS, AGRICULTURE Client: Department of Environmental Affairs Problem Statement: Planning for economy wide mitigation of greenhouse gases requires an in-depth understanding of the individual mitigation options, including the volume of greenhouse gases that they are able to reduce and by when, the capital and operating costs associated with their implementation and the impacts of implementing them on the economy of the country. In 2014 the Department of Environmental Affairs commissioned a study of these options which came to be known as the Mitigation Potential Analysis (MPA). This study was commissioned by the Department to convert the spreadsheet-based MPA into a user-friendly modelling system which they can easily update as new information becomes available. The study also sought to update certain components of the model where new information was readily available. The Green House approach: The Green House chose to use Analytica as the platform on which to build this...Read More >

Biochar potential in South Africa

Main sectors: AGRICULTURE, ENERGY and CLIMATE CHANGE Client: Department of Environmental Affairs Problem Statement: Biochar is manufactured by burning organic material in a reduced oxygen environment. The product can be burnt as an energy source, used in water treatment, added to animal feed and chicken litter, and in many other applications. However one of the main interests in biochar globally is in its potential to be applied to the land, thereby both capturing the carbon in the biochar for extensive periods of time, and at the same time improving soil quantity. The Department of Environmental Affairs commissioned this study to determine the potential for biochar to contribute to carbon sequestration in South Africa. The study was to look at feedstock sources, technologies for biochar manufacture and suitable soils and locations for biochar application. The Green House approach: The project commenced with a detailed literature review of international experience in production of biochar. It then went on to map the geographical...Read More >

Life Cycle Assessment of milk production in the Western Cape

Main sectors: MANUFACTURING AND RETAIL, AGRICULTURE Client: WWF-SA and Woolworths Problem Statement: To gain an understanding of the impacts of dairy products and to identify key points of intervention for improvement. The Green House approach: The first step was to thoroughly scope the study and identify partners along the product value chain. Through discussions with the WWF team, the study was limited to the production and supply of fresh milk to the consumer, with the milk produced in the Western Cape and sold within the greater Cape Town area. Five farms were located that were willing to participate in the study, that covered different Western Cape regions (Greater Cape Town, the Overberg and the Garden Route) and different dairy farming approaches (intensive stall-based and pasture). An in-kind donation to the WWF was negotiated with TetraPak and the large commercial dairy company that provided input into a TetraPak study on milk packaging [possibly a link to that case study], to allow...Read More >

Life Cycle Assessment of South African and Namibian Beef Retailed in South Africa

Main sectors: AGRICULTURE, MANUFACTURING AND RETAIL Client: WWF-SA Problem Statement: Given the high focus on climate and water impacts of livestock in recent FAO reports, as well as the trend towards increased red meat intake with rising income levels, WWF-SA wished to understand the impacts of beef production in a Southern African context, as well as to identify the key points of intervention along the beef value chain, so as to support their efforts towards creating a sustainable beef supply chain in South Africa. The Green House approach: The project was undertaken in partnership with Woolworths, thus a number of meetings were held with WWF-SA, the Woolworths project team and red meat experts to fully scope the project. The agreed system to study was the production and retail of two high-grade beef products (steak and mince) in South Africa, including cattle rearing, fattening (both feedlot and free-range), slaughtering, processing, packaging and retailing. The scope of the study was later extended...Read More >

Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA) of two South African textile value chains: Cotton t-shirt and cotton towel

Main sectors: AGRICULTURE, MANUFACTURING AND RETAIL Client: South African Sustainable Textiles and Apparel Cluster (SASTAC) Problem Statement: To provide a baseline of the sustainability performance of the South African textiles industry and to pilot life cycle assessment against two cotton textile value chains. The Green House approach: The project was broken down into two distinct phases. The first phase, undertaken in association with The Moss Group, developed a set of sustainability metrics against which to assess the South African textiles industry. The development process combined input from existing reviews and standards with the insights of industry experts and other stakeholders. Background research included a literature survey of environmental life cycle and social impact assessment studies and a review of sustainability standards. The global focus of these reviews was complemented by research identifying material issues in the South African textile industry and by stakeholder input elicited through two workshops. The workshop outcomes were synthesised with the research component to develop a...Read More >

Screening Life Cycle Assessment of Textiles Retailed in South Africa

Main sectors: AGRICULTURE, MANUFACTURING AND RETAIL Client: Woolworths Problem Statement: To provide Woolworths with a better understanding of the environmental impacts of textiles, particularly with respect to where in the life cycle impacts are highest, and how these differ for different raw material options. The Green House approach: A high-level life cycle comparison was recommended to provide the necessary insights at a relatively low budget. Three broadly different fibre types – cotton fibres, polyester fibres and cellulosic fibres (viscose) – were chosen to span the mix of natural and synthetic fibres, whilst cellulosic viscose was included because of the interest in bamboo as a sustainable resource. The study was a screening LCA in that it relied primarily on life cycle databases to model the impacts of manufacturing textiles, although study-specific information was included where required by the South African context, most notably around the consumer use of textile products. Outcomes: The deliverables of the study was an accessible study report,...Read More >