To lower its carbon footprint and contribute to more sustainable energy usage, integrated OOH media and marketing services group Provantage has installed a 100kW solar power solution at its head office in Johannesburg. The complete renewable energy solution, supplied and installed by Averge Technologies, is now up and running, ensuring that the Randburg office is 90% self-sufficient while supporting Government’s sustainability initiatives.
Installed in September this year, the solar system currently provides 100kW of green renewable energy. This will be increased to 150kW by December. A total of 180 460w solar panels were installed on the Provantage Head Office roof, with an additional 45 to be installed by year-end.
Provantage CFO and Head of Operations, Johan Scholtz, explains, “At Provantage, one of our core values is maintaining a sustainable business. Having previously had generators installed to mitigate load-shedding; while we maintained business continuity, the continued burning of fossil fuel was not a sustainable option. Solar power was the most viable and environmentally friendly choice in the long term.”
By implementing this energy-efficient solution, Provantage is aligning itself with the Small-scale Embedded Generation (SSEG) sector, a sector which by the end of Q2 2023 had seen a total installed capacity of 1247.63 MWp according to The South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (SAPVIA), contributing to the broader landscape of solar installations in the commercial and industrial sectors.
Provantage company H&A (Hewitt + Associates) also implemented several renewable energy solutions at its Mount Edgecombe offices in Kwa-Zulu Natal last year, setting aside 15% of its footprint for trees and garden, using cognitive, energy-efficient lighting throughout its premises and using ridgeline venting for greater climate control. Currently, over 40% of H&A’s daily power requirements come from renewables and 50% of its factory roof is covered by solar panels. This paved the way for a more sustainable approach for all the Provantage companies, with productivity across the board set to be maximised due to uninterrupted power.
Scholtz adds, “In the interest of better service delivery, Government has called on South Africans to live more energy-efficient lives to help ease the pressure on the power grid. We have heard them and hope to lead by example, reducing our carbon footprint and using energy more responsibly. This is not just a passing trend. Consumers are more concerned about sustainability than ever before, and as a responsible brand, we owe it to them and Government to take action.”
Over the next decade, Provantage will reduce its carbon emissions by over 135 tonnes a year, saving over 50 tonnes of coal that would have been burnt annually. This translates to the equivalent of almost 9500 trees planted every year. Additionally, the disruptive nature of load-shedding was previously mitigated through the use of generators. But as diesel will no longer be used to power the building during outages, a significant reduction in harmful fossil fuel emissions will be achieved.
Ettiene Visser, Averge CEO adds, “Provantage’s choice to adopt a more sustainable approach is blazing a trail and will serve as a successful case study that will pay for itself within three-five years. At the same time, this comprehensive hybrid solution produces a drastically reduced carbon footprint with less reliance on the National Electricity Grid. With these contingencies in place, Provantage’s sustainability maximised and cost savings guaranteed – and also, very importantly, with business continuity ensured, service delivery across the board is assured.”
Driven by its sustainable values, Provantage continues to lead by example, showcasing how businesses can drive positive change while achieving operational excellence. Scholtz concludes, “While South Africa continues to face service delivery challenges, we feel that private sector companies have an obligation to reduce the pressure, bolstering economic growth and more responsible energy usage wherever possible. We stand by our values, making sustainability paramount, and continue to explore energy-efficient solutions across all the operating companies within the group.”