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CSIR Joins 49M Initiative

28-Feb-2013 | Source : AG-IP News | Visits : 8394
CAPE TOWN - The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has joined the 49M energy saving campaign. An impressive list of leading companies has also joined the 49M campaign. 49M is an energy initiative endorsed by government and business partners and supported by ordinary South Africans who have changed the way they use electricity to ensure savings, a press release by the Council stated. 

The popular energy saving campaign, which is attracting more and more participants, urges South Africans to reduce their energy consumption by at least 10% by simply changing the way they use electricity.

At the signing ceremony held at the CSIR offices in Pretoria, CSIR pledged to support the 49M initiative.

Richard Flame, Group Manager for Properties Infrastructure and Services at the CSIR, said the company was excited to be a part of the 49M initiative. “Reducing energy usage is always high on the CSIR’s agenda. The CSIR has since 2006 set itself stretched annual targets. These targets have been met and exceeded annually,” said Flame.

He also said that this was achieved after a number of energy-efficiency initiatives were introduced at the CSIR. Those initiatives include changing old high energy lighting to more efficient lighting. Depending on the area and need for hot water, geysers were either switched off or adjusted to 55 degrees celsius.

“Behavioural change has contributed to reduction of energy usage. We encourage our employees to switch off the lights in the boardrooms, toilets and other areas where nobody is using them. Last year, the CSIR installed real-time meter energy meters, and monitors assist in monitoring the energy usage and demand. Building occupants will also be able to see in real-time how much energy they use in the building. This information will assist them to manage electricity usage more efficiently.

Richard Flame, CSIR Group Manager for Properties Infrastructure and Services and Pieter Pretorius Eskom's Senior Manager: Strategic Marketing shake hands after signing the pledge.

So far, 49M has partnered with more than 70 businesses that have pledged to cut down on their electricity consumption. The businesses that have already signed partnership pledges include mining house AngloGold Ashanti and other top companies. The campaign is also targeting tertiary institutions and ordinary residents.

49M spokesperson, Andrew Etzinger, said that he was pleased that more and more companies were prepared to come on board and ensure that the energy saving campaign achieves its mandate of achieving at least 10% energy saving by 2015.

“We are pleased that the CSIR has come on board as we increase our efforts to persuade companies and individuals to do more to save electricity,” says Etzinger.

As part of the 49M initiative, which aims to make energy-saving a national culture, community activations that include replacing light bulbs with energy efficient ones, and demonstrations of how to save electricity, are taking place all over the country.

49M is also taking its campaign to universities and colleges through its global green campus movement, which shows young people how to save energy and commit to the cause to ensure a sustainable future. 49M also has a glass house which it moves around the country to demonstrate how to save energy in the home using simple innovations such as geyser blankets that keep the water warm for longer.

So far, just under 11 000 people have pledged on the 49M website to participate in changing the way they use electricity in order to conserve energy. The campaign has further reached more than 30 000 individuals through its community activations across the country, spearheaded by Mr Malusi Gigaba, who is the Minister of Public Enterprises.

The 49M campaign was launched in March 2011 as a response to the country’s constrained power system, climate change, the recent economic downturn and rising electricity costs. The campaign encourages individuals and corporates to lead energy smart lifestyles thereby saving the planet and their pockets. South Africans are encouraged to join the movement by visiting to pledge their support. Go to the 49M Facebook page or tweet @49MillionSA.

To date,49M has signed up more than 70 partners. Other corporate partners who are supporting it include AngloGold Ashanti, Anglo American, Santam, MTN, MassMart, Standard Bank, Nedbank, AfriSam, Food & Trees for Africa, Solidarity, NUM and all eight state-owned-companies under the portfolio of the Department of Public Enterprises.

More than 14% of its corporate partners are top 100 companies listed in the JSE. Four of its partner NGOs, are among the top ten environmental NGOs in South Africa, and three of its partner trade unions, are among the biggest trade unions in South Africa.

The CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) is one of the leading R&D, technology and innovation institutions in Africa, with a track record spanning over 65 years. Structured to manage the entire research and innovation value chain, the CSIR strives for excellence in all its endeavors in order to improve the quality of life of South Africa's people and to increase the global competitiveness of South African industry. Visit 


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