Fairview was recognized by The Carbon Protocol of South Africa as the first Carbon Neutral Cheesery on the African continent.
Acknowledging the negative environmental effects of man-made climate change and the fact that 75% of global green house gas (GHG) emissions are generated by business, the Fairview Cheesery began its quest to achieve carbon neutral status in September 2009.
A comprehensive assessment of its carbon footprint by Promethium Carbons revealed that the Fairview Cheesery initially had an annual footprint of 1,743t/CO2e associated with the production of its cheese products. Armed with this knowledge, the team embarked on an emissions reduction project to offset this footprint via emission avoidance and sequestration.
Under the guidance of Earth Patrol, a South African Carbon Management consultancy, the Cheesery became involved in two primary carbon offsetting projects – the planting of trees on the Fairview farm, at local schools, an old age home and a park, and the installation of energy-efficient CFL light bulbs in Fairview farm workers’ homes as well as in various areas across KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng (including low income and subsidised housing areas and special needs centres such as old age homes, orphanages and shelters).
The Cheesery also erected solar panels that reduce its energy usage by a third, and an economiser was purchased to enable the factory to use steam to heat the water in the boiler, reducing boiler fuel consumption by approximately 130lt per day.
“We will continue working towards becoming a greener, more environmentally aware business. The company will strive towards innovation and education in the interest of protecting the environment for future generations,” says Charles Back
How can you reduce your own Carbon Footprint?
- Use your own muscle power whenever and wherever possible, e.g. walk or cycle rather than using a taxi or car – emissions from transport are one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gases.
- Use public transport whenever and wherever possible and think carefully about your personal transport choices – big, heavy gas-guzzlers are not climate friendly – and remember emissions from transport are one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gases.
- Plant indigenous trees – trees absorb carbon dioxide from the air and use it as their energy source, producing oxygen for us to breathe.
- Recycle – recycling paper also saves trees and reduces the energy used in paper manufacturing.
- Use energy saving bulbs such as compact fluorescent lights (CFL) or, better still, light emitting diode (LED) lights – CFL and LEDs use far less energy than incandescent globes and thus reduce your greenhouse gas emissions.
- Do not let water run while shaving, brushing your teeth or washing vegetables – our water security is threatened by climate change and energy is used to pump and purify water.
- Catch rainwater for use in the garden – our water security is threatened by climate change and energy is used to pump and purify water.
- Save electricity – turn off lights when you do not need them, fit a solar water heater, use gas for cooking, insulate your house – reduce your greenhouse gas emissions and save on your electricity bill.