Cape Town is no stranger to leading the world trend of sustainability and environmental awareness, especially when it comes to being water wise. This month one of the biggest buildings in the Mother City took another sustainable step forward by going off the water grid.

Old Mutual has announced that their Mutualpark offices in Pinelands, is now self sufficiently providing water to almost 10, 000 employees, visitors and contractors.

The Mutualpark office is the second building in Cape Town to go off the grid, after a Growthpoint Property in Woodstock.

However the Old Mutual property is substantially bigger, being the largest corporate offices in South Africa currently covering 166,000m² and housing 9,000 employees and contractors.

The move off grid was made possible by the first ever corporate-based waste-to-drinking Water Filtration Plant in South Africa introduced by the banking group.

“This was an important project for us, not only to be sustainable ourselves but to be more environmentally friendly and aware,” said National TechnicalManager, Old Mutual Limited, Khiyam Fredricks.

The continuation of the project will save the City’s water systems approximately 10 – 15,000 kilolitres a month. The filtration plant is now the main source of water for the building.

The new filtration system has the capacity to produce  between 650,00 and 800,000 liters a day. The average daily consumption is roughly 450,000 litres of water a day.

“We have been piloting the plant since July 2018 and officially kicked off this April 13th. Not only is it contributing towards essential water conservation in the drought-stricken Western Cape, but it has also allowed us to be more water wise and provide good quality drinking water for our offices,” said Fredricks.

“As a Responsible Business, Old Mutual continues to positively impact the socio-economic and environmental development of the continent and its people. By driving mutually beneficial projects, Old Mutual creates shared value. A project like this which is both cost effective and responsibly geared to ensuring a sustainable future is a win-win for all,” said Old Mutual Limited’s Chief Operating Officer, Iain Williamson

A range of effective water saving initiatives have been introduced since the beginning of 2016 at Mutualpark including reducing water consumption by 30% before the launch of the Water Filtration Plant.

Other water conservation initiatives implemented by Old Mutual include:

-Electronic meters were installed in critical water usage areas to track misuse and manage leaks.

-Aerators were installed on taps and shower-heads to reduce usage.

-Water pressure was optimised to reduce the length of flush time of all toilets.

-Waterless hand sanitisers were installed in all bathrooms.

-A greywater system to flush toilets was installed at the onsite crèche at Mutualpark.

-The air-conditioning system has been upgraded to ensure that waste water flushes the toilets. This will eventually mean savings of about 40% (approximately 20 000 litres) of water per day in the heat of summer.

-The air-conditioning units in the Data Centre are now air based.

-A water-less carwash was introduced and the water-based carwash upgraded with a water recycling plant that has reduced consumption by 80%.

-A treated effluent water feed was introduced for irrigation of the sports fields and gardens

Picture: Supplied

Article written by

Aimee Pace

Aimee is an avid gamer, enthusiastic yogi and animal lover. Addicted to anime, coffee and plant-based meals. Current favourite pastimes include, sewing and learning Japanese.