A programme run by the City and GreenCape has generated R67.9 million towards Cape Town’s green economy, creating more job opportunities and reducing businesses’ carbon footprints.

Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management James Pos comments on the importance of the City’s partnership with GreenCape, saying that through it, the City “can identify and explore economically viable opportunities in the green economy. It is necessary for the City to accelerate progress towards sustainable development and poverty reduction through creating more sustainable uses of natural resources.”

The Western Cape Industrial Symbiosis Program (WISP) is managed by GreenCape, an organisation that supports the growth of a ‘green economy’ in the Western Cape.

Sealand Gear, a specialised bag and apparel manufacturing company which makes use of recycled and up-cycled materials, is one of the many local companies under the WISP initiative.

James Vos visiting the Sealand Gear manufacturing centre yesterday

The CEO of GreenCape says WISP is directly aiding Cape Town’s waste management: “It operates at the direct company interface with waste management. It helps manufacturing companies to increase competitiveness while reducing the burden on the environment.”

A reported 36 600 tonnes of waste is diverted to landfills, with a greenhouse gas saving of 147 700 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, thanks to the programme.

Vos speaks about the positive impact the initiative has on the local economy.

“I am pleased to announce the phenomenal financial benefits that the WISP initiative has generated for Cape Town’s green economy. The additional revenue generated by these businesses totalled R34,6 million, calculated on cost savings of R24,8 million and private investments of R8,54 million. The WISP programme has proven to be a lucrative one, as for every R1 that the City invested, R7 is returned as direct financial benefits.”

WISP connects local businesses with unused or residual resources such as materials, energy, water, assets, and logistics. They can share these resources, allowing them to do the following:

– Contribute to the growth of the economy

– Cut costs and increase profit

– Improve the business’ processes

– Create new revenue streams

– Gain knowledge from one another

– Function more sustainably.

Overall, the City aims to create a more sustainable economy that lightens the Mother City’s carbon footprint.

James Vos with the Sealand Gear team in Cape Town

Picture: Unsplash

Article written by

Ishani Chetty

Ishani is a vegetarian who is passionate about animals, social issues, the environment and current affairs.