INTEGRATED ANNUAL REPORT 2011 GRI RESPONSES  

Management approach disclosures

Materials

Materials are sourced from OEMs and other suppliers and used to support the retail and service nature of the group’s operations. Materials that have a high impact on the environment are monitored.

The group remains committed to reporting material use by weight to ensure consistency and comparability.

As Barloworld predominantly represents Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and principals, opportunities for using recycled materials are limited. Retreaded tyres are the most significant in this regard.

Energy

As a responsible corporate citizen and aligned with global imperatives, the group has set an aspirational target to improve its non-renewable-energy efficiency by 12% by end-2014 off a 2009 baseline. Benefits include mitigating rapidly rising costs, particularly electricity in South Africa, organisational resilience and the associated need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

These are entrenched in the group’s strategic planning processes and operations. The group focuses on reducing energy consumption, mainly in the form of electricity and fuel for vehicles. In terms of the former, the groups divisions and their operations have a range of initiatives to reduce consumption spanning timers on light switchers to more energy efficient building designs - in short, any measure that will reduce consumption and costs. In terms of fuel consumption, vehicles are recent models with the latest engines designed to use less fuel and emit less pollutants.

Regular maintenance ensures that engines run optimally and consume less fuel. The group also sources products from its OEMs with the latest fuel saving technologies.

Water

Barloworld is committed to being a responsible custodian of water by measuring, monitoring, managing and reporting its water use as standard business practice and, and if necessary, proactively implementing initiatives that conserve water or mitigate the effects of its use for business operations.

The group recognises that water is an increasingly scarce and critical global resource.  Although none of its operations are particularly water intensive, Barloworld is committed to more efficient water consumption through reduced use, increased recycling and water-harvesting initiatives. 

Through these initiatives, the group strives to minimise the risk of any future water constraints and realise the commercial benefits of effective and efficient water usage.

Barloworld will continue to assess the physical, regulatory and reputational risks associated with water use and, where feasible, adapt its operations, processes and procedures accordingly. It will also pursue relevant identified opportunities.

The group endeavours to reduce consumption by a range of water savings measures and technologies throughout its divisions. These need to make economic sense before being implemented but, where commercially sensible, including enhanced resilience, the group would typically adopt them.

Where water-savings technologies are part of the group’s product offerings, these new products are added to the group’s portfolio. The main users of water in the group are motor retail operations, vehicle hire companies such as Avis and the trucks in the logistics operations. The group recently completed the 2011 Water CDP for use as a tool to understand its water use, contribute to general knowledge and global data-base, and identify further interventions to reduce consumption. 

Biodiversity

Barloworld’s operations do not have a material impact on biodiversity. This is due to the mostly urban location of its operations and the nature of its business. As such, an approach to managing biodiversity is not required as it would be for a mining company, for example.

However, if one of our suppliers was judged to had a severe impact on an area of high biodiversity value, and therefore be in breach of Barloworld’s own code of ethics, the group would consider need to consider an appropriate response.

Emissions, effluents and waste

Indirectly we reduce emissions by using less electricity and, directly, by using less fuel in our vehicles as well as in our building heating ventilation and cooling systems. In line with our aspirational non-renewable energy efficiency improvement target, the group has set an aspirational 12% GHG emission efficiency improvement target by end 2014 off a 2009 baseline. These are entrenched in our strategic planning processes and operations.

The group has implemented a wide range of energy-reduction initiatives to reduce GHG emissions. These include communication, monitoring and reporting as well as operational initiatives such as the efficient maintenance of vehicle fleets, using the latest clean-engine technologies from OEMs.

Emissions identified by Barloworld include carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane from combustion of petrol and diesel in trucks, machinery and equipment and vehicles, and from purchasing electricity. This is appropriate given the nature of our operations and the sources of our emissions. There are no other significant ozone depleting substances as emissions sources in Barloworld’s operations.

Barloworld does have other non-Kyoto protocol greenhouse gas emissions sources, namely oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and oxides of sulphur (SOx), given the nature of its automotive operations. Measures to mitigate these non-greenhouse gas emissions rely on consumption of low sulphur fuels and advanced engine technology for cleaner fuel combustion. These measures are outside the control of Barloworld although they are adopted and used internally where feasible.

Effluents emanate from cleaning plant, equipment and vehicles. All effluent is cleaned of pollutants and clean water discharged into municipal reticulation systems. Waste material is disposed of through legitimate contractors at certified waste disposal facilities.

The group does not generate significant volumes of waste. Both hazardous and non-hazardous waste streams are monitored by type, volume, disposal method and destination. All used oil and other hazardous waste is disposed of through certified contractors with the focus on recycling 100% of waste oil. The group is committed to reporting all waste by weight or volume to ensure consistency and comparability.

A critical aspect of the group’s waste management and product life-cycle stewardship addresses extended product use. This includes ensuring products have a number of useful lives, facilitated in part through remanufacture and rebuild programmes.

Products and services

Barloworld recognises the environmental impact of its customer solutions and, supported by its principals, is committed to providing leading products and solutions that foster environmental stewardship. The group works with its Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to ensure customers’ sustainability objectives are met and their competitive position enhanced.
Represented OEMs focus on improving the life-cycle environmental footprint of products that the group offers to customers.
Energy and emission efficiencies as well as product disposal are core aspects being addressed.
The group does not manufacture or extract as part of its operation. It transports items through its logistics operations where it endeavours to plan routes to minimise energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The group communicates with its suppliers on latest sustainability technologies and interacts with principals on customers’ requirements for product safety and environmental stewardship.

Compliance

Entrenched in our code of ethics and worldwide code of conduct is the requirement to ‘obey the law’ and ‘protect the environment’. This is regarded as the minimum requirement and the group strives to conduct its operations as a responsible corporate citizen.  Where possible, we also participate in the formulation of responses to draft policy and legislation.

Transport

Aside from emissions caused by air-travel and business vehicle trips, the group is aware of the potential for accidents as a result of transportation. The group strives to operate modern fleets using the latest technologies to maximise safety aspects and minimise fuel consumption and emissions.

Overall

The group’s strategic intent is to develop products and services to capitalise on emerging sustainable business opportunities, realise cost savings through energy efficiency and other sustainable business practices and enhance Barloworld’s reputation by leading in sustainable development.    This is incorporated into strategy and addressed by:

An integrated management approach entrenching accountability for economic, environmental and social activities in each of our businesses
An aspirational target to achieve a 12% improvement in energy and emission efficiency over the five years from 2010 to 2014 off a 2009 baseline Reduce and minimise our carbon footprint and off-set where appropriate to achieve carbon-neutral status
Reduce and minimise our carbon footprint and off-set where appropriate to achieve carbon-neutral status
Provide solutions that create value for our customers by assisting them to achieve their sustainable development objectives
Identify and pursue emerging sustainable business opportunities as well as cost-saving opportunities
Integrated sustainability reporting ensuring credibility, clarity, completeness and comparability.

We are committed to providing leading customer solutions that address environmental stewardship and customer competitiveness and adopt a similar approach to our internal operations.