23 June 2022

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research International Convention Centre (CSIR ICC) has signed up to participate in the Net Zero Carbon Events initiative that was established at the Conference of the Parties 26 UN Climate Change Conference. The initiative is acknowledgement that there is an urgent need to accelerate the transition towards global net zero emissions, and for the events industry to play its part in helping to deliver the goals of the Paris Agreement and ensuring a just transition.

Over the years, the CSIR ICC has implemented several social and environmental responsibility initiatives and has trained staff and partnered with relevant service providers to proactively promote green conferences to clients who share its commitment towards the environment by reducing the environmental impact of their events hosted at the ICC. Below are some of the initiatives that are already in place at the CSIR ICC.

Waste management and recycling

The separation of waste (bottles, cans, glass, paper, etc.) at source inside the CSIR ICC increases the Centre’s awareness of the vast amount of waste that it throws away. There is a twin-bin system in all public venues and kitchens. Waste is kept separate in special larger bins in the outdoor waste collection area until it is collected by an accredited provider for recycling. The ICC also contributes to used cooking oil recycling initiatives. The oil is collected by a professional oil-recycling company and is used in an environmentally friendly and responsible way and according to the regulations relating to Edible Fats and Oils (Government Notice12 No. R 1316 of 16 August 1996). None of the oil that is recycled is used for human consumption.

Energy demand management

The CSIR ICC has a building management system (BMS) system to control the use of heating, ventilation, and cooling (HVAC) in the building. The BMS is scheduled to instruct the HVAC systems to only operate when venues are in use to minimise the use of energy. For example, in cooler months, the HVAC system is scheduled to warm up venues that are to be used on any given day between 03:00 and 06:00, the system then switches off mid-morning, which is when boilers and ovens are in use in the kitchens. This intelligent scheduling results in tremendous electricity savings, contributing toward the ICC’s net zero goals.

Economic and social responsibility

The CSIR ICC has been contributing to capacity pipeline development by annually appointing in-service trainees who are studying towards food and beverage and hospitality management diplomas or other industry-related qualifications. Several students who have completed their in-service training with the CSIR ICC have been hired in permanent positions by the centre on completion of their courses. Out-dated furniture, equipment and excess conference stationery are regularly donated to charities, which make use of these in classrooms and care facilities in need. Surplus food from the CSIR ICC kitchens is also donated to a variety of charities in the City of Tshwane.

By signing up for the Net Zero Carbon Events initiative, the CSIR ICC pledges to:

  • Publish the organisation’s pathway to achieve net zero by 2050 at the latest, with an interim target, in line with the Paris Agreement’s requirement, to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030;
  • Collaborate with partners, suppliers and customers to drive change across the value chain;
  • Measure and track Scope 1, 2, and 3 greenhouse gas emissions according to industry best practice; and
  • Report on progress at least every two years.

As one of the leading conference venues in the country, the CSIR ICC understands its responsibility to contribute to the protection of the environment through its commitment to proactively promote resource efficiency and sustainability in its operations for the benefit the communities in which it operates.

Read more information about the Net Zero Carbon Events Initiative.