NATURAL CAPITAL

KAP believes in being the change and leaving the world a better place.

KAP is committed to protecting natural resources, reducing waste, and investing in technologies that reduce our environmental impact. We acknowledge that this is an ongoing process, which requires continuous monitoring and action. We have therefore developed standards and procedures to govern all of our activities and to ensure that negative environmental impact is prevented or mitigated where possible. KAP believes in being the change.

Governance

At KAP, the preservation and protection of the natural environment is one of our key priorities. The ultimate responsibility for environmental impacts rests with the board, which is responsible and accountable for legislative and regulatory compliance, including the management of environmental risks and opportunities. The divisional CEOs are responsible for environmental compliance at divisional level and are assisted in the day-to-day management of these issues by managers within their respective divisions. Environmental policies and procedures exist throughout the group and are supported by environmental management systems including, where relevant, ISO certification for some divisions.

Climate change

Our response to climate change continues to evolve. We are considering aligning our climate change reporting with the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (‘TCFD’) and nominating a dedicated board member to oversee climate-related issues. We have adopted the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (‘UN SDGs’) to assist us in improving our reporting. Through our integrated risk assessment process, we continue to identify, assess, and manage environmental risks. Climate change has the potential to impact on weather and to lead to extended drought conditions. This, in turn, can create an environment in which there is a higher risk of fire in our plantations. We continuously review our fire prevention, protection, and management strategy to minimise this risk. We also continue to invest in fire detection and firefighting capabilities and to implement standard forestry fire prevention practices. We conduct annual fuel load risk assessments and constantly engage with landowners, stakeholders, and communities in order to manage this risk on a collaborative basis. 

Carbon footprint

Our carbon footprint is a measure of the greenhouse gas (‘GHG’) emissions from activities under our operational control. We calculate our carbon footprint in accordance with the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (‘IPCC’) Guidelines (2006). We also make use of the South African Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and Environment’s (‘DFFE’s’) Technical Guidelines for Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification of GHG Emissions by Industry. An independent service provider verifies the accuracy and credibility of our carbon footprint. Divisions that are data providers under the South African National GHG Emission Reporting Regulations report their GHG emissions to the DFFE. These divisions are licensed as carbon taxpayers under the South African Carbon Tax Act (No. 15 of 2019).

Our carbon footprint encompasses both our Scope 1 and 2 emissions. Scope 1 emissions result mainly from the combustion of fossil fuels and are attributable primarily to our supply chain-based operations. Scope 2 emissions are indirect GHG emissions associated with purchased electricity and steam. Our Scope 1 and 2 emissions for the reporting year amounted to 941 748 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. Our Scope 1 and 2 emissions increased by 1.90% during the reporting period as our manufacturing volumes and kilometres travelled increased in line with improved economic activity. In the previous year, some of our operations were suspended due to lockdown restrictions imposed by the government to control the spread of Covid-19, which reduced our GHG emissions.

Our energy consumption for the reporting year increased by 2.7% to 2 736 756 MWh, including all fuels used, and electricity and steam purchased. Our operations continue to focus on reducing their energy consumption in order to reduce costs, improve efficiencies, and reduce their impact on the environment. For example, the Integrated Timber division uses renewable biomass to generate heat, which significantly lowers its Scope 1 emissions.

PG Bison owns two plantations, North East Cape Forest (‘NECF’) and Southern Cape Forest (‘SCF’) which, due to its sustainable management practices, are net absorbers of carbon. Sustainably managed plantations absorb carbon from the atmosphere and store it in the trees and soil. The division continues to quantify the carbon absorbed by its plantations and to submit these metrics to the DFFE for approval. The DFFE has approved the carbon absorbed for the 2019 and 2020 calendar years. During the latter period, this was more than 200 000 tCO2e. In terms of our sustainable management practices, for every tree harvested, another tree is planted, which continues to absorb carbon as it grows. The division’s wood-based decorative panels, which are used in the interiors of buildings, and which have a long lifespan, also store carbon. 

Electricity

We have identified electricity consumption as a potential critical risk for KAP. In terms of this we have embarked on a process to develop a clear strategy to mitigate risk, reduce costs, and promote sustainability for the group. Our strategy will encompass the following elements:

  • Perform a baseline analysis of current sources and consumption patterns.
  • Identify opportunities to change the nature of how we consume electricity in order to improve efficiencies and reduce costs.
  • Identify opportunities to invest in new technology to reduce consumption.
  • Identify opportunities to self-generate electricity.
  • Identify opportunities to generate electricity for sale to independent third-party customers.

We have recently employed an energy specialist to formulate this strategy and to assist our operations in reducing their energy consumption. Our electricity consumption increased by 8% in line with increased economic activity.

Diesel

KAP is a large consumer of fuel, primarily through its supply chain-based division, Unitrans. We continue to explore and implement initiatives aimed at improving operational efficiency and reducing diesel consumption, with the following examples noted:

  • The Unitrans Control Tower (‘UCT’) continuously monitors its fleet of vehicles to improve driver performance and reduce idling time, thereby reducing fuel consumption.
  • Unitrans also constantly optimises routing of vehicles to reduce kilometres travelled and fuel consumed.
  • The ongoing investment in the replacement of vehicles with new technology engines materially improves fuel consumption.
  • Ongoing investment in vehicle configuration also materially improves fuel consumption. Unitrans has invested in 50 Performance-Based Standards (‘PBS’) vehicles that operate in a variety of industries, including the mining, agricultural, and petrochemicals industries. PBS vehicles have been designed to increase productivity, improve safety, and reduce fuel consumption, consuming on average 16.94% less fuel per tonne/kilometre than standard vehicles.
  • Unitrans also continues to investigate, implement, and roll out the use of alternative fuels where possible. Unitrans Passenger uses compressed natural gas (‘CNG’) in its buses, enabling it to reduce its GHG emissions by as much as 90%.

Our diesel consumption reduced by 4.1% for the year to 139 million litres.

Water

We have identified water usage as a key focus area for KAP. Water is a scarce resource and key to the sustainability of our various operations. Similar to electricity, we will develop a clear strategy around the sustainable supply, use and discharge
of water, together with the required risk mitigation. We are committed to reducing, recycling and reusing water.

Our strategy begins with reliable measurement. Although we made progress in widening the scope of measurement and improving the accuracy of reporting on our water withdrawal and discharge, there is still room for improvement. Where required, our divisions have water use licences (‘WULs’), which specify the water usage parameters within which they must operate.

PG Bison’s water usage will reduce significantly in the forthcoming year as they will consume the last of the burnt timber that was placed under temporary irrigation after the 2017/2018 forest fires in the southern Cape. The fire-damaged timber was harvested and placed under an irrigation deck to preserve it. Water extracted from boreholes on PG Bison’s property constantly sprayed the timber to prevent insect damage and dry rot. This is standard practice in the forestry industry after a fire has damaged trees. An environmental impact study was done prior to operations commencing and an independent hydrologist routinely monitors the water run-off and the quality of the water. An estimated 80% of the water consumed drains back into the soil. 

Waste

Our divisions are setting targets and implementing projects to reduce waste to landfill. Our waste management goal is ‘zero waste to landfill’. Many of our divisions are already reusing and/or recycling waste.

  • PG Bison recovers internally generated offcuts, sawdust, shavings, peelings, and wood chips, which otherwise would have been disposed to landfills, to produce heat and steam.
  • Restonic recovers and reuses and recycles all its waste. Our Connacher operation purchases waste from the textile and clothing industry and processes it into reusable fibre. This fibre is then sold into the furniture and automotive sector.
  • A significant portion of the waste generated by our Automotive Components division is recovered internally. Offcut textiles are reground for reuse, and felt offcuts are torn up in-house and recycled. Offcut carpets are reground and reused in their milling process.
    Safripol changed their packaging to make it easier to recycle.

The DFFE has introduced Extended Producer Responsibility (‘EPR’) regulations in which industries are required to commit to reducing waste. Safripol, as a member and contributor to Plastics SA, PETCO, and Polyco, is working closely with these organisations to develop EPR plans. Safripol also supports several initiatives currently being implemented by Plastics SA, PETCO, and Polyco. Through Polyco, for example, it supports PACKA-CHING, an initiative aimed at increasing the level of recycling in lower-income areas. This has significantly reduced waste in the environment.

Safripol has also launched its ‘Let’s Plastic Responsibly’ campaign, which is aimed at encouraging consumers to ‘plastic responsibly’ and removing plastic waste from the environment. In addition, it has established waste collection sites and material recovery facilities in various communities in order to reduce plastic waste in the environment, and supports a number of recycling initiatives, such as the Bophelo Recycling Project. The division has also funded the KwaMashu Materials Beneficiation Centre (‘KMBC’), which is a product development hub for developing new durable products using low- value non-recyclable materials that are recovered from the environment. Some of the products developed include pavers, school desks, and modified wheels for wheelie bins.

Safripol continues to work with packaging companies, brand owners, and retailers to develop optimal packaging solutions that reduce and improve the recyclability of the packaging. We have developed products that are more durable in their application, such as returnable PET for a major soft drinks company, which reduces waste in the environment. Safripol also hosts and facilitates an annual sustainability conference in which industry, waste associations, recyclers, industry associations, retailers, and environmentalists participate to develop sustainable solutions.

All hazardous waste is treated by accredited third parties. In some cases, the treatment of this waste also allows for it to be recycled. For example, used oil was collected by accredited third parties, treated, and reused. 

Biodiversity

PG Bison has two plantations and owns 96 157 hectares of land, of which 43 817 hectares is cultivated forestry land. The NECF plantation accounts for 77% of the plantations and is certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council (‘FSC’) (certificate number SGS-FM/COC-011207 and licence number FSC-C139494). PG Bison is also a member of Forestry South Africa (‘FSA’), which oversees the environmental standards for forestry in South Africa.

PG Bison is committed to sustainable forestry practices and the sustainable management of the wildlife that resides within and adjacent to the plantations, as well as to the utilisation of resources and products that take into account the benefit to our employees, adjacent communities, and the public. Forests are biodiversity hubs. Land that is not suitable for commercial forestry is used for other purposes, such as agricultural activities. Our non-commercial land areas have been mapped to record the species of fauna and flora that occur there. These maps include the archaeological, paleontological, and historical sites in those areas. NECF, for example, has a land area of 76 392 hectares, of which 33 551 hectares are under cultivation. The remaining area is used for other agricultural activities or is a protected biodiversity area. NECF also maintains a large herd of cattle on the land, which plays a vital role in reducing the risk of fire. As part of this management process, we have introduced optimised grazing programmes that maintain the biodiversity.

We have also reintroduced a variety of wild animal species into the plantation areas. Some of the animal species that live on the land include Burchell’s zebra, Cape grysbok, blesbok, grey duiker, and the black wildebeest. Some unique Red Data bird species are also found within the plantations, including blue crane, wattled crane, and grey crowned crane.

Environmental policy

KAP is committed to protecting natural resources, reducing waste, and investing in technologies that reduce our environmental impact. We acknowledge that this is an ongoing process, which requires continuous monitoring and action. We have therefore developed standards and procedures to govern all of our activities and to ensure that negative environmental impact is prevented or mitigated where possible. KAP believes in being the change.

Governance

At KAP, the preservation and protection of the natural environment is one of our key priorities. The ultimate responsibility for environmental impacts rests with the board, which is responsible and accountable for legislative and regulatory compliance, including the management of environmental risks and opportunities. The divisional CEOs are responsible for environmental compliance at divisional level and are assisted in the day-to-day management of these issues by managers within their respective divisions. Environmental policies and procedures exist throughout the group and are supported by environmental management systems including, where relevant, ISO certification for some divisions.

Climate change

Our response to climate change continues to evolve. We are considering aligning our climate change reporting with the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (‘TCFD’) and nominating a dedicated board member to oversee climate-related issues. We have adopted the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (‘UN SDGs’) to assist us in improving our reporting. Through our integrated risk assessment process, we continue to identify, assess, and manage environmental risks. Climate change has the potential to impact on weather and to lead to extended drought conditions. 

This, in turn, can create an environment in which there is a higher risk of fire in our plantations. We continuously review our fire prevention, protection, and management strategy to minimise this risk. We also continue to invest in fire detection and firefighting capabilities and to implement standard forestry fire prevention practices. We conduct annual fuel load risk assessments and constantly engage with landowners, stakeholders, and communities in order to manage this risk on a collaborative basis. 

Carbon footprint

Our carbon footprint is a measure of the greenhouse gas (‘GHG’) emissions from activities under our operational control. We calculate our carbon footprint in accordance with the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (‘IPCC’) Guidelines (2006). We also make use of the South African Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and Environment’s (‘DFFE’s’) Technical Guidelines for Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification of GHG Emissions by Industry. An independent service provider verifies the accuracy and credibility of our carbon footprint. Divisions that are data providers under the South African National GHG Emission Reporting Regulations report their GHG emissions to the DFFE. These divisions are licensed as carbon taxpayers under the South African Carbon Tax Act (No. 15 of 2019).

Our carbon footprint encompasses both our Scope 1 and 2 emissions. Scope 1 emissions result mainly from the combustion of fossil fuels and are attributable primarily to our supply chain-based operations.

Scope 2 emissions are indirect GHG emissions associated with purchased electricity and steam. Our Scope 1 and 2 emissions for the reporting year amounted to 941 748 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. Our Scope 1 and 2 emissions increased by 1.90% during the reporting period as our manufacturing volumes and kilometres travelled increased in line with improved economic activity. In the previous year, some of our operations were suspended due to lockdown restrictions imposed by the government to control the spread of Covid-19, which reduced our GHG emissions.

Our energy consumption for the reporting year increased by 2.7% to 2 736 756 MWh, including all fuels used, and electricity and steam purchased. Our operations continue to focus on reducing their energy consumption in order to reduce costs, improve efficiencies, and reduce their impact on the environment. For example, the Integrated Timber division uses renewable biomass to generate heat, which significantly lowers its Scope 1 emissions.

PG Bison owns two plantations, North East Cape Forest (‘NECF’) and Southern Cape Forest (‘SCF’) which, due to its sustainable management practices, are net absorbers of carbon. Sustainably managed plantations absorb carbon from the atmosphere and store it in the trees and soil. The division continues to quantify the carbon absorbed by its plantations and to submit these metrics to the DFFE for approval. The DFFE has approved the carbon absorbed for the 2019 and 2020 calendar years. During the latter period, this was more than 200 000 tCO2e. In terms of our sustainable management practices, for every tree harvested, another tree is planted, which continues to absorb carbon as it grows. The division’s wood-based decorative panels, which are used in the interiors of buildings, and which have a long lifespan, also store carbon. 

Electricity

We have identified electricity consumption as a potential critical risk for KAP. In terms of this we have embarked on a process to develop a clear strategy to mitigate risk, reduce costs, and promote sustainability for the group. Our strategy will encompass the following elements:

  • Perform a baseline analysis of current sources and consumption patterns.
  • Identify opportunities to change the nature of how we consume electricity in order to improve efficiencies and reduce costs.
  • Identify opportunities to invest in new technology to reduce consumption.
  • Identify opportunities to self-generate electricity.
  • Identify opportunities to generate electricity for sale to independent third-party customers.

We have recently employed an energy specialist to formulate this strategy and to assist our operations in reducing their energy consumption. Our electricity consumption increased by 8% in line with increased economic activity.

Diesel

KAP is a large consumer of fuel, primarily through its supply chain-based division, Unitrans. We continue to explore and implement initiatives aimed at improving operational efficiency and reducing diesel consumption, with the following examples noted:

  • The Unitrans Control Tower (‘UCT’) continuously monitors its fleet of vehicles to improve driver performance and reduce idling time, thereby reducing fuel consumption.
  • Unitrans also constantly optimises routing of vehicles to reduce kilometres travelled and fuel consumed.
  • The ongoing investment in the replacement of vehicles with new technology engines materially improves fuel consumption.
  • Ongoing investment in vehicle configuration also materially improves fuel consumption. Unitrans has invested in 50 Performance-Based Standards (‘PBS’) vehicles that operate in a variety of industries, including the mining, agricultural, and petrochemicals industries. PBS vehicles have been designed to increase productivity, improve safety, and reduce fuel consumption, consuming on average 16.94% less fuel per tonne/kilometre than standard vehicles.
  • Unitrans also continues to investigate, implement, and roll out the use of alternative fuels where possible. Unitrans Passenger uses compressed natural gas (‘CNG’) in its buses, enabling it to reduce its GHG emissions by as much as 90%.

Our diesel consumption reduced by 4.1% for the year to 139 million litres.

Water

We have identified water usage as a key focus area for KAP. Water is a scarce resource and key to the sustainability of our various operations. Similar to electricity, we will develop a clear strategy around the sustainable supply, use and discharge
of water, together with the required risk mitigation. We are committed to reducing, recycling and reusing water.

Our strategy begins with reliable measurement. Although we made progress in widening the scope of measurement and improving the accuracy of reporting on our water withdrawal and discharge, there is still room for improvement. Where required, our divisions have water use licences (‘WULs’), which specify the water usage parameters within which they must operate.

PG Bison’s water usage will reduce significantly in the forthcoming year as they will consume the last of the burnt timber that was placed under temporary irrigation after the 2017/2018 forest fires in the southern Cape. The fire-damaged timber was harvested and placed under an irrigation deck to preserve it. Water extracted from boreholes on PG Bison’s property constantly sprayed the timber to prevent insect damage and dry rot. This is standard practice in the forestry industry after a fire has damaged trees. An environmental impact study was done prior to operations commencing and an independent hydrologist routinely monitors the water run-off and the quality of the water. An estimated 80% of the water consumed drains back into the soil. 

Waste

Our divisions are setting targets and implementing projects to reduce waste to landfill. Our waste management goal is ‘zero waste to landfill’. Many of our divisions are already reusing and/or recycling waste.

  • PG Bison recovers internally generated offcuts, sawdust, shavings, peelings, and wood chips, which otherwise would have been disposed to landfills, to produce heat and steam.
  • Restonic recovers and reuses and recycles all its waste. Our Connacher operation purchases waste from the textile and clothing industry and processes it into reusable fibre. This fibre is then sold into the furniture and automotive sector.
  • A significant portion of the waste generated by our Automotive Components division is recovered internally. Offcut textiles are reground for reuse, and felt offcuts are torn up in-house and recycled. Offcut carpets are reground and reused in their milling process.
    Safripol changed their packaging to make it easier to recycle.

The DFFE has introduced Extended Producer Responsibility (‘EPR’) regulations in which industries are required to commit to reducing waste. Safripol, as a member and contributor to Plastics SA, PETCO, and Polyco, is working closely with these organisations to develop EPR plans. Safripol also supports several initiatives currently being implemented by Plastics SA, PETCO, and Polyco. Through Polyco, for example, it supports PACKA-CHING, an initiative aimed at increasing the level of recycling in lower-income areas. This has significantly reduced waste in the environment.

Safripol has also launched its ‘Let’s Plastic Responsibly’ campaign, which is aimed at encouraging consumers to ‘plastic responsibly’ and removing plastic waste from the environment. In addition, it has established waste collection sites and material recovery facilities in various communities in order to reduce plastic waste in the environment, and supports a number of recycling initiatives, such as the Bophelo Recycling Project. The division has also funded the KwaMashu Materials Beneficiation Centre (‘KMBC’), which is a product development hub for developing new durable products using low- value non-recyclable materials that are recovered from the environment. Some of the products developed include pavers, school desks, and modified wheels for wheelie bins.

Safripol continues to work with packaging companies, brand owners, and retailers to develop optimal packaging solutions that reduce and improve the recyclability of the packaging. We have developed products that are more durable in their application, such as returnable PET for a major soft drinks company, which reduces waste in the environment. Safripol also hosts and facilitates an annual sustainability conference in which industry, waste associations, recyclers, industry associations, retailers, and environmentalists participate to develop sustainable solutions.

All hazardous waste is treated by accredited third parties. In some cases, the treatment of this waste also allows for it to be recycled. For example, used oil was collected by accredited third parties, treated, and reused. 

Biodiversity

PG Bison has two plantations and owns 96 157 hectares of land, of which 43 817 hectares is cultivated forestry land. The NECF plantation accounts for 77% of the plantations and is certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council (‘FSC’) (certificate number SGS-FM/COC-011207 and licence number FSC-C139494). PG Bison is also a member of Forestry South Africa (‘FSA’), which oversees the environmental standards for forestry in South Africa.

PG Bison is committed to sustainable forestry practices and the sustainable management of the wildlife that resides within and adjacent to the plantations, as well as to the utilisation of resources and products that take into account the benefit to our employees, adjacent communities, and the public.

Forests are biodiversity hubs. Land that is not suitable for commercial forestry is used for other purposes, such as agricultural activities. Our non-commercial land areas have been mapped to record the species of fauna and flora that occur there. These maps include the archaeological, paleontological, and historical sites in those areas. NECF, for example, has a land area of 76 392 hectares, of which 33 551 hectares are under cultivation. The remaining area is used for other agricultural activities or is a protected biodiversity area. NECF also maintains a large herd of cattle on the land, which plays a vital role in reducing the risk of fire. As part of this management process, we have introduced optimised grazing programmes that maintain the biodiversity.

We have also reintroduced a variety of wild animal species into the plantation areas. Some of the animal species that live on the land include Burchell’s zebra, Cape grysbok, blesbok, grey duiker, and the black wildebeest. Some unique Red Data bird species are also found within the plantations, including blue crane, wattled crane, and grey crowned crane.

Environmental policy

KAP is committed to protecting natural resources, reducing waste, and investing in technologies that reduce our environmental impact. We acknowledge that this is an ongoing process, which requires continuous monitoring and action. We have therefore developed standards and procedures to govern all of our activities and to ensure that negative environmental impact is prevented or mitigated where possible. KAP believes in being the change.

Governance

At KAP, the preservation and protection of the natural environment is one of our key priorities. The ultimate responsibility for environmental impacts rests with the board, which is responsible and accountable for legislative and regulatory compliance, including the management of environmental risks and opportunities. The divisional CEOs are responsible for environmental compliance at divisional level and are assisted in the day-to-day management of these issues by managers within their respective divisions. Environmental policies and procedures exist throughout the group and are supported by environmental management systems including, where relevant, ISO certification for some divisions.

Climate change

Our response to climate change continues to evolve. We are considering aligning our climate change reporting with the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (‘TCFD’) and nominating a dedicated board member to oversee climate-related issues. We have adopted the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (‘UN SDGs’) to assist us in improving our reporting. Through our integrated risk assessment process, we continue to identify, assess, and manage environmental risks. Climate change has the potential to impact on weather and to lead to extended drought conditions. This, in turn, can create an environment in which there is a higher risk of fire in our plantations. We continuously review our fire prevention, protection, and management strategy to minimise this risk. We also continue to invest in fire detection and firefighting capabilities and to implement standard forestry fire prevention practices. We conduct annual fuel load risk assessments and constantly engage with landowners, stakeholders, and communities in order to manage this risk on a collaborative basis. 

Carbon footprint

Our carbon footprint is a measure of the greenhouse gas (‘GHG’) emissions from activities under our operational control. We calculate our carbon footprint in accordance with the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (‘IPCC’) Guidelines (2006). We also make use of the South African Department of Forestry, Fisheries, and Environment’s (‘DFFE’s’) Technical Guidelines for Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification of GHG Emissions by Industry. An independent service provider verifies the accuracy and credibility of our carbon footprint. Divisions that are data providers under the South African National GHG Emission Reporting Regulations report their GHG emissions to the DFFE. These divisions are licensed as carbon taxpayers under the South African Carbon Tax Act (No. 15 of 2019).

Our carbon footprint encompasses both our Scope 1 and 2 emissions. Scope 1 emissions result mainly from the combustion of fossil fuels and are attributable primarily to our supply chain-based operations. Scope 2 emissions are indirect GHG emissions associated with purchased electricity and steam. Our Scope 1 and 2 emissions for the reporting year amounted to 941 748 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. Our Scope 1 and 2 emissions increased by 1.90% during the reporting period as our manufacturing volumes and kilometres travelled increased in line with improved economic activity. In the previous year, some of our operations were suspended due to lockdown restrictions imposed by the government to control the spread of Covid-19, which reduced our GHG emissions.

Our energy consumption for the reporting year increased by 2.7% to 2 736 756 MWh, including all fuels used, and electricity and steam purchased. Our operations continue to focus on reducing their energy consumption in order to reduce costs, improve efficiencies, and reduce their impact on the environment. For example, the Integrated Timber division uses renewable biomass to generate heat, which significantly lowers its Scope 1 emissions.

PG Bison owns two plantations, North East Cape Forest (‘NECF’) and Southern Cape Forest (‘SCF’) which, due to its sustainable management practices, are net absorbers of carbon. Sustainably managed plantations absorb carbon from the atmosphere and store it in the trees and soil. The division continues to quantify the carbon absorbed by its plantations and to submit these metrics to the DFFE for approval. The DFFE has approved the carbon absorbed for the 2019 and 2020 calendar years. During the latter period, this was more than 200 000 tCO2e. In terms of our sustainable management practices, for every tree harvested, another tree is planted, which continues to absorb carbon as it grows. The division’s wood-based decorative panels, which are used in the interiors of buildings, and which have a long lifespan, also store carbon. 

Electricity

We have identified electricity consumption as a potential critical risk for KAP. In terms of this we have embarked on a process to develop a clear strategy to mitigate risk, reduce costs, and promote sustainability for the group. Our strategy will encompass the following elements:

  • Perform a baseline analysis of current sources and consumption patterns.
  • Identify opportunities to change the nature of how we consume electricity in order to improve efficiencies and reduce costs.
  • Identify opportunities to invest in new technology to reduce consumption.
  • Identify opportunities to self-generate electricity.
  • Identify opportunities to generate electricity for sale to independent third-party customers.

We have recently employed an energy specialist to formulate this strategy and to assist our operations in reducing their energy consumption. Our electricity consumption increased by 8% in line with increased economic activity.

Diesel

KAP is a large consumer of fuel, primarily through its supply chain-based division, Unitrans. We continue to explore and implement initiatives aimed at improving operational efficiency and reducing diesel consumption, with the following examples noted:

  • The Unitrans Control Tower (‘UCT’) continuously monitors its fleet of vehicles to improve driver performance and reduce idling time, thereby reducing fuel consumption.
  • Unitrans also constantly optimises routing of vehicles to reduce kilometres travelled and fuel consumed.
  • The ongoing investment in the replacement of vehicles with new technology engines materially improves fuel consumption.
  • Ongoing investment in vehicle configuration also materially improves fuel consumption. Unitrans has invested in 50 Performance-Based Standards (‘PBS’) vehicles that operate in a variety of industries, including the mining, agricultural, and petrochemicals industries. PBS vehicles have been designed to increase productivity, improve safety, and reduce fuel consumption, consuming on average 16.94% less fuel per tonne/kilometre than standard vehicles.
  • Unitrans also continues to investigate, implement, and roll out the use of alternative fuels where possible. Unitrans Passenger uses compressed natural gas (‘CNG’) in its buses, enabling it to reduce its GHG emissions by as much as 90%.

Our diesel consumption reduced by 4.1% for the year to 139 million litres.

Water

We have identified water usage as a key focus area for KAP. Water is a scarce resource and key to the sustainability of our various operations. Similar to electricity, we will develop a clear strategy around the sustainable supply, use and discharge
of water, together with the required risk mitigation. We are committed to reducing, recycling and reusing water.

Our strategy begins with reliable measurement. Although we made progress in widening the scope of measurement and improving the accuracy of reporting on our water withdrawal and discharge, there is still room for improvement. Where required, our divisions have water use licences (‘WULs’), which specify the water usage parameters within which they must operate.

PG Bison’s water usage will reduce significantly in the forthcoming year as they will consume the last of the burnt timber that was placed under temporary irrigation after the 2017/2018 forest fires in the southern Cape. The fire-damaged timber was harvested and placed under an irrigation deck to preserve it. Water extracted from boreholes on PG Bison’s property constantly sprayed the timber to prevent insect damage and dry rot. This is standard practice in the forestry industry after a fire has damaged trees. An environmental impact study was done prior to operations commencing and an independent hydrologist routinely monitors the water run-off and the quality of the water. An estimated 80% of the water consumed drains back into the soil. 

Waste

Our divisions are setting targets and implementing projects to reduce waste to landfill. Our waste management goal is ‘zero waste to landfill’. Many of our divisions are already reusing and/or recycling waste.

  • PG Bison recovers internally generated offcuts, sawdust, shavings, peelings, and wood chips, which otherwise would have been disposed to landfills, to produce heat and steam.
  • Restonic recovers and reuses and recycles all its waste. Our Connacher operation purchases waste from the textile and clothing industry and processes it into reusable fibre. This fibre is then sold into the furniture and automotive sector.
  • A significant portion of the waste generated by our Automotive Components division is recovered internally. Offcut textiles are reground for reuse, and felt offcuts are torn up in-house and recycled. Offcut carpets are reground and reused in their milling process.
    Safripol changed their packaging to make it easier to recycle.

The DFFE has introduced Extended Producer Responsibility (‘EPR’) regulations in which industries are required to commit to reducing waste. Safripol, as a member and contributor to Plastics SA, PETCO, and Polyco, is working closely with these organisations to develop EPR plans. Safripol also supports several initiatives currently being implemented by Plastics SA, PETCO, and Polyco. Through Polyco, for example, it supports PACKA-CHING, an initiative aimed at increasing the level of recycling in lower-income areas. This has significantly reduced waste in the environment.

Safripol has also launched its ‘Let’s Plastic Responsibly’ campaign, which is aimed at encouraging consumers to ‘plastic responsibly’ and removing plastic waste from the environment. In addition, it has established waste collection sites and material recovery facilities in various communities in order to reduce plastic waste in the environment, and supports a number of recycling initiatives, such as the Bophelo Recycling Project. The division has also funded the KwaMashu Materials Beneficiation Centre (‘KMBC’), which is a product development hub for developing new durable products using low- value non-recyclable materials that are recovered from the environment. Some of the products developed include pavers, school desks, and modified wheels for wheelie bins.

Safripol continues to work with packaging companies, brand owners, and retailers to develop optimal packaging solutions that reduce and improve the recyclability of the packaging. We have developed products that are more durable in their application, such as returnable PET for a major soft drinks company, which reduces waste in the environment. Safripol also hosts and facilitates an annual sustainability conference in which industry, waste associations, recyclers, industry associations, retailers, and environmentalists participate to develop sustainable solutions.

All hazardous waste is treated by accredited third parties. In some cases, the treatment of this waste also allows for it to be recycled. For example, used oil was collected by accredited third parties, treated, and reused. 

Biodiversity

PG Bison has two plantations and owns 96 157 hectares of land, of which 43 817 hectares is cultivated forestry land. The NECF plantation accounts for 77% of the plantations and is certified by the Forestry Stewardship Council (‘FSC’) (certificate number SGS-FM/COC-011207 and licence number FSC-C139494). PG Bison is also a member of Forestry South Africa (‘FSA’), which oversees the environmental standards for forestry in South Africa.

PG Bison is committed to sustainable forestry practices and the sustainable management of the wildlife that resides within and adjacent to the plantations, as well as to the utilisation of resources and products that take into account the benefit to our employees, adjacent communities, and the public. Forests are biodiversity hubs. Land that is not suitable for commercial forestry is used for other purposes, such as agricultural activities. Our non-commercial land areas have been mapped to record the species of fauna and flora that occur there. These maps include the archaeological, paleontological, and historical sites in those areas. NECF, for example, has a land area of 76 392 hectares, of which 33 551 hectares are under cultivation. The remaining area is used for other agricultural activities or is a protected biodiversity area. NECF also maintains a large herd of cattle on the land, which plays a vital role in reducing the risk of fire. As part of this management process, we have introduced optimised grazing programmes that maintain the biodiversity.

We have also reintroduced a variety of wild animal species into the plantation areas. Some of the animal species that live on the land include Burchell’s zebra, Cape grysbok, blesbok, grey duiker, and the black wildebeest. Some unique Red Data bird species are also found within the plantations, including blue crane, wattled crane, and grey crowned crane.

Environmental policy