Putting ideas in motion at Sustainability Week

Sustainability Week created an environment in which everyone and anyone could share ideas on environmental issues.

By: Kelly-Ann Prinsloo – Plumbing Africa writer

Sustainability Week in June saw people from industries across the board meet to discuss the varied and complex topics that fall beneath the umbrella of ‘sustainability’

Sustainability Week 2015, which took place at the CSIR International Convention Centre in Pretoria from 23-28 June, set out to accelerate the total number of sustainability projects, under the theme ‘Get ready to put ideas in motion’. Thought leaders, policy makers, practitioners and producers shared their knowledge at the event, hosted by alive2green.

The Sustainability Week programme boasted an impressive 14 seminars, each of which excellent opportunities for various stakeholders to share ideas to ultimately improve environmental and economic performance.

The water resource seminar, which Plumbing Africa attended, was opened by Gauteng’s Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Housing, Jacob Mamabolo, who said that the water industry must take up the challenge now so that there will be water for future generations. Water scarcity is a reality in South Africa, as it is in many other parts of the world, and will become ever more apparent as climate change intensifies. Mamabolo said that government cannot sustain itself if it constantly gives hand-outs to the population, so it must therefore focus on densification i.e. moving the rural poor into the cities in order to give them access to better resources and service delivery.

Hastings Chikoko, regional director – Africa for C40 Cities, also spoke at the event. He said, “Cities are where the future happens”. The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group is a network of the world's megacities taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. C40 harnesses the assets of member cities to address climate risks and impacts locally and globally.

Other seminars included Vision Zero Waste, Sustainable Energy, Green Business, Transport and Mobility, Food Security, Sustainability in Mining, Green Manufacturing and Supply Chain, the African Capital Cities Sustainability, the Green Building Conference and a seminar on sustainable infrastructure.