Taking the smelly out of Smelly Creek
A number of Continental Tyre South Africa (CTSA) employees embarked on a clean-up operation of the canal between its factory in Port Elizabeth and the N2 freeway, commonly known as Smelly Creek. This initiative forms part of the company’s support of Water Month, National Water Week – which ran from March 18 to 24 – and World Water Day that was on March 22.
“Continental and its employees are committed to an industry-leading environmental and waste management policy,” says CTSA corporate communications manager Gishma Johnson, “and supporting these awareness campaigns is vital in order to reinforce the conservation message.”
She adds that water is our most precious resource, particularly in South Africa. “We have to do everything we possibly can, both in the workplace and at home, in order to live up to the tenets of environmental sustainability – which are to reduce, reuse and recycle.”
Led by the company’s Environment Safety and Health Department, employees made their way to the canal that carries a high volume of water, especially during the rainy season. However, it is regularly polluted with refuse and debris that is ultimately carried into the sea.
“Continental is committed to the protection of the environment in which we operate,” Johnson says. “We design our processes and products with an emphasis on limiting our impact on the environment and natural resources.” But these aren’t just idle words as the company is a big industry player as far as waste management is concerned. CTSA has the full ISO 14001:2004 environmental certification.
The company has introduced various water-saving initiatives throughout its Port Elizabeth plant as well. These include the installation of rain water tanks that save approximately 3 044m³ of clean water per annum. Waste water from the cooling tower is also redirected to the toilet flushing system, saving a further 3 401m³ per year according to Johnson.
In addition to water awareness, CTSA has adopted an extensive waste separation and management programme within the factory and admin block. Waste recycling points are also provided at the entrance to the plant, thus enabling employees to start recycling at home and bring their waste material to work in order to dispose of it in the various bins provided.