Nedbank goes carbon neutral

first_imgBanking group Nedbank has announced its commitment to becoming carbon neutral. (Image: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more free photos, visit the image library.) MEDIA CONTACTS • Elizabeth FlorencioNedbank Group communications+2711 294 7260 or +2783 636 7002 RELATED ARTICLES • Plastic billboard a world first • Bank honours local heroes • SA banking net spreads • Saving our vulnerable sharks• Biggest nature park in the world Janine ErasmusSouth African banking group Nedbank, already a leader in environmentally responsible practices, is to become carbon neutral by continuing to cut its greenhouse gas emissions and buying up carbon credits.Nedbank is the first South African bank, as well as the first large corporation in the country, to take this step.The development was announced on 15 September 2009 by the bank’s CEO Tom Boardman. He said the decision to go for carbon neutral status was the culmination of a long road travelled by Nedbank, which has been at the forefront of environmental issues for many years.The company is involved in a number of green initiatives already, and as far back as 1990 it set up the Green Trust, a conservation fund run in partnership with the local chapter of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).In 2008 the group poured US$1.8-million (R13.6-million) into environmental initiatives under the Green Trust. Projects include, among others, the conservation of turtles in the Greater St Lucia Wetland, support for the Namibia-based Cheetah Conservation Fund, and the Master Farmers programme in the Eastern Cape, which works to improve farmers’ agricultural skills..The carbon neutral move will place Nedbank’s environmental strategies on the same level as other major international institutions such as the Deutsche Bank and the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.“We have measured and audited our carbon footprint,” said Boardman, “and now we know where we stand and what we have to do to offset it completely”.Comparing the climate change crisis to the worldwide financial crisis, Boardman noted a few similarities – apart from the fact that both had a global impact.In both cases, he said, the world underestimated the severity of the problem. Initial measures taken were inwardly focused and targeted at individual organisations or countries, whereas what were needed were global solutions.“If the world spent a fraction of what it put into the financial crisis on addressing climate issues, it would be an investment well spent,” commented Boardman.“Climate change is no longer merely an environmental issue,” added WWF SA climate change manager Richard Worthington, “but a developmental, economic and social issue too”.Carbon creditsIn addition to its ongoing greenhouse gas emission reduction projects, Nedbank is to completely offset its own emissions by buying carbon credits on both the Voluntary Emission Reduction and Certified Emission Reduction markets. This will cost the bank an estimated $1.36- to $2.7-million (R10- to R20-million) per year.Nedbank is expected to build a diverse portfolio of carbon projects, but will focus its investment on applicable projects in Africa.“We are not going to just go out and buy,” said Boardman, “but will look at projects that are relevant to our cause and in line with our strategy.”Green bankFor many years Nedbank has worked for the benefit of the environment and is represented on several top-level committees and task forces dealing with climate change. Nedbank is the only South African bank on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, and has featured on the list for five years.In 2008 Britain’s Financial Times named Nedbank as the Emerging Markets Sustainable Bank of the Year for the Middle East and Africa region. The bank also sits on the United Nations Environmental Programme Finance Initiative Africa task force and participates in the Climate Change, Biodiversity and Water and Finance streams.Through its Green Affinity retail products the bank donates a portion of its charges to the Green Trust. Since the fund’s inception, Nedbank has helped raise almost R100-million for around 150 major conservation projects in South Africa.Nedbank was the first South African bank to become a signatory of the Equator Principles, and has since been followed by FirstRand Bank and the Standard Bank group.The Equator Principles is a set of international environmental and social guidelines that apply to project finance. They help financing institutions to support only those developmental projects that operate according to sound social and environmental principles.Nedbank is also a signatory to the Carbon Disclosure Project, which works with the corporate sector to encourage transparent reporting in terms of carbon emissions.The bank has a number of internal greening initiatives, among them a change from paper to electronic statements for retail banking products; recycling of printer cartridges; and recycling bins for biodegradable waste, glass and tin, plastic and polystyrene, and mixed waste.There is also a campaign which encourages staff to reduce their carbon footprints at work and at home. The annual Green Trust Staff Awards recognise employees who stand out from the rest with their efforts to change their lifestyles accordingly.Nedbank is to apply for a four-star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) for its new corporate head office building, currently under construction in Sandton, north of Johannesburg. A Green Star rating is given to buildings that comply with GBCSA energy and resource efficiency standards and are environmentally responsible in their design, construction and operation.Queries or comments? Contact Janine Erasmus at [email protected]last_img read more

Apple Denies PRISM Knowledge, Explains Releases Of Customer Data

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Apple#cyberwar#nsa#Prism Related Posts Apple today released a statement revealing that it, too, has received requests for consumer data from Federal, state and local authorities in the United States, even as it denied participation in the alleged PRISM program conducted by the NSA.Apple joins Facebook and Microsoft as companies that have made public batch data of requests from U.S authorities.Between December 1, 2012 and May 31, 2013, Apple saw between 4,000 and 5,000 requests from U.S. law enforcement for customer data. Those requests totaled between 9,000 and 10,000 Apple accounts or devices. Apple said the requests ranged from criminal investigations to matters of national security with the most common being local police investigating robberies, searching for missing children or trying to locate patients with Alzheimer’s disease.Apple said:Regardless of the circumstances, our Legal team conducts an evaluation of each request and, only if appropriate, we retrieve and deliver the narrowest possible set of information to the authorities. In fact, from time to time when we see inconsistencies or inaccuracies in a request, we will refuse to fulfill it.Apple insists that it knew nothing of PRISM, the clandestine project by the federal government where it supposedly has the power to access the servers of major tech companies (like Yahoo, Google, Microsoft etc.) for consumer data related to matters of national security.Apple reiterated its stance on protecting its consumer data and said that, “we don’t collect or maintain a mountain of personal details about our customers in the first place.”For example, conversations which take place over iMessage and FaceTime are protected by end-to-end encryption so no one but the sender and receiver can see or read them. Apple cannot decrypt that data. Similarly, we do not store data related to customers’ location, Map searches or Siri requests in any identifiable form.Last Friday, both Facebook and Microsoft (both of which had negotiated with the Federal government for the right to report on data requests) released data on government requests. Over the last six months, Facebook saw 9,000 to 10,000 requests regarding 18,000 to 19,000 accounts while Microsoft said it saw 6,000 to 7,000 requests, affecting up to 32,000 accounts. Both Google and Twitter have said that the batch data that the government allowed the likes of Apple, Facebook and Microsoft to report is not enough. Google would like to see more detail and volume of the data requests including the ability to separate federal government requests from those of local authorities.  dan rowinskicenter_img 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

India to take on Australia in World Cup warm-up match

first_imgWith eyes firmly set on the silverware, India will look to gain momentum and start their World Cup campaign on a positive note when they take on Australia in their first warm-up match at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Sunday.With memories of 2007 Caribbean World Cup disaster – where they crashed out in the opening round after losing to Bangladesh in the first match – still fresh in their minds, the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side will be extra careful against the title-holders Australia, who are coming into the tournament high on confidence after the 6-1 thrashing of England.The day-night affair against Australia on Sunday will also be of high significance for India in the context of fitness of a few players, including the batting trio of Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Sachin Tendulkar, who are returning to the side after a short injury lay-off.Sehwag, personally, would be looking to get back amongst runs, which eluded him in the Test series in South Africa that was followed by him missing the ODI series due to a shoulder injury, while Tendulkar, who also returned midway from the African nation because of a hamstring problem, will be eager to leave an impression in what probably is his last World Cup.The match against Australia will also give an opportunity to middle-order batsmen Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni to return to form.The trio of Dhoni, Yuvraj and Raina all got starts in South Africa but failed to capitalise on them and would be desperate to return to form.The match is of special importance for Raina, who faces a tough competition from Virat Kohli and Yusuf Pathan, to retain his place in the playing eleven.From the point of view of bowlers, Munaf Patel and Zaheer Khan would be looking forward to carry on their good work, while taking wickets is the only thing that will be on left-arm pacer Ashish Nehra’s mind going into the game.For right-arm fast bowler S Sreesanth, who replaced injured Praveen Kumar in the last minute, it is an opportunity to impress upon the team management for the third seamer’s spot in the playing eleven.The spin department, meanwhile, is in the safe hands of experienced off-spinner Harbhajan Singh. But the thing to watch out for is the healthy competition between proven customer R Ashwin and surprise inclusion Piyush Chawla.Australia, on other hand, is high on confidence after avenging their Ashes series loss in the seven-match ODI series against England.It is for the first time the Aussies have approached the World Cup on such a low-profile note despite being the champions in the last three editions of the mega-event, courtesy their humiliating Ashes defeat on the home turf.But the Indians, considered as one of the favourites in the tournament, cannot afford to take Australia lightly in Sunday’s practice match as skipper Ricky Ponting has already warned the opponents not to underestimate Aussies’ abilities, especially in the World Cup, where they have an impeccable past record.”I don’t really care where we start the tournament. It is irrelevant. I think going into the last World Cup, there was negativity around us. We lost the Commonwealth Bank series in home and also lost to New Zealand before the last World Cup.So there were a few doubts around our team but we went there and won the World Cup. I don’t think it really matters too much what’s happening in the lead-up,” Ponting had said.Australian team has considerable amount of experience of playing in subcontinent conditions and also boasts a very good record here.”We are pretty confident coming into the World Cup just beating a pretty good English side 6-1. We are in really good shape and confident. We have the momentum going around.”There is no doubt that Australian cricket team has pretty good record in World Cup and bigger events but as I said, we are not thinking about it right now. We have a really good squad and we will be doing everything to the best of our ability,” Ponting said.The Aussie skipper, who is returning after an injury lay-off that saw him miss the last Ashes Test and the entire ODI series against England due to broken finger, will be looking to get back into rhythm in the two practice games against India on Sunday and South Africa on February 15.”My finger is doing pretty well. I am looking forward to play in the two practice games against India and South Africa,” he said.Both India and Australia are expected to test their 15 players in two practice games in the run-up to the World Cup.Apart from a strong batting department which features the likes of Ponting, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke, in-form David Hussey, Cameron White and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, Australian team also has a formidable pace battery which will be spearheaded by rejuvenated and experienced Brett Lee.However, the only worrying factor for Australia lies in its slow bowling department which does not have quality spinners.Jason Krejza and all-rounder Steve Smith are expected to take up the responsibility of the spin department and the duo will be ably supported by part-time spinners Clarke and Hussey.advertisementadvertisement- With PTI inputslast_img read more