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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

MTN cut head office power usage by 37%


Mobile telecoms operator MTN said that it has reduced its electricity consumption at its head office in Fairlands by 37% in the last six months, following efforts to ‘green’ the office on 14th Avenue.
MTN said that an investment in generating its own electricity from its methane-poweredtrigeneration plant was one of the factors that significantly decreased grid-connected electricity consumption.
The 2 MW trigeneration plant powers the company’s head office, data centre and a test switch centre.
Other greening initiatives at 14th Avenue contributing to reductions in electricity usage included the installation of 83 energy meters throughout the MTN head office, the installation of motion detectors so that lights are on only when motion is detected, painting the roofs with solar reflective paint to improve insulation, installing ultra-violet film on exterior-facing windows and glass doors to decrease air-conditioning usage and turning off air-conditioning after-hours.

MTN said that it had also realised water savings through the installation of irrigation sensors in its gardens.
“We are pleased with the tangible progress we are seeing since we embarked on our ‘green’ journey. MTN is under way towards certifying its head office as an accredited Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (Leed) facility, and officially declaring Y’ello the new green. For MTN, sustainability is not about ticking boxes and being compliant, it is a way of life,” said MTN South Africa procurement GM Edwin Mashilo.

The Leed accreditation, is an accreditation and rating system from the US Green Building Council, and reflects that the holder has complied with stringent environmentally-friendly measures in its operations.
Although the Green Building Council of South Africa has a rating tool for office buildings, it does not have a rating tool for existing buildings.
Mashilo added that in the second half of this year, MTN would extend its greening initiatives beyond its head office in Fairlands.
“This will include implementing regional metering for both water and electricity at each of MTN’s facilities across the country, installing LED lights as a proof of concept in our Constantia Park offices and installing solar or other alternative lighting in the Innovation Centre car park, intensifying the campaign to improve the level of environmental awareness among our employees and participation in a green peer review,” said Mashilo.
Although not divulging any figures, MTN said that it has invested substantially on this project.

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