The Tavcor Motor Group has invested R5.6m to reduce the group’s carbon footprint by generating solar power at its dealerships in Port Elizabeth.
Audi Centre Port Elizabeth, Volkswagen Moffett and Tavcor Technical Centre now generate a combined 483.5 kilowatts peak (kWp) from the sun, after the completion of the construction of solar plants at the three sites.
All excess power produced by the solar plants will be fed back into the national grid, according to Tavcor Motor Group director Megan Stow.
The project was spearheaded by the group’s environmental, health and safety team in late 2019.
Once approval from the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality for the size of the project was received in October 2019, construction began at the Audi Centre site in November.
The Volkswagen Moffett and Tavcor Technical Centre sites were completed in February
“Tavcor has had a very strong focus on environmental sustainability for the past eight years,” Stow said.
“Led by the Tavcor Group’s environmental, health and safety team we, have consciously addressed environmental challenges in the business annually on a project basis.”
Other environmentally sustainable practices implemented over the years include:
- Recycling of old oil, metal, plastic and paper. Revenue from the sale of old oil is used to fund corporate social responsibility projects. Revenue from old oil averages R130,000 a year.
- Rainwater harvesting is used to supply green water to the Audi Centre, Volkswagen Moffett, Tavcor Technical Centre and Tavcor George wash bays. A total of 56,606 cars were washed with harvested water in 2019. The group has harvested almost 10m litres of water to date.
- Sustainability partnerships have been fostered with Saga Collectief. The Tavcor group assisted with the building of a school in Joe Slovo, Silindokuhle, in 2017/2018. It was built from recycled materials and won the SA Institute of Architects award for Sustainable Architecture in 2018.
- In 2019, the Tavcor group partnered with Saga again for the building of a second community centre/crèche, New Holy Saviour, in Walmer Township. Recycled materials were used and the venue is used as a learning centre in the week and a church on weekends.
- Tavcor is partnering with Saga on a third project under way in Walmer Township. Liphimile Co-op is a community garden that helps unemployed youth grow organic vegetables. The centre will also be used for training and community engagements.
Stow said the rainwater harvesting systems has resulted in less than 20% of their water usage now being from municipal supplies.
By: The Herald