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Green Building But Not Green Company

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  • GCX Africa and Sun International – The Better Business Breakfast Forum
  • Ethical/Responsible Investment In South Africa – Truth Or Myth?
  • 25 March 15 – Better Business Breakfast Forum Podcast
    • Q: KEVIN JAMES: The Green Building Council of South Africa is a subset of responsible investment. I’ve got a lot of admiration for GBCSA, because within a short period of time, they have done a significant job in advancing responsible investment in the real estate sector. It’s not as broad as the equity market, but what would you say you have done right? There’s a huge awareness; I don’t think any of my clients will not build new developments without engaging on a four, five, or even six-star building. I know it makes huge business sense. Why do companies see the business value in investing in a green building, but they don’t see it in necessarily integrating it in their broader activities as a business?

      A: MANFRED BRAUNE: Firstly, leadership. It’s key to our success. The green building journey in South Africa has been trying to identify those leaders in the industry. It’s the kind of leadership where those individuals have the space in their organisations to make a change, and I think we had some very innovative thinkers on the Green Building Council.

      Green Star is a voluntary rating system for buildings, and yet very quickly it’s been taken up as a key instrument for assets to be benchmarked. It’s not regulated yet, but most of the REITs are now saying that every new building has to be certified, it has to be benchmarked. It’s because of that factor that the industry just can’t escape those market forces, because tenants are asking for it.

      If you go to Sandton, it’s very hard to find a new building now that is not a green building, that hasn’t been independently verified as a green building. Property is a very tangible asset, and most pension funds would have property as part of that investment so it’s something that shareholders like and value. We can touch it, feel it, experience it, and we can also see the sustainability aspects to it, so that’s also very tangible.

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Bernard Jacobs

DIGITAL DIRECTOR

After 14 years in the marine water sector Bernard joined GCX in 2013 and initially focused on water sustainability at corporate level. It was this process that highlighted that “most” corporates, with all good intentions, do not have the know-how, ability or understanding of how to go about gathering, managing and reporting responsible data.

During his tenure at GCX, Bernard combined his formal accounting training, his IT skills and worked together with the highly skilled technical team at GCX and its associates to develop the GCX GCX Data Analytics and Sustainability Hub (DASH-).

Ohad Shachar

SUSTAINABILITY DIRECTOR

Ohad joined GCX in 2008 and has over 15 years of sustainability management consultancy experience, specialising in the development and delivery of climate change response programmes. This has included carbon footprint analysis, life cycle assessments, GHG verification services, CDP reporting and GHG mitigation and adaptation strategies – all of which he has implemented with a portfolio of JSE-listed companies across various sectors such as Property, Insurance, Finance, Mining and Fisheries.

Ohad has co-authored various climate adaptation studies in agricultural and insurance sectors, and has assisted companies and cities in developing innovative climate risk and vulnerability assessment tools. He has a BSC Hons in Biochemistry, and an MPhil in Environmental Management.

Sandra Ririe

FINANCE & OPERATIONS MANAGER

Sandra is responsible for the financial and operational management of GCX. She brings rigour and discipline to the organisation’s finances and executes our strategy through efficient and sustainable operations management. Prior to joining GCX in 2012, she worked with a variety of companies to optimise their administrative processes and to build capacity internally, with a specialised focus on customer relationship management. Sandra holds a BComm Financial Accounting Degree from Stellenbosch University and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Enterprise Management from the University of Cape Town.

Kevin James

CEO & FOUNDER

Kevin leads a dedicated team of strategic environmental sustainability and project management experts. He and his team actively support the transformation of large, complex organisations into more responsible and valuable entities by unlocking fast-emerging green economy opportunities.

As a professional with deep experience in strategic corporate sustainability as well as in the development of green, low carbon projects, Kevin and his team have developed sector-leading technology within the design and implementation of business intelligence analytics. Kevin also holds non-executive Directorship in The Green Building Council South Africa.