Based on its recent analysis of the private power producers market, Frost & Sullivan recognises ABSA Corporate Real Estate Services with the 2011 Frost & Sullivan African Green Excellence in Technology Innovation Award for its ABSA Towers West Project.
"In its quest to be more self sufficient in terms of electricity generation, to ensure security of supply and reduce operating costs, ABSA Corporate Real Estate Services has created a green building with a reduced ecological footprint," notes Frost & Sullivan Energy and Power Systems Research Analyst Gareth Blanckenberg. "The company has been a pioneer with this project, setting a high benchmark by which other large corporate enterprises will be measured."
The ABSA Towers West Project, ABSA's flagship green building located within the Johannesburg Central Business District, generates electricity through gas. This reduces its reliance on the state run utility, Eskom, and mitigates against potential power shortages and outages, while ensuring security of supply.
South Africa has experienced several yearly electricity tariff rises of late, vastly increasing the cost base for power hungry consumers. During peak electricity demand, the cost is higher for electricity: if ABSA runs on its own generators, it is able to save more than two-thirds of its current electricity costs in just one year, enabling significant cost savings.
"Customers and shareholders demand social responsibility and ABSA's Towers West goes a long way to ensure that this need is met," remarks Blanckenberg. "and since gas engines have roughly half the greenhouse gas emissions compared to coal power stations, they have a substantially reduced carbon footprint."
The gas turbines incorporated by ABSA have the ability to recover waste heat from the engines and exhaust, which can be used for heating and cooling of buildings. The project has a grey water system which will be the largest system installed in Southern Africa.
A digital addressable lighting interface system will be combined with very efficient light fittings. The heating and cooling ventilation system has an economy cycle that utilises the outside air to provide free cooling when the conditions are favourable.
"ABSA has shown entrepreneurial dexterity in incorporating conservation into the business concept by initiating this project on its own accord," states Blanckenberg. "The incorporation and maximisation of the green elements in its design has highlighted ABSA's ability to develop technological solutions that address concerns regarding climate change."
Through this initiative, ABSA has demonstrated its commitment to reducing the burden on the environment. Projects such as this could spark the creation of collective accountability towards reducing the impact of climate change, the dependency on finite resources and the limiting of companies' ecological footprint.
As recipient of the Green Excellence in Technology Innovation Award, ABSA is acknowledged for its exceptional environmentally-friendly technology profile and business commitment, as well as its demonstration of environmental accountability.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research, in order to identify best practices in the industry.
About ABSA Real Estate Services
ABSA Corporate Real Estate Services (ABSA.co.za) is an integrated real estate asset management business unit established to be the custodian of the ABSA Group's real estate assets. It comprises the key property support functions of: Strategy and Planning, Retail Property Management, Projects and Programmes, Corporate Facilities Management, Real Estate and Engineering.
About Frost & Sullivan
Frost & Sullivan (frost.com), the Growth Partnership Company, enables clients to accelerate growth and achieve best-in-class positions in growth, innovation and leadership. The company's Growth Partnership Service provides the CEO and the CEO's Growth Team with disciplined research and best-practice models to drive the generation, evaluation, and implementation of powerful growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan leverages 50 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses and the investment community from more than 40 offices on six continents.