Imperial Logistics

Implementing sustainable health practices for the future

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Imperial’s commitment to best practice in terms of ensuring the health and safety of all its employees, suppliers, partners and customers is of paramount importance to the Group and the sustainability of these practices receives the highest priority.

We have therefore implemented numerous strategies to maintain our leadership role in this regard. Imperial Health Sciences is Africa’s premier partner in the healthcare supply chain with operations in South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria and other distribution partners reaching into 26 countries. Imperial Health Services is therefore not just a logistics company but an extension of the healthcare continuum operating as a conduit for healthcare products between manufacturers, distributors and end users to ensure the secure and sustainable supply of quality medicines throughout Africa.

Aiming to exceed requirements

But our commitment doesn’t end there. We aim to exceed all current and future environmental, legislative and regulatory requirements and promote sustainability in every aspect of our business. The defining principle of sustainability is driving development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the health and living standards of future generations.

Imperial Health Services is ISO 9001:2008 – certified for the receipt, storage and distribution of pharmaceuticals and we continually seek to add value in every area of our operations by implementing practices that minimise our impact on the environment. Sustainable performance is at the core of our business strategy and our commitment to the sustainability of these practices is the very life blood of all our endeavours.

Our framework for sustainability encompasses key social, economic and environmental concerns in terms of our employees, customers and the public and provides for group-wide measurement, reporting and management of our areas of operation.

In the implementation of our Sustainability Policy we pledge:

  • To reduce the amount of Greenhouse Gas emissions produced by our operations by more efficiently using and saving electricity, water and diesel
  • To promote best practices in terms of our staff’s awareness and knowledge of sustainable values
  • To stringently manage risk and regulatory compliance
  • To demonstrate strong corporate and social responsibility
  • To improve our brand image and demonstrate our industry leadership by continually improving our environmental performance in every aspect of our business

We firmly believe that our environmental performance is the cornerstone of our business strategy.

In the light of this, the primary focus areas defined in Imperial Health Science’s Framework for Sustainability are: Energy and climate impacts i.e. carbon output through electricity consumption, diesel usage and business air travel and waste generated by operations i.e. the weight or volume of materials that enter the waste stream before recycling, composting, landfilling or incineration.

Controlling Energy and Climate Impacts

Imperial Health Sciences (IHS), Centurion used a total of 6 533 010 kWhs (kilowatt hours) during FY15. This equates to 6 720 000 kg GHG or CO2 emissions. IHS Centurion reduced its operational consumption of electricity from 607 289 kWhs in January 2013 to 568 103 kWhs in May 2015. IHS achieved this reduction by changing our municipal electricity tariffs to more efficient time-of-use tariffs, installing energy-efficient lighting at the Centurion facility and encouraging IHS staff to use electricity more conservatively.

The energy-efficient lighting retrofit replaced old high-energy-consuming fixtures with energy efficient alternatives such as LED (light emitting diode) flood lights in IHS car parks and on the perimeter fence surrounding the Centurion facility. Low wattage LED down lighters also replaced all 50w halogen down lighters in the offices and admin areas.

This reduction in electricity usage has resulted in a significant decrease in the amount of Greenhouse gases or carbon emissions produced by IHS operations. IHS reduced its Greenhouse gas emissions from 613 829.7 kg GHG in January 2013 to 585 146 GHG in May 2015.

Saving on Diesel Usage

Diesel consumption at IHS Centurion has decreased from 9452 l in July 2013 to 4311 l in May 2015

This reduction has been achieved in the usage of generators, forklifts, staff buses and from normal engines used for IHS deliveries. IHS no longer pays for staff diesel which also helps to reduce the amount of diesel used every month. Monthly diesel consumption does however fluctuate depending on how often load shedding occurs.

Water Savings

IHS has also made considerable strides in the savings of this precious commodity. Water consumption has decreased from 2921 kL in July 2013 to 2310 kL in May 2015. This saving is largely the result of the installation of five HVAC units in June 2014. These units replaced the evaporative coolers in ISH Centurion’s East Warehouse which used to produce an excess of approximately 10 000 L of water a day.

Managing Waste More Effectively

This turnaround in waste management is largely due to the fact that IHS Centurion now employs a full-time on-site waste management team from Enviro Serve. The team has streamlined the collection, sorting and segregation of all waste through a centralised waste station. Segregated waste streams are then delivered to various external waste disposal depots and landfill sites.

Imperial Health Sciences has reduced the amount of waste generated by our operations from a total of 44.01 tonnes in July 2013 to 26.97 tonnes in April 2015.

IHS currently recycles 59% of all waste generated by our operations

Building on IHS Cape Town was completed in 2012 using environmentally responsible and resource-efficient principles in every aspect of the building’s life cycle – from siting to design, construction, operation and on-going maintenance. LED lighting and motion sensors are used throughout the facility and the roof is painted with a Thermo-Shield coating which is a ceramic, waterproof, radiant heat barrier which virtually eliminates UV penetration and improves solar reflectance up to 80%. Thermo-Shield also reduces interior temperatures by as much as 45% which cuts air conditioning and refrigeration costs by up to 40%.

Additional enhancements and systems installed at IHS Cape Town include:

  • Thermo-Shield on warehouse exterior and roof
  • LED floodlights with motion sensors throughout
  • LED lighting with motion sensors in offices and toilets
  • Solar-powered electric fence
  • Occupancy sensors on all office air conditioners
  • 54w T-Bay lighting fixtures with full motion censoring in the warehouse
  • Carbon emissions-sensitive server and CCTV/Building Management Rooms


IHS Cape Town
also has a recycling programme up and running. Colour-coded bins are located throughout the facility and are used for the disposal of waste streams and recyclables such as paper, cardboard, plastic and polystyrene.


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