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Our water usage

The group consumes water from external sources for ancillary operations including offices, washing facilities and limited other uses. The most significant volumes of water used relate to car rental and tour operator vehicles where large numbers of vehicles are washed every day. Road tankers from the logistics division also have to be washed internally in line with stringent standards.

There are no water sources or related ecosystems/habitats significantly affected by our use of water. The group is, however, an indirect user of water resources through its inland waterway shipping operations in Europe, where it applies best practice to ensure its impact on water resources is limited.

CASE STUDY

Harnessing technology for energy efficiency

Information Technology (IT) accounts for significant energy use in many companies, but by harnessing the latest technology both Europcar and Imperial Online managed to cut their IT energy usage substantially while gaining greater efficiency.

Looking to drive growth while reducing costs and energy use, Europcar worked closely with Dell Consulting Services to create a virtualised IT infrastructure that could support unified communications. Key goals included bringing the physical IT infrastructure back in-house – which meant building a new data centre – and virtualising both servers and storage. Europcar also wanted to establish a unified communications platform that could enable real-time communication in the future.

The solution involved a greatly simplified structure and servers that were consolidated by around 47%. The Dell Energy Smart technology, which improves the servers’ thermal management and power efficiency, means Europcar has reduced energy consumption in the area by around 25 per cent, helping IT align with a company-wide policy to minimise the carbon footprint.

A new server can now be up and running in 45 minutes, compared to the six-week lead time it previously took to procure and configure physical servers. This means that employees gain access to new software solutions more quickly, which in turn increases their productivity.

By outsourcing its data centres to technology partner Vodacom, Imperial Online (IO) also achieved energy savings, as the new data centre has reduced air conditioning, electricity and diesel-generator requirements.

Other benefits include greater data security and the advantage of the most up-to-date technology advancements. Much of the data that IO hosted on behalf of its mostly internal customers was business-critical but the live data was previously housed within a 10km radius of the disaster recovery data centre. This risk has been reduced with the move to the new Cape Town-based data centre. In addition, on-going infrastructure investment by Vodacom means IO will continue to offer their clients benefits associated with the latest data centre technology.

Management and measurement

Our water conservation management and efficiency strategy is based on reducing our fresh water consumption by improving greater water efficiency, increasing water recycling and preventing the contamination of ground and surface water resources in the areas where we operate.

Each division has or is in the process of developing a water resource conservation plan that will include inventories of water consumption, identify and prioritise areas for water reduction and conservation, and increased organisational capability in using water conservation technologies. The development of these plans will intensify our water conservation efforts.

We measure water usage at each operation via our internal automated non-financial reporting system.

Water purchased per division (litres) (%)
Water purchased per division (litres) (%)

Water purchased (litres)

For the 12 months to 30 June 2012:    
Imperial Logistics SA 736 463 875  
Imperial Logistics International 60 503 105  
Car Rental and Tourism 153 141 048  
Distributorships 483 776 155  
Automotive Retail 255 359 773  
Financial Services 11 991 460  
Total 1 701 235 416  

Water usage initiatives

Businesses and operations that use significant quantities of water are involved in on-going initiatives to reduce water consumption. These include state-of-the-art water recycling systems that have been implemented at a range of car rental and tour operator wash bays.

Green building initiatives also contribute to reduce water consumption. The Kia dealership and Hyundai head office building mentioned above will make extensive use of water recycling systems.

Most of our automotive retail businesses are now migrating to waterless car wash systems.

Springbok Atlas Luxury Charter and Atlas Passenger Transport both make use of water recycling solutions at its Cape Town and Johannesburg branches. This process recycles 100% of wash waste water and uses no chemicals. The operations also harvest rainwater at the depot sites and use this to supplement the water required.

Europcar washes approximately 4 500 vehicles a day and has achieved a water recycle rate of approximately 95%. This makes its dependency on municipal water very low, as it also makes extensive use of rainwater harvesting where applicable.

CASE STUDY

Midas partners with the ROSE Foundation to recycle used oil

Midas, which is housed in the distributorships division, has embarked on a partnership with the Recycling Oil Saves the Environment (ROSE) Foundation to encourage the recycling of used oil.

The release of such oil into the environment poses a serious contamination threat to surface and ground water, and research shows that one litre of oil can contaminate one million litres of water. However, if handled correctly, the oil can become a recyclable resource.

Certain Midas franchisees are placing ROSE containers at workshops and in stores, providing customers with a safe and environmentally responsible method of disposing of used oil.

 

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