Sustainability and stakeholder review  
 

Gas emissions, fuel consumption and other logistics-related interventions

It is a Group strategic intent to centralise its logistics operations across South Africa. In furthering this objective and to reduce its carbon footprint, the Group has commenced with a programme to reduce the number of warehouses by consolidating smaller warehouses into centralised distribution centres (CDCs). Improved warehouse-management principles are envisaged to give rise to more accurate and timeous deliveries of goods to customer addresses, reducing the number of redeliveries and in the process also reducing carbon emissions and fuel consumption. As part of this logistics initiative, the Group also introduced a new vehicle-tracking system to monitor driver behaviour such as harsh braking, excess idling and speeding to ensure that the fleet’s exhaust emissions are reduced. The tracking system also enables management to constantly monitor the routes driven by delivery crews to ensure that no excess kilometres are driven. This has a further positive effect on gas emissions and fuel consumption. A newly introduced fleet management system ensures tighter all-round control on fleet vehicles and in particular detects and monitors vehicles with excessive fuel consumption.

In some instances, when Board and committee meetings are held and directors are not in close proximity, use is being made of teleconference facilities. During the past year, one of the directors followed this approach twice as opposed to flying in from the United Kingdom, thus contributing to a reduction of the Group’s carbon footprint, fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

Waste and recycling

At the Group head office, an independent waste contractor is responsible for waste management. Waste is sorted by type on site and then taken off site and sold to specialist companies for recycling purposes. The table below indicates the waste generated at the Group’s head office for recycling during the past year.

  Code   Type of waste kg    
  HL   Paper, three colours or less 739    
  CO   Paper, more than three colours 425    
  TI   Tin 38    
  CP   Clear plastic 127    
  SP S   Coloured plastic 47    
  K4   Cardboard boxes 3 731    
    Paper towels 167    
  Total   5 274    

 

In terms of a Group policy, all used materials not earmarked for recycling are disposed in an environmental friendly way and usage of municipal disposal sites is compulsory. Suppliers are encouraged to use environmental friendly raw materials in the production of their products.

Eco-friendly and wildlife initiatives

Management is not aware of any JD-owned properties or leased properties that are in or adjacent to protected areas. The Group operation did not have any material negative impact on the biodiversity environment and JD is also not aware of any negative impact on the environment by its material suppliers. Products are manufactured with materials in accordance with ISO regulations and there is a constant drive for the introduction of more eco-friendly raw materials in manufacturing processes. Suppliers are encouraged to subscribe to and become members of the Green Building Council of South Africa and to develop ergonomically designed safe work spaces for its employees.

In constructing the CDCs mentioned above, eco-friendly designs and building materials will be used wherever possible, which is envisaged to have a positive effect on the environment through, among others:

  • energy-saving lighting by the use of sky lights;
  • recycling of roof run-off water by an improved roof design;
  • natural ventilation; and
  • introducing indigenous plants in the landscaping design.

A number of “green” elements have been introduced in the construction of the new Incredible Connection Mega store in Somerset West in line with the global efforts to reduce the carbon footprint. Similar initiatives have also been introduced in recent renovations of Hi-Fi Corporation stores.

JD Group, through its Incredible Connection brand, donated two state-of-the-art night-vision goggles to the Dream Team, a group of field operatives who are tracking and combating rhino poaching syndicates. The second-generation bi-ocular goggles are valued at R27 900 each and will give the Dream Team a technical edge in combating poaching efforts at night.

Incredible Connection has recycled 121,7 tons of electronic waste (e-waste) during the past year in partnership with an electronic recycle external specialist, an environmentally-responsible e-waste recycler of 18-years’ standing.

Customers and other members of the public use the e-waste bins located in each of the Incredible Connection stores throughout the country to dispose of their used computer and electronic components, such as old or broken computers, monitors, keyboards and other internal computer and e-parts. The waste is then collected and transported to the recycler’s processsing plant in Gauteng where it is weighed, offloaded and sorted into waste streams for further processing. Mainstream waste is manually dismantled, sorted into controlled waste fractions and passed through to the next level of processing. Selected fractions of material containing aluminium, alloys of tin, zinc, copper, nickel or precious metals are shredded and these fractions are used in state-of-the-art smelting plants or foundries to produce new alloys or pure metal. Well-documented and reliable processes, structured according to International Standards 9001, 14001 and OHASA 18001, are used in the recycling process. The recycling processes are benchmarked against processes worldwide to ensure that they are aligned with the latest sustainable technological innovation and processes in the e-waste industry. Secondary and support processes are linked to downstream vendors ensuring that re-use and recycling takes place with very little or no landfill at all. The recycler is also ISO 14001 compliant and a certified BEE Level 1 Contributor.

Health and Safety

The Group complies with relevant health and safety legislation and has appointed health and safety committees to manage and advise on the Group’s compliance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHASA) and the Compensation for Occupation Injuries and Diseases Act. Altogether 8% of the total workforce is represented in formal joint management and employee health and safety committees and have received relevant training. The Health and Safety framework at the Group head office comprises 17 certified first aiders and eight individuals who are still in training. There are also 11 certified fire and evacuation marshals and seven who are not yet fully certified. During the review period, the Group experienced 189 work-related injuries in South Africa and 26 outside South Africa. At the same time, 78 days were lost in the Group’s South African operations due to work-related injuries, whilst 23 days were lost in the Group’s operations outside South Africa. The majority of the injuries were of a minor nature. No fatalities were recorded during the review period.

All offices, stores and warehouses have adequate natural ventilation and from time to time assurance is obtained that fully ventilated spray-painting facilities exist in accordance with OHASA regulations in the factories of the Group’s suppliers where painting is required in the manufacturing process.