Old Mutual makes history twice in one day - News | 110% Green

Old Mutual makes history twice in one day

7 December 2016
Old Mutual marked two major milestones in its green journey on Monday, 5 December.

The first was a certification by the Green Building Council of SA (GBCSA): A 5-star Green Star SA Existing Building Performance rating to its Mutualpark offices in Pinelands.  Mutualpark is the largest building in the Southern Hemisphere to be certified at 166 000m2.

The second was the unveiling of its carport-type solar installation at Mutualpark in Pinelands – the biggest corporate solar project in the country and one of the largest in the world! What, you may be wondering, makes this the largest corporate solar carport in the country? The answer: 3600 solar panels, covering 14 500m2 (565 carports), a 1 MWp solar photovoltaic system,  which provides for about 8% of Mutualpark's electricity needs (equating to one month of free electricity per year).    

Speaking at the handover of the Green Star SA certification and the official opening of the Mutualpark solar project on Monday, Rose Keanly, Chief Operating Officer of Old Mutual Emerging Markets, said that both the certification and solar installation underscore Old Mutual’s commitment to making a positive impact on broader socio-economic and environmental issues in the country.

“Given rising electricity tariffs and the current constraints on South Africa’s electricity supply, energy efficiency is critical to economic growth and stability. Responsible environmental management is one of the five pillars that define our responsible business approach. As Mutualpark is home to about 7 000 employees, the building is one of the largest consumers of electricity in the Western Cape and this project now enables us to free up a significant amount of electricity on the City of Cape Town grid.”

Brian Wilkinson, the CEO of the GBCSA, commented on Mutualpark's energy efficiency and resource efficiency: “A 5-star Green Star SA performance certification in a complex of this size is truly remarkable. What is even more remarkable is that some of the buildings at Mutualpark date back to 1954, debunking the myth that green building performance is only possible in new buildings. This is, by far, the largest green building in South Africa and it is fitting that Old Mutual, who we all know as ‘the big green’, has demonstrated its leadership by achieving this certification.”  

Wilkinson said that the GBCSA’s Green Star SA certification system regards five stars as “South African Excellence” and for Old Mutual to demonstrate its commitment to environmental responsibility in such a significant way shows true leadership. “Old Mutual now joins the league of what we like to call Planet Shapers: demonstrating to all stakeholders that operating premises in an environmentally responsible way is both achievable and makes business sense – doing well by doing good,” he said.

Keanly noted that Old Mutual will continue to seek ways to monitor, manage and and reduce its direct and indirect environmental impact. “This is in line with our Group Climate Change Strategy, which aims to improve the completeness and accuracy of our emissions data.” She added that Old Mutual's head office in Sandton is currently under construction and is expected to receive a 5-star Green Star SA rating from the Green Building Council. She said that Old Mutual will continue to seek ways to become progressively more resource efficient while supporting a healthier local environment for people to live and work in. 

Mutualpark was also the winner of this year's Energy Efficiency Forum Awards in the Large Building Retrofit category for its energy saving practices. 

Information and images provided by Old Mutual Emerging Market Media