Reduce company footprint

2015-05-20 06:00
Toti Conservancy’s Gill van Wyk and Laura Taylor offer an environmental management and legal responsibilities course for small businesses.
Photo: tania sandberg

Toti Conservancy’s Gill van Wyk and Laura Taylor offer an environmental management and legal responsibilities course for small businesses. Photo: tania sandberg

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TOTI Conservancy and EnviroSus is offering an environmental management and legal responsibilities course for small businesses every month starting from July.

“The two-day course creates awareness and understanding around the legal responsibility of environmental management and gives them the know how to do it,” Laura Taylor said. The idea for the course arose as a result of on-going pollution issues in the Umdoni stream which flows into the bird sanctuary. ” “Small businesses are often the culprits and desperately need to understand how to manage their environmental impacts,” she said.

The first day of the course deals with problems and causes of environmental pollution, environmental legislation in South Africa, waste legislation and waste management. It then moves to water pollution and prevention.

Taylor says there are several simple and cost-effective ways to comply with environmental requirements, but businesses are often ignorant of environmental management. For instance, many businesses wash their cars in areas that lead to a storm-water drain. “The chemicals then enter storm water that leads to the river. This kills aquatic organisms and can cause situations­ like we currently have with water plants and algae infesting our rivers.”

Taylor said another consideration is that sewage systems and storm- water­ systems must be kept separate. “Surveys have shown that about 32% of Durban households have illegal connections from their gutters into the sewage drain. “When it rains, the waste water treatment plants get inundated with rain water and there is not enough time for the sewage to be treated before it flows into the river. This causes pure sewage to flow into the river,” she said.

Gill van Wyk will conduct the second­ morning of the course on alien invasive plants. “In October new legislation was passed regarding alien plants. If you have certain highly invasive alien plants on your property, you are legally required to remove them. “ In some cases you can apply for licensing. If you sell your house, you have to make the new owner aware of the alien plants,” Van Wyk said.

Taylor will also address air pollution and prevention and the management of hazardous chemicals. The final two sessions of the course include a discussion on Environmental Impact Assessment, ISO 14001 and a business perspective on environmental management.

For further details contact e mail envirosus@connect.co.za or phone 031 916 6664

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