On Thursday, 23 November 2023, the National Cleaner Production Centre, South Africa (NCPC-SA) hosted a delegation from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) for a site visit to NCPC-SA participating company, Meze Foods. The purpose of the visit was to share the successes achieved through the implementation of resource efficiency and circular economy interventions over the last three years.

Inspired by an NCPC-SA internet advertisement, Meze Foods’ New Product Development and Continuous Improvement Manager, Laura Nyamukapa, reached out in 2020 to conduct a free energy and material usage evaluation. The subsequent comprehensive energy assessment resulted in a projected compressed air energy system savings of 23,010.52 kWh.

In addition to the energy usage assessment, the NCPC-SA conducted water and waste audits to enhance Meze Foods’ overall efficiency and sustainability. The material usage assessment identified a significant opportunity to recover over 1000 tonnes of waste through the NCPC-SA’s waste minimization program, the Industrial Symbiosis Programme.

The feedback and recommendations from the assessments positioned Meze Foods as eligible candidates to apply for the Gauteng Green Support Incentive Program (GSIP), also implemented by the NCPC-SA, ultimately enabling them to receive a 156 kWp solar PV system installation.

The programme is an initiative of the Gauteng Department of Economic Development (GDED) that aims to provide relief to SMEs affected by power interruptions and the economic downturn of the past two years by supplementing a portion of their energy needs with renewable and efficient energy technologies.

Meze Foods Director, Nick Papadopoulos said, “We have learnt a great deal and have grown as a business tremendously since we began this journey with the NCPC-SA. We want to acknowledge the amazing work and impact that this project has had on the industry from our own personal experience as Meze Foods. You have held our hand through to becoming more efficient and more sustainable through the different project managers and personnel that you have assigned to us.”

In his closing remarks, NCPC-SA Programme Manager, Victor Manavhela said that the Meze Foods site visit demonstrated the centre’s commitment to transitioning industry towards a green economy.

UNEP Nairobi Energy Program Manager, Dr Meseret Zemedkun congratulated the NCPC-SA on their commendable efforts in advancing SDG 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. “This collaboration exemplifies the impactful role of collective action in forging a path toward a greener, more resilient future for all,” she said.