The National Cleaner Production Centre (NCPC) is hosting its 6th biennial Industrial Efficiency Conference in September 2024, once again free to attend at the CSIR ICC in Pretoria. The theme of this year’s conference is enabling circularity and decarbonisation in industry.  

The NCPC has been supporting more sustainable, efficient energy use in industry since the launch of its international award-winning Industrial Energy Efficiency Project in 2010. Typically, it has done so by developing and delivering training in industrial energy efficiency and assisting companies to implement energy systems optimisation and energy management systems aligned to ISO 50001.  

Between 2010 and 2022, the NCPC assisted approximately 450 companies to save over 6 500 GWh of energy, primary electricity, with a resulting cost saving of R6.4 billion. Due to the high carbon footprint of South African electricity, this equated to a massive 6.5 million tonnes of GHG mitigation – measured as carbon dioxide equivalent.  

The carbon intensity of South African industry is among the highest in the world, due mainly to its dependence on electricity generated from coal or, worse still, diesel. This is why the NCPC chose to focus on decarbonisation as one of the themes for the conference in 2024.  

In 2020, South Africa was 13th in the rankings of notions with the highest GHG emissions, contributing 1% to the global emissions. This despite the fact that our 2022 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 405.27 billion US dollars represented a mere 0.17 percent of the world economy.  

These facts do not bode well for the industries whose viability depends on trade with developed economies, and particularly the European Union (EU), where the newly introduced Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) poses a high risk for exporters of iron and steel, aluminium and cement, amongst others.