The Fynbloem Protea Packing Facility by Cape Town Architects, KUBE architecture was recently awarded the Corporate Social Responsibility Award by the Investment Fund for Developing Countries. The CSR Award is the industry’s showcase for the most powerful and successful, social responsibility and green campaigns. Christian Friis Bach, Minister for Development Coordination, explains why FynBloem walked away with this honour…“I am pleased to announce the winner of IFU’s prestigious CSR Investment award. This year the award is presented to FynBloem from South Africa, and I am sorry that I cannot be there in person, but I am very happy to deliver the motivation for why FynBloem is this year’s winner.
The prize indicates that economic sustainability and environmental and social sustainability are not opposites, but actually each other’s prerequisites. And FynBloem in South Africa is living proof of that.
In their motivation for presenting this year’s award to FynBloem, IFU’s jury has emphasised the company’s amazing and contagious commitment, positive growth, impressive work with climate and environmental conditions and its ability to improve the employees’ skills and consider the daily life of the employees in their CSR work.
This also appears from FynBloem’s own vision: “Our commitment goes beyond developing a viable business, promoting conservation and better living standards. We endeavour to engage a new generation as partners in a sustainable, international business.”
And FynBloem is living according to this vision every day. The CSR effort is anchored in all decisions. All 75 employees are involved in the CSR work through a number of staff committees focusing on occupational health and safety, gender equality and environment and nature, among other things. The CSR effort forms part of the remuneration of the individual employee and of teams. FynBloem makes a great effort to develop the skills of its employees, e.g. through mentoring schemes, and training is extended beyond the company to local suppliers and neighbouring farms that are invited to participate in CSR training.
The company has just opened new production facilities constructed in accordance with the “Australian Green Star rating guidelines for green buildings”. The building utilises light to the maximum and thereby reduces the need for electricity for lighting as well as cooling. Solar panels provide electricity, and ammoniac is used as a cooling agent, as it is environmentally friendly and energy efficient. The new building saves 1.5 tonnes of CO2 per day! An impressive number, even in financial terms.
The building with its flower cooling facilities is the first step towards becoming carbon neutral by shipping the flowers to customers overseas by ship and not by air. Pilot projects have been initiated, and mid-2013 70 per cent of the flowers will be transported by ship, and when the transportation has been fully implemented (end 2014), the CO2 contribution to transportation will be reduced by an impressive 98 per cent.
In the fields, biological pest control is used to the extent possible, and FynBloem has built owl houses and roosts for birds of prey to attract natural enemies of the rodents that are destroying the plants. Wastewater is treated and used for watering, and the flower waste is used to cover plants.
FynBloem’s CSR policy follows the 10 principles of the Global Compact, it is Global GAP certified and a member of SEDEX, and a number of other initiatives could be mentioned.
Naturally, the jury has also emphasised that FynBloem publishes an inspiring newsletter every other month, which is sent to all employees, suppliers and other stakeholders, and which vividly explains FynBloem’s CSR initiatives, internally as well as in the local community. This contributes to the firmly-established, strategic ownership to CSR within the entire company.
With this motivation I would like to congratulate FynBloem on the award. FynBloem is represented by CEO P.B. Beyers, CSR assistant Noah Chinyanga and Managing Director Laurits Møller Larsen. IFU’s Head of CSR, Birgitte Bang Nielsen will present the award.”
You can find out more about this project here.