Ufrieda Ho, author of Paper Sons and Daughters, recently made a trip to Wyoming in the US to see how fracking operations in the Pinedale basin have affected the local communities there. On the issue of fracking in the Karoo, she concludes, “we may have energy for decades, but what water will we have to drink and what air will we breathe?”
A SMARTphone snapshot is passed around, it’s an image of the Karoo.
“Wow, it looks just like Pinedale,” says one of the three American Shell Oil employees peering into the screen.
They’re leading a group of South African reporters around the Wyoming basin where Shell has had a hydraulic fracturing operation for natural gas since 2001.
Pan Macmillan author Dion Chang was recently dubbed an Ambassador for LG’s ‘Life’s Good When It’s Green’ Campaign at the Saxon Hotel in Johannesburg. Chang is in illustrious company with Basetsana Kumalo, John Smit and JP Duminy also joining the cause.
The launch of Transient Caretakers: How to make life on Earth sustainable, sponsored by Nedbank, was nothing short of a meeting of some of SA’s finest minds, with guests and speakers including top business people, scientists and academics. The panel of speakers included Nedbank chairman Reuel Khoza (who is also president of the Institute of Directors, where the event was held, and a convenor of King 3 sub-committee commission for corporate sustainability reporting), JSE CEO Russell Loubser and co-authors Mervyn King and Teodorina Lessidrenska.
Lessidrenska began proceedings with an anecdote about how King approached her in Istanbul, of all places, about writing the book. It was an easy pitch: how could one resist being part of a project that would be “a roadmap for integrated action to a sustainable future”? Together, they took a comprehensive look at the “degradation of our planet’s assets” of land, air and water, and the roles and responsibilities that individuals, corporates and governments can play in stopping it. Waste, tourism, transportation, urban planning and sustainability reporting all feature in the result of their work.
Khoza gave King his highest rating for moral stewardship in meeting the challenge of sustainability. “Let’s starts disseminating this information among ourselves and then spread it further afield,” he said.
Loubser spoke about how both individuals and corporates need to take responsibility: “our planet is too precious to leave in the hands of the politicians.”
King began his remarks with the facts. He told how the average person needs 20 litres of water a day – while, at present, there is only 7.5 litres per person to go around. “We have already run out of adequate potable water,” he said. He highlighted some of the major multinationals that – surprisingly to many – have taken big steps toward becoming sustainable, among these Coca Cola, for their water preservation, MacDonald’s for their recycling of cooking oil for bio-fuel and Anglo American. He highlighted the need to come up with better tourism solutions in South Africa: although tourism is a major economic driver, it’s also the cause of huge greenhouse gas emissions. “Everyone has this challenge and we have to meet it, we are the only creatures on earth that create waste that is not recyclable,” he said.
The launch of Transient Caretakers went further afield than the panel of speakers present: there were video recordings from overseas experts, including Ernst Ligteringen, John Elkington from Volans in London, and Sir Adrian Cadbury.
The guests were also of renowned status in the field of sustainability and included Alan Marneweck, who won the best sustainability development award in London for his Limpopo Lipadi Game Reserve.
Paulo dos Santos, one of the guests from the banking world, ended the evening on the right note. “Sustainability is the bottom line,” he said. “We need to address it before there is a war for food and water; it is time people start thinking and make it part of their vocabulary.”
Pan Macmillan is delighted to invite you to the launch of Transient Caretakers by Mervyn King and Teodorina Lessidrenska.
Transient Caretakers is a groundbreaking book that explores the state of the Earth – from climate change to the ongoing water and energy crises, and from issues of waste and garbage to tourism, transportation, urban planning and sustainability reporting. It maps out steps for each person to implement changes in the household and garden, as well as to influence the actions of businesses and governments, to ensure that the Earth’s assets of land, air and water are passed on to future generations in a sustainable state.
We look forward to seeing you at the event.
Date: Wednesday, 26 August 2009
Time: 5:30 PM for 6:00 PM
Venue: Institute of Directors, Grayston Ridge Office Park
144 Katherine Street
Block B, 1st Floor, Sandown, Sandton
What kind of world would you like your children and your children’s children to inherit? Can you help to make life on Earth sustainable?
Everyone on the planet, whether in developed countries or emerging ones, has to ensure that what they do today does not compromise the needs of subsequent generations. None of us is the owner of this Earth. We are all caretakers, and transient at that. As transient caretakers, we can no longer ignore our responsibilities to restore and sustain the planet.
Transient Caretakers is a groundbreaking book that explores the state of the Earth – from climate change to the ongoing water and energy crises, and from issues of waste and garbage to tourism, transportation, urban planning and sustainability reporting. In addition, steps are mapped out for each person to implement changes in the household and garden, as well as to influence the actions of businesses and governments, to ensure that the Earth’s assets of land, air and water are passed on to future generations in a sustainable state.
Whilst companies and governments are important agents for change, individuals – in their roles as homeowners, consumers, citizens, voters, investors and shareholders – will be empowered by this book to help make life on Earth sustainable.
About the authors
Mervyn King is a Senior Counsel and former Judge of the High Court of South Africa. He is Professor Extraordinaire at the University of South Africa on Corporate Citizenship and has an honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of the Witwatersrand. He is Chairman of the King Committee on Corporate Governance in South Africa, a member of the Securities Regulation Panel that oversees all mergers and acquisitions in South Africa, Chairman of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) in Amsterdam, and President of the Advertising Standards Authority in South Africa. He chaired the United Nations Committee on Governance and Oversight, and is the author of The Corporate Citizen as well as many articles on sustainability and governance. He has consulted, advised and spoken on sustainability, corporate governance, legal, business and advertising issues in 38 countries. (more…)