ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY PRACTICES

The Group acknowledges that it has a moral and legal responsibility towards the environment, its employees, its customers, its neighbours, its business and future generations. Not only do we endeavour to conduct all our activities in such a way that the environment is not adversely affected, but we favour suppliers and partners who have similar environmental policies.

LAND USAGE

We strive to apply the best environmental practices on all land used for agricultural, factory and warehousing operations. The table below provides an analysis of the Group’s land usage.

GEOGRAPHICAL FOOTPRINT OF OWNED PROPERTIES (hectares)
  Foodcorp Rainbow TSB Vector Total
Agriculture   10 305 14 020   24 325
Factories/warehousing 23 141 172 37 373
Total 23 10 446 14 192 37 24 698

NATURE CONSERVATION

The Group supports nature conservation and views it as an important aspect of our national heritage. In this regard, Rainbow leases approximately 630 hectares to the North West Parks Board for the enlargement of the Rustenburg Nature Reserve, for R1,00 per annum. Additionally, at the Group’s 1 547 hectare Roodewaal farm near Koster in the North West province, Rainbow has permission from the Department of Nature Conservation to conserve game. Bordered by three game farms, it actively supports the North West Parks Board and game farming in the area by helping to ensure wildlife and plant conservation.

ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (“EMS”)

The Group is in the process of implementing an EMS based on ISO 14001 principles. External management certification ensures that our environmental performance is monitored, independently verified and our operations comply with best practice. Regular internal and third party risk assessments and audits are undertaken at our operations as part of the Group's drive for continuous improvement under ISO 14001 and various other supplier audits.

Foodcorp uses ISO 14000 as a guideline framework although its facilities aren’t certified. In 2015 Foodcorp continued the identification of environmental management gaps at its divisions, and regular internal and external assessments and audits are conducted by Foodcorp and Marsh to measure improvement on environmental issues and to ensure continuous improvement and conformance.

All Rainbow mills are ISO 14001 certified, whilst other Rainbow sites (excluding KZN Agriculture, Wolwehoek and Bush Valley processing facilities) have been through a Stage 1 ISO 14001 certification audit. Environmental legal compliance audits are conducted at Rainbow and Vector sites every 3 years. All Vector distribution hubs have implemented ISO 14001 and completed legal audits and certification successfully.

As a committed guardian of the environment, TSB's environmental policy sets standards for the effective management of water and other resources and governs aspects of its operations that may impact on air quality during the harvesting and sugar production processes. Effective management and disposal of waste is undertaken with an increasing focus on recycling, and where possible the NOSA system (covering safety, health and environmental management) has been implemented.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENTS (“EIA”)

The Group conducts EIAs as required by the Department of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs when considering investment in new facilities or upgrades to existing ones.

This process allows for comments and input from all interested stakeholders and affected parties. An Environmental Management Plan will be established for the construction phase of such projects, to serve as a guide to assist in minimising the potential environmental impact of business initiatives.

ENVIRONMENTAL RISKS

RCL has identified the following potential environmental risks in its operations:

ENVIRONMENTAL RISKS RISKS ARE MITIGATED BY
Natural resource depletion
  • An updated environmental policy providing the framework for setting and reviewing environmental objectives and targets

Air pollution

Odours from processing plants and mills

  • Environmental management programmes and key performance indicators that are monitored regularly
Poultry disease outbreaks on farms
  • Effective bio-security and security procedures at all operations
Waste disposal
  • Service level agreements (aligned to ISO 14000 standards) with waste management service providers for the safe disposal of diseased birds and contaminated or hazardous waste
Fires
  • Fire breaks maintained on all farming operations
Ground and surface water pollution
  • Bund walls around all tanks and storage areas containing hazardous liquids
Hazardous chemical, diesel and gas spillage
  • Chemical store rooms allowing for segregation of hazardous chemicals
Indirect emissions from high electricity consumption
  • Smart metering monitoring key electricity consumers (mills, processing facilities, distribution warehouses) and load reduction programmes implemented where applicable
Direct emissions from boiler fuel combustion
  • Emissions testing of boilers as per the Air Quality Act. Key performance indicators driving efficient boiler operation and fuel savings at all sites
Water shortages and water quality
  • Regular water quality assessments and proactive management to ensure sufficient and reliable water supply
Daily operation, project related activities and related risks
  • Induction of all new employees and contractors on specific site health and safety and environmental risks
  • Effective training programmes focusing on environmental policy and practices
  • Induction of all management staff on environmental and sustainability policies and strategies
  • Effective documented health and safety procedures