Our environment
(Natural capital)
Represents the natural ecosystems and assets on which Grindrod’s businesses impact, including geology, soil, air, water and all forms of life.

Grindrod acknowledges that the environment forms the basis for human survival and economic activity. As a responsible corporate citizen, it strives to minimise and mitigate the impact of its operations on the environment in a sensible, responsible, innovative and legally compliant manner. Environmental management is based on ISO 14001 criteria with established integrated safety, health, environmental and quality management systems being subject to regular audit.

Vision 2020

The Grindrod Environmental and Climate-change Policy, Vision 2020, was adopted by the board in 2012. It sets tangible targets to conserve natural resources, maximise eco-efficiency, prevent pollution and reduce waste and climate-change impacts. The policy forms the base for the development of business-specific implementation strategies at group businesses and subsidiaries over which Grindrod has operational control.

Vision 2020 targets Base
Reduce by 10 percent normalised overall group emissions CO2-e (grams) per rand revenue. 2010 9.8   9.1 125.3 Performing above target but an improvement from 2016.
Reduce by 10 percent ship-based GHG emissions (CO2-e) per tonne/NM on average and comply with IMO ship emissions regulations. 2010 10.4   9.7 9.5 Eco-friendly fleet exceeding target.
Reduce by 10 percent land-based diesel-vehicle GHG emissions per kilometre on average. 2012 1.4   1.3 1.0 Increased fleet efficiency due to eco-friendly replacement policy.
Reduce by 20 percent normalised land-based Scope 2 electricity usage by machinery and in buildings owned by Grindrod. 2010 3 736   3 213 3 515 Decrease of 11% in employee numbers.
Source at least five percent of total energy usage from renewable sources.     3

Vision 2020 contains specific emission-related objectives, based on the international GHG Protocol which provides accounting and reporting standards for the management of GHG emissions. These objectives focus on the use of non-renewable fossil fuels in Freight Services and Shipping, which collectively account for approximately 99 percent of the Grindrod carbon footprint.

Vision 2020 requires that reports on environmental activities are accurate, transparent and complete, against key performance indicators, and in line with requirements of the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol, King IV and other benchmarks used to achieve integrated reporting for natural capital.

In 2017, Grindrod developed a methodology to quantify internal carbon pricing, in line with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TFCFD). The task force, established by the International Financial Stability Board, promotes voluntary and consistent climate-related financial risk disclosures companies can use in providing information to stakeholders such as investors, lenders and insurers. The information will form part of the 2018 Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).

Carbon disclosure

Grindrod subscribes to the international CDP, in which participants are rated on their level of effectiveness in addressing climate risk and identifying opportunities, based on scores ranging from A to E. Grindrod was rated C in 2017 (2016: B).

Marine biodiversity

Grindrod supports the Blue Fund, which was established by Grindrod Bank in partnership with the Wildlands Conservation Trust. Projects initiated and managed by the fund include the conservation of marine biodiversity.

Measures Shipping takes to preserve marine biodiversity include:

  • a policy to not transport hazardous waste;
  • using lead-free antifouling paint;
  • signing up to the voluntary clean-ship class notation, which encompasses current and expected environmental regulations; and
  • adhering to MARPOL guidelines on practices that may negatively impact marine conservation.

Shipping welcomes the introduction of increasingly stringent environmental regulations. The division’s strategy of investing in eco-friendly newbuilds to maintain a young fleet benefits both its environmental targets and the business competitiveness of its product offering. The vessels reduce fuel consumption and the impact on the environment. Grindrod also installed variable-frequency drives on ships to further improve fuel efficiency. All Grindrod’s ships are flagged under countries that are signatories to MARPOL.

Grindrod started upgrading ballast-water treatment systems in its older vessels, in preparation of the IMO phasing in more stringent requirements over the next ten years. These are aimed at preventing the spread of invasive aquatic species in a ship’s ballast water.

Shipping reacted to one of the severest global marine risks, plastic pollution, by installing on-board water-purification systems in all its vessels to do away with drinking water being stored and transported in plastic containers. Although Grindrod does not discard waste in the sea, the decision will make each vessel self-sufficient in potable water supply, eliminate the risk of buying water from dubious sources and reduce the potential to create plastic waste. The installation of state-of-the-art desalination and filtration units will be completed in the first half of 2018.

Land-based environmental impacts

Grindrod strives to achieve zero material pollution of terrestrial ecosystems in which its land-based operations are located, through the implementation of rigorous management systems that ensure a prioritised approach to environmental risk management, ongoing training and awareness and environmental audits. Businesses manage materials with caution. Hazardous materials and waste are stored, used, managed and transported according to procedure and under controlled conditions, with consideration given to containment of potential spills and contaminated run-off.

Water stewardship

Grindrod was one of the founding members in 2016 of the uMhlthuze Water Stewardship Partnership in the Richards Bay area. The project targets improved downstream water efficiency along an approximate 100-km stretch of the Mhlatuze River through improved coastal lake and dam management, agricultural water stewardship practices, efficient use of water and enhanced ecological infrastructure management. The project is led by the National Business Initiative, the GIZ-International Water Stewardship Programme and WWF South Africa and supported by some 20 government and private-sector partners. A full-time partnership manager was appointed in 2017, supported by a water stewardship manager employed by the WWF.

Key performance indicators

Key performance indicator   2017   2016 2015 2014 2013
Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions (tonnes CO2-e)   373 666   444 695 461 961 431 665 501 275
Total GHG emissions including scope 3 (tonnes CO2-e)   383 407   453 590 479 847 443 911 512 376
SOx emitted (tonnes)   4 234   5 547 4 922 5 006 4 988
NOx emitted (tonnes)   8 296   10 378 10 302 10 138 10 324
Electricity efficiency (kWh/FTE)   3 515   3 197 2 706 2 942 2 791
Total water usage   108 818   152 179 277 523 219 507 227 156
Total solid and liquid waste generated (tonnes)   20 164   14 070 9 948 10 889 14 328
* More detailed information on the key indicators is available on the company website.