Reducing the use of volatile organic compounds not only reduces the impact on the environment but also reduces the exposure of employees to harmful chemicals which, in turn, has inherent benefits for the wider community. This philosophy underlines Goodyear’s pioneering environmental management programme which was recognised with a prestigious environmental award presented by the Department of Economic Development and Environmental Affairs and the Institute of Waste Management (IWMSA) during the recent Eastern Cape Top Green Organisations Awards.
Goodyear scooped this award in the ‘˜Medium Environmental Impact’ category, while Mercedes-Benz South Africa drove away with the ‘˜High Environmental impact’ category award.
IWMSA Eastern Cape Chairman, Deidre Nxumalo-Freeman, says “innovation and sustainability of environmental projects’ played key elements when it came to judging. In particular, it was the involvement of Goodyear’s top management, “who showed a particular interest in waste management and supported waste minimisation initiatives’ that impressed the judges.
Goodyear Risk Control Manager, RenÃ© van der Merwe, is passionate about making a difference and inspiring other companies to follow Goodyear’s example.
“In this ‘˜dirty’ industry, it is quite an achievement for our green efforts to be recognised publicly. We are the only manufacturer in South Africa that can honestly say we send zero waste to landfill. Yes, it comes at a cost now but we are helping to save the planet. It’s really about setting up systems and managing them effectively.
“Awards like this highlight what can be achieved, despite the challenges. They also help to get the word out to consumers. When they are choosing tyres, they need to know that Goodyear is an enviro-friendly company, so that they can make informed decisions and not just opt for the cheapest tyre.’