Absa bank invests in efficient operations

first_img AFD and Eskom commit to a competitive electricity sector Generation In addition, the Bank has a 1,000kWp rooftop solar installation in Pretoria, which provides 17% of that office’s electricity with a single inverter. The R25 million investment will pay itself off next year. TAGSgreen buildingspower generationSouth Africa Previous articleCSIR encourages SA residents to take controlNext articleEskom refutes claims about Koeberg nuclear power station’s safety ESI Africa RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR The Energy Centre is manned 24/7 from a control room, which has a distinct spaceship feel. According to the Bank, it is the first site in the world where gas and diesel generators are synchronised, creating enough energy to power up to 2,800 houses. Read more: Exciting potential of 3-in-1 waste-to-power technology “This means by the end of this year we will get free energy from the plant, offsetting up to 400kWp of electricity per year.” String inverters convert the energy into usable power. “We collect water from the office basins and showers, it is filtered, and UV lights are used to kill bacteria. It is then pumped into holding tanks and used to flush toilets,” says Aveshen Moodley, Absa’s vice president for environmental sustainability. In South Africa, the Absa bank campus in central Johannesburg has proclaimed that it houses a world-class energy centre and two of the largest grey water plants in the country, which can collectively recycle up to 22 million litres of water a year. A solar plant of close to 6,000 panels sits atop a north-facing roof at Towers North. The R10 million plant, a combination of ground mounted system at a 7-storey height and an IBR roof structure, was completed in 2013, and paid itself off this year using measurement and verification of savings. “It is an energy intensive process, but in an increasingly water scarce world one that pays huge dividends.” The grey water plants, which cost around R7 million each, have already paid themselves off. Moodley said the plant, built when Absa was still part of Barclays, was the first in the group globally, and as such the African team helped to write the global photovoltaic strategy. center_img Finance and Policy Low carbon, solar future could increase jobs in the future – SAPVIA “We will be rolling out five solar plants to other offices and trialling battery technology, to be used when we don’t have sunlight. To this end, we are investigating net zero offices,” Moodley concluded. The inner city power generation plant can generate the maximum demand for the entire campus – 11.2MW from gas-powered engines that is 70% cleaner for the environment in comparison to the national electricity utility and 6MW of emergency backup from diesel units. It has run in the underbelly of one of the buildings since 2010 and is now paid off. There is also enough space available to double its generation capacity in future if necessary. Featured image: Stock The set up powered 12,000 Absa employees during 2015, when the Bank made a business decision to go off the national grid, and also provides business-as-usual conditions during the current load shedding experienced by the country. This alleviated power constraints on the grid thereby allowing neighbouring businesses to still operate. Read more: Op-Ed: Solving the Eskom dilemma Waste heat created by the gas engines is used to heatwater for washing dishes and showers, as well as heating the buildings viaunderfloor heating. BRICS UNDP China, CCIEE launch report to facilitate low-carbon developmentlast_img read more

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Idiot’s guide to Indo-China Standoff

first_img“It is better to wait until you get the right thing, at the right time and in the right place; than to race for the wrong thing, at the wrong time and in the wrong place, for it yields nothing but disgrace.”― Gift Gugu MonaIndia-China Line of Actual Control (LAC) is a fudgy line unmarked on land over long stretches. The two sides have a different perception of where precisely the LAC lies on the ground.But under a 2013 Agreement, a three km wide zone that contains the LAC is a buffer zone in which neither side can erect constructions; and which both sides patrol to check that the Agreement is being adhered to.Seemingly, Chinese erected constructions in the buffer zone; perhaps are hindering Indian patrols in the buffer zone; perhaps even transgressed into India’s side of the LAC at a few places. India has asked China to dismantle the constructions and revert to status quo ante as on 01 April 2020. Diplomacy and protracted negotiations at different levels are required to get China to agree to India’s demands.We need time to build our infrastructure in the border areas. At present, it is only 30% that of China’s. We should faceoff China at the place of our choosing and that is the South China Sea. We should strengthen the Quad – an informal group of US, Japan, Australia and India in the South China Sea – and co-opt countries like Vietnam, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia with which China has border disputes. We should supplant China as the supplier to the world by building our industrial and manufacturing capacity. All of this will take time. And we have to buy that time.Does Rahul Gandhi want to order the army, as Nehru did in 1962, to “throw the Chinese out,” no matter what?x x xAs for Opposition’s demand that they and the public be told everything that’s happening at the LAC – secrecy is the watchword for military operations and for diplomacy.In the Iraq war 2003, the US military created the fable that their M1 tanks were too heavy to tread the soft sands of Arabian and Syrian deserts. They were not. But the story sold to US opposition and to Americans. And to the Iraqi for whom it was meant. Then one night, the M1 rolled over the sands of these deserts, reached Bagdad, forcing Saddam to flee into hiding. Were the US military hauled up for lying to the US opposition and to the Americans?Hannibal crossed the Alps with elephants to strike at the Roman Republic, bypassing Roman and allied land garrisons and Roman naval dominance and conquering most of South Italy. Because Romans didn’t believe that an invading army with horses and elephants could cross the Alps.Military and the govt needs its secrets to achieve its objectives. Everything will be told to the Opposition and to the public but at the appropriate time. Because everything has a right time for it. And this is not the right time for the Opposition to grill the govt about the situation at LAC; to demand that everything be revealed to them, here and now.“The time is not always now for everything.”― Ava Richardsonlast_img read more

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Maggie Murdoch Honoured Posthumously with The Gold Medal Award

first_img We’ll send you our regular newsletter and include you in our monthly giveaways. PLUS, you’ll receive our exclusive Rider Fitness digital edition with 15 exercises for more effective riding. Email* Equine Canada honoured the many outstanding achievements of Margaret “Maggie” Murdoch by presenting her posthumously with The Gold Medal Award during the EC Awards Gala, held Feb. 7 in Winnipeg, MB.The Gold Medal Award is the highest and most prestigious of the EC National Awards, and is only awarded when the EC President proposes a recipient to the EC Board of Directors, and receives approval by at least 75 per cent of board members during a vote.Murdoch perfectly embodied the outstanding criteria of The Gold Medal Award, which includes providing long and outstanding service to EC as a builder of the sport both nationally and internationally.“We, the Murdoch family, are so very proud of our Mom for her contributions to the equestrian sport, and to her community, as a mentor and as a mother to many more than just her seven children. She truly was a trailblazer within and beyond the equestrian sport,” said Murdoch’s daughters, Barbara and Margie. “For more than six decades, Mom was involved in many aspects of equestrian sport. She saw and was a part of many changes. But, what fueled her passion for the sport was the people. Mom’s equestrian community was inclusive and diverse, consisting of seasoned Olympic veterans to those just beginning to show and officiate.”Murdoch was involved with Equine Canada for over 60 years before passing away at the age of 90 in December of 2013 in her hometown of Orangeville, ON. She first became an EC member in 1952, and went on to become one of the most well respected stewards in Canada, and around the world.After gaining credentials as an EC Jumping Judge in 1989, Murdoch added EC General Steward status for Dressage and Jumping to her resume in 1992. Before long, she obtained FEI Level 3 status as a Dressage Steward, as well as Level 2 Para-Equestrian Dressage Steward credentials. Additionally, Murdoch held the distinction of being the FEI Dressage Steward General for Canada for many years.Outside of her active stewarding duties, Murdoch continually gave back to the equestrian community, generously providing her time and expertise as the Chair of the Dressage Canada Stewards Sub-Committee, Chair of the Canadian Para-Equestrian Committee (CPEC), and member of the Para-Equestrian Officials Committee.Murdoch was truly an asset to equestrian sport in Canada, helping to raise the bar for safety, sportsmanship, and integrity. Her passion and involvement never faltered, and she continued to be active as a steward her entire life, including being appointed Dressage Steward of the 2013 Cornerstone Spring into Dressage competition last June.Equine Canada is honoured to add The Gold Medal Award to Murdoch’s long list of accolades.“The Murdoch family would like to thank Equine Canada and those who supported the giving of this prestigious Gold Medal Award to our Mom,” said Barbara and Margie. “Our Mom would have been surprised and humbled by this honour. However, she would have appreciated this recognition of her contribution to equine sport.”Close family friend and FEI 4* dressage judge, Lorraine Stubbs, accepted The Gold Medal Award on behalf of Murdoch during the presentation at the EC Awards Gala.Murdoch was the first recipient of The Gold Medal Award since 2009, when 2008 Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze, and Al Patterson, past President and long-time ambassador of EC were honoured.For more information on The Gold Medal Award, visit http://tinyurl.com/lgfvvrv. Tags: Margaret Murdoch, Equine Canada Gold Medal Award, Horse Sport Enews SIGN UP Subscribe to the Horse Sport newsletter and get an exclusive bonus digital edition! More from Horse Sport:Christilot Boylen Retires From Team SportAfter an exemplary career as one of Canada’s top Dressage riders, seven-time Olympian Christilot Boylen has announced her retirement from team competition.2020 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair CancelledFor only the second time in its history, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair has been cancelled but plans are being made for some virtual competitions.Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Statement on 2020 EventAs the Province of Ontario starts to reopen, The Royal’s Board and staff will adhere to all recommendations put forward by government and health officials.Government Financial Assistance for Ontario FarmersOntario Equestrian has recently released this update of several financial assistance packages available, including those for farm business.last_img read more

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Time for clear global framework on CO2

first_imgEven if the protocol does not come into force, the obligations in the protocol will continue to bind those signatories who have ratified it, the Community included. Yet, it cannot be amended and will become too static for a process that should be kept dynamic and strong. One way of proceeding is to analyze the past policies in the EU which have already successfully helped to decouple economic and emissions growth. This has been delivered through diverse and efficient policies that create dynamics and even ancillary results. These should now be enforced and applied to other sectors, too. My concerns arise from my involvement in the climate change issues over many years. The EU Emission Trading Scheme also leaves a number of questions open. The numerous questions which I have tabled to the Commission have not been satisfactorily answered.I see a way forward in continuing with and strengthening the policies already tested in the Community and putting them into practice at a global level. To this end, we need to equip the United Nations environmental programmes with the necessary powers and disseminate the spread of energy efficiency, renewable energy and research on clean technologies. This would not only stop carbon leakage but also create the dynamism necessary for the change.This would also open a new door for the United States and Russia to enter and participate in the mitigation of greenhouse gases. In the UN framework, clear global structures for the carbon economy should be created with a price for CO2. Eija-Riitta Korhola MEP I believe that nobody can see the impact of European industries fleeing to China or other countries that have no binding cap in Kyoto, threatening to produce a large-scale global carbon leakage. It will be necessary to stick to the Kyoto target, but its adverse and counterproductive effects should be urgently analyzed. Otherwise, the protocol will mitigate sustainable development. Emissions per capita in Europe may decrease, but they will certainly increase per capita in the world as a whole. This would then produce a paradox: instead of the ‘polluter pays’ principle, we would have a ‘pay to polluter’ policy. Those paying, unfortunately, will not be the ‘rich countries’, but hundreds of thousands of individuals in member states who would lose their jobs. In a letter to the Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström and the Transport and Energy Commissioner Loyola de Palacio, I appealed for serious attention to be paid to the ecologically adverse side effects of the Kyoto Protocol. Member of the environment committeeEPP-ED, Finlandlast_img read more

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How Trump’s Syria strikes play into Putin’s hand

first_imgThis is the context in which we should interpret Russia’s decision to withdraw from the air safety agreement with the U.S. Moscow is raising the stakes in the future bargain, even though it is Russian soldiers who will be subject to greater risks because of this decision.Dragging the U.S. into another conflict in the region is a dream scenario for the Kremlin. Brinkmanship is where Putin has always excelled. He has faced far worse dilemmas than many of his Western colleagues — home-grown terrorism or the Chechen war, for example — and is far more confident. He is also way more cynical.The guided-missile destroyer USS Porter fires a Tomahawk land attack missile on April 7 Ford Williams/U.S. Navy via Getty ImagesTrump being paraded as the Kremlin’s friend was deeply awkward for the Kremlin. The political regime in Russia is existentially dependent on the U.S. being openly hostile to it. In the aftermath of Russia’s occupation of Crimea, Putin’s approval rating soared from just over 60 percent to almost 90 percent, but support has started to evaporate since. In recent weeks, Russians have visibly warmed to the idea of street protests and opposition leader Alexei Navalny. On the eve of presidential elections in 2018, this is a big problem for the Kremlin. This conflict could be the ideal way to shore up domestic support.Putin desperately needs an enemy in the White House, ideally a cartoonish and hapless one; someone that fits a collection of clichés that confirm common Russians’ worst perception of the American political establishment. Where Obama refused to play the hypocritical “frenemy” game — an eight-year nightmare for Putin — Trump is bound to become an ideal partner. Russians have historically been great at rallying together in the face of an outside threat. It’s a deeply embedded social instinct that Putin has manipulated masterfully from Day One. His response to Trump’s airstrikes will be no exception.Leonid Ragozin is a freelance journalist based in Riga. The Kremlin had widely touted that agreement as a huge diplomatic breakthrough. Assad grossly undermined the importance Putin places on that perceived victory. His punishment by the U.S. will certainly not be unwelcome in Moscow. In what sounded like a reprimand, Peskov told The Associated Press, hours before the American strike, Russia’s support for Assad was “not unconditional.”It is always good news for the Kremlin when the U.S. gets bogged down in another military conflict far from its shores. It is especially useful to Russia’s propaganda machine. If Washington can intervene in wars on the other side of the globe, then why can’t Russia do the same in its immediate vicinity, say in Ukraine? Putin desperately needs an enemy in the White House, ideally a cartoonish and hapless one.Among Russians, fear of NATO’s advancement is very real. Similarly, anti-Americanism is high among radical left- and right-wing parties in many European countries. So Russia’s argument that the U.S. is overreaching, yet again, will play well with both domestic and foreign audiences.Whatever the Americans do in Syria — and especially if they launch a ground operation — they will have to coordinate it with the Russians, who are already on the ground. The threat of direct conflict between world’s greatest nuclear powers will trump all other considerations. That fact creates new opportunities for negotiations and trade-offs with the U.S., which was the whole point of Russia’s intervention in Syria in the first place. Meddling in the Middle East, a key region in U.S. foreign policy, was the Kremlin’s way of detracting attention from its Ukrainian quagmire. Putin rightly calculated that the U.S. would prioritize Syria at the expense of Ukraine. It even hoped the U.S. would be more inclined to compromises on issues like Crimea or sanctions imposed on Russia in response to its occupation of the peninsula and the subsequent war in eastern Ukraine.  Also On POLITICO Russia and US to maintain hotline to prevent midair collisions over Syria By Louis Nelson Syria calls US missile strikes ‘reckless’ and ‘irresponsible’ By POLITICO Trump launches Syria flip flops By Edward-Isaac Doverecenter_img The Russian reaction to U.S. airstrikes in Syria was a predictable show of disingenuous outrage that bordered on trolling. In comments that echoed the language Western governments use when referring to Russia’s involvement in Ukraine, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the airstrike as “an aggression against a sovereign state violating the international law.” But the Kremlin is not making a tragedy out of being snubbed by U.S. President Donald Trump, who is often described as Putin’s admirer — even his appointee — in Western media. For Moscow, the accompanying benefits will far outweigh the loss of face.Syrian leader Bashar Al-Assad did his Russian patron a huge disservice that bordered on betrayal when he launched a chemical attack against civilians in Idlib. It was Putin who brokered the agreement on the use of chemical weapons in Syria in 2013, preventing then-President Barack Obama from doing what Trump did Friday morning.last_img read more

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Donations Help Buy Grave Marker for CO Paramedic

first_imgPaul Cary (Photo provided by Ambulnz) Paul Cary died within a month of arriving to the COVID hotspot. His body was carried back to Colorado in a large procession of ambulances to be laid to rest. A retired Aurora (CO) firefighter/paramedic who volunteered to fight COVID-19 in New York City and lost his life to the virus now has a permanent memorial. His grave was adorned with a plastic marker.center_img Cary’s friends and co-workers launched a GoFundMe campaign earlier this year, raising $6,000 for a proper headstone. “Paul was a great person. He sacrificed his entire life from beginning to end for EMS and fire in this community, so he deserves to be paid tribute appropriately,” said Alexander James, a co-worker with Ambulanz, told The Denver Channel. “He was a front line hero.”last_img read more

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Vespers offers alternate form of prayer

first_imgEvery month, the McGrath Institute for Church Life holds vespers, an evening prayer service in the chapel in Geddes Hall. John Cavadini, a professor of theology and the director of the institute, explained that Vespers is part of the church’s ongoing Liturgy of the Hours.“Liturgy of the Hours refers to the daily prayers of the Church,” Cavadini said. “The two hinges of Liturgy of the Hours is morning prayers, which is called Lauds, and evening prayers, which is called Vespers.”Cavadini discussed the other Liturgy of the Hours as well. There is mid-morning, noon and mid-afternoon prayers in addition to lauds and vespers. The idea behind Liturgy of the Hours, Cavadini said, is to “sanctify the day.” Since Mass can be held at any time of the day, it is independent of the Liturgy of the Hours. Vespers, in particular, centers around the Book of Psalms.“There are three psalms every day on a four-week cycle. You’ll go through the whole book of Psalms in four weeks,” Cavaldini said. “There are special psalms for feast days.”According to a program for a normal service from the McGrath Institute, vespers opens with a prayer, is followed by a hymn, which in turn is followed by a psalm, then a canticle. Next, there is a short Bible reading and a homily. In the final part of the service, the congregation sings a canticle and the “Magnificat,” or song of Mary. The congregation offers intercessions, recites the Lord’s Prayer, then says an additional prayer before the service is brought to a close.Cavadini explained that vespers is different than a usual Mass in that laypeople can preach the homily.“Laypeople can give the homily at the Liturgy of the Hours. We have lots of different people whose voices you hear,” Cavadini said. “It’s nice to get a wide range of voices from students, faculty, staff, etc. It’s sort of fun to hear and to be asked to deliver one.”Carolyn Pirtle, the director of the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy, said vespers services have been happening on campus for a long time.“We’ve been doing monthly vespers services for a number of years now. We’ve made a real effort to bring this form of prayer to the campus community,” Pirtle said. “It’s a beautiful form of prayer that incorporates the psalms and scriptures. We wanted to try and bring this to a wider audience.”From a logistical perspective, Pirtle said the readings and the psalms are laid out for the entire church, much in the same way Mass readings are. It’s simply a matter of figuring out what day it is and what psalms and readings correspond to that day. Pirtle said that this uniformity is a “beautiful symbol of the unity of the church,” since everyone throughout the world is saying the same prayers. She also noted that evening prayer services date back to the very beginning of the Christian church. She emphasized the importance of the psalms to the service.“The psalms are beautiful because they speak to the breadth of the human experience,” Pirtle said. “They speak to the joy of joys and the worst of sorrows. Whatever you’re going through, there’s a psalm for that.”Since laypeople can preach, Pirtle also said that it’s a great opportunity for masters of divinity students to practice preaching.“Traditionally, we’ve had a lot of masters of divinity students preaching,” she said. “I’ve drawn from that community so that they can learn how to preside and practice that as a lay person. It’s a great chance to exercise ministerial leadership.”Pirtle emphasized the beauty of vespers and its benefits in a stressful environment.“If you’ve never experienced vespers, it’s a really beautiful form of prayer that’s very reflective and very contemplative,” she said. “It’s a wonderful way to take half an hour away from the stress and busyness of student life to come and spend some time with God and let God speak to you through the scripture and the psalms, as well as enter into a community of people who you might not know through prayer and the grace of spirit.”Tags: Liturgy of the Hours, McGrath Institute for Church Life, prayer, Vesperslast_img read more

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DEATHS NOTICES: May 21, 2020

first_img Geraldine Jason Dipmore, 77, formerly of Port Arthur died Tuesday, May 19, 2020. Funeral arrangements are pending at Gabriel Funeral Home.Mary Chilo, 89, of Port Arthur died Wednesday, May 20, 2020. Funeral arrangements are pending at Gabriel Funeral Home.Christopher Roccaforte, 39, of Port Arthur, Texas died Thursday, May 21, 2020. Services pending with Levingston Funeral Home – Groves, TX. Jerome Burleson, 77, of Allen, Texas died Sunday, May 17, 2020. Services pending with Levingston Funeral Home – Groves.Antonio “Tony” Perello, Jr., 69, of Houston, Texas died Saturday, May 16, 2020. Services pending with Levingston Funeral Home – Groves. Reverend Thomas “T.J.” Sasser, 101, of Port Neches, Texas died May 19, 2020. Services pending with Levingston Funeral Home – Port Neches.Melvin LeBlanc, 65, of Beaumont, TX died Thursday, May 21, 2020. Services are pending at Hannah Funeral Home, Inc.Taylor Rodriguez, 23, of Port Arthur died Wednesday, May 13, 2020. Funeral arrangements are pending at Gabriel Funeral Home.last_img read more

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National Life makes the grade, bond rating boosted by S&P to ‘A+’

first_imgNational Life Group,Vermont Business Magazine The financial strength rating for National Life Group’s insurance companies was boosted by Standard & Poor’s on Thursday based on the company’s improved capital strength and stronger credit quality. S&P Global Ratings formally raised the rating of National Life Insurance Company and Life Insurance Company of the Southwest to “A+” from “A.” At the same time, SP Global raised its issuer credit rating on NLV Financial Corp., National Life’s holding company, to “BBB+” from “BBB.”“We’re delighted we’re being recognized by S&P for the financial strength of our 167-year-old company,” said Mehran Assadi, president and CEO of National Life Group.S&P praised National Life’s focus on the fundamentals. “The upgrade reflects our view that NL Group has improved its capital strength, resulting in stronger credit quality,” S&P said.“We now view the insurer’s financial risk profile as extremely strong, compared to our prior opinion of very strong. Over the past few years, NL Group has organically grown its capital, more effectively managed its investments in structured securities, and successfully completed a closed block reinsurance transaction. We believe its improved capital position is sustainable.”S&P said National Life’s “business risk profile remains strong” and noted that premiums and deposits are almost evenly split between protection and retirement savings.The outlook by S&P was listed as stable and “reflects our expectation that NL Group will maintain its strong business risk profile encompassing engaged and  productive distribution and favorable operating performance.”Source: National Life 8.12.2016 NationalLife.com(link is external).last_img read more

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Retiring Sen. Kay Wolf leads Overland Park Chamber’s 2016 voting records

first_imgSen. Kay Wolf is stepping down after one term in the high chamber.Retiring Prairie Village Sen. Kay Wolf earned a perfect score from the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce in its assessment of local legislators’ voting records this yearIssued each year, the chamber’s voting records assess how legislators’ voting records helped support the legislative priorities of the chamber, which seek to keep Johnson County a thriving business community.“Many of the issues that impact the business community are decided in the halls of government,” Tom Robinett, Vice President of Government Affairs for the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce, said in a release accompanying the new report. “For this reason, pro-business advocacy is one of the most important services the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce provides to our community.”Wolf’s 100 percent record from 2016 contributed to her lifetime voting record of 92 percent with the chamber, the highest among the 34 legislators rated by the organization, which is the largest chamber of commerce in Johnson County.Northeast Johnson County Reps. Barbara Bollier (91 percent), Stephanie Clayton (91 percent), Jarrod Ousley (82 percent), and Melissa Rooker (91 percent) fared well in the analysis as well.The worst rating went to Rep. Craig McPherson who was judged to have voted in the chamber’s interest 36 percent of the time. Reps. Amanda Grosserode, Mike Kiegerl, Jerry Lunn, Charles Macheers, Randy Powell, John Rubin and Bill Sutton were all judged to have voted with the chamber less than half of the time, as well. Mary Pilcher-Cook was the lowest-rated local member of the Senate, coming in at 50 percent.The full report is embedded below:https://dfv6pkw99pxmo.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/25133653/2016-Voting-Record.pdflast_img read more

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