South Africa’s first green transport service

first_imgThe Green Cab is South Africa’s first carbon-neutral transport service.(Image: The Green Cab) MEDIA CONTACTS • Lynn Maggott  Green Cab MD  +27 84 596 9856 RELATED ARTICLES • Top green rating for SA building • SA’s auto industry to turn green • Rural community goes ‘green’ • IDC fund helps companies go green Wilma den HartighA group of forward-thinking entrepreneurs have established South Africa’s first carbon-neutral transport service.The Green Cab is the idea of a group of women who decided to pool their expertise to help lower vehicle emissions and make transport services more sustainable.The Cape Town-based initiative has attracted much attention from businesses looking to green their operations, eco-conscious individuals and the local tourism sector.“Looking after the environment is something everyone needs to do. We are destroying our planet and we all have a responsibility to do something. We owe it to future generations,” says Lynn Maggott, Green Cab MD.Environment-friendly fuelThe company’s fleet has been modified to run on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and a biodiesel blend of diesel used cooking oil. A 20/80 ratio of biodiesel to diesel is used.LPG is a flammable mixture of hydrocarbon gases used as fuel in vehicles. It burns more cleanly than petrol.According to the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, LPG used in taxi, limousine or shuttle services can achieve carbon dioxide savings of up to 12%, compared to normal petrol-driven vehicles.Biodiesel is a vegetable oil or animal fat-based diesel fuel. Vehicles running on biodiesel can achieve carbon dioxide savings of between 15% and 90%, compared to standard diesel vehicles.Maggott explains that LPG’s percentage reduction in harmful emissions, as compared to petrol, is 75% less for carbon monoxide; 85% less for hydrocarbon; 40% less for oxide and nitrogen and about 10% less for carbon dioxide.Biodiesel reduces carbon dioxide emissions between 30% and 50%, depending on the percentage of used cooking oil in the blend.Most of The Green Cab’s vehicles are supplied by Hyundai South Africa. This is the only vehicle manufacturer in South Africa that will extend warranties on new vehicles once they have been converted to run on a dual fuel system.The Green Cab petrol vehicles are fitted with a gas tank to store LPG that connects to the fuel system. Diesel vehicles are fitted with diesel particulate filters.An accredited South African Bureau of Standards technician installed the LPG tanks. All Hyundai converted vehicles are signed off by the manufacturer’s technical director to ensure compliance with international standards.Verifying their claimsMaggot says that The Green Cab has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Johannesburg (UJ), its new technology partner.“Through the alliance our claims can be assessed, we can verify what we offer to corporate, and we ensure that the manufacturer’s claims are valid,” she says.The Green Cab’s collaboration with UJ will also make it possible to research new products.The company is also working with South African tour operator Springbok Atlas to convert their vehicles by fitting whale filters. These are secondary diesel particulate filters that remove particles larger than one micron. This limits harmful emissions and enhances fuel efficiency.The Green Cab’s partnership with Springbok Atlas means that they can expand their operations nationally by April next year.Guilt free travelling servicesThe transport company offers a variety of services under The Green Cab banner. “Our services are supplied to many corporates for their events as a way to reduce their carbon footprint,” says Maggott.This year, The Green Cab has a presence at the COP17 climate change conference in Durban.At a daily rate it provides delegates with a dedicated 12-hour chauffeur service in a Green Cab-branded climate change cab.Corporates can also arrange transfers in a customised company-branded cab.A green transport certificate is issued to clients to show that the transport of their company is carbon neutral. The certificate also quantifies the distance travelled and resultant emissions.The certificate is issued in partnership with the South African Carbon Protocol, which certifies that the emissions were sequestrated.As part of their regular services, companies can form an association with the low carbon shuttle service through the branding of vehicles at large events.“This allows companies or government departments to communicate their environmental messages to a large national and international audience,” Maggott says.Companies can also enroll their drivers in sustainable mobility driver training courses. The two-day course includes both a theoretical and practical component.“This course creates awareness among drivers about how their driving influences the volume of carbon emissions and teaches them how to drive to reduce emissions,” she explains.Recently, The Green Cab introduced a shuttle service for patrons attending the Old Mutual Summer Sunset Concerts at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.“In doing this we hope to reduce congestion with parking, reduce the footprint of the event and encourage people to drive less,” Maggott says.Entrepreneurial awardsThe Green Cab sustainable transport movement is gaining momentum and the company is winning awards for its efforts.Green Cab claimed top honours in the 2010/2011 in the Emerging Tourism Entrepreneur Award competition by being named the provincial winners for the Western Cape.Western Cape MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Alan Winde, congratulated the innovative “green ladies” for their novel business idea.“The Green Cab initiative speaks to growing tourism responsibly and on behalf of the Western Cape tourism industry, I would like to commend their efforts,” he said.last_img read more

Shop Talk with Fennig Equipment | Cover Crops Prep

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The latest edition of Shop Talk with Fennig Equipment joins Adam Fennig to discuss some options to consider when thinking about cover crop application and/or termination.last_img

From Co-Working to Cubicles: Where Are You Working?

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#start#StartUp 101#startups Related Posts One of the fantastic things about being an entrepreneur is that you can define your own working conditions. From Craigslist’s modest Sunset District apartment headquarters to Twitter’s stylish new digs, startups are getting creative with their work spaces. Below are a few options to consider in choosing your space. Virtual: As covered in an earlier post, ReadWriteWeb runs a totally virtual office. Using a combination of Basecamp, Google Docs and Skype, the team manages to coordinate articles and interviews from more than five locations across the globe. Traveling Space: We recently came across iStopOver – a service that allows you to rent space for your team while on the go. If you’re together at a conference, or you’d just like a change of pace, this service allows you to rent furnished office space on a daily basis. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting dana oshiro Co-working: Rather than having your staff work in isolation, you can rent them desk space at one or a number of distributed co-working facilities. Sites like San Francisco’s Citizen Space and The Hat Factory allow nomadic tech workers to share ideas and solutions in a friendly environment. Many co-working spaces offer a daily drop in rate as well as the option for monthly membership. To find a space in your community, check out the co-working map on the Co-working community blog. Lease and Rent: Sites like LoopNet and Rofo specialize in finding commercial space. A number of sites will allow you to take on space for a short-term lease with the idea that you may need to scale up your team in a short period of time. If you’ve got a unique work environment, let us know in the comments below.last_img read more

Solving DOE’s Energy Efficiency Puzzle a Piece at a Time

first_imgOne way to grease the path for the Obama administration’s Homestar home-retrofit legislative proposal will be to show that current stimulus programs are yielding their intended results, or are at least about to.Last week, the head of the Department of Energy’s stimulus program, Matt Rogers, told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that the agency had developed a system for aggressively addressing the confusion and procedural issues that had been slowing disbursement of funds and implementation of the expanded Weatherization Assistance Program, the New York Times noted on Friday in a blog post headlined “DOE Says Stimulus Program Past Its Growing Pains.”Coming on the heels of a report by the DOE Inspector General that expressed alarm over the unexpectedly slow rollout of the expanded, $5 billion program, Rogers’ comments to the Senate committee were met with a mix of acceptance and impatience.Trying to convince the skepticsWhen objections focused on labor-intensive DOE reporting requirements, for example, Rogers said the requirements were nonetheless important because they help the department quickly identify grant recipients in need of extra assistance, particularly recipients in the weatherization program, which, as the Times pointed out, has been identified as one of 12 “high risk” areas for poor management. “I guess we will have to feel our way along and see if the requirement can be managed by the states and get everything else done,” said New Mexico Democrat Jeff Bingham, who is chairman of the committee.When considering further stimulus programs, cautioned Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, “we need to be working in a far more coordinated manner.”But the reality, too, is that most lawmakers and bureaucrats seem to have acclimated to a certain amount of improvisation. While no one who needs a job wants to wait for an ambitious WAP expansion to live up to its billing, the program is finally chugging ahead, according to Rogers, who noted that, by the end of March, the agency will be on pace to finish 30,000 efficiency upgrades per month and 250,000 this year.For insight into how the WAP push has been playing out for some of the people who hope to be doing the work in the field, click here for a report, recently prepared by Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, that focuses on worker training and energy efficiency auditing services as they prepare – and wait – for job assignments in the Chicago area.last_img read more

How to Use Games, Hacking Contests To Find Workers

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#hacking#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts While college recruitment and job fairs still have a place in the employment world, a little bit of creativity and social media know-how is worth its weight in talent if done the right way. Bringing new and creative people into a business is a difficult task, so some agencies are using social media and games to draw in exactly what they need.What’s the best way to attract creative interns? A advertising firm in the Netherlands used the game “Draw Something” to bring in artistic interns by getting them to… draw something. Potential interns got onto Muse Amsterdam‘s radar by downloading the game and logging on to play with “Drawsome intern.” It played out like a regular game, but instead of earning points, players with the most interesting drawings got an opportunity to interview for an internship.Lourens Keers, Strategist at Muse Amsterdam explained the choice to use the game in an e-mail saying, “The people who use DrawSomething are not per se the talented people that we would like to work with, yet it is used by people that are into mobile applications. We’re looking for creatives with interest for innovative media, so that’s a match.” This brings to light different ways agencies are trying to find exactly the kind of talent they want in their business. And it’s not just ad agencies that are doing this, Keers pointed out that the British intelligence agency, GCHQ has also used technology recently to bring in new applicants. GCHQ made news last year by running an anonymous campaign that offered computer hackers the opportunity to get an interview by breaking a code. Typically, agencies like this get applicants straight from college, but with the increase in self-taught hackers, there was new a pool of talent to choose from. They used social media, Twitter and blogs to redirect potential hackers to a site and crack their code. Doing so (legally and ethically) redirected the user to a site with information on cybersecurity career opportunities within the agency. Closer to home, Mountain View programming startup Interviewstreet hosted a coding challenge called CodeSprint earlier this year. Participants were given the chance to solve real-world coding challenges over a two-day period to earn points and a possible interview with one of the 65 participating tech companies. Companies ranged from Facebook to Dropbox. The technological age is changing how a business finds new employees. As long as it looks like they’re thinking outside of the box and not like they are desperate for young blood, it could boost a company’s image.  It also doesn’t hurt if your method of finding new employees is different and interesting enough to get a couple of news outlets to cover it…Photo by allibean.center_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… christina ortiz 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Rice University centennial exhibits to be displayed around Houston

first_imgAddThis ShareThree off-campus venues to host exhibitsNEWS RELEASEB.J. [email protected] HOUSTON — (Aug. 10, 2012) — The Houston Heritage Society, Bank of America and Houston Public Library will host exhibits related to Rice University’s centennial year over the next few months.First up is “William Marsh Rice: The Man and His Legacy,” which opens Aug. 14 at the Heritage Society at Sam Houston Park. This exhibit will focus on the life of university founder William Marsh Rice, including his business partnership with Ebenezer Nichols, his vision for the Rice Institute and his sensationalized murder. Items from the archives that have not been on display before will be included. The exhibit will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday through Nov. 4. The Heritage Society is located at 1100 Bagby near the Rice-Nichols-Cherry House in which William Marsh Rice lived.The “Vera Prasilova Scott Portraiture Collection” will be on display at the Bank of America Building, 700 Louisiana St., from Sept. 4 through Dec. 28. This exhibit will showcase the professional portraiture of Vera Prasilova Scott, who was married to Rice Institute physicist Arthur F. Scott. After the Scotts moved to Houston in 1926, Vera opened a photography studio on San Jacinto Street. Her clientele included Rice faculty as well as prominent local social and political families and visiting celebrities. The exhibit will include photographic prints, equipment and supplies dating from 1926 to 1937. The Bank of America Building is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.The Houston Public Library will exhibit “The Rice Institute: Planning, Construction, Opening and the First 10 Years” from Sept. 29 through Nov. 10. Photographs, news articles, artifacts, letters, Rice Institute records and memorabilia that document the development of the first institution of higher education in Houston will be on display in the library’s Julia Ideson Building, 550 McKinney St. The building is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. It is closed Friday and Sunday.Rice University will celebrate its centennial Oct. 10-14. For information about online and on-campus centennial exhibits, including “Celebrating Rice in Watercolor: Paintings by Frances Leland,” which opens Aug. 22 at the Cohen House, visit http://centennial.rice.edu/Exhibits.aspx.# # # Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,708 undergraduates and 2,374 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 4 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://futureowls.rice.edu/images/futureowls/Rice_Brag_Sheet.pdf.last_img read more