Zutari celebrates World Environment Day by moving closer to a ‘net zero world’

Engineering and professional services company purchases carbon offsets from renowned Gold Standard scheme.

To celebrate World Environment Day on Sunday 5 June, Zutari is taking a further step towards a ‘net zero world’. To raise awareness around climate change, the engineering and professional services company has purchased carbon offsets from the renowned Gold Standard scheme.

Gold Standard was established in 2003 by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and other international NGOs to ensure projects that reduce carbon emissions adhere to the highest levels of environmental integrity and contribute to sustainable development. With the adoption of the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals, a best practice standard for climate and sustainable development interventions was launched, the so-called Gold Standard for the Global Goals.

While the purchased offsets will not make Zutari entirely carbon neutral, it is sufficient to offset any emissions produced in several countries where the company operates for the 2022 financial year, explains Sonja de Klerk, Lead of Quality, Environment and Sustainability.

Zutari and its heritage company has measured its carbon footprint since 2014. It has conducted various campaigns to sensitise staff about the emissions they produce through their daily work and how these can be reduced. “The first prize is always to avoid or reduce emissions, rather than offsetting them afterwards,” highlights de Klerk.

However, emission avoidance is not always possible. Zutari has therefore begun the journey to offset its Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. “World Environment Day is a great opportunity to take our first step in this direction,” adds de Klerk.

The funding mechanism for the offset purchases is based on a recycling centre from which Zutari receives an income from some of the recyclable waste. These funds are earmarked for environmental purposes such as the carbon emission offsetting. “This innovative approach enables us to promote a circular economy and climate change awareness at the same time,” says de Klerk. The recycling centre has also created full-time employment for a disabled individual from a disadvantaged background.

The Gold Standard projects selected by Zutari for offsetting purposes reveal its commitment to the continent and its people:  The Kenya Biogas Programme supports Kenya’s endeavours to develop a commercially viable biogas sector. It facilitates the funding of biodigesters for families, particularly in rural environments. Domestic biodigesters provide a way for households with livestock to reduce their dependence on polluting firewood and expensive fossil fuels.

In the longer term, Zutari plans to expand the offsetting of the carbon emissions arising from its operations. However, the most significant impact it can have on climate change and the circular economy approach remains through its projects.

“We work as a team, together with our clients, our communities and end users. Our highly skilled and experienced multidisciplinary teams push boundaries to help economies grow. Our projects cross markets, disciplines, and geographies, creating a footprint of impact and engineered solutions that is reframing our world,” comments Zutari CEO Teddy Daka. “We embrace sustainability. It is Zutari’s purpose to co-create an engineered impact that enables environments, communities, and economies to thrive.”

Led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and held annually since 1974, World Environment Day has grown to be the largest global platform for environmental outreach, with millions of people from across the world engaging to protect the planet.

At Zutari, we believe in co-creating an engineered impact enable environments, communities and economies to thrive.

Zutari is an infrastructure advisory, design, and engineering consultancy. In the past 90 years, we’ve formed a deep-rooted relationship with Africa, the Middle East, and its people. Staying in business for almost a century is a testament to our agility and resilience.

Our broad collective of in-house, industry-recognised engineering consultants and trusted advisors provide seamless and integrated delivery of infrastructure projects. These solutionists combine their technical mastery, creative intelligence, and digital smarts to reframe traditional engineering for a new world.

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Zutari, in partnership with CESA, held the 2024 Job Shadow Day over two days (3 and 4 July 2024). Our Tshwane and Cape Town offices hosted over 80 Grade 11 and 12 learners with an interest in engineering sciences. The programme fuelled their excitement and curiosity about how Zutari works. It further gave them a front-row seat into a day in the life of engineers entails.
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