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September 4, 2019
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September 4, 2019

Caltex is turning the Eastern Cape Green

CALTEX Eastern Cape Marketer (CECM) and its network of more than 120 service stations across the province are mapping a greener future in fuel retailing, with initiatives including recycling, solar power and energy efficient lighting.

The company has reduced energy demand at its sites, in locations ranging from the metros of Buffalo City and Nelson Mandela Bay through to remote rural areas of Transkei, by installing LED lights – retro-fitting existing sites and making them the standard specification for new sites.

CECM finance and administration general manager Craig Step said that not only were LED lights more energy efficient, they also have a long lifecycle, resulting in cost savings on electricity and in replacing equipment.
“The bonus is that LED actually gives a great quality of light which really helps visibility especially in rural areas. The initial investment was high, but it is paying off,” he said.

Step said that rainwater harvesting was also being introduced on new sites where possible – with service station canopies making an excellent rainwater catchment area – as well as in places where municipal water supply is poor quality or unreliable, such as Port Alfred.

Caltex Beacon Bay Motors in East London is leading the way in recycling and has cut waste sent to landfill from about 100 bags per week to just 20 or 30 in the past year, says owner Greg Bind.

He said “just about everything” used at the service station and FreshStop convenience store was recycled – including the coffee grounds from the Seattle coffee bar that go into compost and topsoil made by local company Pro-Gro, and food waste that goes to farmers.

Paper dispensers have been removed from the forecourt as the paper used to clean motorists’ windows and wipe off oil dipsticks was filling up dozens of bags a week. They’ve been replaced with a simple solution: re-usable cloths that are cleaned with a biodegradable agent to remove the oil.

The next step is set up a facility where customers can help make eco-bricks by stuffing non-recyclable plastics such as sweet and chocolate wrappers and chip packets into 2l cooldrink bottles.

Ten Caltex sites in Port Elizabeth are now partially solar-powered following a successful pilot project, Step said, and CECM will continue exploring ways to “improve and roll out further implementation as technology and regulations change”.
“This is a 20-year investment programme and we are only two years into it so we don’t have all the answers yet but we are fully committed to extending our use of renewable energy as far as possible and it is already proving that it’s worth it to go this route,” Step said.

CECM has recently signed an agreement with PowerX, South Africa’s first licenced energy trader, which has an agreement with Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality to supply “green power” from renewable energy generators via the municipal transmission network.

The benefit to companies such as CECM is a reduced cost for the “green power”, which they will be rolling out to all their sites within the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro. (The system is limited to Nelson Mandela Bay, as Buffalo City hasn’t yet progressed to a similar arrangement.)

CECM also made their annual convention for retailers and partners held in Cape St Francis in April this year as plastic-free as possible. Delegates were issued with re-usable water bottles and the Cape St Francis Resort uses refillable shampoo and toiletry dispensers, rather than single-use small bottles – saving at least 600 water bottles and 400 single-use toiletry bottles from being discarded.

Issued by Maven Connection on behalf of Caltex Eastern Cape Marketer.

Caltex Eastern Cape Marketer (CECM):
CECM, the master franchisor of over 120 Caltex service stations in the Eastern Cape, has invested over R500-million in just over a decade in revamps, upgrades and building new sites, to ensure that locals and travellers have access to Caltex service excellence across the length and breadth of the province.