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Go Green


iExchange is fully committed to being part of The Beekman Group of Companies Corporate Social Investment through which funding is spent on worthy social causes. This is done through sustainable projects that make a real difference, and allows us to achieve the motto "Enriching Lives, Fulfilling Dreams". Our key focus areas are social development, education, health, job creation, public service, and preserving our environment.


Go-Green Campaign

Environmentally friendly practices

As a Group we have embarked on a Go-Green Campaign ensuring that we will always be mindful of pursuing environmentally friendly practices. This not only benefits the environment, but also creates public awareness of our commitment to a sustainable eco-friendly way of life.

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We will actively participate towards the improvement and preservation of the environment by mobilising ourselves, encouraging others and acquiring the means to facilitate a recycling programme with the aim of minimising the impact waste has on the environment.

Our recycling campaigns started off with the establishing of mini recycling depots on each floor at our Head Office as well as a larger recycling depot in our main basement to encourage staff to recycle at home. This idea was too big to leave there though, and the Group therefore partnered up with two other "planet defenders" to establish two local public recycling depots.

We are also very aware of the impact that the day to day operations of holiday resorts can have on the local environment, and for this reason, each of the Group's managed resorts look at what they can do to contribute to the Go-Green campaign.


R for Recycling

How you can make a difference

We also encourage all our members to keep in mind the four R's of recycling:

  • Reduce - remember to switch off your lights and appliances when they are not being used to save on electricity usage.
  • Reuse - empty containers can be reused for a number of household functions.
  • Recycle - if it is organic waste, it can be recycled; find out about a depot near you now to commit to making this a way of life.
  • Remind - always remind your friends and family daily of the role they play in saving our planet.

Green News


Beekman Group is Prepared For Earth Hour 2016

March 15, 2016

Due to the size of the Beekman Group the company has to face a lot of expenses. However, with the latest technology and a lot of team work, a lot of other expenses such as water and electricity can be reduced. These factors all contribute to help save the environment.



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Lighting

At Beekman House we have tried to conserve electricity by making a few simple changes. We have we moved away from the traditional fluorescent tube to LED bulbs to light our offices. These are a few of the reasons why:

  • Fluorescent Bulbs Contain Mercury
    If a fluorescent lamp is broken, a very small amount of mercury can contaminate the surrounding environment. About 99% of the mercury is typically contained in the phosphor, especially on lamps that are near the end of their life. The broken glass is usually considered a greater hazard than the small amount of spilled mercury. The EPA recommends airing out the location of a fluorescent tube break and using wet paper towels to help pick up the broken glass and fine particles. Any glass and used towels should be disposed of in a sealed plastic bag. Vacuum cleaners can cause the particles to become airborne, and should not be used.
  • Fluorescent Lights Give Off Ultraviolet Light
    Ultraviolet emission Fluorescent lamps emit a small amount of ultraviolet (UV) light. A 1993 study in the US found that ultraviolet exposure from sitting under fluorescent lights for eight hours is equivalent to only one minute of sun exposure. Very sensitive individuals may experience a variety of health problems relating to light sensitivity that is aggravated by artificial lighting. Ultraviolet light can affect sensitive paintings, especially watercolours and many textiles.
  • Contaminants Cause Disposal and Recycling Issues
    The disposal of phosphor and particularly the toxic mercury in the tubes is an environmental issue. Governmental regulations in many areas require special disposal of fluorescent lamps separate from general and household wastes. But even though recycling is available, it can be expensive which leads to a bigger issue. If it is too expensive to dispose of the lamps, people are not encouraged to recycle and dispose of the lamps in ways that are harmful to our environment.
  • Light From Fluorescent Bulb Is Non-Directional
    The Light from fluorescent bulbs is non-directional light source. When a fluorescent bulb is lit, it gives off lighting all the way around the bulb or otherwise 360 degrees. This means that only about 60 - 70% of the actual light being given off by the fluorescent lamps is being used. The other 30 - 40% is wasted. This wasted light tends to lead to over lighting certain areas, especially offices. Most offices we go into will not qualify for The Energy Policy Act of 2005 because the wattage per square foot is too high.

For these reasons the Beekman Group has turned to LED lighting. Here are some of our latest statistics:

  • From the third floor offices down to the basement we have a total of 1510 4ft tubes and 112 5ft tubes. On the normal fluorescent this would be using a total of 54 360 watts and 6 496 watts. By switching to a healthier and environmental friendly LED tube we have cut the wattage consumption down from 27 180 watts to 2 240 watts.
  • With 135 ES globes a similar effect has been achieved. Instead of using the standard 60 watt globe, a 9 watt replacement LED globe has been substituted. The result? Instead of 8 100 watts we are now only using 1 215 watts. We also have a few globes and fittings in the fire escapes and parking bays that have all been converted. This being said the old fittings, globes and tubes would be using 77 467 watts. This has now been reduced to 31 731 watts.
  • At the same time it must also be noted that on the surface this is in excess of 59% but the figure is actually more since where the lights would previously have remained on during the time of work in the building the lights on time has now been reduced even further by the installation of movement sensors switching lights on and off automatically.

Electricity

And this is not where the savings stop! We have air purifiers to help keep staff healthier and these have been connected to the office lights thus switching off when not necessary at night. The lift has a standby mode and if not used for 2 minutes shuts down, including lights.

We have recently removed geysers, reducing our electricity usage even more. In the newly re-vamped kitchens we have installed 10 litre under-basin Prisma heaters. This provides hot water when needed and thus eliminates the heating of unnecessary water. A similar system has been set up in the basement showers where the use of Speed Heat units has been fitted to the showers.

To save even more electricity, timers have been installed on all aircons units to shut down systems when not necessary (after hours, on weekends and public holidays).

When taking all these factors into consideration, the Beekman Group Head Office has managed to cut down on the wattage used by between 65% and 70%!

Water

Water is fast becoming a scarce commodity (we all remember the salt water issue we recently experienced on the KZN South Coast!). To add to this saving we will shortly be revamping the bathrooms adding the latest in flush technology to the toilets. We have already installed sensor taps at the bathroom basins which are maintained on a regular basis. These shut off as soon as a person walks away from the basin eliminating any wastage.

Our car wash facilities now boast a new hi-pressure hose that reduces water wastage. A running tap uses 55L in one minute whereas the hi-pressure cleaner uses 9.5L per minute and at the same time gives us extra pressure to complete the required job faster with less water.

All our indoor plants as well as our Green Roof plants have been changed to more robust plants needing less water to maintain. We have already installed two more 10 000L water tanks and are now in the process of harvesting rain water. We're in the process of adding a further 10 tanks to the system. This water will be used for the building's toilets, car wash, aircons cooling tower and gardens.

Recycling

With regards to recycling, we have recycling depots on each floor where paper, plastic, aluminium, batteries, glass and ink cartridges can be recycled. This is used on a daily basis by the staff and sorted by the Maintenance Department. Last year we recycled:

  • 8555.4 kg paper
  • 1212 kg plastic
  • 1452 kg aluminium.

This included Nampak collecting and destroying reference material, converting to waste by means of bailing and pulping.

We are proud about the change we've been able to achieve. However, we're even more excited about the future change that we'll still see as we continue to reduce our carbon footprint. Join us and be a part of the incredible future we know we can create for our planet!

SWITCH OFF YOUR LIGHTS ON 19 MARCH - 8:30PM TO 9:30PM AND SAY YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE.


Beekman Group Eco Warrior: 2014

December 24, 2014

Our Commex Department, who takes care of the day-to-day running and maintenance of head office, was awarded the Beekman Group Eco Warrior Award at the annual Year End Function that took place on 7 November 2014.

The department decided to focus on a sustainable approach in each of their daily tasks - from the refreshments served to the employees, to packaging of postage parcels and the car wash. "We adopted many small ways of saving the environment into our daily activities and it has turned into a mantra of 'save, save, save' that everyone has playing in the back of their minds at all times," said Jade Labuschagne, Manager for this department.

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Some of the Go Green approaches now implemented in their daily operations include:

  • The use of Probac cleaning products, which are environmentally friendly and biodegradable.
  • The kitchen fridges are kept free of clutter to ensure that the fridges run as little as possible, thus saving electricity.
  • Hydroboils (super urns) are used for making refreshments. Traditional urns are used only for special events (AGM's) where guests make their own refreshments.
  • A high pressure cleaner are used at the car wash. It is more water efficient than using a hosepipe
  • All packaging materials receive from deliveries (boxes, bubblewrap etc.) are re-used for packaged items dispatched from head office.
  • The LED tubes in the roof lights get repositioned once half have burned out, into places where they can still be used (alongside tubes that are fully operational). Thus ensuring that the remaining part of the tube is used until it entirely burns out.
  • The interiors of the open plan offices have partitions and window blinds that were an outdated maroon colour. After researching high and low, it came to the decision to colour these black by means of airbrush painting techniques. No material or partitions went to waste!
  • Re-using everything, even empty paint buckets - they all get repurposed into something that Commex can use, which saves them having to buy new buckets.

We are very proud of this team. Not only are they saving money, but they are reducing, reusing, recycling and upcycling and helping the environment in all their operations.


Boom Boom! Cards - SCSTS

August 18, 2014

We have previously reported on how our Accounts and Collections Departments have really gotten involved in the Boom Boom! Card revolution, and we're happy to advise that SCSTS have followed suit. They've taken up the challenge for Card #15 - the Wildcard! This card dares you to be daring, outrageous, whimsical, but above all to be green. We couldn't think of a better card for this cheerful department to pick.

Some of their projects they've undertaken include a teddy bear made with recycled material (felt and hollow fibre from an old pillow). They've also shown absolute creativity by making a lampshade from recycled spoons and foil plates. They even used a second hand cord and energy saving globe to complete the project - ensuring that this upcycling project really shines the light on the importance of going green!

In addition to this they've also recycled 9kg of plastic, 6.3kg of paper and 1.4kg of aluminium. Well done team for these efforts!


Boulder Bay - Eat your veggies

August 14, 2014

Boulder Bay, in the beautiful coastal town of Ballito, is making sure all the guests are keeping up with their healthy eating whilst on holiday! They've planted patches of lettuce, carrots, spinach, chillies, green peppers, cabbage and tomatoes and the greens are flourishing! Resort Manager, Cookie Rampul, explains where the idea came from: "One of our owners suggested we should try planting some veggies. We decided to do so and, with the help of our gardeners, it's looking great."

What's even better is that the vegetables are available at no charge to the guests and staff. Next time you're staying at Boulder Bay make sure to whip up a fresh green salad from the patch or make some delicious chakalaka to go with your braai.


Boom Boom! Cards - creating a revolution at Beekman Group

July 4, 2014

It is no secret that the Beekman Group is passionate about anything Green. In our usual quest for fun new ways to educate and inspire people to adopt our philosophy, we stumbled across this website and it wasn't long before the group became a cards carrying member of the Boom Boom! Revolution.

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With Boom Boom! Cards, you perform underground acts of goodness, post about the experience on the Boom Boom! Card website, and then pass the card on to someone else. Each card's unique ID number makes it possible to follow every card that's played on the website's map. With Boom Boom! Cards, you never know where your one act of kindness may end up!

Off course it was the Green Deck that caught our attention because the mission here is to perform Acts of Greenness to protect and preserve Planet Earth. While the various departments at our Head Office has already dived into the deck head first, we'd like to share card number 23 with you in this feature.

Upcylcing - getting more tread out of your trash

Our Collections Department took on a few Boom Boom! Cards and started with the Upcycling card. By using general household waste like plastic cooldrink and water bottles, plastic bottle caps, toilet paper rolls, old party decor and even broken broom sticks, and combining it with some impressive arts and crafts creativity, the team pulled out all the stops. They made some sweet/snack stands and we were all blown away! Well done to this team and everyone involved! We're looking forward to your next project.



Accounts Department lends a hand

In similar fashion our Accounts Department also took on the challenge and did a drive to donate some clothes to a local charity in Murchison called Rehoboth Children's Village. They also donated some blankets to the village. The team is excited about their donation. "We've learnt that more people are in need of clothes and try and continue with this type of donations as a team whenever possible," said Phumla Zungu, the department's Go Green representative. The department has also started to be more conscience of the amount of plastic and paper around them and have taken a determined course of action to add as much of this type of waste to the company's recycling bins.

We'll keep you updated on more Boom Boom! Revolutions as they spread through the building, so watch this space!


Green Roof

June 6, 2014

The IT department at the Beekman Group Head Office, as part of an "I will if you will" campaign, claimed that each employee in the department will sponsor a tree, plant, or eco-friendly element towards a Green Roof, "IF" the Management Team of the Beekman Group will help to make Beekman House "Greener" by making our roof a Green Roof!

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True to their word they did just that, and the result is now a tranquil green environment, with a stunning view.

During the official opening of the new Green Roof, Group Director Wayne Beekman said: "We are equally committed to protecting our environment, as we are to enriching staff welfare. This was a magnificent project that catered for reaching both these objectives".

Staff are enjoying the new setting and with the harsh summer sun reducing now, the setting is comfortable and refreshing. Thanks goes to the IT department for this great idea, and their keen contribution.

Photo: Bottom Left - Mark Cooks, Maintenance Supervisor at our Head Offices in Port Shepstone, takes care of the garden during the development phase.


Make Recycling Possible

August, 2013

Beekman Group and Hibiscus Coast Municipality take hands to make recycling possible on the South Coast. The Beekman Group launched their very first community recycling depot back in 2010, wholly funded and managed by the Group. 3 years later they can boast 3 local community recycling depots.

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However the last few months have been a challenging few concerning two of the depots specifically. With vendors not collecting waste as they should, street children vandalising the bins for scrap metal and local residents voicing their concerns, the Group finally faced a request from the landlord to remove the bins from their premises.

More exciting news was that the local municipality joined in their quest, by launching an additional 4 recycling depots on the coast, including their very own recycling plant. We'd like to believe the Group's leadership in this project inspired this.

When the Beekman group informed the municipality of their challenges, it was agreed that the municipality would take on the two depots and move them to municipal land, where they will be emptied and managed as part of the municipality's recycling project.

The Beekman Group is proud to be part of this initiative and will always remain involved. Hannelie Millar, Sustainability Officer at Beekman Group said: "We are grateful to various local businesses, the local press and Hibiscus Coast Municipality for keeping our pursuit alive".


Sea and Sky Resort gets Certified

June, 2012

Too many organisations are claiming to be Green without any substance or without truth to the claim. This is commonly known as Green-Washing. Whilst this can bring about early gains for the offending organisation it is guaranteed to bring about severe and damaging effects to its branding and longevity. Our response: "Don't trust us, Track us!" The Beekman Group opted to register with The Green Path, a registered and licensed consulting business, who uses an online portal to specify standards, track progress and ultimately provide a verified statement of the businesses' Green Credentials.

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Although we have various Green Initiatives at a number of our resorts, our starting project for certification was at Sea and Sky on the Lower South Coast, where for the last year preparation and logistical changes have been underway. Sea and Sky achieved Silver Status Certification on The Green Path during March 2012. Certification that was earned, not bought. The Beekman Group is very proud of this achievement, being the first timeshare resort in our portfolio and to our knowledge, the timeshare industry to have earned Official Green Certification. If you'd like to read more about the Standards Sea and Sky had to adhere to, visit The Green Path.

Photo: Above - Sea and Sky scorecard.

Photo: Left - Len Hawkin and Mark Cooks at their recycling depot at Sea and Sky resort.