Sappi and Volvo have teamed up in abold new initiative to plant moreindigenous trees. (Image: Graeme Williams,MediaClubSouthAfrica.com. For more freephotos, visit the image library.)Janine ErasmusSouth African paper manufacturer Sappi Limited and car manufacturer Volvo South Africa are saving indigenous trees with their new joint initiative GreenForBlue. Multi-national corporation, Sappi, is the world’s top producer of coated fine paper and chemical cellulose, and is also Africa’s leading forest products company.Volvo has made care of the environment one of its priorities for many decades, and the car manufacturer now takes its commitment one step further with the new collaboration with Sappi. The two companies are encouraging Volvo drivers to sponsor the planting of a sufficient number of trees per Volvo car sold to mitigate the emissions of harmful gas from engines.Once a donation has been made Sappi and Volvo will take care of the rest. The project’s name comes from the fact that a blue planet, say the companies on the GreenForBlue website, is a healthy planet – but blue can only be achieved by starting with green.Natural air filtersAs they mature, trees purify the air by carbon sequestration. This term refers to a number of processes, whether natural or artificial, whereby carbon is removed from the atmosphere and stored in a solid material – in trees this wood material is around 50% carbon.Two thirds of Sappi land is currently used for plantations and the remainder is managed for conservation purposes. GreenForBlue trees will be planted in suitable areas identified by Sappi and belonging to the company, including land near roadsides and between plantations. Planting trees on Sappi property also ensures that they will be properly looked after in order to fulfil their important function.GreenForBlue is linked to Sappi’s Sandisa Imvelo (Growing Nature) campaign for fighting climate change by planting more indigenous trees, and thus not only conserving the biodiversity and natural habitats of the areas where the company conducts operations, but also reducing its carbon footprint.Sappi says that South Africa’s indigenous biodiversity is particularly rich in all spheres – the country has more than 1 100 indigenous trees compared with the UK, which has less than 100. Sandisa Imvelo provides a focused platform for enhancing and appreciating this remarkable green heritage.Sandisa Imvelo will oversee the planning of 10 000 trees, on average, per growing season. Trees are sourced from the “Trees for Life” programme of the Wildlands Conservation Trust, which operates a series of a social development projects that help communities. The Trees for Life initiative draws on a network of participants, usually orphaned and vulnerable children, who grow indigenous trees to earn a livelihood. The children barter the trees for food, clothes, bicycles and other basic necessities, and the trees are planted out in greening or forest restoration projects. One indigenous tree, says Sappi, will dispose of about 18kg of carbon dioxide annually. The company has calculated exactly how many trees are required to offset the gas emissions of each Volvo model. For instance, the Volvo C30 will require 11 trees to grow for 100 years to offset the amount of greenhouse gas produced over a distance of 100 000km (about five years). While the original trees might not last that long, they will propagate over time to form their own green area.Doing their bitSappi has a long and distinguished history in the area of conservation. Among the company’s achievements are the greening of avenues around Hector Peterson Memorial in Soweto with 1 000 trees; countrywide initiatives during annual Arbour Week; a R10-million ($2-million) investment in the Sappi/WWF TreeRoutes Partnership; establishing the initial capital for the Table Mountain Fund; and sponsorship of the rehabilitation of Newlands Forest in Cape Town.Volvo, meanwhile, contributes to the mitigation of carbon emissions from its products by funding the United Nations’ certified climate-neutral projects, such as renewable energy production in China and India. On 1 January 2008 the company put into place a policy that all electricity delivered to its plants in Sweden and Belgium is derived from hydropower, or green power.Cutting down on SA’s greenhouse gasesMoves are currently afoot to develop South Africa’s carbon capture and storage capabilities. A new initiative announced in October 2008 and supported by a number of major local corporates, aims to develop a carbon dioxide storage atlas in the Southern African region. An initial assessment of the project is due for publication by April 2010.South Africa as a country emits about 1% of the global total per year – this equates to around 400-million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) every year. The newly-launched carbon dioxide capture scheme entails removing the gas as it emerges from industrial flues, then compressing it under pressure into a liquid form and injecting it for storage into suitable geological formations such as spent oil and gas fields.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Janine Erasmus at [email protected] articlesSouth Africa’s geography Useful linksSappiVolvo South AfricaGreenForBlueSappi/WWF TreeRoutesWildlands Conservation Trust
1 October 2012 South African government bonds became the first African government bonds to be included in Citigroup’s influential World Government Bond Index on Monday, a development that could boost investment inflows while reducing the cost of borrowing for the country. The US investment bank confirmed in June that the South African Government Bond Index would be included in its World Government Bond Index (WGBI), saying it had satisfied all three WGBI requirements of size, credit, and lack of barriers to entry. “We are delighted to welcome South Africa into the WGBI,” Ernest Battifarano, Citigroup’s global head of index development and production, said in a statement last week. “There are 12 South African government bonds in the index, with a market value of US$93.82-billion, and their appearance in the WGBI affords the opportunity to investors to gain exposure to this exciting market.” South Africa’s inclusion represents a major vote of confidence in the country, particularly with its credit rating placed under negative outlook by the big three global rating agencies. Created in 1987, the WGBI includes 22 other sovereign markets including Australia, Canada, Germany and the United States. Many global bond funds are benchmarked against the WGBI, and South Africa’s inclusion could fuel demand for the country’s bonds from investors – commanding an estimated $2-trillion worth of funds – who track the index. South Africa’s market value represents 0.45% of the market value of the World Government Bond Index in the October 2012 preliminary profile. It ranks seventeenth out of the 23 countries included by market weight. The WGBI’s entry requirements are: a minimum market capitalization of US$50-billion, a domestic long term credit rating of A-/A3 by either S&P or Moody’s, and no barriers to entry. “South Africa has been running a very tight fiscal ship for many years, and the decision is wonderful for the country,” Graham Smale, director of bonds and financial derivatives at the JSE, told Business Day when South Africa’s provisional inclusion was first announced in April. South Africa’s National Treasury also welcomed the announcement, saying South Africa had and continued to enjoy strong capital flows into its bond market. “These inflows have been a direct benefit of prudent fiscal and macro-economic policies that have helped to cushion South Africa against the worst effects of the global financial crisis,” the Treasury said in a statement. SAinfo reporter
The Kentucky Supreme Court has found a portion of the Multichannel Video Programming and Communications Services Tax (the Telecom Tax) unconstitutional. Specifically, the court held that the legislature could not prohibit cities from collecting franchise fees as consideration for the use of the cities’ rights-of-way.However, the court noted that the remainder of the Telecom Tax was still in effect even with the elimination of the prohibition provision. Severing the prohibition provision did not damage one of the intended purposes of the law—to prevent double payment by non-satellite program providers, according to the court. Additionally, the court noted that the tax credit provided in the Telecom Tax accomplished the legislature’s goal of alleviating the perceived inequity among various types of program providers that was created by federal legislation.Kentucky CATV Association v. City of Florence, Kentucky Supreme Court, No. 2015-SC-000178-DG, June 15, 2017 (available August 31, 2017), ¶203-173Login to read more tax news on CCH® AnswerConnect or CCH® Intelliconnect®.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.