Collaborative Effort Creates Great Impact

by Konica Minolta SA

Konica Minolta South Africa recently hosted a media forum at its head office where new members of the management team were introduced and a number of its CSI partners shared an update on its social development projects.

Alten Hulme, chief marketing officer commented: “As one of the country’s top performing organisations within this industry, Konica Minolta South Africa not only prioritises our business goals, but also our societal objectives. As a company that truly believes in environmental, social and economic sustainability, we are committed to working with organisations that are dedicated to – amongst others – providing access to education for children, the conservation of biodiversity and the enrichment of our surrounding communities.”

Organisations including Food & Trees for Africa (FTFA), Coronation Training Centre, Care for Wild Africa, West Rand School, Promethium Carbon and Good Work Foundation (GWF) all shared inspirational stories, challenges and recommendations to better serve their causes.

“Around 4.2 million trees and 5,000 food gardens have been planted since FTFA’s inception. The total number of trees and bamboo plants that have been planted in partnership with Konica Minolta South Africa since 2008 totals 29,639,” said Chris Wild, executive director at FTFA.“ If this can be achieved within a few years of the partnership, imagine what we can accomplish together over the next decade!”

Phebe Botman-Kerspuy, principal at Coronation Training Centre, a school that caters for learners with special educational needs (both intellectually and physically impaired children) commented: “Konica Minolta South Africa has made an enormous and valuable contribution over the years. The company has consistently contributed printed education material. They have also planted 40 fruit and indigenous trees in the school yard with the help of FTFA and the team has spent time at our premises, showing their care and love for the children.”

Also grateful for the constant support by Konica Minolta South Africa is the deputy principal of West Rand School for special needs learners, Leonore Coetzer. “Thanks to Konica Minolta South Africa and the Edu-Care Foundation for being involved with the school by providing a decorated reading room with large print books, a television, a DVD player and toys for our junior special class learners. The reading room has encouraged these children to improve their reading as well as learn book-handling skills, as they are unable to use the school’s main library,” she said.

Amy Garlick, a carbon and climate change advisor at Promethium Carbon, provided interesting statistics in her presentation. Having worked with Konica Minolta South Africa since 2009, she confirmed the remarkable progress the company has made in this space, resulting in it being awarded carbon neutral status by the Carbon Protocol of South Africa for the third consecutive year. Amy added, “Konica Minolta South Africa has earned this status through calculating its carbon footprint, the implementation of company-wide energy efficiency initiatives and the subsequent offsetting of the remaining emissions.”

Petronel Nieuwoudt, founder of Care for Wild Africa – one of the largest rhino orphanages in the world, based in Mpumalanga, where Konica Minolta South Africa has adopted seven baby orphan rhinos affectionately known as ‘The Magnificent Seven’ – described with enthusiasm how every day is a learning curve for her and the team that cares for these increasingly rare animals. She said, “We try to save them all and are very proud of our treatment and care centre where these animals are tended until they can be rehabilitated back into the wild. It is also important that each individual plays their part in conserving these animals by participating and acquiring as much knowledge as possible about them.”

Accolade Ubisi, who refers to herself as a new African storyteller at Good Work Foundation confidently narrated the progress of her organisation: “Since 2006, we have launched four digital learning campuses in remote villages of South Africa to uplift rural communities through access to world class education. She further added: “As part of our ‘wonder-filled’ approach to learning, we have been able to take 636 children from rural villages to the Kruger National Park for the first time through our partnership with Konica Minolta South Africa and the bizhub Conservation Academy. We hope that they will be future conservationists that understand big data and will use it for the benefit of wildlife conservation.”

“The event was inspiring and ultimately, it brought together people with a common goal, a thirst to add real value to society and change things for the improvement of South African communities,” explained Alten. “This proves that ordinary individuals have the ability to shape the future of the country and society altogether.”

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