Taking a proactive approach to implement the needs of SA has led to this company’s being recognised internationally and becoming the first in SA to achieve a Carbon Trust Standard.

One Durban company is not waiting in dread for the tabling of the Carbon Tax Bill and government’s introduction of a carbon tax next year.

This is because Van Dyck Carpets is the first South African manufacturer to achieve the Carbon Trust Standard – an international mark of excellence recognising success in reducing carbon emissions. This International standard acknowledges organisations that take a best-practice approach to measuring and managing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and achieve real reductions year-on-year.

In Van Dyck’s case, this meant the reduction of GHG emissions by 20,7% over the past two years. The company has followed the Carbon Trust Standard, an international management system for quantifying and reporting carbon emissions. Certification remains in place until December 2016, when the company will undergo another audit, confident that even greater reductions in GHG emissions will have been achieved.

Dr. Mehran Zarrebini, CEO of Van Dyck Carpets and head of PFE International, an international group of companies which owns Van Dyck Carpets, noted the following: “Having certified the carbon reduction of hundreds of organisations, the Carbon Trust Standard is widely considered as the world’s leading independent certifier of organisational carbon footprint reduction.”

He goes on to say that Van Dyck is proud to be associated internationally with organisations like Eurotunnel, BUPA, SKY, Samsung Electronics and Credit Suisse which also boast this certification. “The achievement of this standard will provide even greater international recognition for Van Dyck Carpets,” he continues. “It will drive awareness for our global partners, and also demonstrate to South Africa that we are at the forefront of environmental stewardship.”

Darran Messem, Managing Director: Certification at the Carbon Trust, congratulates everyone at Van Dyck Carpets for achieving the Carbon Trust Standard. “The Carbon Trust Standard demonstrates an organisation’s sustainability credentials, showing a clear commitment to measuring, managing and reducing carbon emissions year-on-year,” he explains. “This commitment to energy efficiency will help to address South Africa’s energy challenge and help mitigate the worst impacts of climate change.”

The company’s drive to increase its reach into global markets is gathering momentum. With an estimated 25% to 30% share of the South African market, Van Dyck exports to 20 countries worldwide and has branches or strategic distribution alliances in several African markets.

“We are the first South African company to be certified by the Carbon Trust, which specifies principles and requirements at organisational level for quantifying and reporting GHG emissions and removals” says Mehran. “These encompass the design, development, management, reporting and verification of the company’s GHG inventory and enables us to monitor, report and verify our GHG emissions, or carbon footprint, against an international standard.”

He says that this system not only meant that Van Dyck had an integrated set of tools in place to measure carbon and reduce emissions, but allowed them to demonstrate their environmental stewardship and corporate social responsibility credentials.

“We have invested in sustainability from the start and want this to be an even more significant element of the Van Dyck brand in future,” Mehran enthuses. “We are proud to have a framework that will enable us to enhance our operational sustainability and improve energy efficiency with the added bonus of cutting costs.”
 
True to its pioneering stance, the company is now working towards implementing an ISO 150001 energy management system later this year. This is usually the domain of large corporations with wide-ranging international connections. This system will be introduced alongside its ISO 9001:2008 (Quality Management) and ISO 14001 (Environmental Management) and ISO 14064 (GHG verification report) accreditations.

From the beginning

Van Dyck Carpets was founded in 1948, and went through a number of name changes until the brand was re-established by PFE International ten years ago. The factory is based in Durban and It manufactures all types of soft floorcoverings (namely tufted, needlepunch and woven carpets) , a wall coverings range and a range of underlays made from recycled rubber named Ecolay and Instalay. It also distributes a range of Luxury Vinyl Flooring and an artificial grass range under the name Easigrass.

Zarrebini said that achieving the Carbon Trust Standard also provided tangible proof to employees, shareholders, local customers and suppliers that Van Dyck is committed to making future reductions.

Following the company’s rebranding in 2010, Van Dyck’s contemporary green logo highlights the sustainability focus of the company. It is company policy to actively source environment-friendly and recycled products to achieve the requirements for green building certifications. Investigations are also underway into the use of more environmentally friendly raw materials – including yarns and fibres from organically grown crops – that would reduce dependence on oil-derived raw materials such as nylon and polypropylene.

Through its sustainability approaches and practices Van Dyck is in a good position to implement the necessary changes that will better serve the flooring industry.