EXTERNAL RELATIONSHIPS

Our relationships with our external stakeholders are essential to the sustainability of the Altron group. Our customers, suppliers and strategic partners all play essential roles in our value chain.

Our suppliers and strategic partners make it possible for us to develop and deliver exceptional value-adding products and services that distinguish us from our competitors and that meet our customers’ needs.

Our impact on communities and society as a whole includes our ability to create jobs, develop skills and minimise our impact on the environment in which we operate. While some of these stakeholders may not contribute directly to our bottom line they can influence the reputation of the Altron brand and our social licence to operate.

We consider the potential influence of all our stakeholders on the Altron group when we address the need to drive sustainability through our external relationships. The ways in which we engage with each of our external stakeholder groups, the key concerns they have raised and our responses to these concerns are set out in the stakeholder engagement section of this report. The impact of key customers on our sustainable business strategy is addressed in the financial sustainability section of this report.

We have also focused on understanding the risks and opportunities associated with our supply chain. Working with procurement and logistics managers across the group we conducted a group level supply chain audit to identify any supply chain risks in relation to our strategic suppliers and technology partners. The audit included loss of product supply, environmental impact, human capital, human rights and B-BBEE risks that may impact our legal compliance, reputation and ethical behaviour. We are also engaging with key suppliers on a one-on-one basis and are working together to address any potential areas of concern and future requirements the group may have.

THE MATERIAL FOCUS AREAS AND MATERIAL ISSUES THAT COULD AFFECT ALTRON’S EXTERNAL RELATIONSHIPS

Altron has identified six material focus areas for external relationships in the group. Although the material focus areas for external relationships have remained the same for the past two years there have been some changes in the material issues and the rating of these issues in terms of the risks and opportunities they represent to the group.

Changes to the material focus areas and material issue for Altron’s external relationship value driver are provided below:

Altron group Altron group
    rating rating
Material focus area Material issues 2014/15 2013/14
CLIENTS AND CUSTOMERS Client centric solutions
Investor confidence Not a material issue
GOVERNMENT AND PARASTATALS Grow government and parastatal partnerships
STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS Maintain strategic partnerships
SUPPLIERS Supplier consolidation and management
ENVIRONMENTAL No material issues No impact
CORPORATE SOCIAL INVESTMENT No material issues No impact

Legend

Most material issue
Priority issue
Focus issue
Controlled issue

ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Improved ability to obtain business in government and parastatals resulted in Altron TMT being chosen to deliver the Gauteng Broadband Network and Powertech System Integrator’s (PTSI’s) enterprise digital assistant device being chosen by Eskom to help it reduce the travel costs of its technicians by up to 60% per annum
  • As part of an internal awareness campaign, four of Altron’s biggest operations achieved an overall annual energy saving of 2 000MWh
  • Altron reduced its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 1,49% over a three-year period
  • Achieved a 26,9% reduction in water consumed by the group from 693 639kl (2012) to 507 83kl for this reporting period
  • Achieved three-year reduction targets set for petrol and diesel consumption, exceeding reduction targets by 58%
  • Training of all PTSI’s employees and senior executives on environmental issues.

CHALLENGES

  • Supplier consolidation in a group with diverse and complex supply requirements
  • Accuracy of waste management data due to new baseline being identified two years into the three-year reduction target process.

IMPROVEMENTS

  • Consolidation of suppliers in Altron TMT and a major focus in Altron Power on consolidating and managing suppliers resulted in substantial cost savings
  • Renewed focus on improving and building government and parastatal relationships
  • Review, update and develop new environmental, waste, water and health and safety policies for the group
  • Conducted a waste management assessment for the group to improve internal waste management processes
  • Altron established a socio-economic development sub-committee (SED committee) to improve overall management of social investment spend.

DISAPPOINTMENTS

  • Failure to achieve three-year reduction targets for municipal waste sent to landfill, business travel and GHG emissions
  • Investor confidence raised as a new material issue for the group.

CLIENTS AND CUSTOMERS IN THE ALTRON GROUP

Our clients and customers are the reason the Altron group exists. Our customers’ requirements are as varied as the range of products and services Altron TMT and Altron Power can offer them. In addition, the rapidly changing work environment requires constant innovation and the establishment of strategic partners that will support us in our drive to be industry leaders.

Client-centric solutions

The amalgamation of Altech and Bytes into Altron TMT and the initiatives within Altron Power are all aimed at ensuring the various businesses within Altron TMT and Altron Power work together to provide our clients with end-to-end solutions that can meet their needs and generate annuity income as opposed to only providing product offerings.

Investor confidence

Since Altron represents all its subsidiaries on the JSE we will be addressing investor confidence as one material issue relevant to the entire Altron group. It is important that investors and possible investors, have confidence in the Altron group and its future sustainability. Over the period prior and post our year-end the group issued a number of announcements that warned shareholders that Altron expected a considerable drop in profits, particularly in some areas of its business. This has dented shareholder confidence in the business and as a result it had a significant impact on our share price.

Issues that resulted in investor confidence being raised as a material issue included, among others, the underperformance of Altron Power, the slow up take of the Altech Node, the falloff in Altech Autopage’s profitability and the loss-making situation in Altech Multimedia (AMM).

We are committed to transparent communication that provides our investors with the information they need to make informed decisions.

We are committed to transparent communication that provides our investors with the information they need to make informed decisions. Hopefully, some of the actions taken by management post year-end to stabilise the business will restore investor confidence in the future growth potential of the group. Altron’s decision to focus on its core operations and divest itself of non-core operations is a major step in achieving its sustainable business strategy. For more detail on the group’s strategy refer to the chief executive’s review and the chief financial officer’s review.

GOVERNMENT AND PARASTATALS IN THE ALTRON GROUP

The focus the group has placed on establishing relationships within government and parastatals has continued to improve our ability to obtain business in this sector. Our key account managers have found it challenging to establish key relationships within government as their personnel are constantly changing making it difficult to ascertain contacts with whom to continue discussions around our service and product offerings. Despite the fact that Eskom’s purchases from our businesses have dropped dramatically, we have maintained our relationship with Eskom and we continue to work together to find suitable solutions for their challenges. Key account managers in both Altron TMT and Altron Power have been instrumental in maintaining and growing our government and parastatal partnerships.

STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS IN THE ALTRON GROUP

Strategic partnerships are very important to the Altron group and they have been one of the cornerstones of our success. Altron has been able to establish long and mutually rewarding relationships with local and international partners. These relationships provide us with access to high quality products, services and research, which allow us to provide our customers with in turn superior value-adding end-to-end solutions as opposed to just selling products.

SUPPLIERS IN THE ALTRON GROUP

The Altron supply chain strategy employs the four value drivers identified in our sustainable business strategy (financial sustainability, human capital, products and services and external relationships) to provide the group with a foundation for engaging with various supply chains across the group, in a structured manner. To ensure a level of business continuity and to manage potential current and future risks within the group’s supply chain, we have developed a supply chain framework that identifies and drives the objectives of Altron’s overall supply chain strategy. This framework is based on three pillars: managing business risks and opportunities; realising efficiencies; and creating sustainable products.

During this reporting period an extensive exercise was undertaken by Altron to map the group’s strategic value chain partners, including technology partners, key suppliers and customers.

As part of the supply chain strategy the group will consider the identified areas of risks and opportunities and look at the feasibility of engaging with key value chain partners in an attempt to address these potential risks and opportunities.

ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT IN THE ALTRON GROUP

One of Altron’s material focus areas includes the environment. Despite not having identified any material issues, Altron remains committed to minimising its environmental footprint. This is in line with our commitment to good corporate citizenship and our belief that a clean and safe environment is essential for sustainable growth, not only in Altron but also in South Africa. Our environmental strategy is directly linked to our ability to derive cost savings and identify business opportunities, which is an important focus for the group’s businesses.

To support our commitment to minimising our environmental footprint we introduced three-year environmental reduction targets for GHG emissions, municipal water usage and general waste to landfill in 2012. The positive impact the introduction of these targets has had on our environment, our performance and our cost base has encouraged us to continue with this initiative. Altron will be introducing new three-year environmental reduction targets in 2015 for realisation in 2018.

While we have not quantified the full financial impact that climate change could have on our business we are aware that it could negatively impact our operations, both directly and indirectly via our supply chain. Dramatic changes in weather patterns, could adversely affect the logistics on which our supply chain and, ultimately, the Altron group depends.

Feedback on environmental initiatives implemented across the group and progress made towards minimising our environmental footprint is described in the section below.

Altron’s three-year environmental reduction targets

In 2012, Altron established, through a consultative process with its various operations, three-year environmental reduction targets for energy, including, GHG, water sourced and municipal waste sent to landfill. These reduction targets were adopted by the Altron board and were included in the measures that determine executives’ discretionary incentives. We believe that this inclusion helped to drive the implementation of these reduction targets. Performance against reduction targets is reported on annually at executive meetings.

Reduction targets for GHG emissions were based on certain key aspects that included direct emissions from petrol and diesel consumption, indirect emissions from electricity consumption, business air travel (local and international) and paper consumption. Emissions from all these aspects translated back into the GHG mass element as reported in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e).

Water reduction targets were also identified in 2012, however, the baseline was only finalised in 2013. Our focus in terms of water use reduction during the past three years was on our use of municipal water. While we do report on our use of groundwater and recycled water, where applicable, it is not currently a focus area for the group.

The baseline for our waste reduction targets was only established in 2014, which is one of the main reasons why, despite the targets being very low, we did not achieve our waste reduction targets for the three-year period. Our targets focused on the minimisation of municipal waste being sent to landfill. We record waste data for hazardous and general waste at most of our operations and may introduce reduction targets for these element in 2018 as part of our third round of environmental reduction targets.

Having completed our first three-year cycle of reduction targets, going forward new targets will be put into place and additional consideration will be given as to what appropriate intensity targets should be used. Given the diversity of the group’s products and services, the use of specific product-related intensity targets across the group will be difficult to implement. However, other areas such as per capita, person hours worked and floor space will be considered.

Over the three-year period it became clear with the capturing of data, maturing of reporting processes, and continued awareness, that information and data provided was improving year-on-year. Changes within the group structure have had an impact on the overall achievement of our environmental reduction targets and environmental initiatives. Where manufacturing operations have been disposed of or offices have been acquired or consolidated, the overall effect on the group’s environmental footprint has been moderate. Despite these changes the headcount of the group has remained constant. This has allowed the sustainability department to continually look at ways in which we can create or improve on reduction targets and KPIs for measuring our environmental footprint going forward.

As mentioned above the sustainability department is in the process of determining new environmental baselines for water, waste and energy. The baselines will assist us in determining the next round of environmental reduction targets effective 1 March 2015 to 28 February 2018. Draft reduction targets will be sent to the chief executives of each subsidiary and the management of the group companies for review, comment and approval before being presented to Altron’s executive committee and the Altron board for final approval. As was the case previously, these reduction targets form part of senior management’s performance bonus structure and will be monitored annually.

Although the targets have been discussed in more detail below, the feedback on our three-year reduction targets can be summarised as follows:

  • Our GHG emissions decreased by 1,49% from 162 351 tCO2e (2012) to 159 935 tCO2e (2015)
  • Our municipal water use decreased by 26,87% from 693 639 kilolitres (2012) to 507 283 kilolitres for this reporting period
  • Municipal waste sent to landfill increased from 1 284 tonnes (2012) to 2 276 tonnes (2015).

Energy and emission management within the Altron group

One of the major focus areas with regard to Altron’s environmental agenda was the reduction of our GHG footprint. The tables below illustrate the group’s overall performance from 2012 as the baseline, up to the end of the 2015 financial year and the overall reductions and/or increases achieved for emissions management in the group.

Altron group’s overall energy and emissions performance (2012 2015)

Performance by year
BASE Three-year actual
2012 2013 2014 2015 reductions achieved
Diesel (litres) Actual 885 482 936 999 681 080 372 482
Target 884 508 883 535 882 563
Difference 52 491 (202 455) (510 081) (58%)
Electricity (kWh) Actual 139 239 378 131 876 878 140 197 323 134 948 876
Target 138 041 920 136 854 759 135 677 808
Difference (6 165 042) 3 342 564 (728 933) (3%)
Domestic (number of flights) Actual 10 125 10 545 14 245 13 284
Target 10 082 10 040 9 998
Difference 463 4 205 3 286 31%
International (number of flights) Actual 3 039 3 579 3 750 3 513
Target 3 029 3 020 3 010
Difference 550 730 503 16%
Copy paper (kg) Actual 220 594 176 145 184 582 296 388
Target 217 925 215 288 212 683
Difference (41 780) (30 706) 83 705 34%

The emissions information in the table above translated into the following performance in terms of total GHG emissions. Please note that the items in the energy performance table, were the items or activities against which reduction targets were set, only forms part of the total items and activities that, in addition to these items, contributed to the total energy footprint of the group.

Over the three-year period the group has done well in terms of reducing its use of diesel, with an overall reduction of 58% in diesel (litres) consumed. This contributed to the marginal reduction of 0,08% in Scope 1 GHG emissions, from 14 900 tCO2e (2012) to 14 888 tCO2e in 2015. Altron’s electricity consumption reduced by 3%, and this translated into a 2,4% reduction in the group’s Scope 2 GHG emissions over the three years. Unfortunately, the number of domestic flights far exceeded the reduction target as did international travel and paper consumption resulting in an overall increase of 6,22% in Scope 3 GHG emissions.

Altron group’s total GHG emissions (2012 2015) (tC02e)

ghg emissions

The total GHG emissions (Scope 1, 2 and 3) for the group during the year under review were 159 935 tCO2e which reflects an overall reduction in the group’s carbon footprint from the 2012 base year of 1,49% (2012: 162 351 tCO2e). The largest contributor to our GHG emissions is Altron Power at 72% of this year’s total footprint, with Altron TMT at 27%.

During the year under review, however, the number of business flights (Scope 3 GHG emissions) decreased compared to the previous reporting period, primarily due to less travel into Africa, and more emphasis being placed on the use of video conferencing technology instead of travelling to meetings. The enforcement of Altron’s travel policy further helped to curtail unnecessary and costly travel.

During the 2015 financial year, electricity consumption reduced, albeit marginally across the group. This can be attributed to disposal of some manufacturing entities within Altron Power and the consolidation of some offices within Altron TMT. Other initiatives such as the achievement of electricity savings through the replacement of old technology lighting equipment with newer and more cost efficient LED technology and occupation sensors, also contributed to the overall reductions.

Our use of electricity, which is mainly generated by burning fossil fuels, and the ongoing increases in the price of electricity in South Africa, are both compelling reasons to make every effort to reduce electricity consumption. It is a key environmental focus in all our operations, which continue to implement energy-saving initiatives. These include installing low-energy LED lighting, heat pumps, solar geysers, motion detection for lights and utilising alternative technologies such as solar panels for energy generation. A focus was also placed on general awareness and environmental training in an attempt to reduce electricity use in our operations but also for employees to apply these energy saving initiatives in their communities.

The group’s electricity consumption in the year under review was 134 934 MWh, a decrease of 3,76% from last year.

Altron group’s electricity consumption (2012 2015) (MWh)

ghg emissions

The issue of carbon tax was removed as a material issue in 2014 due to the uncertainty around the implementation of this tax, combined with the fact that Altron will be considered a low carbon emitter when the tax is finally implemented. Having said that, we continue to monitor the progress with regards to carbon tax and also continue to look at ways to mitigate our carbon footprint.

For an energy perspective the group generated and consumed a total of 174 417 giga joule (GJ).

Water management within the Altron group

Majority of our operations are situated in water scarce countries such as South Africa and Namibia. There is global concern regarding the shortage and supply of clean drinking water. Water tariffs have already increased substantially and are likely to continue to do so into the future. Recognising our responsibility towards minimising our water footprint, guides our focus on conserving water wherever possible. Our operations are encouraged to find ways of reducing, recycling and reusing water. Some of the methods our operations have used to conserve water include dual flush toilets, taps with motion sensors or touch and release mechanisms, rain harvesting and closed loop water systems.

As part of our ongoing commitment to minimise our water footprint Altron also developed its first group-wide water management policy and is in the process of finalising a water management strategy for the group. The strategy will be rolled out in the next financial period. Although the group’s water consumption increased by 3,66% (2015: 507 283 kl) compared to the previous year (2014: 489 361 kl) we believe that with all the water reduction initiatives mentioned above, going forward overall reduction in consumption will continue.

For the three-year reduction targets relevant to water sourced, the group achieved an overall reduction of 26,87% from 693 639 kilolitres (2012) to 507 283 kilolitres for this reporting period.

Alton group’s municipal water consumption (20122015) (kl)

ghg emissions

Waste management within the Altron group

The Waste Management Act, No 5 of 2008 governs how we manage and dispose of waste streams. Altron is committed to recycling as much waste as possible in order to limit the amount of waste we send to landfill and also reducing unnecessary waste disposal costs. Our operations have initiatives in place to encourage our employees to dispose of paper, glass, plastic and electronic waste in dedicated recycling bins.

As part of Alton’s new waste management strategy, which was developed in 2014, Altron appointed an external consulting company, which specialises in the field of waste management, to conduct an assessment of the current management of waste generated at 10 of Altron’s sites located in Gauteng, Port Elizabeth and KwaZulu-Natal. The audit set out to gain a comprehensive understanding of waste practices across the group, establish who our key providers of waste management services are, verify legal compliance with waste legislation and identify waste reduction targets and areas for improvement. We are using the outcome of the waste management audit to refine our baseline measures for our next three-year waste reduction targets and group-wide initiatives.

Altron did not achieve its first three-year reduction target for municipal waste sent to landfill. As a matter of fact, the group saw a substantial increase of 77,3%, from 1 284 tonnes (2012) to 2 276 tonnes for the reporting period. This significant increase in municipal waste sent to landfill can be attributed to the baseline for the group’s waste only being finalised early 2014, a refinement of data submissions as well as a waste management strategy and waste management policy guiding operations on how to improve waste management processes and reporting their waste data.

Altron group’s waste sent to landfill (20122015) (tonnes)

ghg emissions

Total waste generated, both general and hazardous waste types, went from 12 189 tonnes in 2014 to 13 494 tonnes in 2015, and increase of 10,71%.

Environmental initiatives in the Altron group

In an attempt to continually reduce our environmental footprint Altron identifies different initiatives to implement each year, either at group level or as part of individual operational initiatives. This year was no different. The following environmental initiatives are currently being implemented throughout the Altron group:

  • Improve environmental data capturing

We continue to refine our environmental data capturing systems and processes that track monthly electricity use, fuel consumption, business travel (vehicles owned and rented and air travel), municipal water usage and waste generation, disposal and recycling at operational level.

To support and further reduce our environmental footprint the sustainability department created an internal environmental awareness training programme, which includes different aspects of environmental awareness, from a global to a local perspective and from a personal to a business or operational perspective. This training course was first introduced at PTSI, which also became the first operation in Altron to provide environmental awareness for all its employees.

Going forward water, waste, emissions and energy data will be captured on a quarterly basis (preferably monthly for data analysis purposes). Quarterly data capturing improves the accuracy of our data, allows for faster response time on any material environmental issues and allows data to be analysed and assessed more frequently against trends and reduction targets.

  • External environmental audits

To ensure we continue to comply with all relevant environmental legislation and to provide an independent view on our environmental initiatives, we contract external environmental consultants to conduct annual environmental legal compliance audits at relevant sites across the group.

During the period under review 12 environmental legal compliance audits and five energy audits were conducted by independent assurers throughout the group. All of the audits received a ‘good’ or ‘satisfactory’ rating except for two audits. Both Arrow Altech Distribution and Powertech Transformers needed to take corrective action as part of the audit feedback process.

The objective of the environmental legal compliance audits is to determine the level of compliance with respect to the general and specific environmental duties, standards and legal liabilities, including common law.

The environmental aspects that is included in the audits are as follows:

  • Environmental administrative requirements
  • Environmental and sustainability structure
  • Handling and storage of raw materials and products
  • Waste management
  • Air emissions
  • Outdoor noise management
  • Energy management
  • Water management
  • Any other issues deemed to affect the environment we operate in.

No significant environmental spills were reported and the Altron group did not incur any fines for non-compliance with environmental standards, laws or regulations, during the year under review.

  • Altron’s Greenest Company Award

The Altron Greenest Company Award is only three years old but in this short period entries for the award have gone from only five entries in 2011 to 19 entries in 2014. Not only has the number of entries increased but also the quality of the entries has significantly improved. The examples included under the Altron TMT and Altron Power sections of environmental initiatives give an idea of the quality of the entries and the savings to the environment. The combined energy savings of our four top nominees amounted to almost 2 000 megawatt hour in total, which is enough energy to power 1 700 rural homes for one year. In addition three of our nominees AMM, BSI and Aberdare Cables achieved a combined saving of R2,4 million with their environmental initiatives for the year under review and an additional R4,1 million saving is estimated for the current financial year.

  • Environmental management strategy

Our sustainability department is responsible for the management of environmental issues in the group. To ensure the group’s environmental agenda is properly developed, communicated and implemented the sustainability department developed an overall environmental strategy, which provides a detailed summary of all the environmental processes, initiatives, policies and procedures being managed and reported on in the group. As part of our overall environmental awareness the sustainability department also launched its third sustainability manual (Version III). The aim of the manual is to guide Altron’s operations on how they can promote and support the group’s sustainability agenda and is also used as a tool to improve data capturing of all our non-financial information.

Altron has been a member of the National Business Initiative (NBI) since 2013 and is a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). We make annual submissions to the JSE SRI Index, the climate change programme of the CDP (previously the Carbon Disclosure Project) and the water programme of the CDP. In addition, we participate in various global environmental campaigns, such as Earth Hour, World Environmental Day and Arbour Day.

  • Internal environmental and sustainability audits

In 2014, Altron recognised the importance of monitoring environmental issues internally and its potential to save costs. This resulted in the group establishing, as part of our internal audit division, an internal environmental audit division. This newly formed division ensures the integrity of our environmental reporting systems and processes, compliance with environmental legislation, initiating and supporting environmental initiatives and also has an important role to play in ensuring the company is ready to report in line with the GRI G4 guidelines in the future. The appointment of our first internal environmental auditor is further testament to our commitment to responsible environmental management.

The sustainability department assists our internal audit department with the review of the operations’ environmental audit reports and also ensures that follow-up action is taken where relevant.

  • Protecting biodiversity

None of the land leased, owned or managed by Altron, or the land adjacent to its operating locations, is classified as being protected or high in biodiversity. None of our operations are located in areas that are home to IUCN Red List Species or national conservation list species.

The few changes in the company structure, since our last biodiversity assessment in 2012, were mainly related to disposals and integration of operations. The acquisitions that took place over the past three years were companies that were either situated in industrial areas or in already developed areas. No new buildings were constructed and no extensions to existing buildings were made that impacted on biodiversity.

While our own biodiversity impact is very low, our environmental programmes include projects that support and protect certain at risk species such as the riverine rabbit.

Corporate social investment in the Altron group

The Altron group has a rich history of community upliftment through socio-economic development (SED) within the communities in which it operates. SED incorporates corporate social investment (CSI) and non-monetary contributions to beneficiaries that facilitate sustainable access to the economy. It also forms an integral part of Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) and is a key component of Altron’s stated objectives. While it is not a material business issue, corporate social investment is an important issue closely connected to our company values and directly linked to our social licence to operate.

The Altron group’s CSI policy guides the group companies in implementing their SED programmes. The operating companies adapt the policy to suit their geographic, sector and community needs, but ensure their CSI expenditure is regulated and monitored in accordance with the guidelines provided by the group CSI policy.

Despite the financial poor performance of the group, Altron continued its investment into SED projects, spending R10,7 million (2014: R12,9 million) on a variety of projects, with a specific focus on large-scale, high-impact initiatives that offer scope for public-private partnerships.

Altron group’s SED/CSI investments

2012 2013 2014 2015
R23m R11,9m R12,9m R10,7m

Altron TMT and Altron Power run their own community development and engagement projects through its corporate social investment committees. Although there is a strong move towards greater consolidation of group-wide SED spend and its investment in long-term projects that deliver ongoing, measurable impact to the broadest group of beneficiaries possible, each sub-holding company still has the final say on where money is invested. This SED spend is, however, controlled and monitored via Altron’s social and ethics committee.

Group companies usually contribute between 1% and 1,5% of net profit after tax (NPAT) to socio-economic development. We have score the full five points for this element of the B-BBEE scorecard.

None of our operations has been identified as having the potential to negatively impact local communities.

We are guided by the needs of local communities, the country’s socio-economic development imperatives and core business-alignment considerations in selecting community projects in which to invest. These have informed our CSI focus areas, outlined below:

  • Education and training, incorporating: general education in technology and IT, electronics/multimedia, engineering, maths and science; school infrastructural development, outreach programmes and Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET); and skills development programmes aimed at improving skills levels in communities which enable people to earn a living and become self-sustainable.
  • Job creation outside the company value chain, including: support for job creation projects that are external to the workplace and aimed at creating self-sustainability for organisations qualifying for SED/CSI support. This does not include incorporate projects, which qualify under enterprise development/preferential procurement as part of the group’s supply chain.
  • Community development and support, incorporating: health and social welfare in medical, primary healthcare and welfare projects within communities in which the group operates; community Aids awareness programmes aligned to government programmes; and support for security and public safety programmes (such as training of volunteers working at police stations, provision of equipment or outreach programmes).
  • Conservation and environment, including: environmental awareness and projects; support of conservation initiatives and programmes; and involvement in disaster relief programmes.
  • Arts, culture and sports, including: support of developmental programmes, training of new talent and the development of historically disadvantaged individuals or teams.
Human rights

While Altron’s businesses do not pose a significant threat of violation of human rights, as a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) we take the protection of human rights seriously. We are committed to applying the ten principles of the UNGC, including among others, labour, environment, human rights and corruption, in all areas of our business, regardless of the prevailing laws and human rights protection standards that might exist in countries where we do business.

In managing the protection of human rights we are guided by our commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and our own human rights and labour conditions policy.

Our policy governs our own response to human rights issues, but we embrace a cradle-to-grave approach to corporate responsibility and as such extend our human rights focus to include our suppliers and contractors. In the past we surveyed a broad range of suppliers on practices relating to health and safety; hours, wages and leave; fair treatment of employees; community impacts; product stewardship, labour practices; the risk profile of the country concerned; and the extent to which suppliers’ manage and monitor human rights in their own supply chain.

During the year under review, we continued to engage with and educate suppliers on human rights issues, with the aim of ensuring that they are familiar with our expectations, as outlined in our human rights policy.

As human rights is not a major risk area for the company, we do not conduct routine human rights screening of suppliers, nor do we carry out human rights reviews or impact assessments at our operations. The training of security personnel in human rights procedures is not an issue that is relevant to any of our operations.

During the year under review there were no incidents of discrimination, violation of human rights or the rights of indigenous peoples, nor were any grievances lodged relating to human rights abuses in the Altron group.

Ethics and corruption

We are guided by the Altron Code of Ethics and Corporate Code of Conduct, a shortened version of which is made available to all suppliers in our contracts and terms and conditions.

Aberdare Cables, together with a number of other electrical power cable companies, are still the subject of a Competition Commission investigation into alleged cartel conduct, and recently this investigation has been broadened to include members of the Electric Cable Manufacturers of South Africa.

Altech Netstar was the subject of a complaint concerning alleged anti-competitive conduct but it successfully defended the claim which was rejected by the Competition Appeal Court.

The Battery Importers Association lodged a competition-related complaint against a number of local battery manufacturers, including Willard Batteries, which was successfully defended before the Competition Commission but the association now referred its complaint to the Competition Tribunal.

Based on legal advice we are confident that none of the above investigations would expose the group to any administrative penalties. Apart from the above the group has not been the subject of any other investigations relating to compliance with laws and regulations and were not subjected to any fines or non-monetary sanctions for non-compliance with laws and regulations.

Tip-Off Tim, our anonymous corruption and unethical business hotline, allows staff and external stakeholders to report ethically questionable business practices. All reports are investigated.

Altron also belongs to the organisation World Without Corruption, an international initiative to fight corruption. Full details relating to ethics, corruption and corporate governance can be found in how we govern our business and our social and ethics report.

THE MATERIAL FOCUS AREAS AND MATERIAL ISSUES THAT COULD AFFECT ALTRON TMT’S EXTERNAL RELATIONSHIPS

Altron TMT’s external relationships with its customers, suppliers, strategic partners and local communities play an important role in its sustainable business strategy. Altron TMT continued to focus on improving the customer experience, fostering government relationships, maintaining existing strategic partnerships and minimising its impact on the environment.

Similar to the Altron group’s overall ratings for external relationships there were a few changes, mostly improvements, around Altron TMT’s material focus areas and material issues. The changes we have made in this reporting period are indicated below:

Altron TMT Altron TMT
    rating rating
Material focus area Material issues 2014/15 2013/14
Clients and customers Client centric solutions
Investor confidence Not a material issue
Government and parastatals Grow government and parastatal partnerships
Strategic partners Maintain strategic partnerships
Suppliers Supplier consolidation and management
Environment No material issues No impact
Corporate social investment No material issues No impact

Legend

Most material issue
Priority issue
Focus issue
Controlled issue

In the sections that follow we have included detail on what Altron TMT has achieved in terms of addressing its material focus areas, what its challenges have been and what progress it has made to reduce the risk associated with these focus areas.

Clients and customers in Altron TMT

In the previous financial year Altron TMT regarded client centric solutions as most material. In the year under review we have reaped the benefits of our efforts in this regard and as a result the risk is reduced to a priority issue requiring our attention.

Client centric solutions

Our customers are the reason our business exists. We align our products and services to their needs, which in some instances requires that we constantly reinvent our offerings. Our focus on improving our offerings to our customers has changed our approach from a focus on selling products and services to designing and marketing end-to-end solutions through which we can add greater value to our customers. The restructuring of our group also facilitated this approach.

While cross-selling and up-selling are relevant throughout our group, it is particularly relevant in Altron TMT. To provide appropriate end-to-end solutions we needed to shift our business model to a customer-led model. We also need to understand the business strategies of our key customers. This has meant a move away from business unit priorities to a more collaborative approach, which is a challenge in a business where previously each business unit operated independently. To drive this approach we have in place a centralised forecasting system, which helps us take advantage of business opportunities and extract the maximum value from these opportunities through cross- and up-selling. To achieve this we need to ensure that our sales force is always aware of the full range of Altron products and services.

In addition to adding value to our key customers cross- and up-selling approach also has the advantage of streamlining client’s supply chains as they have a supplier dedicated to supporting their business needs with solutions instead of simply selling products.

To be able to understand our customers’ business needs requires deeper, more focused relationships with our customers. To achieve this we have appointed key account managers whose job it is to regularly engage with key customers and provide one point of entry to the group. We are already reaping the benefits of this approach through the awarding of large-scale multi-disciplinary contracts.

An essential part of being a customer-led organisation is the ability to deliver excellent service. This is particularly important in our customer facing businesses in Altron TMT, such as Altech Netstar, where we are using a range of different initiatives to drive service excellence. These initiatives are discussed in the Altron TMT products and services section of this report and in the performance table. Our key account executives also play an important role in our efforts to provide excellent customer service.

The measurement of customer satisfaction plays an important part in our service excellence initiatives. For example, Bytes Systems Integration (BSI) measures the level of client satisfaction of every third person calling into its call centre. BSI has also invested in a more integrated contact centre to assist customers with their interaction with a complex Altron group and Altron TMT in particular.

Bytes Managed Solutions (BMS) is already seeing the benefits of its focus on developing an increased and different level of competency in terms of customer engagement.

Government and parastatal partnerships in Altron TMT

Government and parastatal companies represent a large and mainly untapped opportunity for Altron TMT. Although the material issue of growing government and parastatal partnerships has moved from being a priority issue to one that requires ongoing focus, it does not take away from the important roll these stakeholders play in the success of Altron TMT.

Government accounts form the largest portion of our IT spend in the country and it is therefore a key target market for Altron TMT, which aims to expand its existing footprint in the government and parastatal sectors. To ensure that we continue to grow and develop these partnerships, Altron TMT has dedicated account managers that only focuses on building these relationships.

Stragic partnerships in Altron TMT

Strategic partnerships and joint ventures with international suppliers and original equipment manufacturers (OEM) have always been an important part of how we do business. These relationships enable us to deliver the latest technology solutions to our clients. We nurture these relationships at the highest level, with our chief executive playing a key role through meetings and events with these partners that take place all over the world.

Altron TMT’s partnership with Huawei, which is one of the most important supplier relationships we have developed in recent years, allows us to sell Huawei products and services and provide after sales service and support to customers throughout southern and east Africa. A partnership of this nature, with one of the world’s leading ICT solution companies, allows Altron TMT to add significant value to its customers including cloud services, unified communication and transmission solutions, network and application security services, data centre networking and storage solutions and IT infrastructure services.

Strategic partnerships are also critical to Bytes. BSI’s key external relationships include among others Kronos in terms of workforce management solutions, NetApp for data storage, HID Biometrics (previously Lumidigm) and Hewlett Packard (HP), amongst others.

BMS invests a great deal of time and effort in securing the right partners with the right type of contractual environment. Currently its most important relationships are with NCR Corporation and Dell. BMS provides all Dell’s support services in South Africa and undertakes all their warranty work.

Bytes Document Solutions (BDS) continues its long and fruitful relationship with Xerox and remain their only distributor in sub-Saharan Africa. Altron renegotiated another 10-year distribution agreement with Xerox in 2012.

A relationship that is strategically important to Altech Multimedia (AMM) is the one it has with the National Association of Manufacturers of Electronic Components (NAMEC). NAMEC was formed by black small businesses to transform the local electronics industry, provide an enabling environment, establish a globally competitive local manufacturing and ICT-related sector, provide jobs and ensure the participation of black small businesses in the digital migration programme. AMM is collaborating with NAMEC and assisting its members with developing the capability and skills they need to participate in this programme. An important international partner of AMM is Broadcom Corporation, middleware providers on whom they depend for product and access to the results of their substantial R&D investment in chip sets.

Suppliers within Altron TMT

Altron TMT’s supply chain is heavily dependent on its partners who supply it with leading technology and products and have a significant pool of technical skills on which we can draw. Altron TMT has a number of long-term and exclusive agreements with technology partners, which are key to our ability to provide a wide range of solutions to our customers. Altron TMT’s extensive geographical footprint complements the technological skills and products its partners provide.

In order to ensure supply continuity of quality products to its manufacturing operations, Altron TMT continually evaluates suppliers and commodities.

The consolidation and management of non-strategic procurement activities has been a particular focus in Altron TMT, which through the introduction of a shared services model has been able to centralise certain purchasing agreements and reduce its costs. We recognise, however, that individual operations have specific procurement needs that, in some instances, are best met by certain specialist suppliers or those with whom the business has a long-standing relationship.

Environmental management in Altron TMT

Environmental issues, although important, does not affect the Altron TMT group as much as it does Altron Power. The only Altron TMT business that has a substantial environmental footprint is AMM through its set top box manufacturing facility. The rest of our Altron TMT businesses are office-based facilities and do not pose a significant threat to the environment.

The key environmental indicators that apply to Altron TMT, as described in the sections below, include energy consumption, total municipal water sourced and waste sent to landfill.

Energy and emissions management in Altron TMT

Overall, Altron TMT reduced its total GHG emissions, from 47 660 tCO2e (2012) to 43 820 tCO2e (2015), resulting in an 8% reduction for the three year period.

For the year under review Altron TMT achieved a 3,25% decrease in its total GHG from 45 294 tCO2e (2014) to 43 820 tCO2e (2015).

Altron TMT’s GHG emissions (tCO2e)

ghg emissions

The nature of Altron TMT’s business renders it a low energy user, however, despite this fact, Altron TMT still managed to achieve a 20% reduction from 2012 (33 975 MWh) to 2015 (27 207MWh) in its electricity use. For the year under review, Altron TMT reduced its overall electricity consumption by 7,09% from 29 284MWh (2014) to 27 207MWh (2015).

Altron TMT’s electricity consumption (MWh)

ghg emissions

This reduction was achieved through various initiatives such as:

  • Altech Netstar’s ongoing air condition gas replacement programme and its replacement of high energy use fluorescent globes with lower energy fluorescent globes
  • Formation of and energy committee to critically analyse energy usage and implement energy efficiency programmes
  • Installation of movement sensitive lighting in various operations
  • Installation of variable refrigerant volume or flow air conditioners at AMM reduced energy use by 10% and increasing the amount of natural light available in its manufacturing facility achieved another 20% reduction in energy use
  • AMM also installed more energy efficient manufacturing equipment in its Mount Edgecombe KwaZulu Natal operation
  • BSI’s energy efficiency pilot programme included occupancy sensors and dimming technology, LED lighting technology and smart electricity meters.

From an energy perspective Altron TMT generated a total 4 515 GJ.

Water management in Altron TMT

Throughout the group we have not achieved our water use reduction targets and Altron TMT is no exception. Overall the group saw an increase from 123 430 kilolitres in 2012 to 146 034 kilolitres in 2015.

For the year under review the group also saw an increase in water consumed from 123 569 kilolitres (2014) to 146 034 kilolitres (2015). Although Altron TMT has been struggling to reduce water consumption they have undertaken some water saving initiatives during the year and various operating units within Altron TMT and continue to look at water saving opportunities to achieve a reduction in water use per capita, going forward.

Total water sourced by Altron TMT in the year under review (kilolitres)

ghg emissions

Waste management in Altron TMT

In the three-year period from 2012 to 2015 Altron TMT managed to reduce waste sent to landfill from 682 tonnes (2012) to 651 tonnes (2015). The most significant change however in Altron TMT’s waste management was achieving a 35,46% reduction in waste from 2014 (1 009 tonnes) to the current reporting period (651 tonnes). This significant reduction was achieved mainly through initiatives such as Altech UEC’s cardboard recycling project at Mount Edgecombe, KwaZulu-Natal, and their newly established polystyrene recycling programme. Other initiatives also included training and awareness, process optimisation and on-site recycling programmes.

Altron TMT’s total municipal waste sent to landfill (tonnes)

ghg emissions

In addition to general waste BMS also needs to dispose of technical and electronic equipment. It adheres to very strict environmental management processes when disposing of technical and electronic equipment, using only certified contractors that they audit on an annual basis. There have not been any breaches in terms of this disposal.

General environmental feedback for Altron TMT

No environmental spills were recorded in Altron TMT and no environmental fines or penalties were issued for the year under review.

As part of our ongoing commitment to quality and the protection of the environment the following companies within Altron TMT have obtain and or retained their ISO 9000 and/or ISO 14001 certification.

Altron TMT’s ISO 9001 and 14001 certified companies

Operations ISO 9001 ISO 14001
Arrow Altech Certified  
Altech Multimedia Certified Certified
Altech UEC South Africa Certified Certified
Bytes Document Solutions Certified  
Bytes Systems Integration Certified  
Bytes Managed Solutions Certified  
Bytes Software (UK) Certified Certified

Corporate social investment in Altron TMT

As previously explained the Altron group corporate social investment policy guides group companies in the implementation of their socio-economic development (SED) programmes. Where appropriate group companies adapt the policy to meet geographic, sector and community needs.

All Altron TMT’s SED activities, which have a strong focus on education, are managed through a central fund to which all its operations contribute. The fund is managed by the Altron TMT SED committee, which receives recommendations from the operations and adjudicates on these recommendations. This process allows Altron TMT to coordinate its efforts and avoid duplication of efforts and misuse of funds. In doing this, the SED committee ensures that Altron TMT’s SED investment achieves the greatest possible impact and also ensure value add to the group.

Altron TMT spent R9,3 million on SED projects during the year under review, which is 1,5% of its net profit after tax (NPAT). Some of Altron TMT’s SED projects are described below.

AMM has established two learning centres in Tongaat and KwaMashu in KwaZulu-Natal and was delighted when both centres had a 100% pass rate in matric and did well in science and maths. Also, every year for the past five years AMM has sponsored a year long end-user computing course for 50 school leavers in KwaMashu. This year Bytes People Solutions (BPS) managed this project on behalf of AMM.

The Bytes Document Solutions (BDS) Supplier Development Programme established three small black owned courier companies who have contracts with BDS to deliver Xerox devices, paper and consumables. To ensure these businesses do not fail in their incubation period BDS has undertaken to pay their vehicle costs even if BDS does not make use of their services. BDS has also established black-owned service partners to service Xerox multifunction devices. People previously employed by BDS head up these businesses. To support them until they become established BDS provides ongoing training of their technicians free of charge.

When BMS is contracted to take a customer through a technology refresh it works with the customer to repurpose devices and donate them to schools or learning centres that have a requirement. This is something BMS does every day. Microsoft is supportive of this process, providing free software licences for the machines.

THE MATERIAL FOCUS AREAS AND MATERIAL ISSUES THAT COULD AFFECT ALTRON POWER’S EXTERNAL RELATIONSHIPS

Building a client-centric business is a key growth driver for Altron Power and has received increased attention across the Altron Power business. Building closer relationships with large customers who on-sell its products brought about a major shift in the sale of the group’s products.

Altron Power’s efforts to grow and maintain their overall external relationships have resulted in various improvement with regards to their relevant material focus areas and material issues. The following changes to Altron Power’s material issues were reported during the year under review:

Altron Power Altron Power
    rating rating
Material focus area Material issues 2014/15 2013/14
Clients and customers Client centric solutions
Investor confidence Not a material issue
Government and parastatals Grow government and parastatal partnerships
Strategic partners Maintain strategic partnerships
Suppliers Supplier consolidation and management
Environment No material issues No impact
Corporate social investment No material issues No impact

Legend

Most material issue
Priority issue
Focus issue
Controlled issue

In the sections that follow we have included detail on what Altron Power has achieved in terms of addressing its material focus areas, what its challenges have been and what progress it has made to address its material focus areas.

CLIENTS AND CUSTOMERS AT ALTRON POWER

Customer service is very important in the commoditised and highly competitive markets in which Altron Power operates. Its efforts to identify key customers and get closer to customers are discussed under the Altron Power products and services section.

Developing new customer relationships is an important part of Altron Power’s efforts to diversify into new markets and new product offerings. During the year under review Altron Power focused on increasing its product and service offering to diversify its current customer base. These include PTSI’s efforts to develop new products for use in the transport, mining and heavy industry sectors

Powertech Transformers has ongoing monthly face-to-face engagements with its major customers, which covers both technical and commercial matters.

Government and parastatals in Altron Power

Government, including local, provincial, national and parastatals are currently Altron Power’s most important customers. A major challenge for Altron Power is the reliance it has in most of its businesses on its key customer, Eskom, which makes the businesses very vulnerable to the difficult circumstances prevailing in Eskom.

Both Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) and Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) are very important customers for Aberdare Cables. Aberdare Cables continues to put major effort into improving its relationships and creating demand for its products.

While Altron Power has existing relationships with large parastatal customers, such as Eskom and the municipalities, changes in structures and incumbents make it challenging to maintain and build on these relationships. It is investing in establishing and/or growing these relationships through its key account managers who are responsible for establishing and maintaining these relationships and, most importantly, ensuring that Altron Power is in a position to partner with both government and parastatals to find solutions to challenges our customers face. An example of this cooperation is Aberdare Cables developing a of cable that will help Eskom reduce incidences of cable theft in the future.

Strategic partners in Altron Power

Strategic partnerships with international companies who have the financial resources required to invest in R&D are very important to Altron Power. As a result it has increased its focus on strategic partnerships that will give it access to state-of-the-art solutions and expects the effort it has invested in this regard to bear fruit in the new financial year.

Aberdare Cables restructured its sales team to focus on relationships in the formal and informal sector (distributors) and establish relationships with consultants and controllers with the aim of ensuring they are familiar with our wide range of products and services so that they can stipulate the use of it and increase opportunities.

One of PTSI’s strategic partners is General Electric (GE). It is the largest local reseller of GE equipment in southern Africa. PTSI further plans to leverage the relationships of other companies in the Altron group, notably the relationships that Altron TMT has in Africa.

Developing and growing strategic relationship with EJ Bowman in the United Kingdom, who supply them with turbocharging technologies for diesel generators, is another focus area for PTSI. This technology can be used to either reduce diesel consumption or enhance the output of the generator and has huge potential in the African market.

Suppliers within Altron Power

Altron Power’s supply requirements are complex with almost all of its companies requiring raw material inputs, of which copper, steel, aluminium and lead are the most significant. There are also long lead times on some of the supplies it requires, which means the management of its supply chain requires a key focus to ensure it continued supply and on time delivery.

Altron Power has focused on consolidating and managing suppliers as part of a cost reduction and efficiency drive. The primary focus of our supplier consolidation efforts has been on non-core suppliers in areas such as consulting, print production, travel and accommodation, stationery, advertising and marketing.

Altron Power relies on a single supplier for a critical input material, which is the copper used in its cables and transformers. The loss of such a supply is something over which we have no control and it therefore presents a considerable risk to our business. A particular issue is the purchase of the Palabora Mining Company (PMC) by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and a Chinese consortium, which is likely to result in a gradual decrease in its supply of copper to the market. The Cable Association, which Aberdare Cables currently chairs, is in discussions with the IDC with the aim of securing a supply of local copper from PMC in the future.

Environmental management in Altron Power

Altron Power’s manufacturing operations have the greatest potential to impact the environment in which it operates. While Altron Power, with its manufacturing entities, accounts for the most significant environmental impact across the Altron group. Environmental issues have not been identified as a material issue for this reporting period. However it remains a focus area for the group and one that is managed on an ongoing basis.

To ensure this remains a focus area, three-year reduction targets were identified for Altron Power for the period 2012 to 2015. These reduction targets included electricity, travel, paper use, water consumption and waste sent to landfill.

Energy and emissions management in Altron Power

Altron Power’s electricity use accounts for more than 72% of the entire Altron group’s electricity consumption. Although the group has implemented various energy saving initiatives they still reported a 1,67% increase in total GHG emissions for the three-year period starting in 2012 at 113 444 tCO2e increasing it marginally to 115 338 tCO2e in 2015.

However, for the year under review the initiatives implemented at Altron Power resulted in a reduction of 3% GHG emissions from 118 969 tCO2e (2014) to 115 338 tCO2e in 2015.

Altron Power’s GHG emissions (tCO2e)

ghg emissions

The nature of Altron Power’s business renders it a major electricity consumer. Although a 2,74% reduction in Altron Power’s electricity use over a three-year period (2012 – 2015), does not seem significant, it did make a noteworthy difference in the Altron group’s overall electricity use. Altron Power managed to reduce its electricity consumption from 110 182 MWh (2012) to 107 161 MWh (2015). For this reporting period Altron Power achieved a 2,83% decrease in its electricity consumption from 110 285 MWh (2014) to 107 161 MWh (2015).

Altron Power’s electricity consumption (MWh)

ghg emissions

From an energy perspective Altron Power generated a total of 169 899 GJ.

Although the overall energy reduction was minimal, Altron Power continues to look at ways to improve and reduce its energy consumption. Some of the reductions were achieved through:

  • Aberdare group’s energy conservation and carbon reduction policy, which resulted in an energy efficiency programme that saved R370 000 annually
  • Crabtree’s energy saving initiatives that included fitting variable speed drives on its motors in its production lines
  • Heat pumps and a light exchange project whereby old incandescent light bulbs at Powertech Batteries have been replaced with energy saving light bulbs
  • The Alcobre cables operation in Portugal, renewed its production line and changed the type of temperature controls they were using to controls that react more quickly to temperature changes, which reduced electricity consumption
  • PTSI installed roof solar panels which will reduce their dependence on Eskom power
  • Powertech Batteries’ Port Elizabeth site is registered as a hazardous waste generator and it is a member of the local air quality forum. During the year under review it replaced its old bag houses with wet scrubbers to minimise emissions into the atmosphere
  • Powertech Batteries are working towards achieving ISO 50001 certification to improve and manage energy consumption at its manufacturing plant in Port Elizabeth

Water management in Altron Power

One of Altron Power’s success stories is the reduction of water use during the three-years the group implemented their reduction targets. Overall Altron Power achieved a 42% reduction in water used, starting at a baseline of 564 545 kilolitres in 2012 to 359 212 kilolitres in 2015.

For the year under review the group also saw a decrease in water consumed from 363 112 kilolitres in 2014 to 359 212 kilolitres in 2015.

Total water sourced by Altron Power in the year under review (kl)

2012 Target
(baseline) 2013 2014 2015 2015
564 545 355 467 363 112 359 212 540 044

This reduction can be attributed to various initiatives including:

  • Aberdare Cables’ water cleaning and recycling initiative that led to a saving of 1,7 million litres of water in a year
  • Rain harvesting at Powertech Transformers in Cape Town
  • General training and awareness throughout Altron Power operations.

Waste management in Altron Power

Waste reduction was an area where, similar to Altron TMT, Altron Power was not able to achieve its reduction targets. This was mainly due to the late baseline establishment and ongoing data improvements. Aberdare Cables and Crabtree have both had challenges with waste generated as a result of load shedding. Aberdare Cables mainly has had to scrap this material. Crabtree has been able to regrind and reuse some products, otherwise what it cannot reuse is sold as scrap.

Altron Power’s municipal waste sent to landfill increased from the baseline of 602 tonnes (2012) to 1 600 tonnes (2015). However, for the year under review Altron Power managed to achieve a reduction of 6,27% on its municipal waste sent to landfill from 1 707 tonnes (2014) to 1 600 tonnes (2015).

Altron Power's total municipal waste sent to landfill (tonnes)

ghg emissions

Recycling initiatives are the main activities contributing to the reduction achieved in the period under review. They include:

  • Cardboard, wood, scrap metal and paper recycling initiatives at Aberdare Cables
  • Powertech Batteries recovers lead and recycles polypropylene components from the collection of scrap batteries and process waste
  • Implementation of waste management recommendations identified as part of the waste management assessment conducted during the year under review
  • General awareness and staff training on waste management and waste recycling.

General environmental feedback for Altron Power

Aberdare Cables, Crabtree and Powertech Transformers, which because they use various metals, chemicals and oils in their manufacturing processes are vulnerable to spills, all had satisfactory environmental audits. No significant spills were recorded in Altron Power and no environmental fines or penalties were issued for the year under review.

As a manufacturing operation it is critical for Altron Power to show that it is focused on delivering quality products, while at the same time minimising its impact on the environment. The table below provides an indication of the ISO 9001 (quality management system) and ISO 14001 (environmental management system) certifications for the group’s operations.

Altron Power’s ISO 9001 and 14001 certifications

Powertech  ISO 9001 ISO 14001
Aberdare Cables Certified Certified
Alcobre (Portugal) Certified  
CDC (Spain) Certified  
Crabtree Certified Certified
Powertech Batteries Certified Certified
Powertech Systems Integrators Certified Certified
Powertech Transformers Certified Certified

Corporate social investment at Altron Power

Each operation in Altron Power has a transformation action team and transfor-mation action team committees. These committees adjudicate the SED/CSI projects recommendations, and in some cases the Chief Executive of the operation makes the final decision on a project.

Altron Power spent R1,3 million on SED projects during the year under review, which is 1% of its net profit after tax (NPAT). Some of Altron Power’s SED include:

  • Powertech Transformers supports maths and science education for school learners in both Cape Town and Pretoria. It also provides students with bursaries.
  • PTSI chose the Thuthuka Primary in Tembisa, Gauteng, as its beneficiary. It has improved facilities at the school and comfort in the preschool classrooms.
  • Crabtree, as part of its social responsibility takes school children on tours of its factory and educates them on the dangers of electricity and how to keep safe when using electricity.