Earth Hour is a global WWF climate change initiative that calls upon individuals, businesses, governments and communities to switch off their lights for one hour on the last Saturday in March, from 8:30pm to 9:30pm local time, in a symbolic gesture in support of our planet.
However, this year, buildings switching off their electricity weren’t necessarily left in the dark.
The City of Joburg encouraged its residents and businesses alike to innovate with alternative resources as it moves towards a solar-powered city for a more sustainable lifestyle that also protects its biodiversity. This perfectly reflected this year’s Earth Hour theme, “Let Nature Shine”.
Sandton Central is Joburg’s premier business, shopping, tourism and residential hub. It is also the epicentre of green building in Africa and a hotbed of resource-efficiency innovations in action. Sandton Central Management District (SCMD) welcomed the event and is thrilled to be home to many of the businesses and individuals that participated in Earth Hour.
Among the Sandton Central-based businesses taking part in this gesture of unity in support of our planet were Deutsche Securities, Discovery, Growthpoint Properties, Nedbank, Pareto, Protea Hotel by Marriott Johannesburg Balalaika Sandton, Radisson Blu, RMB, Sandton City, The Capital Hotels and Webber Wentzel.
These leading businesses helped to raise awareness about the Earth Hour initiative and, at the same time, made a clear statement about their commitment to being environmentally responsible and innovative. They joined more than a billion people across 180 countries and territories in the fight to protect our environment.
Elaine Jack, the district manager for SCMD, says: “We are pleased to once again have made a meaningful contribution to the Earth Hour cause knowing that together, we can create change. Sandton Central showed meaningful and visible participation Earth Hour this Saturday with many buildings switching off all their non-essential electricity for just that one hour on 24 March.”
She adds: “This was a great opportunity for the community of Sandton Central, the entire city, and all South Africans to show their commitment to containing our impact on the planet. I am confident we can do even more to conserve our environment in future.”
Among the different and innovative approaches to Earth Hour in Sandton Central this year, Discovery turned off all its non-essential lights, as well as other power-hungry services, at its iconic new green headquarters at 1 Discovery Place in Sandton Central, on Friday, 23 March. This made awareness of Earth Hour more visible for its employees. In addition, it particpated during Earth Hour. Sandton City switched off the illuminated peak at the top of its landmark office tower.
Adding sparkle to the occasion, candlelight dining was on the menu at Protea Hotel by Marriott Johannesburg Balalaika Sandton and The Capital Moloko, as well as at Radisson Blu, which welcomed its guests with twinkling pathways of coloured lanterns.
Sandton-headquartered businesses, such as Discovery and Growthpoint Properties, also extend their positive impacts across the country to their various regional offices, and even internationally with Discovery’s offices in Bournemouth (UK) participating in Earth Hour on Saturday.
Jack praises the careful thought and planning that has gone into the Earth Hour initiatives of participating Sandton Central businesses. “Involvement for many businesses can be a big and tricky task because their show of support for Earth Hour must also be designed to allow businesses to operate normally during the 60-minute initiative.”