FirstRand Bank has become the first South African company to commit to the Clinton Climate Initiative, in the country's first energy performance contract that will follow the shared savings mechanism.
The financial institution has signed a project development agreement (PDA) to this effect with Johnson Controls.
CCI's Energy Efficiency Building Retrofit Program brings together many of the world's largest cities, real estate firms, financial institutions and energy service companies in a landmark effort to reduce energy consumption in existing buildings.
In terms of the FirstRand agreement, Johnson Controls will perform energy efficiency audits and retrofits in three buildings – one in Johannesburg and two in Randburg initially, with the potential of adding more in the future.
"The PDA allows Johnson Controls to research existing equipment, products and processes and make recommendations to implement more efficient and affordable energy-saving solutions," says Jose Fernandez, business area operations manager at Johnson Controls in South Africa.
With plans to use an established and proven procurement model known as performance contracting, FirstRand would be able to significantly save energy and reduce their
utility costs and carbon footprint, while using those savings to repay the project capital investment over the term of the contract without increasing the bank's operating budget.
"In other words, funds that would normally pay for monthly utility (electric and gas) expenses will be redirected to repay the capital investment on the project."
Specifically, Johnson Controls will review all of the bank's major energy usage, equipment sizes and efficiencies, maintenance procedures, hours of operation and current operating conditions. An analysis will be done to determine if sustainable offerings such as cogeneration and renewable energy sources (photovoltaic, wind, etc.) are viable options.
"The FirstRand Group has a 'green' philosophy, and we are part of the Global 500 in terms of green initiatives and minimising carbon footprint. With this project we are aiming to prove that the concept is possible to put into practice, and that such a large organisation is able to become more energy efficient," says Branko Burazin, property category manager at FNB Shared Services.