By lowering our demand on municipal water sources, we reduce our operational costs and enable our businesses to continue operating despite water restrictions or drought conditions. The import, retail and car rental businesses are the largest consumers of water in the Group.
COVID-19-related lockdowns and peak infection levels during 2020 and 2021 negatively impacted our objective to establish standardised activity levels at our sites, for example, office occupation at Financial Services fluctuated between 10% and 60% during these periods. We have however investigated numerous sites to use as benchmarks and identified drivers of water consumption to help us understand our usage, to inform the development of targets for the next three years, and to identify where we can reduce demand and dependence on municipal water.
We acknowledge the need to mature and formalise our approach to water management and have prioritised specific water usage strategies to deliver on our next round of water targets, effective in F2022.
What we are doing
Water harvesting and wastewater recycling systems are implemented in the wash bays of some dealerships (South Africa and Australia) and Car Rental branches (South Africa). Boreholes and rainwater harvesting systems serve as alternative sources of water at certain dealerships in South Africa and East Africa, and Car Rental branches in South Africa.
2021 performance and looking forward
Water purchased from municipalities
Water usage was 570 089 kilolitres, 5,5% lower than prior year and 3,4% lower than our F2021 target. The year-on-year decrease was largely driven by the branch closures in Car Rental, which was heavily impacted by COVID-19.
In South Africa, where feasible, we installed independent smart water meters in dealerships, enabling each site to measure its water consumption without relying on erratic and estimated municipal readings. The roll out of this project across business segments will be determined by the installation of rainwater harvesting systems
Looking forward, we will enhance the accuracy of our water usage reporting, reduce our reliance on municipal estimates, explore additional water saving solutions and continue to drive awareness and consistent messaging around water usage and conservation across our businesses.
Business specific initiatives and highlights
- Retail and Rental uses 163 JoJo tanks at 55 sites. Recent rainwater harvesting systems were installed at Toyota Bryanston and Toyota Kempton Park (both Gauteng), realising an annual saving of approximately R450 000 and 9 500 kilolitres.
- Auto Pedigree only uses harvested rainwater to wash vehicles, with around 1 500 vehicles cleaned a month.
- Financial Services installed tap aerators throughout the Johannesburg campus, and is investigating the installation of a rainwater harvesting system.
- Converted it restrooms to low flush toilets.
- Installed a recycling car wash plant at the new dealership in Ballarat.
- Installed boreholes in Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania) and Lusaka (Zambia), resulting in no water being purchased from municipalities. In the next two years, the operation will install rainwater harvesting tanks and boreholes at dealerships in Kenya and Malawi, where possible.