Eskom eta Award judges are 'greenies' at heart
|Issued by: eta_Awards|
[Johannesburg, 23 July 2013]
For almost 25 years the Eskom eta Awards have been rewarding excellence in energy efficiency, and during that time, green has become the new buzzword. But for some of the eta Awards judges, involved in the awards since the very beginning, a commitment to sustainability and green principles is part of their DNA, not just a passing trend.
In fact, long-time judge Dr Dieter Holm is responsible for establishing the awards way back in 1985. The awards were established with the primary aim of generating awareness about the critical need for saving energy and encouraging people to take action towards being energy efficient, both in their personal and professional capacities.
Dr Holm qualified as an architect at the University of Pretoria and later went on to become Head of the Department of Architecture, and directed the Postgraduate Studies and Research of the Faculty of the Built Environment. Currently, he is a consultant in sustainable development in the built environment.
Dr Holm says: 'We knew that South Africa is habitually very energy inefficient. The cheap energy in the past has not made us internationally more competitive, but has attracted energy-intensive industries and created a habit of energy wastage. This we expected would lead to bottlenecks sooner or later.'
Holm built an energy-efficient home in 1974, and he was astounded by the benefits. It was then that he decided to approach Eskom to sponsor an energy-efficiency competition. Since then the awards have grown tremendously and now attract hundreds of entries across eight categories every year.
In fact, several big names in the commercial and industrial sectors enter each year, with V&A Waterfront, Absa, Woolworths and AngloGold Ashanti winning in recent years. Another long-serving judge is Joan du Toit. Du Toit has been on the judging panel for over 10 years and her involvement in the eta Awards is an ideal complement to her work. Du Toit was a Senior Researcher at the Institute for Futures Research (IFR) until March 2007, where she focused on energy. She spent most of her time on a project entitled: Environmental Scanning and Scenario Development for Long-Term Energy Planning in South Africa, a study commissioned by the Department of Energy.
Du Toit has also participated in the Mitigation Options section of South Africa's national reporting document, under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and was responsible for compiling the final report for this section.
The calibre of the judges is a true testament to the credibility and prestige of the awards, and this year, judge Dr Tsakani Mthombeni was named one of the Mail & Guardian's 200 young South Africans to take to lunch.
Dr Mthombeni, who holds a PhD in engineering, is General Manager at the Technology Innovation Agency's Energy Unit. He has a passion for helping start-ups in the energy sector and assists small businesses with big energy ideas to bring them to market.
He says: 'South Africa needs a competition such as the Eskom eta Awards, to catalyse industrial contests and share best practices, even more so for the Innovation category, which I am involved in.'
All the judges involved with the eta Awards agree that it is a great platform to acknowledge those doing good work in energy efficiency, and that ever year they are inspired by the enthusiasm, innovation and passion that the entrants have for energy efficiency and sustainability.
If you have what it takes to wow the judges, enter this year's eta Awards and you could take home R30 000 in prize money. Entries close on 2 August 2013.
Visit www.eta-awards.co.za for more information, follow the eta Awards on Facebook and Twitter, and watch videos of previous winners on YouTube.