Our Environmental Stewardship

SK Telecom Achieves Gold Certification

SK Telecom Achieves Gold Certification

Thanks to a series of company-wide initiatives to develop conscious environmental awareness and stewardship, SK Telecom has been awarded Gold certification and aims to achieve Platinum certification shortly.

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As a technology-based company, SK Telecom (Pty) Ltd understands the potential environmental impact of its business and strives to ensure that its operations and business must act responsibly towards the environment, its employees and the communities in which it operates.

Although the company has been focused on operating in a sustainable manner for several years, SK Telecom decided to begin the journey towards official certification in 2014. The company was awarded Silver certification in 2015, Gold certification in 2016 and is completing the process for Platinum certification in 2017. The certification process includes an intensive, focused assessment of the company’s daily operational practices and special initiatives that have been put in place.

SK Telecom partnered with Ecopath Solutions to establish and develop a working Green Charter that would help the company strive to achieve real sustainability through a range of green practices that could be applied quickly and easily.


The Initiatives

The Initiatives

To achieve sustainable business practices and minimise its impact on the environment, SK Telecom have put in place a series of ongoing initiatives, designed to reduce waste, water use and energy consumption.
The initiatives introduced include:

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Water use
The company actively encourages reduction in water use and has signposted water-saving tips at all taps and water outlets in their buildings.

Energy saving
The company installed energy- efficient lighting throughout their buildings. The buildings are also equipped with an automated shutdown process, ensuring lights, air conditioning and other devices are switched off overnight. All the office computers are defaulted to energy-saving settings.

Paper use
SK Telecom has introduced a paperless document storage system for all invoices, quotes, purchase orders, supplier invoices and approval processes. They have reduced their paper use by 50% and are working on reducing it even further.

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Aerosol can reduction
They are committed to eliminating the use of aerosol cans in the office environment, and have instead installed diffusers with natural scented oils in the bathrooms as air fresheners.

Green cleaning products
The company only uses certified green cleaning products throughout their premises.

Vehicle gas conversions
To date, the company has had three of the vans in their fleet converted to use gas, instead of petroleum-based fuels. This gas burns cleaner and reduces emissions significantly. They aim to convert the remainder of the fleet by the end of 2018.

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All paper, glass, plastic and aluminium can products in the office are recycled. The company also recycles unused, broken and obsolete electronic products.

All company vehicles are GPS-enabled to ensure optimised route planning and reduction in unnecessary travel.

Waste reduction
to eliminate the waste generated by plastic bottles, the company has implemented a no plastic bottles policy for drinking water. All employees have been given a glass bottle to use, as the lifespan of glass is indefinite, unlike plastic, and the recycling process for plastic uses considerably more energy.


The Initiatives

The Results

According to the report issued by Ecopath and Green Path, SK Telecom is well on the path to Platinum certification, thanks to the following findings:

  • An Environmental Policy is in place that SK Telecom adheres to.
  • Concrete is cleaned with water only and no chemicals are used.
  • Full shutdown system in place of all electronics.
  • Cancellation of print subscriptions and conversion to electronic mail.
  • Invoicing is done electronically.
  • All employees use Energy Star Rated Notebooks.
  • Toner cartridges are disposed of and recycled correctly
  • Use of eco paper is standard practice.
  • Power strips are used to reduce phantom loads.
  • A Basic Green Awareness training programme has been done.
  • All vehicles used are the smallest possible available.
  • Some vehicles have been converted to LPG.
  • Travel management system.
  • Car pooling is used by about 25% of employees.
  • 25% of employees work off-site and remotely.
  • Electronic document management system is used.
  • Old equipment is donated to local community.
  • Air detoxifying plants have been introduced to further Improve indoor air quality.

Monty Olivier


Monty Olivier, MD of The Green Path South Africa, says: “We found SK Telecom to be both a progressive and a receptive organisation and one that is keen to make genuine strides in the area of sustainability. The aim is to move SK Telecom to a new level of ‘green’ and go beyond compliance.”

At SK Telecom we understand that the journey to a greener and more sustainable workplace will be an ongoing process, and that over time, with concerted effort, we will continue to improve our operations’ sustainability and reduce our environmental impact.