The carbon footprint of the South African Police Service as a benchmark for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and improvement of energy efficiency and the identification and elimination of barriers in these processes

Smit, Jacobus Johannes (2011-12)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2011.


The world as we know it is in a warming cycle. The rate of warming is being exacerbated by human activity; more specifically, the burning of fossil fuels to power expanding economies. Awareness that something must be done before a catastrophic point of no return is reached, has become more urgent. Before any strategies can be developed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the levels must be accurately measured to provide a benchmark and to determine reduction targets. The determination of an organisation’s carbon footprint is thus the starting point of the whole process. When the carbon footprint is known, various strategies can be implemented to reduce the carbon footprint. South Africa is classified as a developing country and is not required to comply with greenhouse gas reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol. This may change at any time in the future and it is therefore necessary to be ready when targets become compulsory. The general public is not knowledgeable about global warming. All of these factors need to change to provide impetus to reduction strategies. The South African Police Service (SAPS) is one of the largest government departments and is situated in nearly every town in South Africa. The SAPS is thus in a position to provide leadership in government and in communities on issues like global warming. The carbon footprint of the SAPS has been calculated as prescribed by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (2011). As a service organisation, the SAPS does not have industrial processes that may be the source of large quantities of greenhouse gases. In this research study, Scope 1 and scope 2 emissions were calculated and possible mitigation options are proposed. A survey conducted among a specific target group has indicated a general understanding of the concept of climate change. The respondents have difficulty in establishing a connection between climate change and increased crime levels. Behavioural change and education are necessary to promote a culture of energy efficiency and a reduction of greenhouse gases. Leadership is seen as an inhibiting factor, as top management does not consider global warming to be an influencing factor on crime levels. Government must provide strong leadership and formulate climate change strategies. Funding can be generated with carbon tax and emissions trading. On departmental level the energy efficiency of buildings can be improved and alternative fuels for vehicles be used.

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