How these companies going green in Ghana could pay off for the country and the planet

Tiswas Construction’s project at the Institute of Technology in Accra means half the school’s brick and cement will be recycled, saving 5,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide How these companies going green in Ghana could…

How these companies going green in Ghana could pay off for the country and the planet

Tiswas Construction’s project at the Institute of Technology in Accra means half the school’s brick and cement will be recycled, saving 5,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide

How these companies going green in Ghana could pay off for the country and the planet

The walls of a new 20-storey residential building for students at the Ghana Institute of Technology are being clad in wood and vinyl, helping to reduce the company’s carbon emissions by more than 40%.

The board of management of Tiswas Construction, on a popular commercial street in Accra, is pleased with the initiative which they hope will encourage other companies to be green.

The building is a replica of the Institute of Technology building, which will be built by Spring Earth Living Ventures, a renewable energy and building design firm, within a year.

Spring Earth’s managing director, Seyi Hadjimah, says their project at the Institute will help not only with the flow of energy and water in Accra, but also to save about 5,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

“That’s equivalent to taking about 42,000 cars off the road every year,” he says.

“The designers of the building will be encouraged not only to go green within its year of construction, but also to help reduce the company’s carbon footprint in the future as well.”

Tiswas is the top green building project, based on changes in government rates and taxes, with the Blackmagic Cream Hotel and Ghana Telecommunications – formerly Ashram Telcom – coming in second and third.

In the UK alone, the International Monetary Fund expects a 7% growth in the renewable energy industry in 2019, with investment of $203bn expected to be used.

However it is the African continent where greenhouse gas emissions and carbon emissions are responsible for the greatest rise in global temperatures, exceeding 50% in 2017, according to a report from McKinsey.

According to Greentech Media, an investment research organisation, companies are looking to repurpose old building materials.

The coffee table of Tiswas’s new building in Accra has been replaced with a solar panel – one of 1,500 solar panels in the Institute’s parking lot. They are currently helping to produce 80kWh of energy and will generate about 25kWh in January when running at 70%, just enough for the project’s entire first month of operation.

The building’s internal installations include LEDs and fuel efficient furnaces and boilers, which reduce energy consumption by about 20%.

Workers take part in the recycling of the Institute of Technology building, reducing their carbon footprint by more than 40%. Photograph: Crispin Oda/NYTIMES

Green building, and using just what’s already there, can also save significant costs as well as cutting down on the impact of climate change.

“The energy efficiency of Tiswas’ building is very good and reduces its carbon footprint by more than 40%,” says Hadjimah.

“It is up to the rest of the company and the rest of the industry to be able to bridge the gap between where we are right now and where we want to be.”

• This article was amended on 5 December 2018 to correct the company’s name. It should have been Tiswas, not Tiswas Construction.

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