SI Projects was formed in 2011 as a business unit of the SI to offer clients access to sustainability expertise shaped by the insights of the Masters programme and the latest research conducted by its students and associates. Projects are managed by a core group assisted by individuals and institutions within the SI’s network, offering expertise across a range of sustainability-related areas. In its first year, SI Projects completed the following projects:
• UN-Habitat: Co-authoring and project managing the compilation of four 'quick guides' on planning and infrastructure for sustainable cities for launch at Rio+20, including 32 case studies from around the world.
• Cities Working Group of UNEP's International Resource Panel (IRP): Co-authoring and project managing the compilation of a report on infrastructure for sustainable urban resource management with an international team of experts and academics.
• United Nations Environment Program (UNEP): Authoring and presenting a position paper on low-carbon urbanism presented at the International Summit on Urban Environmental Accord Cities in Gwangju in 2011, and converting it into a paper for launch at Rio+20.
• Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI): Researching and co-authoring significant portions of the 2013 State of African Cities Report.
• Nedbank: Identifying sustainability opportunities for the home loans team and preparing educational material on energy efficiency standards and sustainable living.
• UK Department for International Development (DFID-UK): Researching and authoring case studies on the vulnerability of Nigeria, India, South Africa and Malawi to oil shocks.
• Stellenbosch Municipality: Summarising and revising the 2010 Spatial Development Framework into an easy-to-read document for implementation.
• Western Cape Provincial Government: Working as part of a consortium to author inputs on energy and the environment for the Western Cape Infrastructure Framework.
• Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA): Researching and modelling the green economy, resource use and decoupling in South Africa.
• Association of Europeans Parliamentarians for Africa (AWEPA): Reviewing climate change legislation from 20 countries to assist South African Parliamentarians in advancing local climate change legislation.
• World Wide Fund (WWF): Investigating and evaluating South African energy access projects that include renewable energy or energy efficiency dimensions.
SI Projects has access to a range of institutions and project-based partners that share a commitment to learning, social impact and innovation. These include:
- School of Public Leadership, Stellenbosch University;
- Centre for Renewable and Sustainable Energy Studies, Stellenbosch University;
- The TSAMA Hub which is a centre for the study of sustainability and complexity, Stellenbosch University;
- African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town;
- African Technology Policy Studies (ATPS) network which has affiliates in 28 African countries;
- The TRECCAfrica consortium of African Universities - including University of Ntsukka (Nigeria), University of Ghana, University of Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania), University of Nairobi (Kenya), Makelle University (Ethiopia) and Stellenbosch University;
- Centre for Sustainable Urban and Regional Futures, University of Salford;
- International Resource Panel, United Nations Environment Programme;
- Asia Pacific Centre for Social Enterprise, Australia;
- International Institute for Human Settlements, India.
1. Sustainability Strategy
Effective sustainability interventions require experience and a thorough understanding of the issues and options available. SI Projects offers its clients relevant insights into sustainability opportunities, and partners with them in the formulation of strategies, models and designs that balance economic concerns with environmental and social responsibility.
2. Capacity Building
Sustainability can be daunting if it is not explained in a clear manner that engages the target audience. Many of those best positioned to make the changes necessary to incorporate sustainability into business, government and community decision making do not have time to complete the Masters programme. SI Projects provides short training courses tailored to the needs and expertise of the audience, from housing developers to financial institutions. Through its sister company ‘Learning for Sustainability’ (a registered FET college), it is able to arrange vocational training in sustainable community development, early childhood development, sustainable construction and hospitality.
As the sustainability field is relatively new and growing rapidly, staying up to date requires access to the latest thinking on sustainability issues. SI Projects undertakes transdisciplinary, applied research that addresses the specific problems and challenges faced by partner institutions in government, civil society and business. Connections with academic institutions from around the world allow it to provide a range of outputs from summaries of academic literature and current trends to situation analyses and systems modelling.
The compilation of sustainability literature requires a thorough understanding of the field and a network of reputable contacts. Guided by Prof. Mark Swilling and the academics at the SI, SI Projects has developed expertise in the management of large writing projects including international reports and books on sustainability, and is able to draw on experts from around the world to compile documents that are relevant and accessible to a variety of target audiences.
The Sustainability Institute (Trust reg. No. IT3011/99) is a Qualifying Small Enterprise (QSE) with Level 1 (135% BBBEE Recognition). It also qualifies to be treated as a Value-Adding Enterprise, which may further increase its BBBEE Recognition Level to 168,75%. Supporting documentation is available on request.