Maropeng, the official visitor centre of the Cradle of Humankind, has been awarded a gold certificate of membership by the Heritage Environmental Management Company for its commitment to sustainable business practices.
This certifies that Maropeng is a member of the Heritage Environmental Rating Programme and that it currently complies with the environmental performance standards associated with the programme’s gold classification.
Maropeng Managing Director Tony Rubin says that being one of eight Unesco World Heritage Sites in South Africa is an honour, and it is setting the green standard for other businesses and industries to follow: “At Maropeng we care about the environment and we are committed to continually improving our management systems to become more environmentally sustainable in the Cradle of Humankind.”
The environmental audit process that Maropeng underwent to receive its gold certificate status is extensive – all operations are rated, from management systems, to biodiversity management, to purchasing and procurement.
Rubin says that adopting a sustainable approach to business is challenging, but possible. “When the building was designed and built, the technology that is currently available was not then available – it is therefore necessary for us to be creative in the way we manage the facility.”
Besides learning about the origins of humankind, it is hoped that a visit to Maropeng will motivate visitors to care for the environment. “By highlighting the eco-friendly work that is done in the Cradle of Humankind,” says Rubin, “we hope to inspire visitors to follow this example, and to encourage them to consider their carbon footprint and think of ways to conserve the environment.”