GMSA promotes wildlife habitat conservation
General Motors South Africa’s (GMSA) Struandale plant, located in Port Elizabeth, has received its conservation certification for Invasive Species Control from the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC).
The WHC Conservation Certification programme provides a structure for cooperative efforts among management, employees and community members to create, conserve, and restore wildlife habitats on corporate lands through partnerships and education. Its Conservation Certification programmes take corporate sustainability goals and objectives and translates them into tangible and measurable on-the-ground actions.
The Struandale plant earned its certification for its efforts in establishing its own framework for Invasive Species Control and as part of its Environmental Management System ensures appropriate monitoring and control on-site. This means that indigenous vegetation is conserved while alien vegetation invasion is restricted.
According to Ncedisa Mzuzu, environmental group manager for GM Africa, the environment is a key strategic imperative for GMSA – striving to minimise and mitigate the impact of operations on the natural environment and the communities within which the company functions.
“Annually the whole site is surveyed to ensure that all species on site are identified. And if there is invasive vegetation present, action plans are put in place to remove these species,” Mzuzu explains. Regular audits will be done by the WHC.
She adds that Struandale is at high risk for the spread of alien species due to its location. “The wind propagates the spread of invasive species, especially during seed dispersal periods.”
The Struandale plant is one of 62 sites across General Motors Company’s global facilities to achieve conservation certification from the Wildlife Habitat Council. Mzuzu says sustainable development and protecting and promoting biodiversity is high on the company’s agenda.
She added that progress is also being made at the company’s other facilities for conservation certification. Late last year GMSA’s Parts Distribution Centre, situated in the Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ), started a landscaping project which is aimed at rehabilitating non-vegetated land within the site by using indigenous and endangered plants from the IDZ nursery programme. GMSA is the first tenant in the IDZ to make beneficial use of this nursery.