Unitrans packs a punch with collaborative river clean-up

Unitrans packs a punch with collaborative river clean-up

August 31, 2023

In keeping with global environmental sustainability trends, logistics services provider Unitrans has increased its ESG* efforts by partnering with Adopt-a-River in a river clean-up initiative as part of International Water Week.

A statement said: “The event, held at the Unitrans depot in Clairwood, Kwa-Zulu Natal, on 23 August, showcased a robust collaboration among critical stakeholders, including neighbouring companies, the community and the government.”

Unitrans CEO Terry Bantock emphasised that the company had prioritised several sustainability goals, and had made a firm commitment to making a positive impact and being responsible in its water consumption.

“The clean-up day is a reflection of this,” he said.

“Unitrans believes in the power of partnership and proactive engagement to drive positive change.

“Through initiatives like this, we aim to inspire and encourage a broader movement towards safeguarding our planet for future generations.”

 The initiative involves waste collection from the Umhlatuzane River adjacent to the company’s Clairwood depot, tackling illegally dumped waste and controlling the alien invasive species along the riverbank.

The clean-up day also highlighted ongoing efforts to restore the Umhlatuzane River, by clearing some significant sand deposits and blocking off slip road access, which was illegally used for washing vehicles and dumping waste and chemicals into the river. 

The statement said: “By Unitrans’ unwavering dedication to adopting a portion of the river and fostering sustainable practices, the event echoed a resounding call for collective action in safeguarding natural resources.”

Over and above Unitrans staff and environmental enthusiasts from Adopt-a-River staff, the clean-up was joined by representatives from the community, Ethekwini Municipality, the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, neighbouring companies, as well as members of the media”

All share one common goal, the statement said – dedicating time and effort to address some of the challenges faced on the Umhlatuzane River.

Unitrans and Adopt-a-River embarked on this journey in November 2022 already, marking the beginning of a relentless effort to combat daily issues affecting the Umhlatuzane canal and its banks. The project’s inception highlighted the problems plaguing the river and its surroundings. 

The founder and director of Adopt-a-River, Janet Simpkins, stressed the importance of collaboration: “By embracing the concept of adopting and maintaining a space along a river, ordinary individuals can become water warriors.

“The need for water security, particularly in the face of global climate change, cannot be over-emphasised. Protecting our precious water resources and keeping them pollution-free is vital. We are grateful to all the stakeholders for joining hands with us to support this important initiative.”

Commenting on the excellent turnout of various stakeholders, Liesl de Wet who heads up Accelerated Organisational Sustainability at Unitrans, said: “Considering the multiple stressors impacting our rivers, now more than ever, a unified approach is required to protect our rivers, wetlands, and broader catchments.

“We are delighted that our neighbours, community members and government stakeholders joined us on this important initiative.”

*Environmental, Social & Governance.

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