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January 2015 - 2015: The Year of Sustainable Corporate Social Investment

As consumers become more purchase conscious by choosing brands ‘with a conscience’, more and more organisations are opting to invest in sustainable Corporate Social Investment (CSI) initiatives as opposed to merely writing cheques.
 
Sustainable CSI is on the rise and set to become an even bigger buzzword in 2015. Companies are now responding to consumer demand for brands with a soul – brands and companies that think and act beyond their profit margins and truly invest in the communities in which they operate (and who have more than likely supported them in the past).
 
Can recovery and recycling organisation, Collect-a-Can, is well known as a sustainable environmental initiative that is making a significant impact on people’s lives, by uplifting society and educating schools about the importance of a clean and green environment. The preferred beverage can manufacturer, Nampak Bevcan, and aluminium supplier, Hulamin, are both partners of Collect-a-Can as they align themselves with the fantastic work of this green initiative.
 
With the increased focus on sustainable CSI activities in South Africa, organisations are increasingly aligning their CSI initiatives to their business objectives. Organisations often have their own unique focus areas when selecting projects to support – for instance a focus on the environment or on education. However, the shared criteria for all organisations when selecting a CSI initiative is – or should be - whether or not it will make a sustainable difference to the lives of the community members in which it operates.
 
Collect-a-Can actively works with numerous communities nationally, encouraging the public from all walks of life to assist them in their can-collecting efforts, while also providing opportunities that drive socio-economic empowerment. “As an example of the impact the initiative makes, Thys Wanyane - once an informal can collector and now owner of Wanyane Trading Enterprise in Klerksdorp - was inspired by the Collect-a-Can School Competition to collect cans as a means of generating an income. With the assistance of Collect-a-Can, Wanyane is currently a successful business owner who provides employment for a further twelve people,” said Zimasa Velaphi, public relations and marketing manager for Collect-a-Can
 
Collect-a-Can has been at the forefront of minimising the negative impact of used beverage cans on the environment for 22 years and contributed to southern Africa’s can recovery rate increase from 18% in 1993 to a current all-time high of 72%. In 2014 alone, South Africa’s environmentally conscious schools collected over 8.4 million cans, as part of the annual Collect-a-Can National Schools Competition.
 
Collect-a-Can has impacted more than 250 000 learners with their National School Competition, where learners are encouraged to collect cans for recycling to create an extra income and/or to stand a chance to win big prizes for their school.
 
“Collect-a-Can only engages in sustainable endeavours that contribute to conserving the environment, while benefiting other national priorities, such as improving education, encouraging entrepreneurship through the ‘Cans for Cash’ initiative and promoting arts and culture,” comments Velaphi.
 
If you would like to be part of Collect-a-Can’s success and get involved, sponsor or partner with Collect-a-Can, please visit their website www.collectacan.co.za  or contact the head office on 011 466 2939. Collect-a-Can is also on Facebook and Twitter.

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