The health club group is already making operational changes to reduce water consumption and waste, switching to renewable energy to drive down carbon emissions, and eliminating solid waste by recycling.
Ross Faragher-Thomas, MD in South Africa said, "This long-term partnership with GBCSA is a key driver that will steer our sustainability journey. It is imperative that businesses assume a leadership position and conduct operations in an environmentally responsible manner. The Net Zero Standard and Certification path adds a level of accountability for us.”
The brand will use the tool to drive awareness on an operational level at 143 clubs, enabling a rating at each individual club across the different net zero categories of carbon, water, waste and ecology.
“GBCSA is thrilled to have Virgin Active South Africa come on board as the first Net Zero sponsor, an organisation that is committed to demonstrating their commitment to sustainability by having their sites independently assessed against the GBCSA’s Net Zero standard – this is an incredible commitment, and the GBCSA congratulates Virgin Active on this bold, positive step,” commented Manfred Braune, executive director of certifications, Green Building Council South Africa.
Further to this sponsorship, the health club group has committed to setting company-wide emissions targets in line with climate science. From the date of signature, it will have 24 months to calculate carbon emissions and submit targets.
Science Based Targets is a collaboration between Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), World Resources Institute (WRI), the World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and a global call to action to collectively reduce the average temperature by 2°C.