Liberty Two Degrees: Waste not, Want not

Liberty Two Degrees: Waste not, Want not

Liberty Two Degrees has become the first property group in South Africa to achieve the coveted Net Zero Waste Level 2 certification by the GBCSA for four of its malls in Johannesburg, Pietermaritzburg and Cape Town.

When Liberty Two Degrees (L2D) first decided to commit to achieving Level 2 Net Zero Waste status by 2023, it seemed like a tall order. Shopping malls are not known for being eco-friendly, and wasteful packaging often goes hand in hand with the retail experience. Moreover, even though the certification tool was introduced by the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA) in 2017, no other building in South Africa had yet achieved this status. It’s easy to understand why. In order to attain this rating, a building must divert 90% of its operational waste from landfill over 12 consecutive months.

“This certification has taken three years to complete,” acknowledges Brian Unsted, asset management executive at L2D. The idea to divert 90% of waste from landfill was clarified after the property group appointed WastePlan in 2021 to manage waste at their malls. At the time, waste diverted from landfill was only 47% – a far cry from where it needed to be.


By setting a clear goal and partnering with WastePlan, L2D was able to focus on significantly improving the diversion of waste from landfills at its malls. Sustainability manager at WastePlan, Mike Pienaar, explains the key focus areas to achieve this goal. He says:

Firstly, we needed to get tenants to comply and introduce a system of billing that incentivised them to recycle.

This was based on the “user pays” principle.

Marloes Reinink, director of Solid Green Consulting, which helped L2D achieve the GBCSA certification, says that a huge amount of effort was placed in educating retail staff. “The billing system introduced by L2D and WastePlan means that shops are charged different rates for waste,” she says.

A bin that goes to landfill is charged more than a recycling bin, for example. This creates an incentive for shops to recycle their waste.

Read the full article in Positive Impact magazine.

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