In a swiftly changing global world, the Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTCB) stands as a model of a company that seamlessly combines economic success with sustainable principles.
DTCB has elevated sustainability from a mere buzzword to a guiding principle that defines its operations, setting an inspiring benchmark for businesses elsewhere. Sustainability has evolved into a non-negotiable factor, integral to the success of businesses irrespective of their size or industry.
From environmental stewardship to social responsibility, the infusion of sustainable practices into business strategies has become a strategic necessity. DTCB has not only acknowledged the imperative of sustainability but has made it core part of its Strategy 2026.
DTCB Senior Manager, Technical Services – Prudence Mabua said the diamond sorting and valuing company wants to be the leader when it comes to sustainability. DTCB has taken bold steps to ensure that its operations align with eco-friendly practices while prioritizing the safety and well-being of its workforce.
“Our sustainability is anchored on Vision 2036 and Building Forever which has set targets in terms of reducing carbon footprint. We started before COVID-19 measuring our carbon footprint and agreed that we have to reduce it,” said Mabua.
“Our target was 10 percent reduction, we managed to reach 7.1 reduction. Therefore for 2023, we want to improve from 7.1 to be closer to 12 percent reduction.”
HARNESSING SOLAR POWER & REDUCTION OF ENERGY INTENSITY
In 2021, DTCB took a significant leap towards cleaner energy by commissioning a 1-kilowatt solar photovoltaic (PV) plant. The project was done in two phases, the first phase yielded 600watts before ramping up to 1 kilowatt in 2022. At a result of the Solar PV plant, during the day hours, the DTCB building is powered by the solar PV plant, effectively reducing its dependence on the national power grid. This decision has contributed in reduction of the carbon footprint associated with energy consumption but also optimizes the use of available resources.
Mabua said inside the DTCB building, the company shifted from using the fluorescent bulbs to energy-efficient LED bulbs which use less energy. The implementation of solar power generation, combined with LED lighting and other energy-efficient measures, has yielded remarkable results.
“This contributed to reduction in energy intensity. All the efforts resulted in DTCB using 80 percent less power, which helped in reducing BPC bill and also allowed the supply to DTCB to be used elsewhere,” said Mabua.
In the next five years, DTCB wants its building to be a Five-Star certified green building. Green building rating systems provide a structured framework for evaluating a building’s environmental performance. Factors such as energy efficiency, water management, indoor air quality, and material use are taken into account.
ELECTRIFYING THE FLEET
The transportation sector is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. DTCB, however, has taken a proactive stance by incorporating hybrid vehicles into its fleet since 2021. As part of their commitment to reducing emissions, the company has made the conscious decision to opt for hybrid vehicles as replacements for petrol and diesel-fueled ones at the end of their life cycles, embracing cleaner technologies.
“We are one of the few companies that use hybrid vehicles to do their business in Gaborone. By 2025, we will be buying the electric vehicles because they will be available in the Botswana market,” said Mabua on the commitment of DTCB.
SMART WATER MANAGEMENT
One of the most significant steps taken by DTCB is its approach to water management. DTCB has automated all taps in their ablution facilities in the building therefore significantly reducing water wastage. This intelligent system ensures that water flows only when needed, effectively reducing consumption. DTCB’s upcoming water recycling project demonstrates a forward-thinking approach. The plan to recycle water for use in nurturing plants around their premises not only conserves this vital resource but also contributes to a more sustainable ecosystem within the organization.
SAFETY AND WELLNESS
Beyond environmental sustainability, DTCB is also focused on the safety and well-being of its employees. The company’s adheres to the IS045001 of 2018 standard, which demonstrates its commitment to occupational health and safety. Clear policies, comprehensive training, open communication channels, and the provision of proper personal protective equipment (PPE) ensure that DTCB’s workforce operates in a secure environment. The emphasis on wellness programs further underscores the company’s holistic approach to employee welfare.
INNOVATING DIAMOND PROCESSING:
DTCB’s role in diamond processing is equally impactful. With large volumes of diamonds from Debswana mines flowing through the company’s operations, the integration of high technology is paramount. Leveraging De Beers Group’s expertise, DTCB employs state-of-the-art technology like the autoflow system. This advanced technology not only enhances accuracy but also minimizes energy consumption, reducing operational costs and environmental impact. The company’s environmentally responsible approach to handling hazardous chemicals used in the process further demonstrates its dedication to sustainability.
“It emits less that 500 watts energy whenever is running at full speak, it reduces our operations cost, compared to what we used to experience in the past. It process the diamonds quicker. The accuracy is much much better,” said Mabua.
“The chemical that we use to clean the diamonds is dangerous, therefore in terms of disposing it, we have licensed contractor who collects, and dispose accordingly. Before it leaves the building, the chemical is neutralized to ensure that in case of emergencies such as accidents, the chemical do no harm the environment.”
COLLABORATION FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE:
Mabua has called for collaboration within the corporate sector, speaking of the urgency of the sustainability cause. Mabua’s insights into DTCB’s journey toward sustainable practices paint a picture of a company that recognises the importance of responsible resource consumption, and actively strives to set new standards in the corporate world. DTCB’s solar-powered operations, energy-efficient lighting, and ambitious green building aspirations serve as a blueprint for businesses aiming to create a more sustainable and eco-friendly futureTop of Form