Growthpoint Properties' Greenovate Awards Programme has claimed the hotly-contested South African Property Owners Association (SAPOA) Excellence Award for Innovation.
The SAPOA Innovative Excellence Awards, which recognise significant contributions made through innovation and excellence within the property sector, were announced in Sandton Central, last week.
The Greenovate Awards Programme, launched by Growthpoint in partnership with the Green Building Council South Africa (GBCSA), is designed to inspire and encourage students of the built environment to discover, explore and invent ways to live more sustainably.
Programme Director and Head of Sustainability at Growthpoint, Werner van Antwerpen, says: "We are absolutely delighted to have won the SAPOA Award for innovation. Launching Greenovate has been an exciting achievement in our quest for a more sustainable built environment. We've grown the programme for even greater impacts in 2016. And, in future, there's even more we want to do."
He adds: "This award is confirmation that Growthpoint is making real and meaningful impacts on innovation for the sustainability of the urban fabric of South Africa for the years to come."
Piloted at the University of Cape Town, University of the Witwatersrand and University of Pretoria last year, the programme challenged students to come up with ideas for research projects that promote a more sustainable built environment – anything from building design to development, planning, construction and materials.
The Greenovate Awards are also intended to act as a feeder programme for potential Growthpoint graduates and internships, allowing Growthpoint to recruit students who have a good understanding on the subject of sustainability - a focus area of major importance to Growthpoint.
Van Antwerpen says: "Working with the GBCSA, we saw a gap in the market with regards to green building education and took it upon ourselves to assist in creating future industry leaders who understand not only the importance of preserving the natural environment but are also capable of finding innovative ways of addressing sustainability in the industry."
Students from the University of Cape Town walked away with the first-ever first prize in the Greenovate Awards. As part of their prize, Rowan McKenzie, Dijon Ross and Miekie van der Merwe, have been fully sponsored to attend the GBCSA's Green Building Convention in 2016, taking place from 26 to 28 July, at Sandton Convention Centre, where they will present their research project.
The success of last year's Greenovate competition has seen it grow to include the University of the Free State and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in 2016. The intention is to take the awards programme to all South African universities with the appropriate built environment faculties.
Growthpoint, South Africa's largest primary listed REIT and an ALSI 40 company, is a recognised leader in green building. It is a Platinum Founding Member of the GBCSA, and owns or co-owns the largest portfolio of Green Star SA certified buildings of any company in South Africa.