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Exxaro climate change specialist appointed vice-chair of industry task team

Exxaro climate change specialist Dr Lerato Khumalo

Exxaro climate change specialist Dr Lerato Khumalo

22nd April 2021

By: Simone Liedtke

Creamer Media Social Media Editor & Senior Writer

     

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Diversified miner Exxaro Resources has elected the group’s climate change specialist Dr Lerato Khumalo as vice-chairperson for the Industry Task Team on Climate Change (ITTCC).

The voluntary, nonprofit association comprises several local energy-intensive companies across different business sectors, including the likes of Exxaro, Sasol and Anglo American, which collaborate to reduce South Africa’s carbon footprint.

The ITTCC works with government departments, trade associations and social partners to develop practical solutions for climate change mitigation, supporting the country’s gradual transition into a lower carbon, resource-efficient economy.

Khumalo recently completed her PhD in Chemical Technology at the University of Pretoria, focusing on the characterisation of atmospheric pollutants found in areas near opencast coal mining and other industrial activities. She began her career as an environmental specialist at a consultancy firm while completing her Master’s degree.

During the same period, the mining company was pioneering renewable energy investing, with its now 100% acquisition of wind power company Cennergi.

Khumalo has since shifted her focus to strategy and business transformation, which she believes are critical given global climate change concerns and how these affect businesses and society.

She believes that environmental, social and governance issues are connected to every element of a business and should be integrated into all departments and operations. With her help, the resources company has laid a foundation for this integration.

With her appointment to the task team, Khumalo intends to address the Change Coordinating Commission – a crucial national advisory body in this space. 

Both the ITTCC and Exxaro conduct targeted work to educate communities on environmental challenges, and Khumalo believes that this is essential if the company is to take personal responsibility and work together to drive positive change.

“Educational awareness campaigns for employees and societies are vital to empower citizens with the knowledge they need to understand these pressing issues and the role that each one of us can play to mitigate climate change.”

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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