Christel House South Africa, a non-profit school situated in Ottery, Cape Town, has received a generous donation of a new solar power system by CHEP, a leading international supply chain solutions company. The purpose of the photovoltaic solar system, which includes 110 solar panels and powering 45-kilowatts of energy, is to reduce the school’s carbon footprint, to save on electricity costs and to provide back-up power during load-shedding.

CHEP, one of the biggest suppliers of quality pallets, containers and other platform solutions in sub-Saharan Africa, strongly advocates a sustainable, circular economy way of doing business. Hermann Haupt, Vice President of CHEP South Africa, explained, “All of CHEP’s sustainability activities are built around a strategic framework of Business Positive, Planet Positive and Communities Positive, aimed at going beyond ‘zero impact’ and creating positive impact.  So, donating a state-of-the-art solar system to Christel House really ties in with our mission to positively impact the communities in which we operate. At the same time, we are delighted to help such a wonderful school become more sustainable and help to transform the lives of the students they serve.”

MLT and CHEP staff discussing how the solar power system works

CHEP used a local South African company, MLT Drives, to manufacture and install the solar system and all materials used were locally manufactured in South Africa, further supporting the local economy.

“This is a project that we are really excited about and will save us a significant amount in operational costs every year”, says Shereen La Fleur, Chief Finance and Operations Officer at Christel House SA. She added, “It is also an excellent educational opportunity to teach our students more about sustainability and to encourage them to pursue careers in the green economy.”

Christel House students singing Christmas Carols to CHEP staff

The school is justifiably proud of its 99% matric pass rate since inception and that 93% of its alumni are studying, working or both. In doing so, Christel House transforms the lives of its students and help to build self-sufficient, contributing members of society.