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Imtech sends two development teams to South Africa in the context of

ID: 1003500
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(Thomson Reuters ONE) - Gouda - In early October 2009, two international multidisciplinarydevelopment teams from technical services provider Imtech will leavefor South Africa to contribute to two unique projects in the field ofCorporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The projects are part ofImtech's CSR policy on corporate citizenship. The Imtech teams areinvolved with 'The Ubuntu Company' initiative in Durban and theEnergy Issues initiative in Pretoria. The goal of both projects is tosave energy, to stimulate awareness about the need to reduce energyuse, to increase employment of underprivileged target groups, toprotect the environment, to improve regional employment and to createknowledge transfer.Imtech CEO René van der Bruggen explains: 'It is quite remarkable fora technical company like Imtech to actively and altruisticallysupport such a huge CSR programme. The goal, as well as helping tosolve several South African problems, is to underpin the Imtech CSRpolicy, to mobilise employees to take on other CSR initiatives, toexpand current knowledge surrounding the theme of energy and topresent Imtech as a contemporary, socially aware employer. The totalinvestment involved is about 1 million euro. The Imtech teams arecoached by various parts of the Imtech organisation before and aftertheir posting. In total, about 25 Imtech employees are involved inthis programme.'The Ubuntu CompanyThe Ubuntu Company, an initiative of TU Delft and KidsRightsfoundation, makes trendy designer sandals (or 'plakkies' as the SouthAfricans say) that are sold in the Netherlands. In South Africa,'Ubuntu' means community spirit in the sense of ultimate allegianceand optimum relationships between people. In the first year ofproduction, 25,000 pairs of these designer slippers were sold. These'plakkies' are made in a factory in Durban (South Africa), by about75 formerly unemployed and underprivileged employees. The materialscome from old, disposed car tyres, which are often dumped in thecountryside. The sandals provide an income for more than 800 to1,000 people in total in the townships (slums) of Durban. In additionto suppliers, these include the employees' family members.The Ubuntu Company has asked Imtech to solve the following(technical) issues: * find the best ratio of automation to human jobs for optimum efficiency and maximum employment; * design a customised machine to cut the soles of the sandals from old car tyres in such a way that each sandal has a recognizable, unique 'footprint.'This initiative previously received an Imtech Grant (in the form of afinancial contribution) from the UfD-Imtech fund, a support fund fromImtech and a University fund from Delft University of Technology fortechnically innovative bachelor theses.Energy issues in South AfricaTraditionally, energy costs in South Africa have been greatlysubsidised by the government. For that reason, the country issomewhat behind in terms of energy awareness. Subsidies are quicklybeing decreased because energy continues to become more and moreexpensive. This has resulted in an annual price increase of 25%.These higher energy costs can hardly be paid, particularly among thetownship residents, but also among the middle class. In addition,energy use is increasing due to increasing prosperity, and thisfrequently leads to blackouts. In social and economic terms, thiscreates many problems and has a negative impact on prosperity andwellness. Only optimum energy awareness and long-reaching energysavings will make it possible to guarantee the energy supply and keepit affordable in the long run.In collaboration with the NGO NOVA, which is supported by the Dutchdevelopment organisation ICCO, Imtech is beginning a uniqueinitiative for long-reaching stimulation of energy awareness in SouthAfrica. The initiative involves measuring and comparing the energyuse of a large number of households in three different social classes(rich, middle-class and poor) in Johannesburg. This will allow Imtechto bring the social classes closer together, something that is notcommon in South African culture. A low-cost, efficient energymonitoring system that is accessible via internet will also bedeveloped. The objective of the NOVA foundation is to roll out thismodel on a large scale, in order to provide a contribution to theissues surrounding energy management. Imtech will also study thepossibility of converting the energy savings and CO2 reductionsachieved into Carbon Credits. These are tradable emission rights, theproceeds from which could be used to benefit sustainable projects andthe local population of South Africa. In addition, informationrelating to energy savings will be transferred and collaborationswill be entered into with the local industry that brings energysaving equipment on the market.At the same time, Imtech is starting a study among dozens of Imtechemployees in Europe, the goal of which is to create energy awarenessand energy reduction among them. The results of the study will becommunicated and shared throughout Imtech. Imtech is also beginningan initiative to make its office buildings energy efficient. This isdone using the same technology to measure energy use and increaseawareness, as well as by taking energy-saving measures. Finally,Imtech is considering buying the Carbon Credits earned by the NOVAfoundation in South Africa, in order to make one or more of itsbuildings completely carbon-neutral.Imtech and CSRIn the field of CSR, Imtech wants to do more than is legallyrequired, and is an advocate of a pragmatic approach. In the energy,environment and water markets, Imtech has a revenue of more than 960million euro (25% of Imtech's total revenue of 3.8 billion euro).Imtech is also strongly active in CSR. Besides corporate citizenship,this includes 'green' energy in its offices, a 'green' fleet,investments in 'clean technology' (energy, water and environment),socially responsible purchasing, the creation of an internationalImtech CSR community and the measurement of the 'carbon foot print'of Imtech activities.Collaboration with SharePeopleImtech is guided in this by SharePeople. SharePeople bringssustainable businesses in developing countries in contact withprofessionals and larger European companies like Imtech. Byexchanging local knowledge and experience, all those involvedcontribute to a sustainable society and a better world.More informationMedia: Analysts & investors:Pieter Koenders Jeroen LeenaersManager Corporate Communications Manager Investor RelationsT: +31 6 5574 6585 T: +31 182 54 35 04E: pieter.koenders(at) E: jeroen.leenaers(at) www.imtech.euImtech profileImtech N.V. is a European technical services provider in the fieldsof electrical engineering, ICT and mechanical engineering. With over22,500 employees, Imtech achieves annual revenue of around 3.8billion euro. Imtech holds strong positions in the buildings,industry and infrastructure/traffic markets in the Netherlands,Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Eastern Europe, Nordic, the UK, Irelandand Spain and in the global marine market. In total Imtech serves19,500 customers. Imtech offers added value in the form of integratedand multidisciplinary total solutions that lead to better businessprocesses and more efficiency for customers and the customers they,in their turn, serve. Imtech also offers solutions that contributetowards a sustainable society, for example in the areas of energy,the environment, water and mobility. Imtech shares are listed on theEuronext Stock Exchange Amsterdam, where Imtech is included in theMidkap Index. Imtech shares are also included in the Dow Jones STOXX600 index. announcement was originally distributed by Hugin. The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

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Date: 08/24/2009 - 07:30
Language: English
News-ID 1003500
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Firma: Imtech N.V.
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Stadt: London


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