Entrepreneurs making a positive difference

Contour Enviro Group and 5inc are two environmentally conscious businesses that are passionate about preserving the planet and creating jobs.

By Azande Makhosi

Waste management is a global concern because waste generated by households, offices and factories ends up in landfills. However, this problem can be solved by environmentally conscious businesses that are part of the solution.

 

Contour Enviro Group and 5inc are environmentally conscious businesses that are passionate about preserving the planet and creating jobs.

 

Contour Enviro Group is an environmental management company founded in 2017 by Sabelo Lindani.  “I started my business because when I was working as a protected area manager, I got tired of appointing service providers that provided sub-standard service,” said Lindani. He saw a gap in the market and started a unique business that offers veld management, environmental education, compliance, and mentorship.

 

For Yasmine Miemiec the founder of 5inc, she was working in the BEE consulting and training sector when she grew a passion for socio-economic development. “A client asked if I knew what to do with an ongoing supply of waste wood and I suggested that we develop a project teaching unemployed people how to upcycle, this is how my company was started,” she said.

 

Today both businesses are creating jobs while saving the environment from further damage.

 

GROWTH OPPURTUNITIES

Contour Enviro Group and 5inc are green businesses with a business model that prioritise sustainability and conservation.  Their services are in demand, and they are seizing growth and market access opportunities.

 

5inc consults with companies about practices that generate carbon emissions and how they affect the environment. “An ongoing challenge is to find companies willing to pay for green projects and to start their carbon footprint tracking,” she said.  

 

Lindani’s business is always seeking for new opportunities. He recently partnered with the Table Mountain Fund to develop and professionalise four female led green SMMEs. “Our vision is to develop and inspire a love for nature,” he said.

 

Contour Enviro Group also works with the agricultural sector, and they engage with them to influence their thinking towards sustainability and better managing tasks that negatively impact the environment. “Many businesses expect environmental programmes to be free and it doesn’t help that environmental budget are often low,” he said.

 

OVERCOMING CHALLENGES

Running an environmentally conscious business comes with its challenges and Contour Enviro Group and 5inc have found ways to overcome their challenges.

 

Lindani has over a decade’s worth of experience in the industry. While his business has faced challenges along the way, including pandemic-related delays, the company has managed to garner up some accolades. These include winning the SAB Tholoana Award in 2020, and the WESSA Corporate Award in 2021.

 

“Our ongoing challenge is to find companies willing to pay for green projects and to start their carbon footprint tracking,” said Miemiec.  Her business consults with companies on practices (including manufacturing processes) that generate carbon emissions that can be detrimental to the environment.

 

ONWARDS AND UPWARDS

Recently, 5inc started working on an exciting project that seeks to address the disposable cup crisis. “We were approached to find a solution for disposable coffee cups, which cannot be recycled. Our ReCup project ensures that the outer part of the cup is repurposed into a hollow mould which is filled with soil and vegetable seeds,” she said.

 

Lindani believes he will continue to grab opportunities in the environmental management sector and work towards preserving the environment. South Africa’s regulations are also changing, meaning more companies now have environmental, sustainable, and governance reporting requirements. “This will create more work for us,” he concluded.

 

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