Grant Trebble formed LEAD Associates in 2007. LEAD is currently finalising its involvement in the Eco-Furniture Programme (EFP), a project of the Department of Environmental Affairs; implemented by South African National Parks. The EFP has in the last 5 years established 7 factories around South Africa and created over 2 500 jobs within the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) framework. Although a little way from being sustainable, a strong foundation has been built through the establishment of the factories, the training of workers beyond traditional EPWP levels and the research and development of new product lines. The challenge now is to make the next step into establishing a sound business model for the EFP and utilising the full value-chain. To this end, linkages are being developed between government and the private sector to further develop and support the furniture, housing and ecosystem restoration sectors, to provide off-takes for an array of invasive biomass materials.
Given the enormity of the environmental challenges facing us, it is important to achieve scale and sustainability off the back of any successful project in the shortest possible time frame. A key focus going forward will be the provision of ecosystem restoration materials, utilising processed invasive biomass, to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality targets while attending to water security and job creation mandates. In addition to upscaling environmentally beneficial projects, LEAD Associates has as another of its core functions the development and implementation of App-based technologies to improve in-field management as a means to ensure contracted productivity levels are achieved and, also, to significantly reduce incorrect reporting and the abuse of resources.
“To LEAD the way in the use of innovative and disruptive technologies within the environmental sector to transition to a Green Economy.”
“To support the establishment of localised green economies through the development of an invasive plant biomass economy that is restorative, low-carbon, resource efficient, socially inclusive and scalable.”