Sustainability leadership as a requisite skill for waste management in the South African Post Office : a case of the North Region

14 Dec 2020

This paper argues that accountable waste management practice is increasingly becoming a challenge to many utility organisations. As a case in point, the South African Post Office (SAPO) by the very nature of its business requires effective strategies which will improve environmental sustainability; and such strategies should be integrated into operations as part of its comprehensive waste management intervention plan. Accountable waste management practice requires significant sustainability leadership capacity. To enhance operational strategies against waste management, the SAPO had developed waste management policies which should be operationalised to mitigate possible negative environmental impact(s) associated with postal services. The paper is based on a study that was conducted in the SAPO (North Region). The study sought to investigate if the SAPO's waste management policies are executed by sufficiently capable sustainability leadership. The study comprises secondary research, most of which comprise documents obtained from the particular entity's North Region headquarters in Limpopo, South Africa. Much of the research was conducted ad locum domicile. The primary objective of this study was to establish which strategies are effective in this (remote) area and to recommend sustainability leadership acumen that may be employed/developed to ameliorate the impact of waste in the postal sector in similar settings. In the paper it is recommended that the SAPO should improve particular sustainability leadership proficiency to implement effective waste management strategies, which should be effected comprehensively at the postal outlets. The paper concludes by providing specific suggestions to make the SAPO an environmentally accountable institution contributing to South Africa's green energy plans, pursuant towards achieving the United Nations sustainable development goals.