|Top venues to lower your carbon footprint|
Situated in the leafy Cape Town suburb of Newlands, the Vineyard Hotel & Spa Conference Centre runs on green energy generated by the Darling Wind Farm, obtained by purchasing Green Energy Certificates from the City of Cape Town at a premium to offset its energy requirements.
A multi-bin system in the venue encourages delegates to participate in waste separation at source, while a tri-bin separation system is in place back of house. Conference organisers are encouraged to join in by using locally manufactured conference bags and sharing cars.
The Cape Town International Convention Centre
The Cape Town International Convention Centre is the first convention centre in Africa to have had its sustainable initiatives aligned with the Global Reporting Initiative framework. The CTICC’s membership of the UN Global Compact and its recent ISO certification means that it is well positioned as an events industry leader in this field.
All its packages incorporate sustainability principles, while the centre’s Green Event Packages allow event organisers to purchase green power, replace bottled water with water jugs, use recycled notepads and pencils, and choose organic meal options.
The Peech hotel in Melrose, Johannesburg, has been awarded Fair Trade in Tourism certification twice. Its range of eco-friendly solutions includes grey water recycling, solar water heating and using only rechargeable batteries. Recycling is a priority and, with a bokashi wet waste facility and recycling bins for paper, glass and tin, little waste leaves the hotel for landfills.
Spier, in the heart of the Stellenbosch winelands, offers a Conscious Conference Package for event organisers and delegates to join Spier in supporting the local industry, fair trade and the farm’s commitment to a sustainable planet. The conference goer’s journey begins with an electronic booking system to eliminate paper and unnecessary travel. Refreshments supporting fair farming practices, are served with homemade snacks. Lunch includes fresh, seasonal, organic and local produce, while mineral water is available in recyclable bottles. At the end of the conference, delegates can place their leftover stationery in allocated baskets, which are then distributed to local schools and communities.
The International Convention Centre Durban
The world-class centre has incorporated green elements such as large glass façades to allow for natural lighting, energy-efficient light fittings and air-conditioning systems, and indigenous landscaping. Another energy-saving initiative is an ice-making machine, whereby ice is used via the air-conditioning unit to cool the ICCD building during peak hours. It has cut down on supplying bottled water for events by rather filling jugs with tap water or providing water dispensers.
Valverde Country Hotel and Conference Facility
Valverde’s new solar farm, with a two-stage heating system, will allow a 40% energy saving in the long run. The venue has also been creating a mini-tour of the premises for conference customers, explaining each initiative so that they in turn can encourage their employees to reduce their footprint.