Looking forward to all good, green things ahead
With February looming around the corner, 2018 is already in full swing and the new year undoubtedly holds an arsenal of new projects and opportunities.
Verde Hotels looks forward to an incredibly significant 12 months, with Hotel Verde Zanzibar due to open later this year, Hotel Verde Cape Town trailblazing water-saving innovations amid a severe drought, and big news from the green building industry.
Hotel Verde Zanzibar: opening in 2018!
One of the Verde Hotels team’s biggest aims this year is to successfully open and launch Hotel Verde Zanzibar, which will be the first of its kind on the island and Zanzibar’s greenest hotel.
What makes Hotel Verde Zanzibar such an exciting venture is that it combines five-star luxury with sustainability. We are implementing regenerative drive elevators, responsibly sourced furniture and products and low-watt lighting. The heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system will be specifically geared towards reducing energy consumption.
One of the most sophisticated measures to be implemented will be a grey- and blackwater plant. By recycling the greywater from the showers for use in the toilet cisterns and blackwater (from toilets) for irrigation, the hotel will save thousands of litres of this precious resource.
We are adding the final touches to Hotel Verde Zanzibar and I can’t wait to share its official launch date with you. Stay tuned!
Hotel Verde Cape Town: staying green during a drought
Cape Town’s devastating drought continues to make headlines. As the city’s water crisis escalated over the past year, and the council imposed increasingly strict restrictions, Hotel Verde Cape Town went to great lengths to save as much water as possible.
Water saving has always been a priority for Hotel Verde; in fact, the hotel’s architecture and design are geared towards a number of water-saving measures. A greywater plant recycles water from showers and baths, as well as condensate from ventilation fans, to be used in the hotel’s toilets – saving up to 6 000 litres of drinking water a day.
Rainwater and subsoil water are also collected, stored in a 40 000-litre stainless steel tank and used for drip irrigation and non-potable requirements.
In 2017, increased water-saving efforts enabled Hotel Verde to use only 35% of the water usually required by other hotels of the same size, saving 65%!
With the City of Cape Town announcing level 6 water restrictions from 1 January 2018, and warning that taps may run dry by 22 April this year, the situation may seem dire , but I’ve learnt that the most innovative solutions often arise in critical moments such as these.
We continue to save every drop we can, but I’m also excited to see the tourism and hospitality sector – and an entire city – change their relationship with the world’s most precious resource. We are confident we will move forward to a greener future through this experience.
Looking to the future: greening Africa and the world
In its World Green Building Trends 2016 SmartMarket Report, US data provider Dodge Data & Analytics highlighted that South Africa had the highest green share of any country and was on pace to become a leader in the green building sector by 2019.
At the moment, green building accounts for 41% of all building projects in South Africa, with the global average only at 24%. Furthermore, it is expected that 61% of all construction projects in South Africa will be green by the end of this year!
When Verde Hotels builds or redesigns hotels in line with green principles, we lower operating costs by 35%, water consumption by 35%, energy use by 70% and waste to landfill by 85%. I can only imagine the incredible impact we’ll see on the environment if 100% of all building projects go green.
I’m so excited to see 2018 run its course, with great projects to be launched and innovative solutions proposed to seemingly impossible tasks. More than anything, we are humbled to see so many meaningful discussions and, more importantly, actions by businesses and citizens evaluating their lives and considering how they can become more environmentally responsible.
May 2018 be the greenest year of all!