Sustainability Showcase: The Vineyard
In the next in our Sustainability Showcase series, we take a look at The Vineyard. Based in Newlands in Cape Town, the hotel is an urban oasis that suits both leisure and business travellers. It’s located in Cape Town’s Southern Suburbs, with peaceful, natural surroundings, and has a spa, fitness centre and five different dining options on-site. The 207-roomed hotel is part of the Petousis Group, which has its own Environmental Manager, Chris van Zyl. “After doing an audit on the property it became apparent how negative an impact we were having on the environment and we set about trying to reduce our consumption of energy and water and generation of waste,” says Chris van Zyl Group Environmental Manager and Horticulturist.
Today the 7 acre property is flourishing. A certified Fair Trade Tourism property, The Vineyard was announced the winner of the international Skål Sustainable Tourism Awards in the Urban Category last year. The hotel’s garden is maintained using natural, eco-friendly principles. As a result, owls have made their homes in the boxes provided in the garden and many birds and animals, including a spotted genet, visit the property.
As part of the Petousis Group, the hotel supports the Kids of the Cape Initiative – a committee of hotel employees oversees upliftment projects that provide child and youth refuge and care, as well as education, skills-training and feeding. The staff also regularly take part in river and beach clean-ups, as well as clearing invasive plants.
“Considering the strain being put on the environment and the impact that this is having on climate change, which directly affects our hospitality businesses (the drought of last year bears this out), It is a no brainer that all properties need to reduce their impact on their environment to ensure there businesses will be able to continue trading in a way that leaves the earth in a better condition that it is in today,” says Chris van Zyl, Group Environmental Manager and Horticulturist. “All properties need to work towards ensuring a sustainable future.”
“Do a bit of research first, then apply some of the small win opportunities and grow from there,” says The Vineyard GM Roy Davies on what other properties can do to embrace sustainability. “Look at what other folk are doing and apply those ideas to your situation if you can. No saving is too small. Just think out the box!”
In January 2017, the hotel’s highest daily usage was 148 kilolitres. Changes were implemented, including the installation of 28 metres to monitor consumption. Bath plugs were removed, and specially created brochures and posters encouraged guests to reduce their consumption. As a result, during the Cape Town drought, The Vineyard’s highest daily usage rate of municipal water was 75 kilolitres, and lowest 47 kilolitres. The hotel has continued to improve, installing a water purification system and using grey water for toilets.
The hotel has invested in two renewable energy projects – a 20kW 80 panel installation and a 60 panel PVT solar and PV combined installation generating 15kWp electrical and 75kWp thermal energy. To reduce overall energy usage, most lights in the hotel are LEDS, with timers on external lights. The air conditioners in the conferencing centre are controlled centrally, reducing unnecessary usage, and Green energy certificates are procured from the City of Cape Town to offset the energy that is used. Hot water is stored efficiently, and laundry and dishwashing facilities are energy-efficient.
The hotel has also tackled waste management and has seen a significant reduction in waste generation – on average 95% of waste is recycled. “Separation at source is critical, further separation in our waste facility ensures that the absolute minimum of waste goes to landfill,” says Chris. “Where possible, product is reused, upcycled and only then sent for recycling. Our food waste is sent for composting and bought back for us for use in the garden.”
Most recently, The Vineyard’s new deluxe self-catering apartments have just been awarded a 5-star Green Star rating by the Green Building Council of South Africa. The building has been insulated, thus reducing the heating and cooling requirements, and a grey water system sees waste water treated and used for flushing toilets. Renewable energy panels were installed, providing energy as well as hot water. “The building process was monitored from the beginning to end to ensure all waste generated in the process was monitored and safely and sustainably removed from site,” says Chris.
- Largely indigenous gardens
- Water consumption in the hotel cut by over 60% – an average of 50% of water is coming from the borehole, but the property is aiming for 80% in the first quarter of 2019.
- Two Solar ‘farms’ on site, one also supplying hot water
- Grey water feeding 92% of our rooms
- On average. 95% of waste is recycled
- Three 5* green rated apartments
More about fanute
fanute is a specialist hospitality solutions company. We believe that by being innovative in our thinking and adventurous in our actions, we can provide valuable services to the market, and in just a small way, help to save our ailing planet.
We are not afraid of being first or in being the only player in a space – because we love starting with a blank piece of paper and designing our own future.
We’re obsessed with sustainability, simply, because we are all stewards of our environment – and for us this includes our beautiful land, our people and culture and our very scarce natural resources.
We help because our linen rental business drives scale in the short-term lettings industry, which means no more washing linen with domestic machines or walk-in laundromats, which consume huge amounts of water and energy.
And our near-waterless industrial laundry systems deliver meaningful savings of those same scarce resources, offering the only real innovation in laundry in over 60 years.
For more information, visit the fanute website.