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HOTELS POCKET SAVING BY GOING GREEN

Johannesburg – Tsogo Sun, with more than 90 hotels and 14 casinos, is the latest hotel group in South Africa to join Eskom’s 49M energy saving campaign.

It signed up this week, pledging to reduce its electricity consumption by a further 10 percent. This is in addition to the measures it has been introducing in consultation with Eskom since May 2006.

Other hotel groups that have joined the 49M campaign so far are City Lodge, which has 6 000 rooms in South Africa, and Three Cities.

But the hotel industry as a whole has been cutting its costs and saving electricity for several years.

It gains by making substantial savings and attracting environmentally concerned tourists from overseas in addition to helping South Africa’s economy and reducing the risk of energy blackouts.

Danny Bryer, the sales, marketing and revenue director for Protea, said the group was saving more than R5 million a year by installing energy saving devices whenever one of its hotels was retrofitted. It made sense to do so in addition to helping the environment.

“In the past two years every hotel in the group undergoing renovation or refurbishment has been fitted with lighting or water heating energy saving devices that substantially reduces their overall electricity consumption.

“It makes sense for hoteliers to look at installing energy efficient lighting and water heating systems. If you plan intelligently the capital expenditure doesn’t have to be vast and it’s also good to have a discussion with Eskom, which is offering rebates for certain conversions.”

He said one Cape Town hotel, which had retrofitted new technology LED systems in all its public spaces, was saving nearly R20 000 a month on electricity bills.

“These energy-saving retrofits in the Protea hospitality group properties across South Africa aren’t part of a new approach – they are simply a component of our ongoing policy towards common sustainability that includes the environment and society.

“Suitable planning simply has to be part of every responsible corporate entity’s strategic objectives.”

Rob Collins, the chief marketing officer at Tsogo Sun, said the group continually revisited its environmental strategy to ensure that ongoing progress was made in protecting the environment. Employees and guests were encouraged to conserve resources for the benefit of the planet.

Property-specific environmental systems aimed at energy, water, waste management and responsible procurement had been developed for all Tsogo Sun’s casinos and hotels. Employees were informed of the group’s policies and trained on their responsibilities.

The privately owned Hotel Verde at Cape Town International Airport, which is managed by the recently formed Bon Hotels, is formally being opened today and has been purpose-built with every possible energy saving system, including geothermal heat pumps.

It is being advertised as “the greenest hotel in Africa”. –

Source: Business Report – Audrey D’Angelo