Southern Sun staff serious about environmentNovember 29th, 2011 by Susan Reynard | Categories: environmental, hotels, industry, tourism, training
Finding ways to safeguard the environment is on everyone’s lips with the global COP17 event currently underway in Durban.
Southern Sun has scooped various awards at the recent Imvelo Awards for Responsible Tourism, highlighting its ongoing commitment to putting in place sophisticated and practical integrated processes and systems into all of its properties. The group is also one of the preferred accommodation partners for COP17 and has used the event to further create awareness internally and change the behaviour of staff at work, home and in the surrounding communities.
The training division of Southern Sun, called Southern Sun Learning & Development, is dedicated to ensuring that every Southern Sun employee has access to education, training and development. In the past year, some 95% of permanent employees received training.
Using this vehicle, Southern Sun embarked on a programme to raise the environmentally-friendly awareness levels among its employees. The programme educates the hotel manager about the importance and actual day to day actions that can be implemented at work and in their communities. Once the managers are equipped, they train the employees at their hotel. A self-learning module and e-learning course are made available to the managers.
Striving to be the leaders in environmental sustainability in tourism, Southern Sun Hotels consistently implements innovative initiatives and management systems across their brands and properties.
MD Graham Wood says: “Environmentally sustainable tourism is a central business focus for Southern Sun and as is our practice, we believe in providing the tools and knowledge to our people, to enable them to implement and create awareness in their careers and at home. We are dedicated to serving our valued customers with a professional and caring attitude, simultaneously ensuring that we preserve our heritage for generations to come.”
Some of the environmental facts they share with staff include:
- A running tap wastes 11.35 litres of water each minute
- A dishwasher uses 41.63 litres of water per use
- 75% of all water in the household is used in the bathroom
- Running your tap for five minutes uses enough energy to run a 60watt light bulb for 14 hours
- A full bath uses 264 litres of water. A five minute shower uses 37 to 94 litres
- Recycling one tonne of paper saves 17 mature trees, 26 497 litres of water and 4 000 kilowatt hours of electricity
- Recycling one aluminium can saves enough energy to run a 100watt light bulb for 20 hours, a computer for three hours and a TV for two hours
- Enough plastic is produced in the USA each year to shrink-wrap half of South Africa
- Enough plastic bottles are thrown away each year to circle the Earth four times