Africa’s Greenest Hotel, Hotel Verde situated at Cape Town International Airport was voted the global winner in the Urban Accommodation category during the 15th annual Skål International Sustainable Tourism Awards, held in Monaco this weekend, during the opening ceremony of the 77th Skål World Congress.
Skål is a professional organisation of tourism leaders around the world, promoting global tourism and friendship. It is the only international group uniting all branches of the travel and tourism industry.
The Skål International Sustainable Awards global winners were announced by the President of Skål International, Mr. Nigel Pilkington and the judging panel made the following comment about Hotel Verde, the winner in the Urban Accommodation category:
“Hotel Verde is outstanding in their efforts and their consistent dedication to create the least environmental impact on the local community. Their LEED certification, and various investments to ensure that their infrastructure, maintenance and operations are green – something that made them very notable among other submissions. They’re highly innovative and appear to have a good grasp of how to create a project that will enable a long-term positive difference.” The panel concluded with ”Hotel Verde, in Cape Town, South Africa, serves as a good example to other hotels in the world, providing a role model for a higher ecological hotel management.”
Hotel Verde is the first hotel in the world to be certified LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum for both Design & Construction, as well as Operations & Maintenance, from the United States Green Building Council. The LEED certification, developed by the USGBC (United States Green Building Council) and administered and audited by the GBCI (Green Building Certification Institute), is considered globally as the premier mark of accomplishment in green building and provides independent third party verification that a building was designed, built and/or operated sustainably. Sustainable in this sense refers to a comprehensive list of factors including, but not limited to, energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 and other greenhouse and harmful gas emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.
In addition to the LEED certification, Hotel Verde has brought a number of firsts to the African continent: Carbon neutral auditable certificates for either guest or conferences held at Hotel Verde. Guests and conference delegates receive a carbon offset certificate after their stay or conference with the hotel, stating the amount of carbon (in kg) that they have personally offset by choosing the hotel. This is an auditable and trackable certificate which is emailed to the guest, can be shared on social media and can be used directly toward sustainability and integrated reporting. These certificates are provided at no extra or hidden cost, to the guests. Other initiatives included the installation of an industrial scale vertical geothermal loop system, the first hotel carbon management initiative of its kind, the installation of regenerative drive elevators and power generating gym equipment.
Hotel Verde is managed by VERDE HOTELS Africa’s very first responsible hotel management operator. The group take on the retrofitting of existing properties and the constructions of new developments and delivers a turn-key hotel management model based on the principles ofThrivability, extending the conventional borders of sustainable and responsible tourism. VERDE HOTELS integrates Thrivability into the design, construction, refurbishment and operations of their hotels, in order to showcase social, environmental and economic best practice. In 2015 Hotel Verde teamed up with the Green Building Council of South Africa, to assist in piloting the Existing Building Performance toolkit. The hotel was subsequently certified as the very first, six star Green Star SA Project, based on this tool. This provided yet another third party verification of Hotel Verde’s status of world leadership in green building operation, ensuring the hotel is continually operated with stringent efficiency and sustainability targets.
In three years, Hotel Verde has become known locally and internationally, not only for its sustainable design, construction and operational practices; but also for being one of Cape Town’s most quirky and creative hotels.
“We are proud that our aim to be a Thrivable environmentally protective hotel has been recognized by our industry peers, on a global level. My team at VERDE HOTELS is committed to ensuring we operate hotels for future benefit of the planet and its people, yielding a thrivable business for owners and investors, on an international level.” said a very proud Samantha Annandale, CEO of Verde Hotels, during the awards ceremony.
In conclusion the Minister of Tourism for South Africa, Derek Hanekom had this to say, “Hotel Verde managed by VERDE HOTELS and others in the tourism sector who are striving towards greater sustainability, are maintaining our country’s competitive edge in the global tourism market. Their success comes from taking a responsible approach right from the start of their planning, and then ensuring that all their products, services and activities are socially, environmentally and economically sustainable into the future. We must now spread these world-leading responsible tourism practices throughout the entire tourism industry. Tourists are becoming increasingly concerned about social and environmental issues, and they want to support destinations and products that take responsible tourism seriously.”
For Interviews, comment, images or more information contact:
Media Liaison for Hotel Verde and VERDE HOTELS
+27 (0) 8 44 44 775
More information on Hotel Verde:
We are currently the only hotel in the world to have achieved a Platinum LEED certification from the United States Green Building Council, for our design and construction, as well as our operations and maintenance.
LEED is an internationally recognised green building rating and certification system. This system, developed by the USGBC (United States Green Building Council) and administered and audited by the GBCI (Green Building Certification Institute), provides independent third party verification that a building is sustainable. It is considered globally as the premier mark of accomplishment in green building.
Sustainable in this sense refers to a comprehensive list of factors. Including, but not limited to, energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 and other greenhouse and harmful gas emissions reduction, stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts, cleaning and alterations, sustainable purchasing policies, waste stream management, and on-going indoor environmental quality.
Green Star Existing Building Performance
We have a 6 star rating from the South African Green Building Council, which ensures our hotel is continually operated with stringent efficiency and sustainability targets.
In June 2015, we were awarded the highest accolade of a six star rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa for the Green Star SA Existing Buildings tool. This provided us with yet another third party verification of our status of world leadership in green building operation. We came on board as a pilot project (only hotel to be rated in South Africa) and co-operated with the GBCSA in order to assist in making the tool more applicable and accessible for various types of buildings, including hotels.
World’s Best City Hotel for Responsible Tourism
In November 2014, we were awarded the World Responsible Tourism Award for Best City Hotel at World Travel Market Landon. We were nominated by Cape Town Tourism in recognition of our preservation of, respect for and benefit to the City of Cape Town and its local community.
The Responsible Tourism Awards were founded in 2004 to recognise and encourage change in the tourism industry. In its 11th year, this event has grown to be the largest and most respected Responsible Tourism Award in the world. The principle behind the awards is that all types of tourism, from specialised to conventional, should be organised in a way that preserves, respects and benefits destinations and local people.
Consequently, General Manager, Samantha Annandale was invited to speak about Hotel Verde as a model for responsible tourism at the 13th annual Responsible Tourism Conference held in Cape Town in 2015. Marketing Manager Sarah Farrell also presented the hotel as a business case for carbon efficiency at the responsible tourism sessions at WTM London 2015. Watch the video here.
The Responsible Tourism conference gala event was also held at Hotel Verde whilst many of the responsible tourism delegates stayed at the hotel during their visit to Cape Town.
In addition, Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom organised for United Nation World Tourism Organisation Secretary-General, Dr. Taleb Rifai, and President and CEO of World Travel and Tourism Council, David Scowsill, to attend a site inspection at the hotel during their visit to South Africa to deliberate with government and public sector stakeholders around the topics of responsible and sustainable tourism growth.
In March 2014 we won the company Trendsetter Award at the INTERNORGA Trade Show, in Hamburg, Germany. This annual award goes to a company that demonstrates with “great intuition, innovation, courage and passion – how business practices and sustainable management can work together for optimal results.”
INTERNORGA is the leading European trade fair for the Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Baking and Confectionery industries. The trade show has been going since 1921 and currently presents over 1,200 exhibitors from Europe and abroad, showcasing innovations, trends and solutions for the entire service and catering market.
The award criteria included the use of sustainable technologies, which conserve resources and energy, use of raw materials from ecological production and fair trade, a high degree of transparency in manufacturing methods, and outstanding socially responsible actions. Hotel Verde ticked all the boxes, outshining over 100 contenders from hotels, restaurants, caterers, institutional caterers to bakeries.
Some of our other awards
- Save, the Energy Efficiency Forum for Commercial Buildings
- Eco-Logic Awards (by Enviropaedia) – Water Category
- Eco-Logic Awards (by Enviropaedia) – Energy Category
- Lilizela (Imvelo) Award – Best Overall Environmental Management System –
- Trip Advisor – Travellers Choice Award
- Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence
- Green Hotelier Award for Africa and the Middle East
- Mail & Guardian Environmental Technology Award
More info on Verde Hotels:
WHERE LUXURY MEETS THRIVABILITY
Verde Hotels is a responsible hotel operator that offers a turn-key hotel management model based on the principles of Thrivability. Verde Hotels integrates Thrivability into the design, construction, refurbishment and operations of their hotels in order to showcase social, environmental and economical best practice.
The holistic approach used by Verde Hotels aims to prove that luxury and sustainability are not mutually exclusive whilst providing guests with an oasis no matter hotel location, always epitomising a brand mix of cosmopolitan style and natural outdoor lifestyle.
“At Verde Hotels, we are passionate and committed to our journey towards growing a portfolio of luxury green hotels in Africa and around the world. Join us in developing your country’s greenest hotel.” – Samantha Annandale, CEO
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Its members, the industry’s managers and executives, meet at local, national, regional and international levels to discuss and pursue topics of common interest.
The first Club was founded in 1932 in Paris by travel managers, following an educational tour of Scandinavia. The idea of international goodwill and friendship grew and, in 1934, the “Association Internationale des Skål Clubs” was formed with Florimond Volckaert as its first President, who is considered the “Father of Skål.”