Conveniently situated a stone’s throw from the Cape Town international airport, Hotel Verde Cape Town Airport is widely regarded as Africa’s greenest hotel. Founder Mario Delicio’s intention from the get-go was to provide sustainable accommodation and to ensure that the hotel’s environmental impact is kept to a minimum. Mario says, “For many years, my family have believed that we have a responsibility as a company, as employers, and as visitors on this planet to live as sustainably as possible.
“Once we started the process of creating a sustainable hotel, I quickly realised that my dream of providing something luxurious and truly sustainable was not only possible, but also a business model worth sharing, with the potential to change lives and the industry as we know it.”
Hotel Verde is the first hotel in the world to achieve double platinum LEED certification. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognised green building rating and certification system.
This system, developed by the United States Green Building Council and administered and audited by the Green Building Certification Institute, provides third-party verification that a building was designed and built to be sustainable. A comprehensive list of factors is considered, including 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 2014, Hotel Verde also became the first hotel in Africa to offer accommodation and conferencing that is 100% carbon neutral. The hotel runs at 70% more energy efficient than any other Cape Town hotel and has won many awards for its green features and water and energy-saving technologies.
On top of this, renewable energy is also a key focus. The hotel has three wind turbines, solar panels on its north facing roof and façade, as well as energy-generating gym equipment. And it has regenerative lifts.
This commitment to sustainable practice is just as evident in the finer details of the hotel. Responsibly sourced, recycled, and eco-friendly furniture and products are used where feasible. All waste is sorted on-site and, where possible, recycled or composted.
“We offer facilities tailored towards all travellers from all walks of life. But, the bulk of our guests are corporate and transient guests who are either here for business and guests who are flying in or out of Cape Town International Airport,” says Caron van Rooyen, general manager. Plus, complimentary shuttles transport guests to and from the airport – a mere 400m from the hotel.
For guests on business trips, the conference and rooms venues have separate bins for items that can be recycled. They also offer eco-friendly stationery, recycled paper, energy-efficient air-conditioning, lighting, and technology.
The already reduced carbon footprint of every guest stay and conference venue use is offset through the responsible purchase of carbon credits.
Guests and conference delegates are issued with an accredited digital certificate to prove that the experience at Hotel Verde was carbon neutral which they can mention in their business records.
The hotel is part of a larger natural ecosystem and lush oasis featuring a small food garden, a living green wall, beehives, and a surrounding wetland. Their eco-pool commands the attention of everyone walking through their wetlands – the hotel is also part of a conservation and stewardship programme which conserves the wetlands. The eco-pool uses zero chemicals, minimises water wastage, and uses various fauna and flora for natural filtration.
The sustainable cherry on top is Hotel Verde’s Verdino Incentive for guests – this in-house currency rewards guests for making green choices. Guests can earn Verdinos by using the stairs instead of the lift, correctly sorting waste in rooms, reusing towels, not using additional pillows, using the power-generating equipment in the gym, and taking a walk or a jog around the wetland. The in-house currency can be redeemed at departure as a rebate on their hotel account or to settle their bills at Nuovo Restaurant – where you can feast on meals prepared with herbs and vegetables grown in the hotel’s hydroponic garden. Caron says, “Not only are guests able to experience four-star accommodation and services, they are also able to learn about our sustainability initiatives and, hopefully, take these learnings home to implement in their personal capacities.
Hotel Verde Cape Town Airport showcases some of the most advanced, environmentally-conscious technological installations and construction methods in addition to procurement and operational practices in the world.
Travelling in luxury doesn’t mean having to forgo sustainability. If you’d like proof, book your next stay with Hotel Verde Cape Town Airport.