A Cape Town hotel has set the bar for green efficiency and sustainability in the hospitality industry as its structure, internal mechanisms, day-to-day functions and carbon neutral program make the hotel uniquely environmentally conscious.

Located in the Airport Industria area of Cape Town, Hotel Verde, is the first hotel in Africa to offer carbon-neutral accommodation. This means that the hotel sources supplies from ‘carbon offsets’ which are establishments that reduce or avoid carbon emissions in order to produce their goods.

The implementation of the carbon-neutral program helps support local communities in Lake Kariba. At the end of a stay, patrons are given a certificate that indicates the amount of carbon used during their stay.

The accommodation service has established its green status through its energy efficiency measures, water-saving methods, waste management and is the worlds first hotel to be Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certified.

Energy Efficiency 

The hotel hosts photovoltaic panels that use solar power to generate electricity for its facilities. The grounds utilise three wind turbines to generate renewable energy. The elevator system employs a ‘regenerative drive’ to power them, allowing the elevator to recycle energy during use.

Energy-saving systems power the heating and cooling systems that run throughout the hotel.

Water Saving

With the city ensuring that every drop of water is saved, the hotel implemented water saving measures in order to avoid ‘day zero’.

Hotel Verde uses a greywater recycling system that saves an average of 6000 litres a day. Rainwater is collected to serve irrigation purposes and drinking water is never used to flush the toilets.

Waste Management 

The hotel aims to have a ‘zero waste to landfill’ through recycling, composting and upcycling all waste produced and used at the hotel.

Structural fittings 

In 2014, the hotel was awarded the LEED Platinum certification from the United States of America Green Building Council for their efforts in sustainability.

The renowned green hotel has been given a six-star rating from the Green Building Council of South Africa.

The design of the hotel features efficient tools for the interior design and ensured that guests would reduce their environmental impact during their stay. An example of this is the use of ‘low flow’ taps, ensuring that there is limited water waste.

Hotel Verde Standard bathroom

The hotel is constantly innovating new ways to save energy such as their weekly earth hour, hosted every Wednesday as patrons dine by solar light for the evening. An additional unique offer of the hotel is the eco-pool as it recreates a system of wetlands that clean itself, ensuring that no harmful chemicals are used in the pool, making it safe for the whole family.

Hotel Verde Eco Pool at night

Picture: Hotel Verde

Article written by

Ishani Chetty

Ishani is a vegetarian who is passionate about social issues, the environment and current affairs.