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Hotel Verde Cape Town was the first hotel in Africa to offer carbon-neutral accommodation and conferencing.

Green overview

Here’s a brief overview of our sustainable features:

Energy efficient

  • 220 photovoltaic panels on roof and northern facade for energy generation
  • Three wind turbines (vertical axis)
  • Regenerative drive elevators
  • Energy-generating gym equipment
  • State of the art cooling/heating system uses heat pumps coupled to 100 boreholes and 11km of geothermal ground loops
  • Passive design strategies within the building design to make it extra energy-efficient
  • All lights are energy-efficient LEDs
  • Windows are spectrally selective and double glazed
  • Lifts use regenerative braking on “light” travel cycles, saving 30% of the energy it would normally use. Guests can generate power for the building by taking the stairs up and taking the lift down.

Sustainable design

  • Building design optimised using a building energy model
  • Intelligent building management system monitors consumption of resources and continuously receives information to optimise efficiency and report malfunctions or inefficient equipment
  • Efficient, intelligent heating ventilation and air-conditioning system
  • Cobiax void formers (hollow balls made from recycled polypropylene) displace the amount of concrete used in the building
  • Responsible, healthier, rapidly renewable, recycled and eco-friendly products used where feasible, including:
  • Paints, coatings, adhesive and sealants with low volatile organic compound concentrations 

  • Alternatives to Portland cement such as fly ash and corax slag 

  • Counter tops containing recycled content 

  • Use of alien wood from clearing projects
  • Carpets containing a high percentage of rapidly renewable wool and underfelt made from recycled tyres or reconstituted old carpets

Carbon neutral

  • Socially responsible carbon neutral programme in partnership with environmental sustainability organisation ImpactChoice
  • Provides benefits to local communities around Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe
  • Guests receive a certificate proving that the carbon created by their stay has been offset

Water saving

  • Grey-water recycling system saves an average of 6 000 litres a day
  • The dual flush toilets supplied with biologically recycled grey water from showers and baths
  • Rainwater collected in a 40 000 litre stainless steel tank in basement, feeding hotel’s water-saving drip irrigation system
  • Low-flow fittings on all taps and shower heads
  • Landscapes irrigated with non-potable water
  • Indigenous/endemic, water-wise vegetation, with high carbon-capturing potential, where possible
  • Sub-soil drainage water used for irrigation, car-washing and external cleaning

War on waste

  • Minimising and preventing waste through our procurement policies
  • Reusing and upcycling where possible
  • Recycling and composting
  • All waste sorted on site and, where possible, recycled
  • Developed special, reusable containers for suppliers to avoid packaging
  • Food waste composted or fed to our worm farm and goes back into the ecosystem.

Green conferences

  • Venues have separate bins for items that can be recycled or composted
  • Eco-friendly stationery, recycled paper, carbon-neutral printer
  • Filtered still and sparkling water bottled on site
  • Food items responsibly sourced
  • Chalkboards to eliminate the need for energy or paper use
  • Natural lighting
  • Energy-efficient air-conditioning, lighting and technology
  • Dual flush toilets using grey water

Sustainable operations

  • Sustainable procurement – conscious purchasing decisions
  • Recycling and waste management
  • Food waste composting
  • Avanti programme to empower, educate and train employees through awareness and event participation
  • Guest education and awareness; sustainability channel with figures from building management system
  • Corporate social responsibility: clothing bank, fundraisers, sponsored meals and accommodation, community initiatives

Priority parking

  • Priority parking for guests driving electric/hybrid/car pool vehicles
  • 220 photovoltaic panels on roof and northern facade for energy generation
  • Three wind turbines (vertical axis)
  • Regenerative drive elevators
  • Energy-generating gym equipment
  • State of the art cooling/heating system uses heat pumps coupled to 100 boreholes and 11km of geothermal ground loops
  • Passive design strategies within the building design to make it extra energy-efficient
  • All lights are energy-efficient LEDs
  • Windows are spectrally selective and double glazed
  • Lifts use regenerative braking on “light” travel cycles, saving 30% of the energy it would normally use. Guests can generate power for the building by taking the stairs up and taking the lift down.
  • Building design optimised using a building energy model
  • Intelligent building management system monitors consumption of resources and continuously receives information to optimise efficiency and report malfunctions or inefficient equipment
  • Efficient, intelligent heating ventilation and air-conditioning system
  • Cobiax void formers (hollow balls made from recycled polypropylene) displace the amount of concrete used in the building
  • Responsible, healthier, rapidly renewable, recycled and eco-friendly products used where feasible, including:
  • Paints, coatings, adhesive and sealants with low volatile organic compound concentrations 

  • Alternatives to Portland cement such as fly ash and corax slag 

  • Counter tops containing recycled content 

  • Use of alien wood from clearing projects
  • Carpets containing a high percentage of rapidly renewable wool and underfelt made from recycled tyres or reconstituted old carpets
  • Socially responsible carbon neutral programme in partnership with environmental sustainability organisation ImpactChoice
  • Provides benefits to local communities around Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe
  • Guests receive a certificate proving that the carbon created by their stay has been offset
  • Grey-water recycling system saves an average of 6 000 litres a day
  • The dual flush toilets supplied with biologically recycled grey water from showers and baths
  • Rainwater collected in a 40 000 litre stainless steel tank in basement, feeding hotel’s water-saving drip irrigation system
  • Low-flow fittings on all taps and shower heads
  • Landscapes irrigated with non-potable water
  • Indigenous/endemic, water-wise vegetation, with high carbon-capturing potential, where possible
  • Sub-soil drainage water used for irrigation, car-washing and external cleaning
  • Minimising and preventing waste through our procurement policies
  • Reusing and upcycling where possible
  • Recycling and composting
  • All waste sorted on site and, where possible, recycled
  • Developed special, reusable containers for suppliers to avoid packaging
  • Food waste composted or fed to our worm farm and goes back into the ecosystem.
  • Venues have separate bins for items that can be recycled or composted
  • Eco-friendly stationery, recycled paper, carbon-neutral printer
  • Filtered still and sparkling water bottled on site
  • Food items responsibly sourced
  • Chalkboards to eliminate the need for energy or paper use
  • Natural lighting
  • Energy-efficient air-conditioning, lighting and technology
  • Dual flush toilets using grey water
  • Sustainable procurement – conscious purchasing decisions
  • Recycling and waste management
  • Food waste composting
  • Avanti programme to empower, educate and train employees through awareness and event participation
  • Guest education and awareness; sustainability channel with figures from building management system
  • Corporate social responsibility: clothing bank, fundraisers, sponsored meals and accommodation, community initiatives
  • Priority parking for guests driving electric/hybrid/car pool vehicles

Verdinos

Guest incentives: earn Verdinos

Verdinos are our in-house currency, rewarding you for being involved in our hotel's sustainability and making green choices. One Verdino is equivalent to R5.

Guest incentives: earn Verdinos

Verdinos are our in-house currency, rewarding you for being involved in our hotel's sustainability and making green choices. One Verdino is equivalent to R5.

Ways to earn Verdinos

  • Choose not to use the air-conditioning
  • Use power-generating gym equipment
  • Reuse towels
  • Take the stairs instead of the lift
  • Take a jog or walk around the wetlands
  • Choose not to use the additional set of pillows in your room
  • Separate your waste correctly into the split bins available

Ways to spend Verdinos

  • Towards your bill
  • At the hotel bar
  • At the Verdeli
  • Donate them to a good cause
Hvct Verdino Chart Final Signage 2 1

Green certifications and awards

Hotel Verde Cape Town’s green credentials have been recognised

  • 5-star certification, Master Builder Association – 2013
  • 4-star hotel accreditation, Tourism Grading Council of South Africa – 2014/15
  • Certification for the implementation of best practices in water conservation and water recycling by the City of Cape Town – 2014
  • LEED Platinum certification for New Construction (United States Green Building Council) – 2014
  • 6-star certification (Green Star – Existing Building Performance), Green Building Council of South Africa – 2015
  • LEED Platinum for Existing Building Operation and Maintenance – 2015
  • Fair Trade Tourism-certified business – 2017

Other awards include

  • Energy Efficiency Forum award for commercial buildings – 2013
  • City Improvement District Award – 2013
  • Eco-Logic Award from Enviropaedia – water category – 2013
  • Eco-Logic Awards from Enviropaedia – energy category – 2014
  • Internorga trade show, Hamburg – Trendsetter award – 2014
  • Lilizela Imvelo Award – Best Overall Environmental Management System – 2014
  • TripAdvisor – Travellers Choice Award (top 1% of hotels on TripAdvisor) – 2015
  • TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence – 2015, 2016 and 2017
  • Green Hotelier Award for Africa and the Middle East
  • World Travel Market London – World Responsible Tourism Best City Hotel – 2014
  • Green Hotelier Award for Africa and the Middle East – 2015
  • Skål International Sustainable Tourism Awards: winner, Urban Accommodation category – 2016
  • World Travel Market Africa most responsible stand award – 2017

Our green environment

The wetlands

The natural vegetation adjacent to Hotel Verde Cape Town is Cape lowland freshwater wetlands. Before we intervened, the wetland was slowly degrading. Passers-by carelessly discarded refuse, and businesses and contractors dumped rubble from building work and renovations.

The wetland now boasts more than 100 types of indigenous and endemic, water-wise vegetation, an ecotrail, eco-pool, outdoor gym and two beehives, housing over 60 000 Cape honey bees.

In an environmental impact assessment, we identified some of the flora and fauna found in the wetland area since the restoration process. These include vlei grass (Paspalum vaginatum), buffalo grass (Strenotaphrum secundatum) and waterbiesie (Pycreus nitidus).

In an environmental impact assessment, we identified some of the flora and fauna found in the wetland area since the restoration process. These include vlei grass (Paspalum vaginatum), buffalo grass (Strenotaphrum secundatum) and waterbiesie (Pycreus nitidus).

After the City of Cape Town and Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) placed their remote plots into the caring hands of our team, the two plots were joined. They are now maintained, cleaned, landscaped and beautified on an ongoing basis. The area is a green lung in the Airport Industrial precinct for all passers-by or hotel guests to enjoy.

Food gardens and aquaponics

We cultivate our own garden using the fertile soil of the hotel’s restored wetland. In that little piece of protected land, our gardeners grow organic vegetables such as tomatoes, artichokes and spinach, destined for the kitchen along with the aquaponics herbs and lettuces.

Food gardens and aquaponics

We cultivate our own garden using the fertile soil of the hotel’s restored wetland. In that little piece of protected land, our gardeners grow organic vegetables such as tomatoes, artichokes and spinach, destined for the kitchen along with the aquaponics herbs and lettuces.

We use a vertical aquaponics system that maintains 475 plants, such as lettuce, herbs, spinach, leeks, peppers, tomato and spring onions. Tilapias (edible fish) can be found in the water tanks at the base of the system. They feed on the algae growing in the tanks, as well as small amounts of additional food. The nutrients of their waste, once broken down by a bio-filter, feeds the plants.

We harvest and regrow our plants on a constant basis, replanting every three-and-a-half months. The aquaponics system allows for virtually emission-free, cost-effective sustainable food production at a high density and saves water when compared with traditional planting methods.

Roof garden

The roof garden above the reception area features a number of indigenous and non-invasive plants reflecting the area’s biodiversity, while also being energy efficient. The vegetative roof acts as a thermal barrier – cooling the reception below and reducing the need for air-conditioning.