Protect our environment

 

IN THIS SECTION:

Highlights in environmental performance in the 2010/11 financial year
Areas of environmental focus
 

 

Formulating our environmental strategy
   
 

AT A GLANCE

Sun International remains committed to managing its impact on the environment and to meeting the standards of responsible tourism. To this end, the Group set ambitious targets for 2011. An overview of our progress is shown in the table below:
 
2011 Objective   Achieved/not achieved   Comment
To increase the number of staff and associates that have completed environmental awareness training to a level of at least 50% of all staff.   Not achieved   13% was achieved. The Group intends to improve on this over the next reporting year. The first step is compiling a Group-specific environmental education programme that will be implemented at the individual properties.
To reduce our energy consumption by a further 10% through improved management systems and the introduction of appropriate technologies.   Not achieved   3.44% was achieved. The approval and implementation of energy saving initiatives took longer than anticipated.
To reduce water consumption across our operations by a minimum of 9.5% through improved management and awareness of water.   Achieved    
To increase our total waste recycling levels to at least 38% of waste through improved awareness and operational efficiencies.   Mostly achieved   36.8% of waste was recycled.
To participate in the Carbon Disclosure Programme (CDP).   Not achieved   The review of the Group’s environmental management programme and subsequent introduction of the Corporate Environmental Strategy for 2012 had to take priority over this period. Scope for participation in the CDP will be re-evaluated on an annual basis.
To incorporate our operations in Monticello and The Federal Palace into the Group environmental management system (EMS).   Partly achieved   Monitoring systems have been put in place. This next year will see the implementation of a full environmental management system.
To increase public awareness of our environmental vision through measurable and tangible marketing and communication initiatives.   Mostly achieved   Initiatives have taken place at individual units. A consolidated Group approach to public awareness initiatives and marketing is being developed. We communicated through signage and pamphlets at the units and the Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City.
 
The results indicate that progress was slower than anticipated. We have recognised the need to take stock of our approach to environmental management, especially with regard to the setting of environmental performance objectives. While we acknowledge that these objectives need to challenge us, we also recognise the need for them to be appropriate to the Group at present. We have therefore embarked on a process of “taking stock.” This is in line with our 2010 annual report, where we noted our intention to re-evaluate the environmental management function, to increase the focus on environmental issues and identify areas for improvement. To this end, it was decided to initiate a process to develop a new and more appropriate Corporate Environmental Strategy to improve cohesion within the Group with respect to environmental matters.
 

Highlights in environmental performance in the 2010/11 financial year

There were no significant environmental incidents during this past year and the Group received no fines or penalties for any environmental transgressions during the reporting period.
Southern African properties achieved an overall electricity saving of 3.4% (10 590MW) this past year – although the inclusion of Monticello and the Federal Palace in this year’s report has resulted in an increase of 3.2% in electricity use overall.
Water saving measures and improved management of this resource across the Group resulted in an overall saving of 14.0% (962 479m3) on the previous period.
Environmental awareness, training and skills development continue to receive attention but the absence of a formalised corporate training module has affected our ability to achieve our objectives in this area. This notwithstanding, the past year did see an increase in the number of staff trained through an external environmental training programme.
Diesel consumption fell by 36.7% (426 120L) as a result of greater stability in external power supplies and improved management of generator and vehicle use.
Monticello and the Federal Palace have reported results for the first time, which have been incorporated into this report.
The implementation and monitoring of the Environmental Management Programmes minimised the potential environmental impact inherent in the development and refurbishment projects that were undertaken at our properties (including Sun City, Kalahari Sands and the Wild Coast Sun).
 
Highlights from particular properties include:
Sun International Zambia once again received the Fedhasa Responsible Tourism Award at the 2010 Imvelo Awards. In addition, this resort won the Best Environmental Management, Best Social Involvement and Best Economic Practice Awards at the event.
Green Globe International promoted the sustainability programmes of Sun International Zambia through posting a series of five short videos highlighting their efforts on YouTube and other social media.
Once again Carnival City featured at the Imvelo Awards by winning in the Best Waste Management category.
The Table Bay Hotel won the Imvelo Award for Most Empowered Tourism Business in recognition of its community and staff empowerment initiatives.
The Wild Coast Sun won the Best Water Management Award and became one of only two resorts to have received an Imvelo award in this category since 2004.
Sun International has maintained the Heritage Environmental Certification Programme to reduce and limit the impact of our operations on the environment. Our ratings for our properties are as follows:
 
  2011   2010   2009   2008
Boardwalk Casino Gold   Gold   Silver   Silver
Carnival City Platinum   Platinum   Gold   Gold
Carousel Casino Gold   Silver   Gold   Gold
Fish River Sun Gold   Gold   Gold   Gold
Flamingo Casino Gold   Gold   Gold   Gold
Gaborone Sun Gold   Gold   Gold   Silver
Golden Valley Casino Silver   Silver   Silver   Silver
GrandWest Casino Platinum   Platinum   Gold   Gold
Kalahari Sands Silver   Gold   Silver   Silver
Lesotho Sun Gold   Gold   Gold   Gold
Morula Sun Casino Gold   Gold   Gold   Silver
Meropa Casino Gold   Gold   Gold   Silver
Sibaya Casino Gold   Gold   Gold   Silver
Sun City Gold   Gold   Gold   Silver
Swaziland Silver   Silver   Silver   Silver
Table Bay Hotel Gold   Gold   Gold   Gold
Wild Coast Sun Platinum   Platinum   Platinum   Platinum
Windmill Casino Gold   Gold   Gold   Gold
Zambia Platinum   Platinum   Gold   Silver
 

Areas of environmental focus

Specific areas of environmental focus for the Group include: the management of natural resource use, biodiversity management and the disposal of waste, wastewater and emissions.
 
Electricity consumption
Compared with the data for 2010, electricity consumption across the Group has shown a reduction of 3.4% (10 590MW). With the inclusion of data from the Federal Palace and Monticello this year, there has been an overall increase of 3.2% in electricity consumption.

LP Gas consumption increased by 10.8% (10 896kg) as a result of the inclusion of Monticello, while more stable energy supply in all markets resulted in reduced diesel use across the Group of 36.7% (426 120L). Diesel remains the primary energy source at the Federal Palace, and for the purposes of this report, diesel consumption at the Federal Palace (4 037 445L) has been recorded separately so as not to skew the overall performance of the Group.
 
 
The reduction in electricity consumption was achieved through a number of ongoing projects including re-lamping, energy efficiency studies and improved management of resources in general.
 
Water consumption
Water consumption across all Group operations reflected a reduction of 14.0% from 6 879 586m3 to 5 917 107m3 for the period under review. Water-saving initiatives at property level, the installation of water-saving technology and a greater awareness of consumption, together with the increased cost of this resource, have all played a role in reducing consumption. Recent refurbishments and developments have ensured that the most effective water-management systems are now being introduced to our properties.
 
 
Water consumed by our operations is mostly provided by the relevant water authorities in the regions in which we operate, although the Wild Coast Sun draws its water directly from a dam on the property, and our Zambian property draws from the Zambezi River (both under licence). Irrigation supplies are obtained from a number of different sources, including ‘grey’ water from wastewater plants at Sun City, Wild Coast Sun, Zambia and the Fish River Sun; while boreholes are present at a number of our properties to supplement irrigation needs as required. All relevant licence and permit conditions are being met; with the exception of the Wild Coast Sun, where the water irrigation permit in the volume of abstraction exceeds the allowance volume in the current permit. An application to increase the volume was made to the relevant authorities in January 2010, and approval is still awaited.
 
 
The Group operates water-treatment plants at a number of properties including Zambia, Swaziland, the Wild Coast Sun, Fish River Sun, Sun City, the Carousel, the Federal Palace and Monticello. Approximately 70% of wastewater generated through water treatment facilities (1 012 487m3), is used for supplementary irrigation.
 
 
The total volume of recycled water varies across the Group, and depends on factors such as the presence of wastewater treatment works, rainwater capture systems and other filtration and recovery systems. Rainwater harvesting is primarily driven by storm-water drainage at our properties, most of which is captured in existing dams and reservoirs (Sun City, Fish River Sun, Wild Coast Sun); or in the case of GrandWest and Flamingo, serves to maintain natural and artificial wetlands on the properties.
 
Biodiversity management
Sun International operates a number of properties in, or adjacent to, natural areas of high biodiversity value. These include the Falls Resort in Zambia’s Mosi oa Tunya National Park (a World Heritage Site), Sun City adjacent to the Pilanesberg National Park, and the Wild Coast Sun which includes a protected dune forest. There are a number of environmental initiatives undertaken by the Group to ensure the protection of biodiversity under our control in these areas. We have:
Established community-based environmental protection initiatives at the Wild Coast Sun to ensure that no damage is caused to the remaining dune forest at the resort, and to protect fossil beds that have been found at the beach in front of the property.
Implemented strict control over illegal fishing for rock lobster and other protected species at the Wild Coast Sun and Fish River Sun.
Appointed rangers at the Falls Resort to monitor and protect game and other wildlife found on the property in collaboration with the Zambian Wildlife Authority.
Erected game fencing at the Carousel and implemented a strict game-management strategy to ensure the protection of species at the property and to reduce poaching.
Rehabilitated a natural wetland area at GrandWest and taken steps to ensure that future developments at the property pose no threat to this area.
Undertaken independent Environmental Impact Studies (EIS) for all new developments and, where required, conducted full impact assessments to identify and protect the biodiversity of the locations in which we operate.
Introduced Biodiversity Management Policies at all properties in the Group through the Heritage Environmental Management Programme and taken steps to ensure that these are managed effectively.
 
Sun City displays a large number of biodiversity initiatives:
Sun City treats between 2 and 3 million litres of waste water daily. This treated effluent is used for irrigation on the Gary Player Country Club, Lost City Country Club and the Vacation Club gardens.
Sun City has a permitted Animal World where various species of wild animals are kept, including impala, nyala, springbok, monkeys and birds of prey.
Other wildlife including warthogs and impala are free-roaming on the golf courses.
Top Turf manages 2 aviaries at the resort and there is a free-roaming breeding pair of blue crane.
Kwena Gardens is an on-site crocodile farm which houses more than 7 000 crocodiles – a handful of which are located at Lost City Golf Course’s thirteenth hole.
The compost facility, developed in 2008, converts all the garden waste from the Sun City resort into organic compost which is used in the resort gardens.
A permanent on-site primate management team was deployed in 2010 to assist in human-primate interaction. All the guards and several porters attended the Monkey Manners training which was presented by Isa Swart. Primate incidents have reduced dramatically over the last year.
The Letsatsing Game area is located to the east of the resort and is managed by Game Trackers. This area is home to the Elephant Wallow where guests and staff can interact with elephants, and even go for a ride. There is also other free-roaming wildlife in this area, including rhinos.
Sun City has a very successful feral cat programme, established in 2009. The feral cat population was stabilised through catch-and-release. Animals are spayed and neutered, ears snipped and fed by volunteers.
A bush baby breed-and-release programme was established at the horse riding centre in 2011.
 
Waste management
The recycling and reuse of waste remains a priority for the Group, and while we have not yet achieved our optimum recovery rates, we are pleased to see progress on the previous reporting period. Waste-to-landfill has been reduced across the Group by an average of 4% (381 tons) and recycled and recovered waste levels have increased proportionally by 4.7% (148 tons) overall.
 
 
While waste management and the presence of recycling industries remains an operational challenge in many parts of Africa, efforts to achieve meaningful reductions in overall waste, and the levels of recycled material in general, are being informed by an integrated waste-management strategy that addresses this issue from procurement to disposal. On-site “separation@source” programmes and training and awareness initiatives are contributing to improved levels of recyclability as well as greater staff awareness of the categories of waste and responsible disposal techniques at property level. This has already started producing results. Recovery levels have increased in total from 32.2% in 2010 to 36.8% in this reporting period.

Efforts continue to ensure that the main recoverable waste streams are separated, including plastics, cardboard, paper, glass, aluminium and electronic waste. As from this reporting period, we have started recording the volumes of these waste categories separately.
 
 
The company is directly responsible for waste facilities at Sun City and Swaziland and efforts to ensure the most effective and efficient use of the available landfill capacity include improved separation and recovery practices and greater on-site awareness. An application has been lodged for the extension of our landfill licence at Sun City and continuing efforts are being made in Swaziland to manage the limited facilities available to the Group.

Hazardous waste associated with our operations is separated and includes the disposal of materials that range from fluorescent lamps, used oils and lubricants, asbestos, chemicals and combustible waste, to used parts and electronic waste. This past year, a total of 224.2 tons of hazardous waste was disposed-of across the Group, an increase of 16.7% (37.5 tons) over the previous year. This is mostly attributable to renovations at the Wild Coast Sun and improved data collection on hazardous waste volumes.
 

Formulating our environmental strategy

Turning to how the Group intends to progress its environmental management programme over the next reporting year, as noted earlier in this section of our Integrated Annual Report, we have committed to the development and implementation of a new comprehensive Corporate Environmental Strategy.

We are pleased to report that the Corporate Environmental Strategy development process is well underway and is being led by our “Green Team.” This process has the full support of the CE and CFO who participate in strategy working sessions and have endorsed the appointment of the “Green Team.” Furthermore, the Group intends to appoint a Group Environmental Manager to lead the finalisation and implementation of the strategy.

The following key steps will be taken to support the implementation of this strategy over the next reporting year:
Implementing best practice Environmental Management Systems at our facilities as reflected in ISO 14001. This will drive consistency across the Group, while also providing the flexibility of a system that is appropriate to each property. The nature of this management system will assist with environmental risk management; and ensure reliable data to support sustainability reporting.
Conducting more detailed situation or baseline assessments to assess the impact of the Group’s operations on the environment. This will provide us with a more detailed understanding of our impacts than currently exists. This information will assist in determining environmental performance standards and identifying management priorities.
Identifying appropriate mechanisms to further promote the integration of environmental data from our various properties into the Group’s annual reporting. Specifically, there is a drive to strengthen the links between governance, risks and opportunities, key performance indicators and sustainable development.
Exploring various external partnerships which would assist in promoting the environmental management ethic within the Group; while also providing a platform for the sharing of industry-related information for improvements on environmental matters.
Pursuing environmental accreditations appropriate to the Group and to our respective units within the Group.
Developing a staff Environmental Education programme which is tailor-made for Sun International, taking into account our environmental policy, objectives, and targets.
Developing a consolidated guest awareness campaign which highlights the Group’s commitment to environmental management, while encouraging guest participation.
 
One of the key issues that has emerged during our review of our environmental management programme is the need for greater consistency in the way we monitor and report information across the Group. This, together with improving the robustness and comprehensiveness of our environmental data, will form the focus of our efforts in 2012. We have determined that we need to build and strengthen what we have in place before venturing into new territory such as carbon footprinting. Accordingly, we have rescheduled some of the activities and objectives noted in our 2010 Integrated Annual Report to align with the priorities of the Group.