Nobody can deny that climate change will affect the hospitality market place – with global warming, resource volatility, extreme weather events, water scarcity and biodiversity loss part of our new vocabulary, it is essential we take cognisance of this and bring about rapid interventions. Challenged, but seeing climate change as a significant opportunity, Verde Hotels have launched a new management and expansion programme offering ‘Thrivable Hospitality Solutions’.
Verde Hotels offers investors, developers and hotel owners the opportunity to become leaders in world–class sustainable design and responsible operations. The first company in Africa to have the knowledge to build internationally recognised and certified green building and operating practices, as demonstrated in the international multiple award winning HOTEL VERDE, at Cape Town International Airport; Africa’s Greenest Hotel.
Verde Hotels teams luxury with sustainability whilst being profitable on the triple bottom line. Companies with proactive environmental strategies have a 4% higher return on investment, 9% higher sales growth and 17% higher operating growth than companies with poor environmental track records.
“It is the strong belief of the Verde Hotels team and myself,” says Samantha, “that the hotel industry has changed, and that we simply cannot build or operate hotels in the same way we have done for the past twenty years. Verde Hotels is the future of hospitality.”
Projects taken on by Verde Hotels will be operated and managed by Verde Hotels through the thrivable hospitality model. Both New Constructions and Retrofits will take on the Verde name either as a fully branded Hotel Verde or as an independent run by the Verde Hotels group.
Building green from the below the ground up is the smartest & most effective way to ensure that every aspect of your building design, construction & operation will be as sustainable as possible. Some of the many aspects considered, by Verde Hotels in a new construction include: energy efficiency, water efficiency, mechanical systems performance, ongoing indoor environmental quality, alternative transportation programs, green purchasing practices, waste avoidance, re-use and recycling programs, management of toxic substances, whole-building cleaning and maintenance.
RETROFITTING AN EXISTING BUILDING:
Existing buildings represent a large portion of the broader property market. The existing building model allows hotel owners and property managers to address their commitment to sustainability and consider the vast improvements in design, cost and operation that can be achieved. Re-use is a prominent sustainability strategy as it avoids possible demolition and use of virgin material as well as production and transportation impacts associated with new constructions. When greening an existing building, many of the same principles and innovations used in a new construction will apply.
Their business model relies on the thrivability which encompasses people, profit and the planet. Verde Hotels uses advanced, environmentally conscious construction and operational practices. With expertise on the LEED rating system and the implementation of a hotel carbon management programme, Verde Hotels can assure the implementation of a thrivable business model.
According to Jean Russell, who published Thrivability: Breaking Through to a World that Works in 2013, thrivability is not a simple language shift from the word sustainability. There’s a significant overlap between the two concepts: “the language of sustainability is about neutralizing. THRIVABILITY IS ABOUT SUCCEEDING”. Thrivability is at the leading edge of green hospitality, and offers innovative, pioneering and differentiated solutions.
A thrivable hotel will be one that will have: a lower energy consumption through the use of renewable energy generation and energy saving fixtures and technologies; will save water through rain water capture, grey water recycling and water saving fixtures and will protect natural resources through using renewable and alternate resources where possible and by initiating biodiversity projects. It will have enhanced environmental quality through better indoor air and thermal control system, ensuring healthier employees and guests and will have a lower carbon footprint through carbon offsetting programmes and the use of environmentally friendly construction principles. One benefit of being a thrivable hotel is the significantly higher marketing and PR exposure due to green technology and innovative product.
Another is that with the two first reasons for building and operating green hotels being ‘lower operating costs’ and ‘higher building value’, investors are able to give themselves a clean conscience as well as a financial opportunity with a high return on investment.
The Verde Hotels brand promise: “To develop financially and environmentally sustainable hospitality solutions that meet the LEED certification criteria, whilst incorporating the thrivable Verde lifestyle through design, project and operation management, training and ongoing environmental impact assessment.”
Hotel Verde wins Green Hotelier of 2015, Africa and the Middle East
Green Hotelier recently announced the winners of their worldwide 2015 Green Hotel Awards. With applications from hotels throughout Europe, Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific, and the Americas, picking four winners was an incredibly difficult task. Applicants ranged from small eco lodges surrounded by nature to large corporate hotels in city centres – but what brings all these hotels together is a genuine passion for sustainability.
Green Hotelier Editor Holly Tuppen said, “I would like to congratulate all applicants for their impressive commitment, and urge all hotels to continue their green journey and keep spreading best practice.”
HOTEL VERDE, CAPE TOWN was the stand out winner for their region. “Not only are they ONE OF THE GREENEST HOTELS IN AFRICA when it comes to operations, they also have an incredibly strong focus on the wellbeing of staff. Training and development sustains an active in-house sustainability drive and programmes like fulfilling ‘a wish’ for each staff member on the hotel’s first birthday ensure loyalty”.
The Ramada Hotel & Suites Ajman, UAE were awarded ‘Highly Commended’ for their enthusiasm for all things green from their ‘Zero Landfill System’ to the urban farm in their 430 square meter car park.
Other winners were:
Asia Pacific – highly commended: Soneva Fushi, The Maldives
Siobhan O’Neill, co-editor of Green Hotelier comments, “Seeing the innovative and inspiring ways hoteliers are reducing their impact on the environment whilst supporting their staff and the communities in which they’re based has been a really heart-warming experience and I’m happy that we’re able to recognise their hard work.”