Sun International’s Green Dream

by Michael Vlismas on

GARY PLAYER CC

With an expected 55 000 people set to enter Sun City over the four days of this year’s Nedbank Golf Challenge, the environmental impact of the tournament and the resort is in the spotlight. But Sun International’s greater commitment to environmental sustainability is drawing praise from various sectors as one of the best models in the industry.

“Our sustainability journey began in 2011,” says Amanda Clifton-Smith, Group Environmental Manager Sun International.

“One of our biggest elements is resource management, where we look at waste, water, energy and natural resources. We are busy realigning our entire energy strategy with our business operations, including the installation of solar powered geysers, solar panels and even solar vehicles.”

“We recycle a lot of our water, and Sun City has its own landfill site. In terms of our natural environments, we have different projects we’re involved with regarding hornbills we look after at the Wild Coast Sun and the dune forest there. We also have owl projects to help control snakes in the area at some of our resorts.”

“Sun City itself has a very good green team. For this event we make sure the fridges brought in are environmentally friendly and that the waste is properly recycled. Last year 98% of waste during the tournament was recycled.”

Kevin James of GCX Africa, Sun International’s partner in its corporate sustainability programme, says it’s rare to find the leadership of an organization as committed to sustainability as Sun International is.

“The leadership of Sun International is very dynamic and innovative, and they are seeing this as an ethical issue and about doing the right thing. They are embracing solar energy, wind energy, biomass energy, and all of this creates sustainability and a security of supply.”

According to James, this commitment stretches beyond just a cost saving for the company.
“It’s about enhancing this brand to show people that this is a responsible brand that takes care of not only its bottom line but of all stakeholders that are impacted by the company.

“Corporate sustainability is a discipline for organisations to do things differently. It’s to make sure that we embrace the circular economy. It’s about putting a value on the environment and natural resources and society and making sure a company’s impact is beneficial for an entire community.

“Sun City has been doing a really great job in terms of energy efficiency and making sure they have the most efficient light bulbs, heat pumps and so on.” James says his organization is working on a complete sustainability vision for Sun International.

“We have a 2025 plan for Sun International in terms of reaching a point of zero waste, carbon neutrality and water neutrality. At Sun City alone we have opportunities for agriculture, aqua culture and ensuring greater self-sufficiency. It’s very exciting.”

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