Southern Sun Ridgeway hotel in Lusaka, Zambia has recently been certified as environmentally responsible and has met the requirements for Silver Classification of the Heritage Environmental Rating Programme (Green Globe member).
Environmental management in tourism has become the way of the future and the long-term benefits that it will achieve for business, our community and ultimately, our children will make our decisions on the environment all the more worthwhile. These are the sentiments of the Heritage Environmental Certification Programme, which has been developed to provide operators of all types of tourism-based businesses an effective environmental management system designed to reduce and limit the impact that their operations have on their environment.
The growing international awareness of environmental issues has posed an interesting challenge to hotels and restaurants around the world. A study conducted in the United Kingdom has shown that over 67% of all consumers were more likely to support businesses that practised sound, sustainable environmental policies. This trend has increased and expectations are that environmental issues and the benefits of sustainable utilisation will continue to occupy an important position in future business trends.
Southern Sun Ridgeway has undergone an in-depth evaluation through the Heritage Environmental Programme with the view of forming an environmental management system, with particular reference to standard issues such as waste collection and disposal, water purification, laundry and housekeeping areas, storerooms, plants and machinery areas. Key topics such as purchasing, storage, containers, disposal, and use of chemicals, paints, and gas are all points high on the agenda because of their impact on the environment when handled correctly or incorrectly.
It is the aim of Southern Sun Ridgeway to introduce and maintain systems and procedures that have been developed to achieve four aims:
- To reduce the effect that the operations of the business has on the environment and surrounding communities
- To increase awareness and sound management systems that will ensure the long-term sustainability of the business and its surrounding environment
- To reduce the operating costs and expenses of the operation and thereby improve profits through sound environmental practices
- To realise the full potential of sustainable tourism activities for future generations
Southern Sun Ridgeway is the first hotel in Lusaka to recognise the immediate need to take care of the future in this way. The hotel echos the thoughts of their South African based counterpart by acknowledging that they have only started developing and implementing the many changes that will be necessary to achieve these objectives, but they strongly believe that their efforts to manage their business sustainably serves the interests of both current and future generations and constitutes the foundation for enduring success.