Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront, one of South Africa’s most visited and recognised tourist destinations, is the first of its kind in Africa to be independently audited and certified for its environmental compliance, the Heritage Environmental Management Company reports.
The Waterfront, which attracts more than 23-million visitors a year, was awarded Heritage Silver classification after a recent benchmark audit.
“The waterfront has always been known as a world-class waterfront property and as Cape Town’s premier destination to live, work, eat, sleep and play. We take our reputation and green credentials seriously and are committed to ensuring that our environmental and sustainability measures and initiatives are at the forefront of all our business practices and that we deliver world-class standards and practices,” says V&A Waterfront executive manager of operations Colin Devenish.
Management at the V&A Waterfront aims to achieve Heritage’s Gold classification within the next year through increased awareness generation and the implementation of more sustainable practices across all its operations.
“We believe greening our operations is the right and responsible way to operate as one of South Africa’s leading tourist destinations and the city of Cape Town’s largest and most diverse property offerings. We also realise the efficiencies and cost savings that greening our operations provide,” Devenish says.
One of the areas focused on to achieve its aim is waste management. The precinct currently recycles around 40% of its waste, or 120 t a month, which translates into savings of over R876 000 a year. Further, the company has recycled more than 4 000 t of waste since it started recycling in October 2009.
In addition to the cost-saving benefits of greening its operations, caring for the environment also improves staff morale and attracts and retains blue-chip tenants.
Further, supporting this view is the redevelopment of the Clock Tower Precinct at the V&A Waterfront – and in particular the construction of No 1 Silo – which is guided by the strictest global requirements for environmentally sustainable construction, as governed by the Green Building Council of South Africa.
“We have adopted a comprehensive green construction and sustainable solutions imperative as a critical part of the overall V&A Waterfront development strategy,” says V&A Waterfront CEO David Green.
Upon completion, this new office building will adhere to the strictest global requirements for environmentally sustainable building. The building has been registered as a Green Star South Africa Office Design, and is aiming for at least a four-star Green Star South Africa rating. The Green Star rating was established by the Green Building Council of South Africa in 2008, in order to evaluate the potential environmental performance of buildings, based on criteria such as energy and water efficiency, quality of indoor environments and resource conservation.
“The V&A Waterfront is unique as there are no other mixed-use properties of its size owned by a single landlord which retain a working harbour. It is a tall ‘greening’ order to meet but the innovation and enthusiasm with which the team is tackling the project make me confident that they will make a success of it,” says Heritage MD Greg McManus.
“We are pleased to welcome the V&A Waterfront as a member of the Heritage Programme and look forward to working with it on developing the landmark precinct into a leading green destination,” McManus adds.