As part of its commitment to doing its best to inspire the property industry to design, build and operate better, greener buildings, the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) jointly with Sun International are proud to introduce the property sector in Africa’s first net zero waste rating.

The certification of Sun International’s Wild Coast Sun is another seal that marks their sustainability journey, which sends a clear message to the property sector about transformation through the advancement of green building. Manfred Braune, the GBCSA’s managing executive for sector development and transformation, says: “Sun International achieved their net zero waste (pilot) certification in January 2019 and is the first on the continent to receive this rating from the GBCSA.

“We are delighted that the growth and innovation coming out of the property sector through initiatives such as the Wild Coast Sun net zero waste certification prove to the rest of the world that we can indeed put sustainability and environmental issues at the heart of how we design, build and operate better, greener buildings and precincts. Congratulations to Sun International for demonstrating great environmental leadership.”

Sustainability approach

As part of their sustainability journey, Sun International has embarked on an aggressive zero-waste-to-landfill initiative to be achieved by the end of 2020 at all their South African units. The Wild Coast Sun is the first unit within the group to achieve this target. Jennifer van Niekerk of GCX, the accredited professional who conducted the net zero certification, explains: “The Wild Coast Sun’s waste management strategy includes the composting of organic waste onsite, the recycling of recyclables by means of approved recyclers, the donation and resale of reusable items, and the manufacturing of bricks from non-valuable, non-recyclable waste.”

Brick manufacturing and recycling are conducted offsite with the assistance of a waste contractor. However, extensive measures have been put in place to reduce, reuse, separate and treat 70% of the waste produced on site.

Follow in the footsteps of the Wild Coast Sun

“As a responsible company, we believe it is our obligation to continually strive to minimise our environmental footprint, and to do so in a responsible and proactive manner,” added the head of sustainability at Sun International, Jannette Horn. “Our zero-waste-to-landfill project is just one of many initiatives we are implementing.

“The triple benefit of reducing and converting waste into a useful resource is that we achieve our commitment to be environmentally responsible, support the local economy through job creation and minimise the impact on our bottom line. I call this a win-win situation.”

The demand for green buildings is growing rapidly, as property developers and property owners become more aware of their environmental footprint and the cost benefits of building green, and tenants become increasingly demanding in seeking out energy effective and more productive spaces.

More organisations should follow in the footsteps of the Wild Coast Sun to achieve sustainable outcomes.

Acknowledgement and thanks go to https://gbcsa.org.za for the information contained in this article.

Main Image: The certification of Sun International’s Wild Coast Sun is another seal that marks their sustainability journey, which sends a clear message to the property sector about transformation through the advancement of green building.