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Singita - placing One Planet Living at the heart of luxury tourism

  • Published on February 1, 2019
After success at Singita Serengeti, Singita committed to One Planet Living at all of its lodges in Southern Africa in 2016. These wildlife reserves combine conservation and community outreach with the highest level of environmentally conscious hospitality. For over 20 years Singita has been protecting large wilderness areas in Africa for future generations and now has a million acres under conservation management, with 12 lodges and camps situated across South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
In committing to its One Planet Action Plan in 2016 Singita is aiming to create a benchmark for sustainable tourism for the 21st century – demonstrating how conservation, local economic development and high-quality tourism can reinforce each other. Singita have identified outcomes against each of the ten One Planet Principles: Health and happiness - Improvement in staff health and engagement - Improve local education and teaching levels Equity and local economy - Maximise local recruitment - Support development of local businesses Culture and community - 25% of guests to participate in a community activity - Promote a culture of sustainability - Maximise contribution to Singita Trust Funds Land and nature - Maximise area under management - Maximise anti-poaching and conservation efforts - Encourage environmental care within local communities Sustainable water - Reduce losses through leaks to 5% - Reduce extraction of water from boreholes Local and sustainable food - Increase local expenditure - All fish to be sustainable harvested - Improvement in staff diet Travel and transport - 20% reduction in fuel - Reduction in business flights Materials and products - Only sustainable cleaning products - Prioritising sustainable construction and fit-out materials Zero waste - 90% reduction in plastic waste - more than 90% recycling rate Zero carbon energy - 30% reduction in energy use - 100% renewable energy Singita have developed a detailed One Planet Action Plan identifying how these outcomes can be delivered. Headline strategies include: Health and happiness: - Annual survey of staff welfare and act upon the results - Support ongoing education programmes with the local communities Equity and local economy: - Training and enterprise development with local community - Build the capacity of local entrepreneurs to be able to supply Singita Culture and community: - Promotion and improvement of community visits - Staff training and engagement - Singita contributions and guest engagement Land and nature: - Develop new projects in other regions in need oc conservation - Develop direct projects and partner cooperation - Environmental training for children and teachers Sustainable water - Install meters and monitor - Installation of rain water harvesting and water efficient equipment Local and sustainable food - Local capacity building with producers - Suppliers to ensure all seafood from sustainable sources - Staff engagement over healthy eating Travel and transport - Review of logistics and promoting alternative to the game drive - Monitor and review flights Materials and products - Supplier review and engagement - Engagement with design and construction teams Zero waste - Elimination of plastic bottled water - Onsite sorting and monitoring and engagement with contractor Zero Carbon: - Energy efficient upgrade of all buildings - Onsite solar power in non-grid connected locations, and purchase of renewable electricity Headline achievments in 2017 include: Health and happiness: • 15 One Planet events held • Significant upgrades to staff accommodation at all sites Equity and local economy: • Grow to Read programme ongoing – reached 20 schools and 141 teachers • Local employment remained above 75% • R8.8mi spend in the local economy at SSS and SKNP Culture and community: • All staff received a basic One Planet Living induction • ‘Train the trainer’ sessions run with Heads of departments. OP Staff engagement programme established • Donations (Lodge & Guests) average approximately 6 bednights a month Land and nature: • Additional 10,000 Ha brought under management in 2017 • 19% of total Lodge operating spend is on conservation efforts • 175 teachers completed enviro awareness module in SA, and 440 children received enviro education in Zimbabwe region. Sustainable water • Meters being installed • 10% reduction at one lodge Local and sustainable food • Local food sourced where possible • Ongoing engagement with suppliers • Meat free Mondays; increased vegetable options Travel and transport • Flights logged and offset options to be reviewed Materials and products • Supplier review and engagement in all location • Major refurbishment reutilised sanitary-wear and timber. Zero waste • 95% less plastic bottled water waste • 13.6 tonnes recycled at SKNP/SSS Zero Carbon: • 3% reduction in primary energy use • 17% reduction in carbon emissions with 20% of electricity being supplied by PV

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