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Sun International’s award winning The Boardwalk is paying more than just lip service to its commitment to environmental sustainability. Since 2016, the complex – comprising The Boardwalk International Convention Centre, five star Boardwalk hotel, casino and retail area – has stepped up its efforts to improve the water and energy efficiency of its operations. Through several interventions and behavioural change, The Boardwalk is saving over R1-million annually on water and energy costs, and is on track to achieving its “green goals’.

“The Boardwalk takes to heart its obligation to reduce the impact of its operations on the environment and to use resources such as water and electricity efficiently. We are very proud of the achievements we have made in this regard in recent years. It is also pleasing to see the willingness of our employees to support our endeavours to go adopt ‘greener’ working practices,” says General Manager, Mike van Vuuren.

According to van Vuuren, The Boardwalk started its ‘green journey’ about five years ago, but efforts were stepped up in 2016. Over the years, several technological interventions have been completed to save both water and electricity.

To curb electricity consumption, The Boardwalk has replaced all conventional lighting equipment in the hotel and casino with energy efficient alternatives such as LEDs and CFLs; fitted variable speed drives on all motors and pumps to maximize their efficiencies and control their electricity usage, and has modified its two chillers for air conditioning so that only one is used during cooler winter days. The hotel is now using heat exchange methods for cooling purposes and for heating the indoor pool.

To conserve water, The Boardwalk has installed flow restrictors on taps throughout the complex and water efficient showerheads in the hotel’s bathrooms. These conserve both energy and water by restricting the flow of water without compromising the guests’ experience. Rain water is also being collected from the roof and stored in tanks. This water is used for topping up the cooling tower supply instead of using clean, potable water. All irrigation in the gardens is done with recycled water and does not rely on the municipal supply.

“Our next big project will be to collect water from our basement seepage, and through reverse osmosis, process and clean it to a specified quality. This will then be used to supply the hotel with water, ensuring almost complete self sufficiency. The waste water from this process will be used for irrigation at a later stage, depending further testing and quality.

Recognising that its employees have a fundamental role to play in ensuring the success its resource efficiency initiatives, The Boardwalk encourages its employees to embrace electricity and water saving behaviours in their everyday work. Wherever possible, The Boardwalk uses environmentally-friendly materials and chemicals, and it has adopted strict measures for the disposal of hazardous materials.

“These are just some of the measures we have put into place to help improve our environmental standpoint. We believe that there is still a lot more that we can do and we are committed to continuous improvement,” concludes van Vuuren.

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