The City of Cape Town has made significant efforts to increase sustainability and energy efficiency across the municipality. The tourism industry is a major contributor to the local economy, but it also uses a substantial amount of energy. In a move to green the sector, the City recently sat down with local tourism operators to talk about ways to reduce energy consumption and go greener.
The meeting brought together around 70 industry players to discuss the City’s plans to help tourism businesses save energy and money. Councillor Beverley van Reenen noted that the sector’s collaboration is essential to the success of these goals. By working with operators to implement impactful changes, tourism’s considerable energy footprintcan be trimmed to benefit operators, the City, and the environment.
Some of the key strategies on the table include:
- Retrofitting lighting systems with energy-efficient bulbs like LEDs which last longer and reduce kilowatt-hour usage.
- Updating old appliances to more sustainable models with high efficiency ratings. This includes air conditioners, refrigeration units, and hot water systems.
- Educating staff and guests about simple energy-saving actions like turning off lights and appliances when not in use.
- Transitioning to renewable energy sources where possible, such as solar water heaters or photovoltaic panels.
These measures can significantly decrease energy usage and cut utility bills, putting more money back into tourism businesses. The environmental impact would also be notable, reducing carbon emissions and the industry’s greenhouse gas footprint. The City has various incentives and resources to support operators making these changes.
Stakeholders left the meeting with a sense of partnership and purpose. The tourism industry has the opportunity to emerge as leaders in conservation, and the City will be there to assist businesses taking a greener path. Working together, they can build a more sustainable future for tourism in Cape Town.