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There’s a surge in international travellers looking for sustainable hotels, conference centres, tour experiences and wedding options, tracking down accommodation that has the highest green credentials.

Business travellers are also increasingly mindful of the impact their travel has on our environment. With a strong sense of contributing to saving the planet, they are calling for conference organisers to up their game.

Conference organisers need to quickly locate facilities for green meetings.

Spier has implemented a number of initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint; from careful recycling and consistently making sure the area is waste-free, to water conservation technology and training staff in the ways of being eco-friendly.

Here are a few tips from its conferencing team when planning your conference…

Adding meaning to your conference booking

Spier has partnered with Pack for Purpose, an international project that impacts communities around the world by assisting travellers who want to bring meaningful contributions to each destinations.

Spier has selected three projects (an old age home, a community library and primary school) which guests can donate much-needed items to. Click here to find out more.

The venue’s environmental commitment

It’s important to select a venue that is committed to reducing its environmental footprint. Over the past decade, Spier has reduced municipal water usage by 50% and energy by 30%.

There are over 400 water-saving devices on showers, basins and toilets at Spier. Natural light and ventilation and energy-efficient lighting is used where possible. 100% of organic waste and wastewater as well as more than 98% of solid waste are recycled.

A rigorous monitoring and measurement system means that conference organisers can measure the footprint of each delegate.

Conference packs are great opportunities to communicate the sustainability story to delegates. One could include a solar lamp or indigenous plant as a gift (at Spier these can be obtained from the Tree-preneurs nursery which offers plants nurtured by its network of growers).

On the table, place pens and notebooks of 100% recycled paper for delegate’s use. As Spier leftover stationery can be donated to schoolchildren from surrounding communities.

Instead of plastic bottled water, the venue should offer filtered bottled water which is served in reusable glass bottles.

At break-time

During break-times, select snacks that are healthy both for the planet and body. Spier, for example, offers a variety of teas and organic rooibos as well as filter coffee from Avanti, a roastery that supports sustainable coffee farming and fair trade practices. In addition to healthy locally sourced nuts and dried fruit snacks, Spier also offers freshly baked biscuits from the Khayelitsha Cookie Company – a social upliftment project which hires previously unemployed women from that providing skills, training and permanent employment.

Cuisine choices

Ensure that your chosen venue offers sustainable, conference food that is made with seasonal locally sourced and ethically reared ingredients.

Spier offers guests dishes made with ingredients that are sourced from the farm, or nearby, trusted suppliers that share its sustainable ethos. Fresh produce is grown in Spier’s food gardens, without the use of pesticides and artificial fertilisers. Eggs are laid by hens that roam freely in Spier’s pastures.

To prevent overfishing, it’s important to only serve fish that are listed “green” by the South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI).

Inspiring excursions

Choose a venue which offers excursions that can inspire delegates to make a positive difference to the environment and its community.

Spier offers a number of activities that showcase its sustainability efforts – delegates can visit the environmentally friendly wastewater treatment plant, or take a tour of the Tree-preneurs nursery. They can also collect eggs from the free-roaming chickens and also learn about organic gardening in the food garden.

Issued by HWB Communications on behalf of Spier – for more information please contact: Nicole Chamberlin (Newsroom editor): +27 (0)79 192 0105 or nicole@hwb.co.za

ABOUT SPIER

One of South Africa’s oldest wine farms and a well-known Western Cape landmark, Spier outside Stellenbosch is passionate about the environment and supporting the local community. It regularly buys from and supports trusted local suppliers, and its philosophy is to make a difference every day in the lives of its guests, staff, the environment and community.

A sustainability pioneer over the past 15 years, Spier today recycles 100% of its wastewater and over 98% of its solid waste. It is a WWF Conservation Champion, and is recognised by Fair Trade in Tourism and the Wine Industry Ethical Trade Association. Its cellar carries FSSC 22000 certification and Fairtrade accreditation.

Three centuries since Spier’s start in 1692, the farm is still family-owned. The Enthoven family bought it in 1993, lives on the farm and works with the Spier team to bring positive change to the environment and community. Today Spier has a fresh, conscious energy, and is focused on art and good, ethical farming. It produces six ranges of award-winning wines and serves seasonal farm-to-table food at its four-star hotel and four restaurants.

Spier offers conference delegates wanting to do business in an inspiring environment, 12 different meeting venues with varying capacities and settings, as well as various picnic spots and open-air cocktail or dining spaces. Venues include the four-star, 153-room Spier Hotel with boardroom; 430-seater auditorium; historic Manor House and adjacent oak-shaded courtyard; and three river- and mountain-facing conference rooms which can be used separately or combined to seat 150 delegates.

 

 

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