Wilderness Safaris cut down plastic use in Botswana

Gaborone, Botswana (PANA) - Pan-African ecotourism-company Wilderness Safaris’ conversation efforts in Botswana have won the prestigious National Energy Globe Award.

The development comes after the company pioneered innovation in waste water management and water conservation through the reduction of plastic water bottles – a project which was launched in the company’s Botswana region in 2012.

According to the company the initiative is yet to be rolled out to all other countries of operation, to mitigate any negative impacts that the operation of Wilderness Safaris may have on the environment.

“As we celebrate our 35th year of changing lives, we could not be more proud to have received this esteemed recognition from the Energy Globe Awards for our ongoing dedication to water conservation and initiatives that mitigate any negative impacts our operations may have on the environment.

"Since the start of the project, we have managed to bring down the total number of the plastic 500 ml water bottles used in our Botswana camps from 128,870 in 2012 to 42,966 in 2018,” said Segametsi Monnamorwa, Wilderness Safaris Botswana Environmental Manager on Friday.

In 2012, Wilderness Safaris Botswana identified plastic water bottle usage as a challenge that needed to be urgently addressed.

Monnamorwa said the company also embarked on the project due to the production and disposal of plastic bottles, as well as the associated logistics, carbon emissions and cost of distributing the water into and out of camps, which are located in remote wilderness areas.

“An initial five-year water conservation strategy was launched that year, with a key target to reduce the Group’s bottled water usage per guest bednight to a Group average of 0.8 litres by the end of the 2017 financial year,” said Monnamorwa.

“Not only were we delighted to hit our first target at the end of 2017, we have since achieved a total reduction of 76% across the Wilderness Group, with an average of 0.5 litres per bednight as of 2018.

“As the leaders in authentic and sustainable ecotourism we are constantly thinking of ways in which we can minimise impact produced by waste.”

In addition to our bottled water strategy, Wilderness Safaris have also renewed efforts on effective waste separation at all its camps, going to great lengths to ensure that recyclable materials, including plastic, are recycled and not placed in a landfill.

“We have also just launched an active campaign in Botswana to reduce the use of packaging and plastic wrap across all camps, sourcing locally-produced fresh produce wherever possible and setting up agreements with suppliers to recycle and reuse packaging material; and most recently banning the use of plastic straws,” said Monnamorwa said.

The Energy Globe Awards were founded in 1999 by Austrian energy pioneer Wolfgang Neumann and are today considered one of the world’s most prestigious environmental awards.

The programme is under the patronage of UN Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation (UNESCO) and is conducted in cooperation with UN Environment Programme (UNEP). This year, more than 2,000 entries were received from 182 countries, each of which was evaluated by high-profile experts from the Energy Globe evaluation committee.
-0- PANA DRW/MA 15June2018

15 juin 2018 08:54:04

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