In the world of luxury travel, creating memorable experiences is, in many ways, the easy part.

But doing them with sustainability in mind, and a keen eye on environmental impact? Well, that takes a little more effort.

Ellerman House has long put sustainability at the heart of the business, constantly searching for ways to lighten the boutique hotel’s environmental footprint while heightening the guest experience.

In some respects it makes the business more efficient and, increasingly, it is being demanded by guests conscious of their impact on the planet. But, perhaps most importantly, it is simply the right thing to do, as our planet faces unprecedented environmental challenges. And while Ellerman House may be a boutique property, small changes can have a long-lasting impact.

Across the operations of Ellerman House – from housekeeping to grounds to the kitchens – staff are empowered to look for islands of innovation, seek out solutions, and become daily agents of positive change.

It’s why Ellerman House has appointed two Sustainability Champions – hotel administrator Malieka Matthee and duty manager Marilie Prinsloo – whose role is to coordinate and implement more sustainable protocols into daily operations. And as the world gears up for International Women’s Day on March 8th, we’re thrilled to have these two ambitious women leading the charge for sustainability at Ellerman House.

People at ellerman resting by stairs

Their work is wide-ranging and can include anything from promoting energy-efficient alternatives to encouraging waste reduction across the property.

“We are working especially hard to minimise the use of single-use plastic, through initiatives like providing biodegradable bin liners or paper bags, and introducing biodegradable clingwrap in the kitchens,” says Matthee. “There’s also a lot of education that needs to happen, educating staff about sustainability practices, and encouraging guests to participate in our efforts around seasonality, and sourcing fish through the South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative.

Walking along the beach

Meal Prep in kitchen

And she may well be the one to switch off the lights on Saturday, March 23rd.

At precisely 20h30 (South African time) Ellerman House guests will join millions of others around the world for Earth Hour: by switching off all unnecessary lights for 60 minutes Earth Hour is a rare opportunity to declare global solidarity in the fight against climate change.

Ellerman House recently brought new technology to that fight, with the introduction of the Weeva platform. Weeva is an award-winning sustainability management platform that allows tourism businesses to track, measure and report on their sustainability interventions, guiding best practice across the business, and highlighting where incremental improvements can be made.

Weeva platform

“Because the platform relies on the constant input of data around our ongoing sustainability interventions, using Weeva has really helped to focus our minds on how we can enhance sustainability in all areas of the operation of Ellerman House,” says Carol Kohne, CEO of Ellerman House. “In the short time we’ve been using the platform it has already been invaluable in providing the hard data we need to highlight where we are succeeding, and where we can still work harder.”

South Africa is one of the world’s driest countries, and with World Water Day marked on March 22nd, water conservation is a key element of the sustainability improvements and tracking at Ellerman House.

“Implementing water-saving measures such as installing low-flow faucets is a simple step for properties like ours to make, but it can have a huge impact over the long term,” says Matthee. “By working as a team, and harnessing the power of Weeva, we are confident that we can optimise our sustainability efforts and make real strides towards our environmental and social responsibility goals.”

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