Sustainability Showcase: Newmark Hotels
In partnership with fanute hospitality solutions, we bring you the tenth in a series of articles that highlight sustainable practices in the hospitality industry. In this article, we discuss the Newmark Collection’s sustainability initiatives with Operations Director Mike Vroom, and take a closer look at one of their newer properties – The Onyx.
“At Newmark, we absolutely believe that sustainability is a key focus, globally as well as in South Africa,” says Newmark Group Operations Director Mike Vroom. “Over the past several decades, hoteliers have turned their focus to the importance of sustainability in the hospitality industry as it relates to hotel operations and development, including the environmental, economic and social impact. Both travelers and hotels have become aware of the fact that our activities have an impact on the environment whether we produce or utilise goods.”
Newmark is a South African-based hospitality management company, with a collection of hotels, reserves, residences and lodges dotted around prime locations, mostly in South Africa. Each property is distinctively different, from the historic Drostdy Hotel in Graaf-Reniet and relaxed private game reserves in Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Serengeti, to the vibrant Chuini Beach Lodge in Zanzibar.
“Each property in our diverse portfolio has different requirements based on their location, water, energy capacity, availability of supply and remoteness,” says Mike, when asked how each different property in the Newmark Collection will handle its different sustainability needs. “Each property team alongside their general manager will work to identify areas within their hotel or lodge that can be identified as a sustainability focus. We then work closely with them to ensure that these are implemented across the property, including longer term goals of identifying areas for development when upgrades take place. Each property then works hard to track their sustainability and is monitored on a constant basis. We also have the ability at most of our hotels to measure the water and energy consumption monthly which is very helpful in terms of tracking the usage.”
“We are focused on a number of initiatives across the different hotels, residences, reserves and lodges that we operate and manage. Cost management and efficiency strategies are constantly being redeveloped and enhanced by investing in better operational procedures and emerging environmental technologies. We also have a strong focus on employing a variety of strategies to reduce, reuse, and recycle waste,” says Mike. “Other key areas include sustainable procurement, working with green vendors, responsible farming, understanding the source of products and the methods behind how they are being manufactured, indoor environmental quality (focusing on air quality and chemical/cleaning products that are used) and staff training programs (which can facilitate improved performance and higher levels of employee satisfaction/retention). Some examples within the last 6 months include removing all plastic straws from the Newmark properties, moving to eco-friendly amenities across the hotel network and a very strong focus on water and energy conservation.”
With sustainability being a priority, how is this communicated to the staff throughout the Newmark collection? “First and foremost, it is about being a role model from the top down, including from Newmark and senior management at the hotels. We have built sustainability into our day-to-day operations through our morning meetings and briefings as well as into our procurement policy as an example. We have also appointed champions within the different properties to drive these initiatives across the board,” says Mike.
Newmark recently invested in two new properties in The Mother City – Stock Exchange, in the bustling suburb of Woodstock, and The Onyx, on Cape Town’s foreshore and which is pictured in this article. When asked how sustainability played a part in the development of The Onyx, which opened not long after Cape Town’s drought and the related water restrictions made headlines around the world, Mike says that “With
every property that we take on or that is built, there are always measures put in place in order to be more sustainable, and this was no different with The Onyx. Whether that be the heating or cooling systems installed to reuse the energy from the building, towel/linen reuse policies, effective implementation of LED lighting and recycling programs, these all play a very important part of the development.”
“The Onyx focused on water sustainability when it opened based on the circumstances around the drought last year,” he continues. “Guests rooms, laundries, kitchens, pools, and the spa continue to implement efficiencies that reduce water and, in many cases, chemicals that are used to treat water systems and clean facilities. Efforts include the linen and towel reuse programs that are now an industry standard, to the installation of low-flow faucets showerheads. It is also imperative that we are educating our guests on how to be greener, via simple things like waterwise cards.”
For more information on Newmark, click here.
More about fanute
fanute is a specialist hospitality solutions company. We believe that by being innovative in our thinking and adventurous in our actions, we can provide valuable services to the market, and in just a small way, help to save our ailing planet.
We are not afraid of being first or in being the only player in a space – because we love starting with a blank piece of paper and designing our own future.
We’re obsessed with sustainability, simply, because we are all stewards of our environment – and for us this includes our beautiful land, our people and culture and our very scarce natural resources.
We help because our linen rental business drives scale in the short-term lettings industry, which means no more washing linen with domestic machines or walk-in laundromats, which consume huge amounts of water and energy.
And our near-waterless industrial laundry systems deliver meaningful savings of those same scarce resources, offering the only real innovation in laundry in over 60 years.
For more information, visit the fanute website.