Responsible banqueting in the winter season

A conference room at the Vineyard Hotel. A conference room at the Vineyard Hotel.

According to the Vineyard Hotel, Cape Town, it is long renowned as a leisure destination of choice for tourists, out-of-towners and locals alike, and also offers some of the finest and most eco-friendly conferencing facilities in the Cape Town area. Its setting in the peaceful suburb of Newlands, within 2.8ha of landscaped parkland, could also be part of its appeal for stressed executives looking to unwind after a long day of meetings.

According to Carl van Rooyen, the hotel’s Executive Chef, menus at the centre are put together using the freshest and sustainably sourced produce available, while free-range chicken and only SASSI-approved seafood are purchased and served. He adds, “We are proud of the fact that delegates can rest assured that their carbon footprint remains as low as possible, due to the efficient lighting and recycling choices we have made.”

All stationery, paper, pencils and whiteboard markers are selected with their recyclable content in mind; and natural sugar-free sweets are provided to delegates in a recycled cardboard box. Solar panels contribute towards the energy required and energy efficient LED and CFL lights illuminate the centre when needed, while the building’s design allows for the use of natural sunlight wherever possible.

Additionally, a tri-bin waste separation system means that as much as 92% of the waste generated during conferencing can be sent for recycling. The venue’s accolades include the Best Single Resource Management Programme for Waste Management at the 2012 Imvelo Awards, and just last month the milestone of 200 tons of recycled material was reached for the first 5 months of 2014, 12% more than the same period in 2013.

This two-storey conference facility, famed for its winter wine tastings, runs on clean energy from the Darling Wind Farm, through the purchase of Green Energy Certificates from the City of Cape Town. CEO Lex Petousis comments, “The Vineyard Hotel has made the essential shift to low-carbon and resource-efficient operations. I would encourage all those in the tourism niche, particularly those with active conference centres, to seek out similar ways to advance the green economy.”

The Vineyard Hotel has made a commitment to ‘living green’ and has implemented environmental and socially responsible practices into its running, to ensure that sustainable development principles apply throughout. In this way, delegates and their partners can declare that their event was powered by renewable energy.

This winter, executives and their spouses will be able to book for the Winter Conferencing Package, which includes dinner, bed & breakfast, and a full day in the conference centre. While executives enjoy the slick service and tailored menus on offer there throughout the day, their partners can enquire at reception about getting hands-on with one of the hotel’s voluntourism packages, in aid of Our Kids of the Cape; can take a walk to upmarket Cavendish Square for a touch of retail therapy; or enjoy a workout in one of the swimming pools (the indoor one is heated via solar power) or at the state-of-the-art Health & Fitness Centre, followed by a massage straight from heaven at the Angsana Spa.

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