Golf | 09 Nov 2018 | By Michael Vlismas

Keeping Sun City green

| Photo by Warren Little

As much as the Nedbank Golf Challenge has evolved over the years, Sun City has also been on a constant journey towards improved sustainability practices.

It’s a journey that began in 2004 and one which presented an enormous challenge, as the resort resembles more a small, self-sustaining town with its own waste water treatment works, on-site waste management company and landfill site, and a large electrical reticulation network. Added to this is the 6 500 staff members, 6 000 guests, and 900 staff and their families who live on site.

“After years of hard work to align the resort to sustainable best practices and legislation with the implementation of a comprehensive Environmental Management System, Sun City is now an ISO 14001:2015 certified company,” says Danie Boshoff, Sun City’s Safety, Health and Environmental Manager.

The main focus of the Sun City Sustainability Programme is to sensitise guests, staff and the broader community around Sun City about the importance of protecting the natural environment of the area. A total of 13 committees on site help to drive this process and each takes ownership of various initiatives for events such as Earth Hour to raise awareness around environmental issues.

A monthly Sustainability Award is given to the staff member who best reflects this commitment to the Sun City environmental vision.

Energy management is a key focus in the programme, and all electrical usage on the resort can now be easily audited, verified, analysed and controlled by a comprehensive monitoring system and which has resulted in a significant reduction in kWh usage and an overall lower utility bill.

The staff units have been fitted with solar geysers, with the old element geysers responsible for 22% of the total energy use in the staff village. Over 15 000 halogen down lighters were replaced with LED down lights throughout the resort.

When it comes to water, this is being strictly monitored under the slogan of “A drip stopped is a drop saved”.

Treated effluent water rather than fresh water is used for the lake systems on the resort, and treated effluent water is also used to irrigate the two golf courses of The Lost City Golf Course and the Gary Player Country Club course. This alone saves the resort 2.5 million litres of water a day.

Waste management is another key focus, especially during the week of the Nedbank Golf Challenge. Sun City managed to recycle 80.67% of all waste generated during the 2017 tournament.

“It’s been a tremendous challenge when looking at the dynamics of the resort’s infrastructure, facilities and activities. But then again, we try and simplify the message for our guests in the sense of pointing out that sustainability is really easy – just close taps, switch off lights, recycle and support your local community,” says Boshoff.