Greening Policy

Green Trees

Centrally located in Salt River, Cape Town, the development of this state-of-the-art coach depot was completed at the end of October 2013. “It took us three years to find the ideal location for our new home”, Geert van Doorn, CEO of Cullinan Transport Division, stated. “A major consideration was that the property should lend itself to easy access into Cape Town, the Cape Peninsula, as well as to Cape Town International Airport”.

Once procured, it took a year to develop the property into a world class facility that would not only fulfil the day-to- day needs of a major coach company, but one that would also set a new standard in the Southern African transport industry. “Our aim in developing this facility is to show our commitment to responsible tourism” said van Doorn. “As part of an industry with a large carbon footprint, we have done our utmost to correct this.”

Office Building

In consultation with a professional team a decision was taken to re-use and re-cycle most of the existing building fabric thereby extending its life cycle, while some additional square meterage was added. Solarshield reflective coated safety glass was specified throughout the building, reducing solar heat and blocking up to 99% of damaging UV radiation. By reducing the heat gain in the building, the load on the air conditioning system is drastically reduced, lowering power consumption.

The use of Rheinzink titanium zinc cladding on the exterior of the building reduces the heat transmission through the external walls of the building. The cladding skin is ventilated and shields the exterior walls from direct sunlight. Heat transmission is thus vastly reduced and is effectively removed by ventilation. The material has a life span of more than 100 years and will thus require only minimal maintenance and is also 100 % recyclable.

iKapa Offices

A decision was made to avoid standard DX Split AC Unit installation which would have had a lower capital cost and instead install a Heat Pump VRV (Variable Refrigeration Volume) Air Conditioning System. The system has a COP rating (Coefficient of Performance) of 3 to 3.5 which has an energy efficiency class rating between ‘A and B’ (AC units with capacities of up to 12kW are classified by energy consumption in categories from ‘A to G’ with the most energy efficient being ‘A’. This rating is part of a European climate change programme targeting energy efficiency as an effective method of reducing CO2 emissions.

After considering the options available for water heating, it was decided to install a heat pump unit which operates by absorbing heat from the ambient air and transforming this energy source to heat water. A heat pump unit is more efficient at heating either water or air than traditional electric systems. The heat pump has been positioned adjacent to the outdoor AC equipment to take advantage of the displaced heat from this equipment to heat water.

Lighting is by means of low energy fluorescent lamps rated at 28W, a reduction of nearly 50% of the standard 54W derivative T5 lamp type. All lighting is motion sensor controlled and where the occurrence of natural light prevails, daylight harvesting is employed. Artificial light is employed only to compensate for areas where the natural light is inadequate.

Workshops and Vehicle sheds

The 11,000 square meter depot houses a total of 95 vehicles in the combined fleets of Hylton Ross Tours, iKapa Coaches, Thompsons Africa and the Wilderness Touring brands. One of the biggest spray booths in Africa was installed to service the fleet cosmetically. The unit is fitted with HEPA air purifiers that include activated carbon filters to remove the widest array of airborne contaminants.

An environmentally friendly wash water re-cycling plant was also installed. Wash water for the fleet is generated from 3 sources :

  • Rain water is collected from the roof and piped into three 10 000 litre storage tanks.
  • Wash bay waste water is collected into a central sump before being pumped to the waste water treatment system. The returned water is directed through a “grit-pit”, then pumped through an oil/water separator (retrieved oil is stored separately for removal by an oil re-cycling company). The waste water is piped into the main bio-reactor, equipped with energy efficient aeration equipment. Purely by extended aeration, where no chemicals are added, the water is then safe for re-use in the wash operation.
  • 80% of the wash bay water is recovered and the Municipal supply is only used to augment the first two sources

Guide and driver facilities

Road safety is the main focus across all our brands and that does not mean just the maintenance of our fleet. We believe in training and nurturing our staff and have included modern rest rooms for our guides and drivers to relax in, including a bedroom, a fully equipped gym and modern shower facilities.

Into the future

"This investment by the Cullinan Transport Division is a commitment to the future of South Africa and to the growing touring industry. This modern facility will assist us in our aim to be the best in the industry" says van Doorn.

What Responsible Tourism is?

Responsible Tourism - Cape Town

South Africa is regarded internationally as a leader in the area of Responsible Tourism, a term coined 11 years ago in a document called the Cape Town Declaration, and government has taken the topic seriously with a dedicated division focused on advancing the uptake of responsible tourism.

What is responsible tourism?

Responsible Tourism is tourism ‘that creates better places for people to live in, and better places to visit’.

The 2002 Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism in Destinations defines Responsible Tourism as follows:

Responsible Tourism:

  • Minimises negative economic, environmental and social impacts• generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the well-being of host communities
  • Improves working conditions and access to the industry
  • Involves local people in decisions that affect their lives and life chances
  • Makes positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage embracing diversity
  • Provides more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues
  • Provides access for physically challenged people
  • Is culturally sensitive, encourages respect between tourists and hosts, and builds local pride and confidence

The distinguishing characteristic of the approach is the focus on the responsibility of role-players in the tourism sector, and destinations in general, to take action to achieve sustainable tourism development. Increasing numbers of consumers are looking at the reputation and responsibility of the companies they buy from; they want to have “guilt free” holidays. This affects their direct purchases from companies in tourism destinations and it influences the choices of source market companies too. UK and other European and Australian companies and increasingly American companies are asking about the responsibility of their suppliers and introducing check lists which rate the sustainability of their practices.

Responsible Travel Tips

Responsible Tourism - Cape Town

Whether you are planning a trip of a lifetime or a weekend vacation with the family, responsible travel can make a significant difference in the community and environment you visit.

Being a responsible traveller means more than just offsetting your carbon emissions, it requires thought and preparation. Responsible travel is based on the principles of sustainability and it requires you to examine the environmental, social and economic dimensions of your trip. Responsible travel is all about minimizing the impact of your travel and maximizing the benefits for local economies, environments and host communities.
ROW Adventures, in celebrating its 30 years of service, has created 30 ways you can be a more responsible traveller.

Before you go

  • Educate yourself about the destination you are visiting by reading guidebooks and travel articles: culture, religion, geography, politics, ecosystems and local customs.
  • Learn a few words. It shows a willingness an effort that locals will appreciate.
  • Consider your carbon footprint when using air travel as your flight will do more damage to the environment than any other aspect of your trip. See if your airline is working with organizations like: Carbon Clear, Climate Care, or Sustainable Travel International.
  • Minimize your flying times and stopovers. The worst carbon emissions are emitted during take-off and landing.
  • Your soap and shampoo may smell wonderful but are they biodegradable?
  • Travel lightly and leave any excess packaging at home (like plastic wrapping) - garbage disposal accumulating problem in many countries including the United States.
  • Think carefully about what’s appropriate in terms of your clothes you pack. You’ll earn respect and be more readily welcomed by local people.
  • See your tour operator's policy for responsible travel. Make sure it also explains how they support the local economy.

While you are there

  • Buy local food in preference to imported goods.
  • Be sure your tour operator has local guides. If you are looking for an extension to your tour or trip, hire local guides. They will give more intimate information on customs, history, and culture and they will earn an income.
  • Before purchasing goods, ask about their origin. Avoid buying products made from endangered species.
  • Hydrate yourself but use water sparingly when taking showers, etc. Water is a precious commodity throughout the world.
  • Use public transport. It is a great way to meet locals and reduce emissions.
  • Respect sacred and holy places. Ask before entering or taking pictures.
  • Do not dispose your batteries. Try and use electronics with solar energy. If it is not an option, use rechargeable batteries and charge extra sets before the trip.
  • When in or under water please follow these tip
  • Look, don't touch. This goes for animals and plants.
  • Avoid feeding animals. This could disturb the natural eating process and can make some animals aggressive.
  • Know where you are entering the water...coral may be right under you. It could hurt you and damage the coral.
  • Ask your boat captain what type of anchoring they use and if they are sure the reefs will not be damaged.
  • "When in Rome, do as the Romans"... engage in the local culture. Support local activities and festivals.
  • Shop at local markets for your souvenirs.
  • Refrain from "hard bargaining". We all want that great deal but will than extra dollar hurt you or help the local vendor more?
  • When walking or hiking, stay on the trails. This will help preserve the natural beauty of the land.
  • Just because its sitting there, does not make it a free souvenir. Avoid taking archaeological or biological "treasures" from where you first saw it.
  • Smile! You're on camera. Please ask locals before taking pictures of them or their property.
  • Be friendly and open minded. Many customs and traditions that might seem weird to you are entirely normal to locals. Enjoy and embrace your differences.

When you get home

  • Make true on your promises. If you met a new friend and said you would keep in contact, do it. If you said you would send pictures, do it. These experiences mean the world to many people.
  • Support a program that supports the culture, environment and people of the place you were lucky to visit.
  • Write to your tour operator and tell them how they did. Give them feedback and let them know where they could be better.
  • Actively participate in tourism blogs and remind people to be responsible and ask for new tips on how to be responsible.
Start planning your next vacation and get better every time!