Through various environmental, social, cultural and human resources initiatives, the hotel contributes to the Cape Town environment, and to the education and support of local communities.
- Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel was the first luxury hotel in South Africa to practice vermiculture. A custom designed “worm farm” was established at the hotel to manage the disposal of most of the hotel’s organic waste. A special breed of earthworm processes leftover organic waste and the end-product—‘vermicast’—is rich in nutrients and is used as fertiliser and soil conditioner for the property’s magnificent gardens. The worm farm was named ‘Best Single Resource Management System – Waste’ in the 2007 Imvelo Awards.
- The hotel set up two beehives to provide honey for our guests. In addition, the hotel supports initiatives to aid the survival of the threatened Cape Honeybee—an important pollinator of plants.
- Executive Chef Rudi Liebenberg sources his herbs from the neighbouring organic Oranjezicht City Farm.
- Organic vegetables are purchased from Abalimi Bezekhaya township community farmers. The hotel has also partnered with a small organic farm in Stellenbosch run by farmer Eric Swarts to grow vegetables for the hotel kitchens.
- The hotel gave financial support to the Cape Indigenous Wild Food Garden at the Ikhaya Garden, Isikholelo School, Khayelistsha.
- Cooking oil is sent to a recycling facility.
- The hotel uses the kobashi method to turn all wet waste into compost for potting seedling herbs grown for use in the kitchens.
- Through a partnership with national electricity company Eskom, the hotel has installed nearly 700 LED lights, resulting in average 25kWh saving per day.
- Heat pump technology has been installed in the Oasis wing which brings a further 15kWh saving.
- Most plastic, glass, paper, tin and cardboard used at the hotel is recycled.
- Low sulphur content diesel is used in the hotel’s generators.
- The hotel utilises environmentally friendly gardening practices by planting indigenous trees and shrubs, recycling lawn clippings and reducing the amount of chemicals used. Approximately 80 percent of all gardening products used is organic.
- Excess room amenities such as toiletries and bed linen are donated to charities and NGOs.
- Environmentally friendly cleaning products are used throughout the hotel.
- Nampak paper-recycling bins are used for recycling office paper.
- The hotel practises ‘sustainable merchandising’. Eighty percent of stock purchased for the hotel’s Signature Boutique supports small local crafters and traders as well as various community projects.
- The Librisa Spa offers eco-friendly spa product ranges. Africology is locally produced, chemical-free, uses recyclable packaging and is not tested on animals.
- Lead-free PVC double-glazing on windows helps to retain heat in winter and to moderate temperatures moderate in summer, so less electricity is consumed for air-conditioning.
Social and Cultural Initiatives
The hotel supports Uthando South Africa, a non-profit organisation and a unique Responsible Tourism Initiative.
Excess food is donated to Cape Town Multi Services Centre which redistributes surplus food to needy school children, the elderly and unemployed young people.
The hotel promotes local arts through our garden sculpture exhibition, artworks in our corridors and in guest rooms.
We support Abalimi Bezekhaya community farming initiatives.
Pencils in the guest rooms that have become too small for adult hands—but are just the right size for little hands—are given to Pencils for Africa, which distributes them to township schools.
Human Resource Initiatives
Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel has implemented its own successful policy to manage and reduce the impact and effects of HIV/AIDS in the workplace. The hotel aims to ensure that any staff member infected with HIV/AIDS is not discriminated against in terms of the company’s employment policies and practices, and that they are supported in such a way as to enable them to continue to work productively for as long as they are medically fit to do so.
The programme incorporates the following initiatives:
- Policy development.
- Management training.
- The distribution of information booklets and posters.
In-service Training Programme
Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel offers a challenging four-year practical in-service training programme to previously disadvantaged candidates wishing to pursue a career in the hotel industry. Each year the programme is offered to three Management and six Chef candidates who are given the opportunity to obtain a formal qualification in their respective fields and gain hands-on experience working in various departments of the hotel.