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Greener Hotels

Project Aims

This project aims to research and better understand the management of water, energy and waste disposal by hotels on Sal and Boa Vista, as well as self catering accommodation, bars and restaurants, with a view to making recommendations and improving practice to conserve natural resources.

One major goal is to reduce the environmental impact of waste that goes to landfill, generated through hotel operations, on the islands of Sal and Boa Vista in Cabo Verde.

Sal WasteMore specifically, we aim to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, support the public sector to develop a more sustainable waste management strategy, stimulate behaviour change amongst hotel staff and tourists in relation to waste generation and disposal, and support new local livelihoods opportunities through waste management initiatives.

Why? Hotels in Sal contribute 60% of the total waste volume on the island, amounting to approximately 30 tonnes of waste generation per day. Of the waste generated on Sal, 70% is paper, plastic and glass, and 25% is organic, yet all waste goes to landfill because there are no recycling facilities on the island. Strong winds can cause the waste to be blown across the island, littering the landscape and ocean.

Latest Activities

  • Research, analysis and recommendations on consumption of water and energy by Sal’s hotels, self catering accommodation, restaurants and bars
  • Research has been carried out to gain an understanding of the current hotel waste management system on the islands, as well as the current volumes and types of waste generated by accommodation on the islands. We are working to understand existing and potential future environmental impacts resulting from waste that goes to landfill
  • Preliminary recommendations have been made, using best practice case studies, for how water, energy and waste issues can be better addressed by both public and private sectors
  • Facilitating the development of strategies to raise the awareness of hotel customers of the importance of conserving energy and water, as well as reducing and recycling waste, with the aim of changing their behaviour


waterIt is hoped this project will mean there is less pressure on natural resources in Sal, and a greater understanding of the importance of conserving natural resources within the tourism sector. Businesses are also likely to see a reduction in energy and water bills.

It’s not uncommon for tourists returning from excursions to report on the amount of waste they’ve seen littering the landscape, and when asked about the best ideas for improving their beach experience, “better waste disposal facilities” ranked as one of the most commonly cited (Travel Foundation consumer research 2015).

Various non-profit organisations on the island are trying to address waste on beaches through beach cleans; two beach cleans in May 2016 saw over 400 kilos of rubbish collected. This project looks to address the heart of the waste issue on Sal and Boa Vista, with the hope of improving the environment for those who live on, and visit, the islands, as well as protecting the environment so that nature can flourish, for example, nesting turtles. This project will help to engage the whole accommodation sector on the islands, and help to drive change at a national level.