This project, funded by the TUI Care Foundation, aims to improve resource efficiency by reducing waste, as well as water and energy-use in hotels on the islands of Sal and Boa Vista.
Why? The dry, sunny climate that makes Cabo Verde so popular with tourists also makes it particularly sensitive to the pressures of tourism. The islands of Sal and Boa Vista have very little rainfall, a lack of recycling facilities and limited landfill capacity. Our research highlighted that hotels create 42% of the total volume of waste sent to landfill and that strong winds can cause waste to be blown across the island, littering the landscape and ocean. Tourists also use five times more water than locals and all water must be desalinated, which is an energy intensive process.
Our approach: We are working with a range of stakeholders and local authorities to drive change at a national level and ensure a greater understanding of the importance of managing natural resources more efficiently within the tourism sector.
To date, we have engaged 16 hotels on Sal and Boa Vista to participate in this project.
We have developed action plans and tool kits for these hotels informed by our research into the impacts of tourism.
We are supporting these businesses to monitor their water, energy and waste, and are providing training and ongoing support to help them make reductions and savings across their operations: kitchens, restaurants, gardens, laundry services, guest facilities and bedrooms.
We have run successful ‘greener hotels’ meetings involving hotels to share best practice.
Research has also 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.
In the long term, less pressure on natural resources in Sal will support the continued supply of fresh water and energy for local homes and businesses and enable nature to flourish.
Accommodation providers are likely to see a reduction in energy and water bills and more satisfied customers. For example, 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). Whilst various non-profit organisations on the island are trying to address waste on beaches through beach cleans; 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.