Sun International is home to some of the most iconic resorts and hotels and we are committed to protecting these pristine environments and minimising our environmental footprint by managing our natural resources responsibly. Our environmental strategy is integral to Sun International’s business strategy.


6% decrease in electricity consumption group-wide
Maintained our B CDP climate rating and improved to a B CDP water rating
Water withdrawals increased and the local units did not achieve water reduction targets
Approved the first environment minimum requirements initiatives for all local units including:
  • water and electrical metering
  • zero-waste-to-water (ZWTL)
Transitioned almost half our local units to new service providers in alignment with our ZWTL programme
Preparing for our first carbon tax submission for the period July to December 2019 for local operations


Managing the introduction of the proposed carbon tax effective 1 June 2019

Assessed the group’s carbon tax liability and anticipate limited exposure for the local units as not all units exceed the mandated threshold

Implementing the local units’ water and electricity project

Developed minimum unit-specific requirements for this project for local units. Phase 1 to be implemented in 2020, with remaining phases prioritised over three years

Designing and implementing a pilot renewable energy project

Developing an alternative energy strategic approach for local units

Improving environmental data accuracy in our Latam and African units

Data management remains a concern in our Latam and African units, with limited reporting control and oversight

Achieving ZWTL at additional units in 2019

No additional local units achieved ZWTL, however recycled waste volumes improved by 14% with certain units close to achieving their ZWTL target


Sun International remains committed to reducing its environmental footprint across all units. Our environmental reporting is aligned to the GRI disclosures and we comply with the CDP requirements for water and climate reporting. We also implement the WWF-SASSI requirements and, where possible, align our environmental initiatives to address specific Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), namely SDG 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation and SDG 12 – Responsible consumption and production.

The tables below represent are our South African environmental performance for 2019.

South Africa December
Water usage (withdrawals) kl 4 510 042 4 515 725
Waste generated kgs 7 495 585 6 863 382
Energy consumption kWh 231 434 377 249 911 965
Carbon emissions (Scope 1 and 2) tonnes CO2e 267 952 253 875


Because water is a critical resource and key focus area, we are committed to using it responsibly while ensuring we have a secure supply to all our units. We continue to investigate additional sustainable water sources for each unit based on what is feasible from a cost, time and efficiency perspective.

Impact of water scarcity

Water scarcity remains a national concern across South Africa, although some units are particularly vulnerable. We continue to monitor this, implementing initiatives to keep delivering memorable guest experiences where feasible.

GrandWest continues to manage water scarcity through their water purification plant that treats borehole water to potable standards. Boardwalk finalised preliminary investigation into installing a reverse osmosis solution to supplement supply to the hotel and casino. This will result in a significant reduction in municipal water usage, relieving local municipality pressure to supply water to other stakeholders in the Eastern Cape.

Carnival City’s local municipality has one of the highest water tariffs in South Africa. In 2019, the unit commenced investigations into alternative water supply projects such as rain harvesting and the use of grey water.

Various other initiatives were implemented across the group to save water, reduce costs and improve our overall water footprint.

Water key performance indicators
Water – South Africa 2019 % change 2018  
Total water usage (withdrawals) 4 510 04 (0.13) 4 515 725  
Recycled water 380 169 (45) 686 514  
% water recycled 8 (45) 15  
Cost of water usage (withdrawals) 79 860 323 18% 67 854 054  
Water usage (withdrawals)
South Africa
withdrawal-south-africa-01-014 510 04220194 515 7252018
withdrawal-africa-01-01355 5812019357 8422018
withdrawal-latam-01-01-01-01445 2642019470 9912018
1 The targets set for local units are based on a scientific target-aligned methodology over a three-year period (2018 to 2020), and specifically annualised for each unit.
Municipal water supply is the largest source (92%) of overall water withdrawals (water usage) for our South African operations. Our 2020 target1 for South African operations is a 11% reduction in overall water withdrawals.

While we noted a reduction in water use, we did not achieve our 2019 water reduction target of 4 259 042kl. There are several reasons for this:

CARNIVAL CITY identified abnormally high-water usage in its air conditioning and experienced several water leaks due to damaged water pipes, aging infrastructure and fluctuating water volumes. A water pressure control valve was installed to regulate the water pressure

CAROUSEL reported an overall reduction in potable water withdrawals with the unit downsizing, but in turn more potable water was required to operate the sewage treatment works

GRANDWEST experienced operational issues at their water treatment plant that required significant maintenance work. This meant that the plant did not optimally recovery purified water from the volumes of water withdrawn from the boreholes

HEAD OFFICE withdrawals increased due an extra 100 employees who work additional shifts during weekdays and over weekends

SUN CITY used an additional 60 – 70 megalitres (30% increase) to replenish one of the lakes with potable water due to aging infrastructure

With the lifting of the water restrictions in Cape Town, TABLE BAY HOTEL reported an increase in water withdrawals. This increase was mainly due to the removal of water saving initiatives specifically implemented to address the water restrictions. Furthermore, the unit conducted general maintenance on a water tank end of 2018, which overlapped into the beginning of 2019 with the filling up of the tank taking place in 2019

We remain committed to reducing our water withdrawal and are pleased with the eight units that achieved their water reduction targets. Interventions from some of units include the following:

  • Maslow Time Square installed low flow aerators in the water taps, transitioned to grey water for irrigation and corrected the timings for watering gardens
  • Flamingo installed new energy efficient chillers and ensured the timeous repairs of any water leaks at the unit
  • Windmill received good rainfall in 2019, which reduced the irrigation from boreholes. Footfall also decreased when compared to the prior year
  • Sibaya reduced water pressure thereby reducing water flow and minimising wastage. With the ongoing revamp of the lodge in the second half of 2019, 10 rooms were removed from inventory every 20 working days (49 rooms) which meant reduced occupancy at the lodge.

Sun City, Wild Coast Sun and Carousel are the only units that monitor the use of recycled water. Recycled water use volumes decreased by 48% at these units, mainly due to pipe and pump infrastructure and maintenance issues.

The cost of water at local units increased by 18% to R79.8 million (2018: 67.8 million). Head office and Wild Coast Sun experienced increases due to additional headcount and reporting purification plant operating and maintenance costs respectively. GrandWest and Windmill reduced costs by 26% and 34% respectively, mainly due to the purification plant at GrandWest and higher rainfall experienced at Windmill in 2019.

For Latam, water data was reported for eight operations across Chile and Argentina. During the year-on-year comparison there was a 5% reduction in overall water withdrawals. Five operations showed reductions due to a decrease in the number of leaks and the Valdiva casino was closed as a result of external disturbances.

For Africa, there was a decrease at the operation in Nigeria due to conservation measures to improve water efficiency implemented in 2019. At Royal Swazi there was an increase due to maintenance work as well as water supply to the Ezulwini Sun Hotel opening in 2019.

CDP water security scoring

Sun International participates in the CDP’s annual water disclosure programme. In 2019 we maintained a B rating, which is on par with the hospitality industry ratings globally. We anticipate maintaining this rating in 2020.







To reduce our overall water consumption, and increase unit-level efficiencies and cost savings, the group is committed to implementing electronic water meters amongst others. During 2019 certain units implemented water meters, which translated into improved data reporting and verification of utility billings. The remaining units are expected to implement water meters from 2020 to 2022.

Going forward, the group will continue to create awareness around water-saving initiatives through our monthly environmental awareness programme, planned sustainability culture programme, e-learning initiatives and training programmes. In addition, a group engineer will be appointed in 2020 to implement a group maintenance strategy to address the aging infrastructural issues and improve operational efficiencies across the local units.


Sun International remains committed to ZWTL for all local units. This is part of our commitment to minimising our waste footprint, improving efficiencies and saving costs. Although our progress here is slower than expected at our local units, we remain committed to achieving our target. By reducing our waste-to-landfill, we reduce our carbon footprint, create job opportunities, improve our reputation and positively impact our bottom line.

Wild Coast Sun received the first ZWTL rating in South Africa from the Green Buildings Council of South Africa. This was achieved by appointing two local enterprise development companies and a recycling company to manage the onsite waste, which created 13 jobs. It also resulted in by-products (compost and building bricks) being produced, which were sold as additional income to the enterprise and supplier development partners.

The focus across the group is to improve the reporting of waste data, minimise the generation of waste, and increase waste separation at source that in turn results in more effective waste recycling and cost reductions.

Waste – South Africa 2019 (kgs) % 2018 (kgs) %
Total volume of general waste to licenced landfill 3 201 326 43 3 364 544 49
Total volume of general waste diverted from landfill for beneficiation 93 253 1 20 405 0.30
Total volume of general waste recycled 3 662 523 49 3 221 485 47
Total volume of hazardous waste to licenced landfill 23 267 0.31 29 256 0.43
Total volume of hazardous waste recycled 515 215 7 227 692 3.32
TOTAL WASTE FOR SOUTH AFRICA 7 495 585 100 6 863 382 100

During 2019, the total waste measured throughout our local units was 7 495 tonnes (2018: 6 863 tonnes), a 9% increase. The increase in the total volume of waste can be attributed to improved data reporting, a waste reduction at certain units (Carnival City, Carousel, Flamingo, GrandWest and Maslow) and recycling rates above 70% at seven units.

Annual waste reduction targets at each unit ensure ongoing progress towards achieving ZWTL. Monthly reporting and tracking of waste reduction and recycling initiatives allow us to analyse trends and monitor year-on-year cost savings at the local units.

In 2019, GrandWest, Table Bay, Carnival City, Maslow Hotel, Central Office, Sibaya and Boardwalk completed the transition to new waste service providers that are aligned with the ZWTL programme. In 2020, there will be external waste audits at GrandWest, Boardwalk and Time Square and internal audits at the remaining local units to ascertain progress in achieving the ZWTL goal.

In 2019, Sun City obtained environmental approval for a waste pyrolysis plant to assist the unit achieve ZWTL. The project implementation is expected in 2021. The unit will apply to postpone the closure of the properties’ landfill site to 2021, and in the interim will continue existing waste management and recycling practices.

In 2020, GrandWest will investigate an onsite solution to transform non-recyclable waste that would have ordinarily been sent to landfill into a viable reusable product. This should assist the unit in achieving ZWTL.


Our energy management initiatives focus mainly on improving energy efficiency, energy optimisation and energy conservation. We aim to achieve this by continuing to implement different unit specific energy-saving initiatives, investing in renewable energy projects at relevant units and focusing on behavioural changes related to electricity consumption by our employees, concessionaires and customers.

Through the eco-intelligence dashboard, we can track energy consumption and energy usage against our reduction targets, analysis trends and anomalies. Slower than expected progress has been made with linking our dashboard to real-time electronic electricity meters.

Local units that implemented electronic meters in 2019 were able to identify anomalies and implement corrective actions. The remaining units are expected to implement Phase 1 of the project in 2020 with Phase 2 and 3 expected to be rolled out between 2021 and 2022. Through the electronic electricity meters, the group aims to improve reporting and monitor high consumptive use to identify efficient energy solutions.

Energy data
2019 2018
Electricity purchased kWh Rand %
kWh Rand
South Africa 231 403 213 260 583 005 (7) 249 911 965 259 259 341
Latam 60 365 859 131 544 659 1 59 538 684 121 712 922
Africa (Nigeria and Swaziland) 12 039 744 22 345 481 (14) 13 918 839 22 886 892
TOTAL 303 808 816 414 473 145 (6) 323 396 488 403 859 156
2019 2018
Direct: Fuel use for generator litres Rand %
litres Rand
South Africa 576 543 8 203 360 289 148 041 11 505 484
Latam 131 482 506 954 4 126 568 1 149 841
Africa (Nigeria and Swaziland) 1 905 201 18 790 563 3 1 848 559 16 475 197
TOTAL 2 613 226 27 500 877 23 2 123 168 29 130 522
2019 2018
Direct: Liquified petroleum gas (LPG) kgs Rand %
kgs Rand
South Africa 700 819 13 653 454 7 652 230 12 574 937
Latam 1 325 687 10 588 434 54 863 315 10 123 836
Africa (Nigeria and Swaziland) 33 618 662 098 (18) 40 897 873 364
TOTAL 2 060 124 24 903 986 32 1 556 442 23 572 137

The total amount of electricity (Scope 2) purchased by our local units was 231 403 213 kWh (2018: 249 911 965kWh), reflecting a 7% decrease. 10 of the 16 local units reduced their consumption, with the highest reduction (9% or seven million kWh) achieved by Sun City. This was achieved primarily by switching off the resort’s pool heating system. Other ongoing interventions include replacing old equipment with more efficient alternatives, conducting onsite energy audits and continually engaging with employees and guests to improve energy awareness.

Ongoing load shedding continued to impact our operations. This contributed to the decrease in our kWh energy consumption but resulted in increased diesel costs for generators. As a result of our improved fuel data reporting, we were able to determine the cost impact loading shedding had on the local units in 2019 (over R8 million).

Units continued to improve reporting on LPG gas, specifically Flamingo, Sibaya, Time Square and Windmill. The data reflects a 4% increase in consumption in 2019 (675 723kgs) when compared to 2018 (652 230kgs).

Energy data for Latam was reported for nine units across Chile, Argentina and Panama. The year-on-year comparison indicates that five units reduced in electricity consumption, while five units reflected an increase in diesel usage for generators. For LPG, the general trend was an increase in usage for eight units.

Our two African operations showed a decrease in electricity consumption due to less energy supply from the national supplier in Nigeria and in Swaziland due to energy efficiency measures. LPG is only reported for Royal Swazi and the decrease in 2019 was due to equipment maintenance. Nigeria accounts for 99% of the diesel usage for generators and experienced a 3% increase in 2019, due to more frequent use of generators (linked to less energy supply from the national supplier). Royal Swazi also experienced more frequent power outages, which increased diesel usage.

CDP climate change scoring

Sun International participates in the annual CDP as part of our commitment to measuring and reducing our carbon footprint. In 2019 we maintained our B rating, which we strive to improve continually. Going forward, we will be investigating alternative energy supply for our local units.







Together with our energy management focus, Sun International is committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and our impact on the environment. Science-based intensity targets for our Scope 1 and 2 emissions encourages all units towards low-carbon energy sources. Going forward, Sun International is committed to addressing the impact of our Scope 3 emissions.

South Africa carbon emissions data
Scope Source Total 201911 (Tonnes CO2e) Total 2018 (Tonnes CO2e) % year-on year change
Company-owned vehicles 2 603 2 473 5
Stationary fuels 3 622 2 314 57
Refrigerant Gas (Kyoto gases) 21 109 11 672 81
Subtotal Scope 1 27 334 16 459 66
Electricity consumption 240 692 237 416 1
Subtotal Scope 1 and 2 268 026 253 875 6
Fugitive emissions (non-Kyoto gases) 2 543 3 326 (24)
Total emissions (including other direct) 270 570 257 201 5
  1. Science-based intensity targets have been set for the South African units. The target is calculated by taking our total Scope 1 and 2 emissions and dividing them by the unit total person hours worked.

Total Scope 1 emissions increased by 66% (2019: 27 334 tonnes; 2018: 16 459 tonnes), largely due to improved reporting of refrigeration gases (81% increase) and increased generator diesel consumption (57%). Total emissions for Scope 2 in 2019 was 240 692 tonnes CO2e (2018: 237 416 tonnes CO2e), a 1% increase that can be linked to the 9% increase in the Eskom grid emission factor (2019: 1.04; 2018: 0.95). To achieve our 2023 intensity target of a 15% reduction, the local units need to achieve an annual 2.6% reduction when compared to the 2017 baseline data. The local units exceeded the 2019 reduction target for Scope 1 and 2 by being 13% above the target. This is directly linked the increases in the Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions and improvement in the reporting of person hours worked. Only four units achieved their 2019 reduction targets: Carnival City, Head Office, Maslow and Sun City.

A key initiative in reducing our energy and emissions is exploring renewable energy projects. An internal working group was established to identify and evaluate how best to approach this. The responsibility for the development and implementation of renewable energy projects will be that of the newly appointed engineering manager. Although unitspecific projects were identified in 2019 by Sun City and Meropa, it was recommended that an overall group strategic approach for alternative energy supply be developed going forward, to assess the energy profile for local units and identify suitable units for pilot projects.


Our impact on biodiversity remains largely the same. In addition to our standard management measures to protect important biodiversity, many units continue to monitor and support biodiversity initiatives in and around their operations. Although most units have a limited impact on biodiversity, units such as Wild Coast Sun and Sun City are situated in sensitive areas and we continue to monitor their impact. We participate, where applicable, in protecting the areas we operate in, such as rhino protection and the protection of our coastline (specifically near sensitive fauna and flora). Sun International is also a member of the WWF.

Sun International operates in the food and beverage industry, where supplying sustainable seafood is important. We appreciate the global concern over exploiting marine resources and the environmental impacts of fishing and aquaculture activities on marine ecosystems. Our partnership with WWF-SASSI ensures we continually implement a sustainable seafood strategy across our food and beverage outlets and restaurants. We are committed to driving positive change in the way we source and serve seafood in our restaurants by:

supporting sustainable seafood choices and obtaining our seafood from legally and responsibly managed seafood suppliers
working with our seafood suppliers to ensure that all our procured seafood is traceable back to its origins
providing our guests with sufficient and accurate information on seafood products, allowing them to make environmentally responsible choices
informing our food and beverage operations to recognise and purchase sustainable seafood

In 2019 we completed our WWF-SASSI 7th organisation assessment, where we:

  • updated our seafood policy
  • identified all red-listed species for removal from our procurement database
  • commenced with tracking the traceability of our purchased seafood with the assistance of our suppliers
  • had relevant managerial and procurement staff attend WWF-SASSI training
  • updated all menus with new WWF-SASSI logos and communicated our commitment to souring seafood responsibly.


  • Waste management – achieving ZWTL at additional local units and conducting external and internal audits to assess progress towards achieving our ZWTL target. The development of a self-assessment tool for units to track and manage progress
  • Alternative energy supply – identifying a suitable approach for local units to undertake energy supply projects, with a pilot project to commence in 2020
  • Determining Scope 3 carbon emissions and identifying baseline indicators for reporting
  • Developing an integrated SHE management system to improve data accuracy, consistency and reporting on a monthly basis
  • Setting water targets for the period 2021 to 2025




GrandWest achieved a 4 star rating certification from City of Cape Town in 2019. This certification recognises participants for reducing water consumption and limiting water pollution. As part of their submission for the certification, GrandWest presented water saving initiatives. The certification showcases GrandWest’s journey towards being an environmentally conscious company and employee behavioural changes have been encouraging. GrandWest is the first operation to achieve this certification.

GrandWest Sustainability team with their 4 star certificate at their Water Treatment Plant.
Behind the scenes at The Table Bay Hotel shooting the introduction for our water efficiency video

As part of a challenge at the central office ‘Amazing Race – Waste Edition’ teams were required to watch the waste management e-learning video and successfully answer the quiz before moving onto their next challenge

In line with our drive to achieve a sustainability focused and environmentally friendly culture, an e-learning campaign was launched internally in September 2019. We developed 10 e-learning videos with different themes throughout the year, based on varying health and safety, environmental and socio-economic development topics. The four environmental themed videos launched in 2019 included waste and carbon management as well as energy and water efficiency. To drive competition between our South African operations employee participation was tracked. For the period September 2019 to January 2020 we engaged 20% of our total South African employees through this initiative.


Sun International has become the first company in Africa to receive a prestigious Green Building Council of South Africa’s (GBCSA) Net Zero Waste rating for an ambitious recycling effort at its Wild Coast Sun property. The award is the first of its kind in the country, and although the Wild Coast Sun was already sending zero waste to landfill by the end of 2016, the verification process required one full year’s data before it could be certified.

The project now sustains two permanent enterprise development projects. Gayo enterprises, headed up by Aben Mbabala, employs seven people who are responsible for collecting and separating food waste, cartridges, paper, cardboard and batteries. Vuka Uzenzele Trading is managed by Alex Nzimakwe with five employees who produce compost from food waste and garden cuttings, and plant and manage the new organic vegetable gardens.

Vuyiswa Hlanga, Gardener; Alex Nzimakwe, Compost Yard and Vegetable Garden Manager; and Nomfanelo Cekiso, Garden Specialist, are so proud of the vegetable garden.