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Tsogo Sun joins 49M

In keeping with its commitment to support the responsible use of energy Tsogo Sun today (21 August 2013) became the latest company in the hospitality industry to pledge its support for the 49M energy efficiency campaign.

As a leader in the gaming, hospitality and entertainment industry, Tsogo Sun recognises its responsibility for the impacts it has on its surrounding communities and the environment in general.

Tsogo-49MAt a signing ceremony held at Southern Sun Montecasino today, Rob Collins, Chief Marketing Officer at Tsogo Sun said the group was excited to be part of the 49M campaign. The signing symbolises the company’s commitment to energy efficiency.

“It’s a privilege for Tsogo Sun to demonstrate our commitment to the environment by pledging ourselves with 49M to a 10 percent reduction in energy usage,” says Rob Collins, Chief Marketing Officer of Tsogo Sun. “At Tsogo Sun, we continually revisit our environmental strategy that is in operation across all our properties –over 90 hotels and 14 casinos – to ensure that ongoing progress is made in protecting the environment and preserving it for future generations.”

The Tsogo Sun environmental strategy ensures that environmental management practices are integrated as part of the group’s operations, with initiatives that reduce the impact that the business has on the environment and that encourage employees and guests to embrace greener behaviour for the benefit of the planet.

To ensure the objectives of its environmental programme are met, Tsogo Sun has been in partnership with Heritage for the past three years and property-specific environmental management systems aimed at energy, water, waste management and responsible procurement have been developed for all its casinos and hotels. Employees are informed of the group’s policies governing these areas and are trained on their responsibilities in this regard.

In this period, all properties have achieved a minimum Heritage silver standard, with 59 percent achieving a gold standard and five percent achieving a platinum standard in the latest audit cycle. Average scores for the properties have improved from 59 percent to 72 percent compliance with the Heritage standards over the past three years.

In addition to the work that it does to limit the business’s impact on the environment, Tsogo Sun works within local communities to encourage a responsible attitude towards the use of electricity and water, managing waste, as well as to educate people about tree planting, food security, and conservation of South Africa’s natural heritage. Tsogo Sun is an active partner to Miss Earth in their like-minded environmental campaigns.

Energy usage at Tsogo Sun hotels comprises primarily of the consumption of electricity. Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) is utilised for cooking, for limited space heating and for water heating at three properties and diesel is utilised primarily for backup generators. Electricity consumption at Tsogo Sun’s South African-owned properties decreased during the year by 3% to 252 million kWh, mainly due to the installation of energy-efficient lighting at properties, consumption measurement and behavioural change initiatives at the units. The replacement of element water heating systems with heat pump technologies has been completed. Further evidence of Tsogo Sun’s emphasis on environmental management is the fact that four of the six finalists for the 2012 Imvelo Awards Energy Management category were Tsogo Sun properties and Riverside Sun Resort won the category and the overall 2012 Imvelo Award.

Tsogo Sun has been working with Eskom since May 2006. In DSM1, involving hotels in the Western and Eastern Cape, the implementation of heat pumps, hot water demand control and efficient lighting resulted in 1MW demand saving and 6.5GWh energy saving. In DSM2, which saw the initiative rolled out to the rest of the group’s South African hotels, efficient lighting retrofits, involving changing incandescent lamps for compact florescent lamps, and hot water demand control (i.e. load shifting power from old hot water boilers and tumble dryers outside peak hours) saw a 2.77MW demand saving and 6.5GWh energy saving. DSM 3 saw the element water heaters (boilers) at 39 hotels being replaced with heat pumps, bringing 4.2 MW demand savings and 14.4 GWh energy saving. Finally, DSM4 involved replacing all 35 and 50w diachronic down light lamps with 7w and 10w LED lamps throughout the Group’s hotels and casinos. This replacement was undertaken over two months and was successfully completed in the first week of December 2012, with 107 214 LEDs installed throughout all Tsogo Sun facilities nationally, resulting in annual energy savings of 23 911 MWh.

“From a baseline that was established using the April 2009 to March 2010 period, we have successfully achieved a saving of 12.8% or 19GWh,” comments Collins. One of the most successful interventions implemented during this period has been the introduction of an energy dashboard throughout all hotels, which effectively measures and monitors energy demand and consumption, water consumption and LPG gas consumption, has analysis tools and also has a warning system, with a proactive alarm system that sends SMSs to maintenance managers and general managers of the properties.”

However, Collins says there is more to come, “We’re not resting on our laurels; we believe that with efficient energy management, we will meet the terms of the 49M pledge and reduce our energy consumption by a further 10 percent.”

Tsogo Sun will be focusing on behavioural changes to achieve this target. “Savings can only be sustainable when there is buy-in from employees, and eventually guests. Behavioural change can only be made when you can measure and, to this end, we have established an Energy Steering Committee consisting of the Operational Directors, Facility Managers, Financial Managers, and Development consultants Energy Resource Optimizers and Station 7, which is chaired by Tsogo Sun’s Managing Director of hotels, Graham Wood. This committee meets every month to review the energy and water performance and develop strategies for improvement. A great deal of emphasis is placed on behavioural changes. The operational standards are reviewed and adjusted with energy efficiency in mind. A 10% target for behavioural savings was set in the middle of 2012 and 7% savings have been achieved over six months. The 2013 target is again a 10% energy reduction on the previous year and our energy consultants are currently undertaking a Utility Management Awareness Roadshow to take the message to staff at all levels in the organisation.”

Particularly heartening, according to Collins, are some of the behavioural innovations that the hotels are coming up with, such as a traffic light in the laundry that flashes red in peak hours and green outside of peak.

Collins commended Eskom on the 49M campaign and on its efforts to inspire all South Africans – individuals, businesses, institutions, and government – to actively reduce energy consumption. “Tsogo Sun is proud to be a part of this 49M campaign to make energy-saving a national culture and we continue to have a strong sense of moral responsibility to the pressures placed on natural resources through our extensive distribution of casinos and hotels around the country.”

Tsogo Sun’s pledge signing brings to 117 the number of government and business partners that have endorsed energy saving. By adopting no cost and low cost energy efficiency interventions, companies can reduce their energy costs substantially.

South African businesses that have adopted appropriate energy efficiency measures in order to maximise cost saving and competitiveness include T – Systems, CSIR, Mhlathuze Municipality, Umjindi Municipality, Medi-clinic Group, AngloGold Ashanti, Anglo American, Goldfields, Samsung, MTN, MassMart, Pick n Pay and other top companies. The campaign is also targeting tertiary institutions and ordinary residents.

Andrew Etzinger, 49M spokesperson, said he was pleased that more companies were prepared to come on board and ensure the energy saving campaign achieves its mandate of achieving at least 10% energy saving.

“We are pleased that Tsogo Sun has partnered with us as we increase our efforts to persuade companies and individuals to do more to save electricity,” said Etzinger.


About 49M

As part of the 49M initiative, which aims to make energy-saving a national culture, community activations that include replacing light bulbs with energy efficient ones, demonstrations of how to save electricity, are taking place all over the country.

49M is also taking its campaign to universities and colleges through its green campus movement, which encourages students to lead energy efficient lifestyles and commit to the cause to ensure a sustainable future.

49M also has a glass house which it moves around the country to demonstrate how residents can save electricity at home.

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About Tsogo Sun

Tsogo Sun is the leading hotels, gaming and entertainment company in South Africa, providing a vast variety of hospitality and exciting entertainment and leisure experiences. Combining an established heritage with a professional and energised approach, the group proudly encompasses 14 casinos and over 90 hotels in South Africa, Africa, and Seychelles.

The company’s hospitality interests offer the widest distribution of hotels in Africa, providing world-class accommodation across all markets, including elegant, individually branded Deluxe Hotels and well known trusted market leaders in the premier through budget segments, including Southern Sun Hotels, Garden Court, SunSquare, StayEasy and Formula 1 hotels.

Tsogo Sun (“TSH”) is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.  The key shareholders of Tsogo Sun are Hosken Consolidated Investments Limited (“HCI”), a JSE listed investment holding company, and SABMiller PLC (“SABM”), the London listed brewing company. The remaining shareholding is held by various financial institutions and the general public.

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