Sun International Sustainability

Environmental report


Our approach to environmental management is defined by our Corporate Sustainability Strategy, and is aligned to the requirements of the ISO 14001 international environmental standards.

We integrate environmental management into sustainable business practices throughout every level of our business by including sustainability as an integral part of our business strategy and working across the various areas of our business operations. Our sustainability decisions are based on creating shared value between our business, society and the environment.

The Group’s five strategic focus areas are reviewed quarterly, with accountabilities and reporting filtering throughout the business. Furthermore, they are built into the performance management contracts at executive and management level. The fifth strategic focus is governance and sustainability.

While the board retains ultimate accountability and responsibility for the Group’s sustainability performance, the Chief Executive has a mandate to ensure that all relevant factors are considered and affected as necessary with the assistance of his executive team. In turn, management reports to the social and ethics committee which reports to the board, in evidencing how it has discharged these responsibilities. Reporting areas include environmental performance, impacts, risks and opportunities.

The Group Environmental Manager is responsible for implementing the Corporate Sustainability Strategy and is mandated to create a consistent approach to environmental risk management by facilitating policy and performance standards, as well as monitoring, evaluating and reporting on performance. The Corporate Sustainability Strategy is underpinned by nine pillars and supported by our sustainability policy, which has been signed by both the Chairman and the Chief Executive.



During 2014, our actions were focused on standardising data reporting processes across the Group. These ensure a sound basis for coherent, good practice environmental management approach across the Group and therefore the key indicators for 2014 have been restated as the baseline for resource measurement.

Key indicators for the Group’s performance have been restated for resource management for 2014:

  Key indicators     2013/14  
  Energy consumption      
  Sun International – South Africa     920 610  
  Electricity purchased   Gigajoules   901 302  
  Generators (Diesel)   Gigajoules   1 589  
  LPG   Gigajoules   17 718  
  Coal   Gigajoules   –  
  Sun International – Africa     179 811  
  Electricity purchased   Gigajoules   118 181  
  Generators (Diesel)   Gigajoules   41 002  
  LPG   Gigajoules   5 024  
  Coal   Gigajoules   15 604  
  Sun International – International     98 311  
  Electricity purchased   Gigajoules   92 887  
  Generators (Diesel)   Gigajoules   112  
  LPG   Gigajoules   5 312  
  Coal   Gigajoules   *  
  Total Sun International – Group     1 198 732  
  Electricity purchased   Gigajoules   1 112 371  
  Generators (Diesel)   Gigajoules   42 703  
  LPG   Gigajoules   28 054  
  Coal   Gigajoules   15 604  
  Water consumed   Kilolitres   4 768 050  
  Water recycled   Kilolitres   741 247  
  Waste generated   Tonnes   12 481  
  Waste recycled   Tonnes   3 128  
  Waste to landfill (non-hazardous)   Tonnes   9 325  
  Waste to landfill (hazardous)   Tonnes   28  
  HFCs   Kilolitres   14  
  Fuel – Petrol (Company owned vehicle)   Kilolitres   390  
  Fuel – Diesel (Company owned vehicle)   Kilolitres   602  
  Fuel – Petrol (On-site storage)   Kilolitres   75  
  Fuel – Diesel (On-site storage)   Kilolitres   439  
  * Data not available for 2013/14    
Diesel generator (litres to kWh): 3.2 kWh/litre Source:  
1 litre of LPG is 6.6 kWh Source:  
1 kg SKE (Coal) is 8.141 kWh: Source:  



Factors that drive the implementation of our Energy Management Strategy are the increasing cost of electricity, the security of supply in certain areas, and our objective to reduce our electricity consumption and thereby reduce our carbon footprint. We are assessing and implementing achievable energy targets across all our properties, and utilising the most efficient and cost-effective energy technology where possible.

During 2014, the total amount of energy consumed by Sun International was 1 198 732 gigajoules, which included 1 112 371 gigajoules of electricity purchased (2013: 1 163 771 gigajoules). This equates to 0.027 megawatt-hours of energy per Rand of total revenue generated, 0.012 megawatt-hours per person hour worked1 and 0.251 megawatt-hours per square meter of floor space.


Our spend on electricity to perform our day-to-day activities was approximately R206 million for the year. Compared to the previous year, we achieved a 4% reduction in our electricity consumption for the year. Managing this cost effectively contributes to sustainable long-term financial performance.

77% of Sun International’s total electricity is consumed within South Africa, reflecting the concentration of properties in our home base.

With no reliable national grid supply in Nigeria, we remain heavily dependent on diesel for operational continuity at the Federal Palace.

¹ Multiply 1 824 hours worked by the number of employees, based on 8 hours per day for 228 working days per year.


To reduce energy consumption, we implemented 21 energy saving projects and spent approximately R11 million over the year on energy management initiatives. During 2014, Sun International became the first hospitality member to participate in National Business Initiative’s Private Sector Energy Efficiency project to reduce carbon emissions. Accordingly, the Chief Executive has made a commitment to reduce the Group’s energy use.

During the refurbishment of the conference centre at the Zambezi Sun, lighting was replaced with energy efficient lighting. The conference room was previously lit with a combination of 300 watt incandescent down lighters, 50 watt dichroic down lighters, and chandeliers with 40 watt incandescent candle lamps. For continuity, the existing lamp positions were used in the new lighting design. The new LED lamp sources specified for this energy efficient lighting system are a 15 watt LED to replace the 300 watt, a 5.3 watt LED to replace the 50 watt and a 1.8 watt LED to replace the 40 watt. The challenge in replacing the existing incandescent light source with a LED light source was to maintain the same aesthetic feel and warmth that existed in the facility. The colour temperature of the LED light source output was matched as close as possible to that of the incandescent lamps. For this reason, a warm white lamp temperature of 2 500 kelvin and a CRI of above 80 was specified. As this lamp temperature is not common in the LED range and was not easily available, these LED light sources were manufactured specifically for this project. The result is that there is a connected demand reduction to the lighting in the facility of 39 kilowatts making the new lighting system 95% more efficient than the previous system. Based on this efficiency, we anticipate energy consumption for the conference centre to reduce by approximately 70 000 per annum. The total cost for this lighting replacement initiative is R130 000. As this development is based in Zambia where electricity tariffs are charged at more favourable rates, we expect the return on investment would be achieved in four to five years.


Sun International is committed to the responsible stewardship of water resources while ensuring a secure supply of water for our properties. Water is a critical resource for our operations; as such, water remains a key focus area for each of our properties.

Most of our properties obtain water from the municipal supply system, but some are solely dependent on freshwater resources. A number of properties use municipal water in combination with surface water, ground water and treated wastewater. No water sources are significantly affected by any of our properties, nor is water withdrawn from any RAMSAR wetland or protected water resources by any of the properties that make use of surface water.

During 2014, total Group water consumption was 4 768 050 kilolitres (2013: 6 083 000 kilolitres). This equates to an average of 184 922 litres of water consumed per person hour worked1 and 3 874 000 litres per square meter of floor space. Compared to the previous year, the 22% reduction in total water consumption is attributed to improved metering and monitoring processes implemented during 2014.


Six of our properties use recycled water, comprising treated wastewater either from the municipality or from their own onsite water treatment plants. During 2014, 741 kilolitres of the Group’s total water was recycled.


Waste generation is one of the main concerns for the Group. With the exception of Sun City, who owns their own licenced landfill site, all waste is disposed at municipal landfill sites.

During 2014, total waste generated throughout the Group was 12 481 tonnes, with 3 128 tonnes waste recycled. 9 325 tonnes non-hazardous waste was sent to landfill and 28 tonnes hazardous waste was disposed at registered hazardous waste sites. Total waste to landfill equates to an average of 0.01 tonnes per square meter of floor space of waste generated. The amount spent on waste management for the Group was approximately R8 million over the year.

We have improved our waste data collection throughout the Group. As a result, the 37% increase is reflected against the previous year’s waste generated. The previous year’s waste to landfill did not include hazardous waste generated and did not include data for non-hazardous waste to landfill for Carnival City, Federal Palace, Golden Valley, The Maslow and Naledi Sun. To compare changes in Group waste from 2013 as the baseline, 2014 has been normalised to exclude 292 tonnes, thereby reflecting a 6.69% waste increase to landfill.

To reduce the volume of waste being disposed to landfill, waste separation and recycling initiatives are being implemented at the majority of our properties. General waste recycled includes paper and cardboard, glass, cans, plastic, metal, e-waste, wet-waste sent to worm and pig farms, and garden waste used for composting. 25% of waste generate by Sun International was recycled during 2014.

No significant spill incidents were reported during 2014.


Sun International’s carbon emissions are measured in accordance with the GHG Protocol (WRI & WBCSD, 2004). As per the classification of the GHG Protocol, all Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions should be included, although Scope 3 emissions are optional. During 2014, the Group expanded the footprint to include Scope 3 emissions, as well as extended Scope 1 to include waste water and waste landfill on-site. These additions should therefore be taken into account when comparing total annual emissions and Scope 1 emissions.

The financial control approach is used to consolidate all emissions within the specified boundary. This approach sees the inclusion of properties where Sun International has the ability to “direct the financial and operating policies of the latter with view to gaining economic benefits from its activities” (GHG Protocol, revised edition).

25 properties fall within the boundary of Sun International.

The Maslow’s operational lease status renders it outside the financial control definition and thus it is reported under indirect Scope 3 emissions as ordinarily Scope 1 emissions do not apply in this instance. However, emissions from the purchase, installation and control over the refrigeration, generators and air-conditioning equipment at The Maslow are treated as Scope 1 (direct).

All emissions are expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), which accounts for carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) greenhouse gasses (GHGs).

  Scope per GHG protocol     2014   2013  
  Scope 1: Direct GHG emissions        
  Company-owned mobile fuels   metric tonnes   2 687    
  Stationary fuels   metric tonnes   15 734    
  Fugitive emissions (Kyoto gases)   metric tonnes   12 650    
  Waste landfill on-site   metric tonnes   3 137     
  Waste water   metric tonnes   177     
  Total Scope 1   metric tonnes   34 385   33 346  
  Scope 2: Indirect GHG emissions        
  Electricity consumption   metric tonnes   272 416   271 559  
  Other direct emissions (non-Kyoto gases)        
  Non-Kyoto gases:   metric tonnes   14 092     
  Total Scope 1, 2 and direct CO2 equivalent emissions     310 893   304 905  
  Scope 3: Other indirect GHG emissions from:        
  Business travel   metric tonnes   4 126     
  Electricity (Leased facilities)   metric tonnes   5 659     
  Waste   metric tonnes   9 100     
  Water consumption   metric tonnes   4 426     
  Total Scope 3   metric tonnes   23 311     
  Total CO2 equivalent emissions   metric tonnes   344 205   304 905  
  CO2E intensity ratios (excludes Scope 3)        
  CO2e per Rand of revenue generated   metric tonnes/Rand   28.30    
  CO2e per m2 of property   metric tonnes/m2   0.26    
  CO2e per full-time employee   metric tonnes/Full time employee   30.77    

Total cumulative Group emissions for 2014 is 344 579 tonnes CO2e. The trend in total emission reflects the seasonal tourism cycles occurring during the year. Scope 2 electricity represents 77% of total emissions, due to the impact of carbon intensive electricity produced from coal-based resources.



The Group’s environmental risks relate to factors such as climate change, the increasing cost of resources and the geographic location of our properties. We have adopted an enterprise-wide approach to environmental risks, with each key risk included in a structured and systematic process of risk management. All key risks are reviewed quarterly and managed through mitigating controls, key action plans and accountability by risk owners.

Sun International is actively involved in conserving and protecting the natural environment. We identified our potential climate change risks as set out in the table below, and spent R6.5 million to manage the climate change risks identified over 2014.

Risk driver   Potential risk   Potential impact   Mitigation actions  
Change in regulations   Emission reporting obligations   Increased operational cost   Implemented a comprehensive data management, monitoring and reporting system  
Magnitude of impact  
Low – medium  
Monthly carbon accounting  
Targets tracked monthly  
Carbon Tax   Increased operational cost   Carbon accounting data tool developed  
Magnitude of impact  
Low – medium  
Changes in physical climate parameters   Change in mean
(average) temperature  
Increased operational cost   Energy Management Strategy developed  
Magnitude of impact  
Medium – high  
Lighting retrofits and LEDs fitted into casinos  
HVAC optimisation initiatives  
Change in precipitation extremes and droughts   Increased operational cost   Disaster action plans developed for each property  
Magnitude of impact  
Reservoirs built  
Water licences to extract water from natural water courses during droughts have been obtained  
Low flow showerheads and water-saving latrines installed  
Maintenance plan implemented to check water quality and prevent water leaks  
Sea level rise   Increase in capital costs   Sites earmarked for future development undergo EIA process of which sea level rise is one of the indicators checked  
Magnitude of impact  
Medium – high  
Study on global warming effects conducted on potential new sites  
Adaptation measures at risk sites which may include reinforcement of river banks with gabions and natural indigenous vegetation  
Other climate-related developments   Reputation   Reduced demand for goods/services   Voluntary participation in CDP: Carbon  
  Magnitude of impact  
Participation in NBI PSEE programme committed to implement initiatives to reduce carbon emissions  
  Signatory member of SASSI and committed to purchasing sustainable seafood  
  Principle partner of WWF-SA to support efforts to address climate change issues  

During 2014, we formulated a climate change strategy which aligns with our values and considers the risks and impacts of climate change on business, society and the environment. The objective of the strategy is to position Sun International to identify, quantify and prioritise the risks and opportunities that climate change presents. It also supports our efforts to effectively manage these risks and opportunities for optimum performance, resilience and profitability to ensure the creation of long-term shareholder value and returns.

The envisaged strategic approach is to house climate change initiatives within key focus areas. This approach will allow for better management of the specific outcomes of each initiative to ensure relevance and measurable objectives over our climate change journey.


We implement green building principles where feasible to reduce our operating costs and impact on the environment. When designing new buildings or refurbishing existing spaces, we consider factors such as building management, indoor environmental quality, energy and water consumption, materials used, land use and emissions.

During the development of our new head office in Sandton, energy efficiency and sustainable design principals were used to optimise the indoor environmental quality of the building, and reduce electricity consumption and water demand.

Water and energy efficiency:

  • Building orientation was considered in refurbishing an existing building. The orientation is now predominantly North to South, thereby reducing the need for glazing on the heat dominant East and West gables. The vision panel was limited to a height to 1.6 metres by paying careful attention to the spandrel composition with the inclusion of 40 millimetre isoboard.
  • The building is SANS 204 compliant and operates at 80 watts per square metre.
  • High efficiency lighting with 90% efficiency was installed, with all lighting on motion sensing control.
  • A highly efficient VRV air-conditioning system was installed and integrated with the motion sensors.
  • Water efficient sanitary ware and fittings with efficient flushing mechanisms were installed.
  • Water efficient planting and drip irrigation system are being used.
  • Solar geysers provide hot water to the ablution facilities.

Indoor environmental quality:

  • The building utilises natural light in the most optimal way possible. The vision plain has been efficiently maximised on shallow set plates allowing space planners to maximise every employee’s views of the outdoors.
  • Landscaping has been maximised on a number of levels to give occupants the ability to access green areas as well as to decrease heat absorption and reflective glare.
  • A number of water features allow for the sound of flowing water.
  • Ventilation and air changing rates are at an optimum level, promoting increased productivity.
  • Accessibility for persons with disabilities is included.
  • Smoking is prohibited within the building.


Although our properties have a limited impact on the environment, properties situated in rural areas that are adjacent to or within sensitive environments are detailed below:

Region   Property   Size of property    Sensitive natural receptor  
South Africa   Carnival City   122 hectares  
  • River and wetland system on site
  • Underdeveloped natural area
Carousel   585.7 hectares  
  • On-site game reserve
  • Underdeveloped natural area
Fish River   16 hectares  
  • Within Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany biodiversity hotspot
  • Adjacent to the Old Woman’s River
  • Underdeveloped natural area
Flamingo   9.6 hectares  
  • Adjacent to Kamfers Dam
Golden Valley   268 272m²  
  • Underdeveloped area on site with fynbos vegetation
GrandWest   427 909m²  
  • Adjacent to Elsies River Channel
Morula   126.7 hectares  
  • Adjacent to Nooitgedacht Dam
Sibaya   38.7 hectares  
  • In close proximity to the Ohlanga River and the Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve
Sun City    
  • Adjacent to Pilanesberg National Park
Wild Coast Sun   640 hectares  
  • Within Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany biodiversity hotspot
  • Adjacent to the Mtamvuna River and estuary
  • Underdeveloped natural area
Windmill   24 990m²  
  • Undeveloped grassland area
Other African   Federal Palace   76 000m2  
  • Canal leading to harbour entrance
Royal Livingstone and Zambezi Sun   46 hectares  
  • Located within the Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Wildlife Park
  • Adjacent to the Zambezi River and in close proximity to the Victoria Falls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
LATAM   Monticello   33.7 hectares  
  • Adjacent to Canal Lucano

There were no recorded expansions of any of our properties into areas of biodiversity sensitivity during 2014.

Other operational activities that could impact on biodiversity resources indirectly include:

  • Partnered with WWF-SASSI and committed to supporting sustainable seafood programmes.
  • Generation of contaminated storm water runoff and the inappropriate disposal of effluent and waste that could result in soil and water pollution. We prevent this by regular and thorough maintenance of our storm water infrastructure and ensuring implementation of sound effluent and waste management practices. In addition, a number of properties have fitted oil separators at the storm water inlets located in parking areas.
  • Landscaping activities could lead to the spreading of alien species into underdeveloped natural areas. Our conscious efforts to avoid this include the implementation of a landscaping strategy that encourages using indigenous species, monitoring for early detection of spreading, and eradication of established invasive alien species.
  • Movement of storm water across the property could result in erosion in areas where there is a lack of formal storm water infrastructure or where the ground surface has been compromised. Where such impacts are noted, rehabilitation projects are undertaken.
  • Access to areas of biodiversity significance and interest could lead to damage or loss of biodiversity resources and/or alter the state of the land making it susceptible to erosion. A number of management measures are in place to limit adverse effects in this regard, such as limiting the hours or seasons of access and monitoring the areas for indications of effects.

In addition to our standard management measures to protect important biodiversity, many of the properties have undertaken specific projects as detailed below:

  • Habitat restoration projects involving clearing of alien invasive species and the replanting of indigenous vegetation were undertaken at Wild Coast Sun in the Eastern Cape and the Royal Livingstone in Zambia.
  • Morula participated in a project to remove water hyacinths from the adjacent Nooitgedacht Dam.
  • Monitoring of IUCN Red Data List species, which include the endangered Grey Crowned Crane, are present at a few properties. In addition, the vulnerable Ground Hornbill is present at the Wild Coast Sun and the Blue Duiker (classified as of least concern) is found at Fish River Sun.
  • Carnival City has been involved in various projects and contributed approximately R60 000 towards the RAMSAR-protected Blesbokspruit wetland.


In the 2013 environmental report, key sustainability objectives for 2014 were set. The table below reflects progress made against these objectives.

Key sustainability objective for 2014   Progress  
Undertake legal audits and complete legal registers at 10 southern African properties   No significant environmental incidents or non-compliances were recorded during 2014  
Legal registers completed for Wild Coast Sun, Boardwalk, Sun City, GrandWest, Flamingo, Table Bay Hotel, Carousel, Carnival, Head Office and The Maslow  
Undertake legal training for Sun International board   Completed  
Create and roll out an environment internal awareness campaign for staff   Completed  
Complete the ‘train-the-trainer’ for the new environmental awareness training package for staff   Completed  
Train 1 500 staff members using the Live Smart environmental awareness training package   Completed  
Complete ISO 14001 EMS implementation at 10 properties   Completed  
Initiate quarterly campaigns for energy, water, waste and living environment   Quarterly campaigns initiated through the internal communication magazine  
Formulate a climate change response strategy   Completed  
Complete carbon and water disclosures for submission to the CDP   Completed  
Inclusion in the 2013 SRI Index   Completed  
Formalise the agreement with SASSI   Completed  
Join NBI   Completed  
Finalise and implement a green procurement policy   Green Procurement Policy incorporated into the Group’s procurement policy  


  • Formulate a waste management and monitoring strategy for the Group during 2015
  • 35% of all waste generated across the Group to be recycled by 2017 from the 2014 baseline for waste generated
  • Formulate a Group energy management policy by 2015
  • Reduce electricity consumption by 8% per m2 for all properties by 2016 from the 2014 electricity consumption baseline
  • Reduce water consumption across the Group by 5% by 2015 from the 2014 water consumption baseline.