Mandy Clifton-Smith



You have come up to Johannesburg from the Wild Coast Sun, where you had a real passion for environmental issues. What has been the challenge to take this on at a Group level?


Sun International has traditionally had a strong focus on the environment. We have a number of remarkable properties in pristine areas – for instance, Sun City in the Pilanesberg, the Wild Coast Sun on a protected marine environment, the Fish River Sun and our properties in Zambia. I have also been exposed to small initiatives that show real commitment, such as the owl breeding programme to control snakes at Golden Valley. We really manage biodiversity well. But two issues come to mind – we are not as good at communicating these stories and our data is inconsistent across the Group.

In respect of telling these stories – of our commitment and successes in managing environmental risks – I am pleased that we are seeing greater collaboration with the marketing team. We have great content to share with our guests, communities and the market.

We will be utilising our soon to be implemented ERP system to collect environmental data which will go a long way to standardise collection as well as reduce a good deal of manual inputting and paper use.



What is sustainability really about in our business?


It is about creating shared value between business, environment and people. We all have to take ownership of those elements, irrespective of our roles. With the Group’s strategic focus on sustainability, I can already see a shift in mind set – it is becoming the way we do business, in that the distinction between profit and purpose is no longer in opposition. For instance, at our new head office, the environmental impact was considered from the beginning – with the added benefit of lower energy and water costs. And in working through the supply chain, we can make a real impact by choosing, for instance, fish from sustainable sources.

It is about understanding the risks and working together as responsible individuals and corporate citizens.