Gondwana’s Namib Desert Lodge books perfect environmental score
The flagship desert lodge in the Gondwana stable, Namib Desert Lodge, has set a new benchmark for all accommodation establishments by scoring a perfect 100% in the Eco Awards at the Hospitality Association’s annual general meeting and gala dinner last week.
Namib Desert Lodge received five desert flowers, the highest seal of quality, supporting its perfect winning score. The desert flowers are for conservation and guiding, energy, water, staff and health, legal and NTB compliance. The lodge also booked top scores for management, waste, pollution and sewer, building and landscaping, and social responsibility.
Namib Desert Lodge offers 65 rooms with 140 beds, employs more than 80 people and contributes significantly to the Gondwana Collection’s occupancy rate. This year Namib Desert Lodge outperformed the group 60% average by 5%.
In 2014, the lodge made a pioneer solar installation supplying 50% of its energy while recycled water is used for gardening. Where possible, only indigenous trees, shrubs and succulents have been used for garden landscaping. All solid waste including glass is sorted and disposed in a way that is not harmful to the environment.
Namib Desert Lodge is located in the 127 square kilometre Gondwana Namib Park on the border of the southern Namib Sand Sand Sea, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Proven environmental management plans, a scientific wildlife management programme and competent guides ensure that its guests experience the Namib in all its splendour.
The Eco Awards experts and panel also awarded high marks for personnel management and social responsibility. The Gondwana Group said it actively builds its employees’ skills and competence with its own academy and training courses, especially in the fields of hospitality and environmental protection.
The staff of Gondwana Desert Lodge benefit from regular visits by the group’s trusted partners in healthcare, form HIV/Aids education and from a mobile clinic.
Participation in the Eco Awards is voluntary. Lodges that register for evaluation receive an extensive catalogue of possible measures for introducing eco-friendly ways to their operations. An independent evaluator inspects the lodges and sends his report to the adjudication panel. Similar to the grading with stars for accommodation, up to five desert flowers are awarded under the eco seal of quality.