Franschhoek would like to be the first environmentally sustainable wine Valley in South Africa.
They are undertaking a variety of initiatives to get closer to reaching this goal. Within the Franschhoek Valley there are only a limited number of natural resources. To ensure the long term prosperity and safety of the Valley, the community needs to adopt sustainable practices on both environmental and social levels. They aim to minimise any further loss to the biodiversity and encourage sustainable practises to incorporate all aspects of the Valley.
Regular water analysis samples of the Berg River Dam will be conducted with the involvement of local schools. Of the local wineries Boekenhoutskloof, Boschendal, Glenwood, Haut Espoir, Montagne, Fransche Hoek Estate and Plasir de Merle wineries are all BWI (Biodiversity and Wine Initiative) members. Graham Beck and La Motte wine estates are BWI Champions of which Franschhoek Valley is very proud.
Dieu Donne was the first winery in Franschhoek to conduct a carbon footprint assessment â€“ this assessment is undertaken to measure energy usage, fugitive emissions, waste treatment, employees commute patterns and distribution of products. Recommendations are then made for improvement as part of the process of becoming carbon neutral.
Solar and wind back-ups at l’ermitage
L’Ermitage Chateau and Villas have installed a system where as soon as a guest checks out on their computer system, the geyser, lights and air-conditioner automatically switch off. This saves an enormous amount of electricity. They have installed a system that provides a back-up for the hotel when there is a power outage and it also generates power.
The combination of these installed systems of both solar and wind power generates 104-150kw of power per day. Le Franschhoek Hotel and Spa have received a Silver Classification from the Heritage Foundation. They received this recognition for implementing steps to mitigate their environmental impacts. The Heritage Foundation is Southern Africa’s only tourism quality assurance management company providing a number of consulting and development programmes for the tourism sector. Le Franschhoek Hotel and Spa seeks continuous improvement in its environmental performance and encourages all managers and employees to take part in this process.
‘Awareness and education have been identified as two key areas for the success of our sustainability goal. All stakeholders and residents of the Valley are encouraged to adopt more sustainable lifestyles and business practices so that the long term future of the Valley can be secured,’ says Jenny Prinsloo, CEO of Franschhoek Wine Valley Tourism Association.