Protecting our precious planet and its resources has never been more important or relevant. In light of this Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Cape Town is rolling out extensive measures to conserve energy as part of the hospitality group’s ongoing greening initiatives.

At Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Cape Town this includes installing energy-efficient LED lighting in public areas of the hotel; a purified water system that will replace bottled mineral water in conferencing venues and ultimately save millions of plastic bottles from ending up in landfills; and reducing power consumption with eco-friendly water heating systems.

By retrofitting corridors; reception; lounge, bar and pool areas; smoking room, rest rooms; the restaurant and kitchen; as well as all conference rooms and board rooms in the business centre, the gym and parking garage with automated LED systems, the hotel will dramatically reduce electricity consumption. And using less electricity reduces the risk of load shedding for domestic consumers – a win-win situation.

Water has become one of our most precious commodities, and the trend of drinking it out of plastic bottles is one which is fast fading as educated consumers become aware it takes between three and seven litres of water to produce a one litre bottle of mineral water when the bottle manufacture and transport processes are included, creating a massive carbon footprint.

Protea Hospitality Group has partnered with the international leader and originator of premium water systems, Vivreau (which sees to President Obama’s water needs in the White House as well as the finest hotels and Michelin starred restaurants across Europe and America), to introduce a system of on-site bottling of purified water served in stylish glass bottles.

Protea Hospitality Group Operations Director William Ford said the roll-out has already begun and the initial phase would include about 20 hotels in the group, of which Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Cape Town is one of the first.

Complimentary Vivreau water will be served in conference rooms, rather than bottled mineral water as is the case now. It will also be offered in the reception area when GUESTS check in, and to diners in the restaurant as well as in the bedrooms where complimentary bottled water is currently offered.

“We will of course continue to make available for purchase bottled mineral water for those of our GUESTS who would prefer to have this option,” said Ford.

“The Protea Hospitality Group doesn’t view sustainability as an additional strategy or range of new activities,” added Ford. “We have been sensitive to the environment and our responsibility in this regard for many years and are continually looking for ways to improve the environmental sensitive behaviour of our hotels and reduce the carbon footprint impact of our operations.”

The third component of Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Cape Town’s greening initiative is to revolutionise its water heating system, a massive consumer of energy. This will be done with a process of recycling the heat from air conditioning outlets to heat water for the hotel’s various needs.

“We are currently investigating opportunities to further reduce electricity consumption in this way,” said Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Cape Town General Manager Johan Cronje.

“Our hotel always been cutting edge, and the first to step forward with new initiatives. This also holds true for greening, as we intend to lead the way in 2012.”