Table Mountain was recently declared one of the New7Wonders of Nature and as a result, the eyes of the world are now on this iconic landmark. That is why it is important for the Cableway to stay on the cutting edge of responsible tourism.
Responsible tourism aims to maximise economic, social and environmental benefits and minimise costs to destinations. It also aims to make positive contributions to conserve natural and cultural heritage, and minimise environmental and social impacts, among others.
Working within a World Heritage Site and Table Mountain National Park, the Cableway is fully committed to balancing high volumes of visitors (800 000+ per year) with the need to protect the unique floristic environment within which it operates. The Cableway takes its role as a custodian of Table Mountain very seriously.
However, the Cableway’s responsibility is not only limited to protecting the environment within which it operates. It also extends to other realms of responsible tourism: i.e. social responsibility and economic responsibility.
In recognition of its responsible tourism practices the Cableway was named the overall winner of the Imvelo Awards for Responsible Tourism in November 2011. The awards recognise tourism and hospitality businesses that make a real, measurable and sustained contribution to Responsible Tourism.
The following video will give you a sense of the work we have done in our quest to remain one of the top Responsible Tourism destinations:
At the Cableway we focus on the three pillars of Responsible Tourism:
As custodians of a high-use area of Table Mountain, part of the Cape Floristic Region World Heritage Site and a National Park, we are committed to its protection within our area of responsibility. In order to achieve this, we adhere to the following Environmental policy
1. As custodians of a high-use area of Table Mountain, part of the Cape Floristic Region World Heritage Site and a National Park, we are committed to its protection within our area of responsibility.
2. We are committed to creating and maintaining a clean, safe and healthy environment for our employees and visitors.
3. We are committed to continual improvement in service provision and environmental performance.
4. We aim to eliminate pollution within our area of responsibility.
5. We are committed to complying with all relevant environmental legislation and regulations.
6. We support and promote the precautionary principle in all our activities and will endeavour to modify our service, in line with evolving scientific and technical knowledge, to prevent environmental degradation.
7. We will adhere to the environmental procedures as set out in the Environmental Management System and we will review our policy and environmental performance on an ongoing basis.
8. We are committed to biodiversity conservation in conjunction with Table Mountain National Park and other conservation authorities.
9. We are committed to raising environmental awareness of employees and visitors.
10. We are committed to the sustainable use of all resources and will minimise waste at source and recycle where possible.
11. We are committed to contributing financially to the preservation of Table Mountain.
12. We are committed to document, implement, maintain and make our environmental policy available to all interested parties.
As a responsible tourism destination resource management (water, waste and energy management) is important to the Cableway.
Water-saving measures include:
- Installing new recycling toilets, which feature significantly reduced water usage
- Changing all flush toilets, other than in the disabled facilities, to a dual-flush mechanism
- Fitting all men’s toilets with waterless urinals
- Using sensor-operated taps throughout our ablution facilities
- Reducing the amount of grey water generated by a massive 1-million litres by moving the production kitchen to the Lower Station, and using compostable cups, lids, cutlery and straws in our food and beverage facilities
- Transporting waste water and sewage to the Lower Station, using our cable cars
- Having meters installed to monitor our water usage
Over the period 2010 – 2012 waste management at the Cableway improved dramatically. Over the period July 2011 to June 2012 a 62% reduction in waste to landfill was recorded, as well as an increase of 355% in the amount of recycling that was handled at the Cableway.
• Appointing a full-time, in-house recycler to ensure that the maximum possible amount of recyclable waste is removed from the general waste stream
• Increasing the number of recycling bins so that sorting of waste can take place at source
• Installing soda fountains and beer on tap in the Table Mountain Café (this has resulted in a drastic reduction in glass, soft drink cans and plastic bottles. All soft drinks from the soda fountain and beers from the beer on tap are sold in recyclable PLA cups)
• All hazardous waste (e.g. printer cartridges, fluorescent lights, medical waste, batteries, etc.) is removed by specialist waste removal companies
The Cableway has implemented the following electricity-saving measures:
• Fitting timers and blankets on all essential geysers
• Switching off all non-essential geysers
• Using energy-saving bulbs in all our light fittings
• Fitting timers to all outside lighting circuits
• Regulating air-conditioners in our offices to between 18 and 21°C to save energy while still providing comfortable working conditions
In addition to this, the energy generated by the descent of our cable cars sees 1 500kWh a month being fed back into the electricity grid.
The Class in the Clouds programme is aimed at South African learners from Grades 1 to 12. It affords learners an educational experience on top of Table Mountain.
The programme has been running since 2002 and for a small fee, any South African school can join Table Mountain Cableway’s educational programme, which gives learners the opportunity to discover the top of Table Mountain and learn about the natural flora and fauna that are found on it. It is the perfect escape from the confines of the classroom and lessons are themed around travel and tourism, geography and environmental studies.
The Cableway recognises the need to contribute positively to communities and organisations in need. The Cableway supports underprivileged and non-profit organisations by providing tickets (either on a complimentary or concession basis) for a day out on Table Mountain, or by providing tickets which may be used as a competition prize to raise funds for a good cause.
Siyafundisa: Table Mountain Aerial Way Comapny’s Academy of Learning
One of the important aspects of the Cableway’s People Brand Policy is that the compoany is dedicated to assisting employees to reach their full potential by providing opportunities to develop skills. Siyafundisa, the Cableway’s Academy of Learning, was established to address the following business needs:
• Having formally skilled employees at staff level
• Having a formal learning pipeline for seasonal staff, ensuring longer employment relationships and skilled staff over season
• Contributing to Corporate Social Investment / future employability of learners
• Supporting a staffing philosophy that involves employing more multi-skilled stewards
• Supporiting the commpany’s People Brand Policy
• Contributing to the Equity Plan and Skills Development Act
In 2011, 10 staff members were selected, from both the permanent and seasonal sectors to participate in the company’s first official Table Mountain Aerialway Cableway Company’s learnership programme. The running of this programme is one of the “learning” legs of Siyafundisa.
Table Mountain Cableway is serious about responsible tourism. The company supports local communities and suppliers, wherever possible, and aims to grow and develop the relationship with suppliers to produce successful, long-term and mutually beneficial relationships. Some of the suppliers that the Cableway has worked with include: Rootz Creations, Recycled in Africa and Yvettie Munava.
The Cableway is also recognised as a Level Four B-BBEE Contributor with a procurement recognition level of 100%.
Over the years, the Cableway’s passion for conserving the fragile ecology on the mountain has become clear to many. It has earned several awards for its hard work and dedication, which includes being named as overall winner of the 2011 Imvelo Award for Responsible Tourism. Imvelo acknowledges companies that make quantifiable and continual contributions to environmental responsibility, and the awards create awareness of environmental management issues in the tourism industry.
Accolades and milestones include:
|2013||Table Mountain attains a level 4 B-BBEE rating|
|2012||Table Mountain is officially inaugurated as a New7Wonder of Nature|
|2011||Certified as OHSAS 1802 compliant|
|2011||Table Mountain attains a level 5 B-BBEE rating|
|2011||Table Mountain is named one of the New7Wonders of Nature|
|2011||Overall winner of the 2011 Imvelo Awards for Responsible Tourism|
|2010||SanParks Cape regional Achievement Award (Business Partner of the Year)|
|2010||Heritage Environmental Rating – Platinum Class|
|2009||Finalist in the Mail and Guardian’s Greening the Future Awards|
|2009||South African Tourism’s Attraction of the Year (finalist)|
|2009||Re-certified as ISO 14001-compliant|
|2008||Imvelo Award for Responsible Tourism (Best Single Resource Management – Water)|
|2008||Heritage Environmental Rating – Silver Class|
|2008||Ishkus Power Achievement Award, in recognition of energy savings|
|2008||SANParks Cape Regional Achievement Award (Business Partner of the Year)|
|2005||Finalist in the Imvelo Awards for Best Overall Environmental Management Programme|
|2004||Table Mountain becomes a World Heritage Site|
|2003||TMACC’s Environmental Management System is awarded ISO 14001 certification|
|2000||The Green Globe Achievement Award: a commendation for Environmental Management and Awareness in our first year of membership. Rick Taylor, chief executive officer of Cape Metropolitan Tourism Council, said: “TMACC has proven that it is able to achieve a balance between development and respecting and protecting the environment.”|
|1999||The EPPIC (Environmental Planning Professions Interdisciplinary Committee) National Premium Award for Integrated Environmental Management, in recognition of the environmentally sensitive manner in which the cableway was built and is being operated.|