April 2022

Leading through change – Singita’s carbon offsetting programme

in Sustainability

Leading through change – Singita’s carbon offsetting programme

As we mark Earth Day today, we consider our role as guardians of some of Africa's most pristine environments, and reaffirm our commitment to our 100-year purpose to preserve and protect large areas of African wilderness for future generations. This informs all that we do, and conservation has always been at the core of our brand. With sustainability playing such a key part in our projects and programmes, environmentally sound principles are entrenched in the daily running of our lodges, and the results of our commitment can be seen and measured in various ways.

To fully embody our purpose, we rely on the participation of likeminded partners and the wider conservation and travel communities – all working in tandem to achieve our goals. We are fortunate that Singita’s guests are inspired by the same love of the environment, and a similar desire to protect it. Through their generous support of our programmes – both indirectly and directly – we can effect lasting change.

All the conservation projects across our regions and at every level of our daily operations have been founded on the basis of our 100-year purpose

Better ways of doing business

Dr Andrea Ferry, Singita’s Sustainability Coordinator, heads up our sustainability portfolio. Her work encompasses everything from research to the execution of pivotal projects, and is crucial in our journey to continuously improve. Our Carbon Offsetting programme is one such project that illustrates our goal to ultimately achieve carbon neutrality.

The programme, which was implemented in August 2021, aims to allow our guests, as well as our business, to mitigate the impact of emissions. Simply put, carbon offsetting is a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to compensate for those that were produced elsewhere. For example, travellers can offset the carbon emissions produced from their flights by purchasing carbon credits. The funds generated are then distributed to emission-mitigation projects which either remove existing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere or prevent new emissions. This is done by funding (preferably certified) projects that conserve and restore forests, generate clean and renewable energy, and/or increase energy efficiency.

With a carbon-offset levy added to each Singita booking, guests are able to actively contribute to conservation and sustainability. “Offsetting our first round of credits was inspiring – knowing that Singita and guests can be part of the solution, reducing the use of firewood and other fossil fuels in communities, protecting forests and assisting those surrounding communities to have a better standard of living. It’s not just about neutralising our carbon, it’s also about helping communities,” says Dr Ferry.

Through our carbon offsetting programme we collaborate with various emission-mitigation projects which either remove existing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere or prevent new emissions

A united effort across regions

The success of Singita’s conservation initiatives depends on their wholehearted adoption at all levels. It’s therefore been incredibly inspiring and encouraging to receive such positive feedback for the programme.

We’ve also ensured that the transition for our guests and partners was seamless by refining the process and keeping the system simple. Identifying the right carbon-offset partners was pivotal: in South Africa and Zimbabwe, we work with Carbon Neutral Group; and in Tanzania and Rwanda, with Carbon Tanzania.

WATCH for more information on some of the ways your carbon credits go back into the environment and help support communities

“The timing was clearly right to put this in place. Guests are more knowledgeable and aware of the climate crisis, and willing to contribute to mitigate the impacts.” - Dr Ferry

This awareness and willingness to play a role has turned into tangible results:

- between September and December 2021, our guest-stay offset was 517 tonnes – the equivalent of 8,550 tree saplings planted and growing for 10 years
- between January and December 2021, our employee flights offset was 780 tonnes – the equivalent of 12,890 tree saplings planted and growing for 10 years

Seeing this project come to life, as well as the real impact it has on the environment and people’s lives, inspires us to even greater change in the future. Ensuring the environmental sustainability of the magnificent destinations we safeguard is part of our long-term vision, and a road that we are proud to walk together with our guests and partners.

Our carbon offsetting programme helps our teams and guests mitigate their travel emissions - in 2021 our employee flight offset was 780 tonnes

Join us on this journey

Learn more about how you too can help us to protect some of Africa’s last great wilderness areas, their wildlife and the communities who rely on them here >

By Julia Freemantle

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