An infographic guide to going carbon neutral at the Cableway

In 2015, the Table Mountain Cableway added to its responsible tourism initiatives by being upgraded to Diamond Heritage Status on the Heritage Environmental Rating Programme, being awarded the silver runners-up award at the 2015 African Responsible Tourism Awards in the Best for Resource Management category, and increasing the amount of goods sourced from local suppliers at its retail outlets. This year, the Cableway is eclipsing those achievements by announcing its carbon-neutral status!

This exciting announcement comes hot on the heels of the Cableway experiencing its busiest December yet, which saw us welcome 149 000 visitors. 

We've neatly packaged all of our environmental statistics in an easy-to-read infographic. Let’s break it down:

What does being carbon neutral mean?

Being carbon neutral refers to a business or person “having achieved a state in which the net amount of carbon dioxide or other carbon compounds emitted into the atmosphere is reduced to zero because it is balanced by actions to reduce or offset these emissions.”

How is the Cableway achieving this?

We are conscious of the carbon footprint we have due to our extensive resources and we are offsetting this by investing in the Kuyasa Housing Project, a low-carbon initiative in Khayelitsha.

Kuyasa is a remarkable project, not least because solar water heaters (110 litres), ceilings and compact fluorescent energy efficient lightbulbs (CFLs) have been installed in 2 100 houses from inception in 2014, to date.

Its community outreach is astounding too. To date the project has created 85 full-time jobs, of which 50 were for youth, 28 for women and three for the disabled. Collectively, a total of 65 425 job days has been paid.

The installed technologies for which these community members are employed, save the beneficiary households an estimated R1 000 per annum in energy costs, while delivering a more liveable, safer and healthier dwelling.

Through purchasing units, we are ensuring that the housing project is provided with proper sealing and solar-heating systems.

What does this mean in terms of CO2 numbers for the Cableway?

Our total carbon dioxide emissions in 2015 produced were 1564.5 tonnes – 1.66kg per visitor!

This number is made up of the following:

  • Electricity:  the emissions generated by the amount of electricity we used to run our top attraction amounted to  975.4 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
  • Gas: our refrigerators and air conditioners emitted 396.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
  • All other indirect emissions: our air travel and indirect transportation has resulted in 142.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide being emitted..
  • Fuel consumption: fuel consumption via our generators, company vehicles and kitchen gas stoves in the past year, saw us emit 82.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide.
  • Waste:  our waste management initiatives has resulted in 72.4 tonnes of carbon dioxide being emitted.
  • Water: the supply of fresh water to our visitors and staff, and keeping our recycling toilets in working condition has emitted 4.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

In addition to these reductions in our carbon dioxide emissions, all Cableway staff continue to work hard at our responsible tourism initiatives in the following ways:

  • Lights off: we’ve reduced our electricity consumption to 39MW/h since 2014, which is enough to provide power for eight households for a year.
  • Waterwise: we’ve reduced our water consumption by more than 5% per visitor since 2014. This has helped us save 32 cable cars’ worth of water.
  • Waste-lite: being litter conscious has seen us divert 52% of waste from landfill in the past year.

“As custodians of Table Mountain, a New 7 Wonder of Nature, the Cableway has always prided itself on its responsible tourism initiatives. Committing ourselves to being carbon neutral was the logical next step in this journey. Seeing that commitment pay off in such a visual format and the positive outcome it has had for the Kuyasa Project makes us extremely proud,” says Sabine Lehmann, MD of the Cableway.

Help us encourage other tourism businesses to become carbon neutral too by sharing our infographic via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Keen to be a part of our green journey? Buy your tickets online or at our Ticket Office and join us!

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