Our Impact – Sustainability Projects
SUPPORTING OUR COMMUNITIES AND PROTECTING THE PLANET
Various sustainability initiatives are rolled out at each Mantis property. This includes Planet21, Accor Sustainable Development Programme, Positive Hospitality Guide with quantified goals to achieve.
Growing our own veggies and herbs
Project name: Kitchen gardens project
Property involvement: Mantis Akagera Game Lodge, Mantis Kivu Marina Bay Hotel, Origins Lodge by Mantis, Mantis Founders Lodge and Mantis No 5 Boutique Art Hotel
Strategic Partner: Ziyoleseni Farming
Location: South Africa, Rwanda and Costa Rica
Sustainability in all its forms has become essential to maintain an ecological balance. The amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere (our carbon footprint) is increased substantially during the transportation of food to venues, including hotels.
Several Mantis properties have on-site kitchen gardens where organic, fresh vegetables and herbs are grown. This is one of the ways in which we honour our commitment to sustainability. Choosing a Mantis hotel where the food on the menu is grown on site, not only ensures that you are eating organic, seasonal produce but also that the carbon footprint of your meal transport is zero.
Mantis No5 Boutique Art Hotel, South Africa: An unused parking space was repurposed into a vegetable and herb garden, providing the Hotel with organic produce while saving money and reducing the carbon footprint.
Mantis Founders Lodge, South Africa: Thobela Nontshinga, formerly employed at Mantis Founders Lodge, realised her passion was for cultivating plants. She started her own vegetable farm in neighbouring Paterson, the township in which she lives. Thobela now consults to the Lodge and supplies seedlings for the organic vegetable garden. The garden not only supplies the kitchen with fresh produce but has created employment opportunities.
Mantis Akagera Game Lodge and Mantis Kivu Marina Bay Hotel, Rwanda: Both have organic kitchen gardens to supply their restaurants with delicious ‘farm to table’ produce.
Mantis EPIC Hotel and Suites, Rwanda: Has plans in place to initiate a community market garden, which aims to encourage local farmers to provide certain produce, especially salad ingredients and herbs, to the hotel. In addition, the hotel has assisted the local school with cultivating vegetables on the school grounds.
Origins Lodge by Mantis, Costa Rica: The hospitality team takes full advantage of the climate in Costa Rica to nurture their organic vegetable garden, bringing the harvest into the daily guest experience. Not only is the climate perfect but the soil is certified organic.
Environmental change at grass roots level
Project name: Greening the Community
Property involvement: Hopewell Conservation Estate
Location: South Africa (Kwa Nobuhle, Eastern Cape)
To transform the ‘colour’ of the Kwa Nobuhle landscape, from brown, dry and polluted to green and luscious land, being maintained by proud community members. To open and sustain a nursery, create employment opportunities, upskill young people and preserve and educate around the IsiXhosa knowledge of traditional medicine and indigenous plant-based food.
Start a long-term environmental sustainability initiative that empowers local communities to drive environmental awareness and change, by helping 121 800 community members of the Kwa Nobuhle township improve their environment.
600 trees are being planted in 21 schools in Kwa Nobuhle township and visible changes can be seen. This has, and continues to contribute to the alleviation of poverty, assist with personal and social transformation, change lives and uplift the community, while creating a sustainable future.
As part of this project, 20 students have been enrolled in a Youth Development Program, providing employability and life skills. Graduates receive ongoing mentorship through Resilience Workshops and two graduates have been selected for a 6-month internship at Hopewell Conservation Estate, immersing them in the heart of the Greening the Community initiative. The internship focuses on indigenous horticulture, plant handling, traditional medicine and general conservation and awareness. We see it as replacing carbon emissions with a ‘green print.’
Sewing a sustainable future
Project name: Kylemore Sewing Project
Property involvement: The Mantis Collection and other supporting properties
Strategic Partner: Baby Cuddles
Location: South Africa (Kylemore, Western Cape)
Women in Kylemore are struggling to survive in this poverty-stricken community with little or no employment opportunities.
Generating a demand for sustainable bespoke products, creating employment opportunities for six women at Baby Cuddles, who design and sew various wildlife mascots that are sold at Mantis properties.
Job and financial security for this small group of women and their dependents who were previously unable to even afford a daily meal. The project also highlights Africa’s endangered species through the creation of these soft toy mascots that consist of a ‘gang’ of rhinos, elephants, gorillas, turtles and bongos. They are ambassadors for the wildlife in our country. Profits from the sale of these mascots are channelled into our impact projects.
Planting a sustainable future
Project name: Tree planting
Property involvement: Origins Lodge by Mantis and Mantis Founders Lodge
Strategic Partner: Local Government/CCFA
Location: Costa Rica and Eastern Cape, South Africa
There aren’t enough trees in the world to offset society’s carbon emissions – and there never will be. It is absolutely imperative for us to plant trees to ensure that our planet survives.
The importance of trees cannot be underestimated. They help clean the air we breathe, filter the water we drink and provide natural habitats for over 80% of the world’s animal and plant life. Trees also contribute to our environment by conserving water, controlling erosion and fighting climate change, they replenish the oxygen we need and absorb carbon dioxide during photosynthesis.
Forests provide jobs for over 1.6 billion people and supply important ingredients in a quarter of all medicines manufactured.
The planting of trees remains a priority for our planet.
An important aspect of planting trees is rewilding areas with species that originate from the area. Indigenous trees are perfectly adapted to their environment, living in harmony with other species. They don’t use too much water, aren’t invasive, are good for soil ecology and contribute towards building and restoring relationships organisms and their environment.
Indigenous trees also play an essential role in the environment for both animals and plants by attracting pollinators which encourage wildlife species to inhabit the area.
In Costa Rica, Origins Lodge by Mantis collaborates with the government on a reforestation project which sees about 200 trees being planted annually in the surrounding forest and on site.
Mantis Founders Lodge in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, is planting an endemic arboretum. Guests are invited to plant their own trees in this mini forest of indigenous trees including the protected White Milkwood.
Guests’ tree-planting donations support our foundation, the CCFA (Community Conservation Fund Africa) towards projects aimed at preserving wildlife and wilderness through meaningful community partnerships.
Our Foundation – CCFA
These projects are funded by the Mantis foundation – Community Conservation Fund Africa (CCFA) – formed from the collaboration between Mantis and Accor. CCFA is our fundraising and grant-giving non-profit-company (NPC) which supports our efforts in addressing social and environmental imbalances. There is a growing conservation crisis, not only in Africa, but in the world and it is our responsibility to make a difference where we can. All money donated and raised by CCFA is channeled directly to the projects. [Read more…]
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