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Social and relationship capital

MAINTAINING KEY RELATIONSHIPS

Our people, and the relationships they build with others, are the foundation on which we grow and prosper. CLHG, therefore, adopts an inclusive approach towards creating long-term shared value for our shareholders, guests, employees, suppliers, and the communities in which we operate.

We actively engage with our key stakeholders and value their constructive feedback. Our various methods of engagement include among others; face-to-face interactions, formal and informal communication platforms, monthly blogs, results presentations, reports and our AGMs. We also engage through marketing campaigns, advertising, electronic media, newsletters, roadshows and public relations activities. CLHG regularly conducts surveys among our guests and employees, aiming to improve service delivery, guest experience and employee satisfaction. During the reporting period we obtained positive and constructive employee feedback via the WOW initiative, with appropriate individual responses given to each contribution.

Stakeholder feedback is regularly discussed at board meetings and ties into strategic decision making. The social and ethics committee provides oversight of the group’s stakeholder engagement and is responsible for keeping the board abreast of arising material matters. Guest feedback, typically operational, is also included in reports to Exco for its members to consider. Any material or recurring aspects are discussed and addressed by our operations team.

In our continued efforts to promote honesty and ethics in our organisation and following all legislative and statutory requirements, CLHG partnered with Whistle Blowers to provide a hotline service for reporting issues and for the protection of the whistleblower.

Further information regarding our stakeholder relationships is available throughout this report:

  Addressing stakeholders’ interests   Stakeholder engagement table
  Interacting with our guests   Intellectual capital
  Employee engagement   Human capital
  Social and ethics committee report   Corporate governance

PARTNERING FOR ADDED VALUE

World Travel & Tourism Council   The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) represents the global private sector of travel and tourism, with a mission to ensure the sector is seamless, secure, safe, inclusive and sustainable. Their specially designed Safe Travels stamp allows travellers to recognise countries and hotels around the world that have adopted health and hygiene globally standardised protocols.
Travel agents   Despite the devastation that the pandemic is having on the hospitality industry, we continue to pay 10% commission to IATA-registered travel agents and travel management companies on bookings for all of the group’s hotels. We know that travel management companies and travel agents have been particularly badly affected by the lockdown and related restrictions. We value their business and are happy to reward them for continued loyalty.
Thrifty Car Rental   We partnered with Thrifty Car Rental to provide guests with the best available rates (BAR) when booking through their website. Thrifty Car Rental has a national footprint, with branches at all major airports, as well as centrally located city branches. The latest vehicle models are regularly added to their fleet, ensuring that we provide customers with the best quality vehicles.
Clicks   Clicks ClubCard members earn double points on the accommodation value of their stay at Courtyard Hotels, City Lodge Hotels and Town Lodges in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia.
Sunshine Tour   CLHG is a proud partner of the Sunshine Tour, Southern Africa’s leading golf tour. It showcases both regional and international golfing talent and stages fantastic golfing events on a par with other internationally recognised tours.
Multiply   Multiply members save up to 45% when booking at any Courtyard Hotel, City Lodge Hotel or Town Lodge, and 10% at any Road Lodge.
MAD Leadership Foundation   CLHG is a proud sponsor of the MAD (Make A Difference) Leadership Foundation, focusing on developing and nurturing the leaders of tomorrow. Founded in 2003 by former Springbok rugby captain, Francois Pienaar, this foundation ties in with our emphasis on leadership and skills development towards building a bright future and a strong economy, in the best interests of all South Africans.

CORPORATE SOCIAL INVESTMENT (CSI) INITIATIVES

CLHG runs an extensive corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme aimed at helping people and the environment. Some are directed by our national central office, while others are managed regionally by each hotel general manager, to benefit their local community. Over the past year, R3.5 million was donated to our various CSI initiatives.

Group initiatives

CLHG guests may choose a charity from our website and, when they book, a percentage of the accommodation fee is donated on behalf of our guests. We contribute R5 for every reservation made to the charity chosen. Our current charity partners are Food and Trees for Africa and the Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa. In addition, we run the Cuppa for CANSA initiative in our Road Lodge brand to support the CANSA Foundation.

While the group does not directly fundraise for charities, other than for our e-CSI and Cuppa for CANSA programmes, we provide our hotel rooms and facilities as products or prizes for charitable fundraisers.

Hotel initiatives

Each of our hotels adopts a local cause meaningful to their staff and partners. They raise funds, refurbish buildings and generally assist with fulfilling specific needs. Hotels typically choose beneficiaries with which they or their staff already have a relationship. We encourage our people to spend time with our charities instead of simply writing out a cheque. CSI spend is budgeted in line with hotel performance and the B-BBEE scorecard target of 1% of net profit after tax, which the group typically exceeds.

Linen and towels that are usable but no longer up to display standards are donated to children’s homes, hospitals and hospices. In May 2021, the CLHG Sandton, CBD and West Rand hotels worked together to donate approximately R228 000 worth of linen, duvets, pillows, towelling, crockery, kitchen items, and body lotion to Emthonjeni Community Centre in Zandspruit. The community centre’s Swop Shop, where community members can exchange recyclable materials for much-needed items, is a key part of helping both the community and the environment.

Emthonjeni Community Centre – bringing dignity to Zandspruit

Emthonjeni Community Centre – bringing dignity to Zandspruit

CLHG always puts people first, especially our employees, guests and our various charitable partnerships. The Emthonjeni Community Centre is deeply rooted within the Zandspruit township it serves, embodying the message that all people – no matter what age, race, gender, social and economic position or abilities – should be able to contribute to society. The centre works hand in hand with corporates to deliver care-based projects in education and development through a swop shop, sewing centre, computer centre, knitting group, pre-school and aftercare facility.

CLHG has been instrumental in the success of Emthonjeni’s swop shop. Items donated to the shop by CLHG are swopped for recyclable items and materials brought in by community members. This swop shop concept empowers individuals to provide for themselves and their families through their own hard and environmentally friendly work.

Emthonjeni’s sewing project (Project Intombi) also repurposes used bathroom towels donated by CLHG, remanufacturing these into reusable sanitary pads. Since April 2021, Zandspruit community ladies have manufactured and distributed over 1 000 reusable pads for free, enabling local young women to manage their cycles with dignity and ease.

Hope, human dignity, skills transfer and physical and moral support, just to mention a few, are outcomes that CLHG aspires towards. We respect and appreciate all that Emthonjeni Community Centre does for the communities of Zandspruit, and are delighted at the opportunity to bring some light and hope to deserving people during exceptionally difficult times.

Emthonjeni Community Centre – bringing dignity to Zandspruit
Emthonjeni Community Centre – bringing dignity to Zandspruit

ENTERPRISE AND SUPPLIER DEVELOPMENT

CLHG helps several businesses to grow and create much-needed employment opportunities through our supplier development and support programmes. The group’s preferential procurement framework identifies suitable beneficiaries to be empowered through loans, human resource capacity, and coaching.

During the year, the group continued identifying new, black-owned small, medium and micro-enterprises (SMMEs) for our supply chain.

After receiving financial support from CLHG our fresh produce suppliers purchased farmland north of Johannesburg and commenced smallscale farming operations which has steadily grown and now supplies some of the country's largest retailers.

GUEST SATISFACTION

The group has established a large base of loyal guests over several decades. We believe that the CLHG offering is differentiated by passionate people delivering kind and caring services to our guests.

Guest comments are directed by email to info@clhg.com and online through the Rate Us guest questionnaire. We also monitor Hellopeter.com, TripAdvisor, Facebook and Twitter.

The Rate Us questionnaire received approximately 6 800 responses during the year, yielding a pleasing average customer satisfaction score of 92.8% (2020: 89%). Using this instant feedback mechanism, our guests share their experiences directly, allowing us to give them more of what they want and to address any concerns they may have. Concerns are generally operational and are handled at the hotel level following established processes and protocols. Most compliments received are for exceptional service and friendly staff. We track market perception via regular brand tracking surveys and by monitoring brand sentiment across social media on a monthly basis.

AWARDS

Although achieving guest satisfaction is our primary reward, we do appreciate being acknowledged by other service providers.

TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice awards

The 2021 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice awards for CLHG are:

  • City Lodge Hotel Bloemfontein (South Africa)
  • City Lodge Hotel V&A Waterfront (South Africa)
  • Fairview Hotel (Kenya)

In 2020, these awards included:

  • Fairview Hotel (Kenya)
  • City Lodge Hotel at Two Rivers Mall, Nairobi (Kenya)
  • Courtyard Hotel Port Elizabeth (South Africa)
  • City Lodge Hotel Lynnwood (South Africa)

Agoda’s customer review awards 2021

The Agoda Customer Review Awards recognise hotels that distinguished themselves with outstanding hospitality and consistently superior guest reviews. With the challenges faced by the travel industry over the past years, winning this award not only speaks about exceptional service but is also a testament to our hard work, dedication, and passion. Our winning hotels in 2021 are:

Hotel name City Score /10
City Lodge Hotel Bloemfontein Bloemfontein 8.4
City Lodge Hotel Pinelands Cape Town 9.8
City Lodge Hotel V&A Waterfront Cape Town 9.0
City Lodge Hotel GrandWest Cape Town 9.0
City Lodge Hotel Durban Durban 9.2
Town Lodge Umhlanga Durban 8.8
City Lodge Hotel Umhlanga Ridge Durban 8.6
City Lodge Hotel Sandton, Katherine Street Johannesburg 9.6
City Lodge Hotel Johannesburg Airport, Barbara Road Johannesburg 9.3
Courtyard Hotel Rosebank Johannesburg 8.8
Courtyard Hotel Sandton Johannesburg 8.8
City Lodge Hotel at OR Tambo International Airport Johannesburg 8.7
City Lodge Hotel Fourways Johannesburg 8.7
City Lodge Hotel Waterfall City Johannesburg 8.7
City Lodge Hotel Bryanston Johannesburg 8.6
Town Lodge Johannesburg Airport Johannesburg 8.5
City Lodge Hotel Port Elizabeth Gqeberha 9.2
Courtyard Hotel Port Elizabeth Gqeberha 8.6
City Lodge Hotel Lynnwood Pretoria 8.9

CLHG marketing awards – 2020/2021
D&AD Awards 2021
Marital Bliss – WKND Special
CLHG won a Wooden Pencil at the recent D&AD Awards for an online radio advert, titled Marital Bliss, promoting our WKND Special. The advert was created by our advertising agency TBWA Hunt Lascaris.

Listen to the advert here: Marital Bliss

Sunday Times GenNext Awards 2020
CLHG was nominated for the Coolest Hotel Group award and placed fourth in the category.

NATURAL CAPITAL

ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

Natural capital

Being environmentally responsible is entrenched in the CLHG ethos. We continuously analyse, manage and monitor environmental impact across our brands. At every opportunity, we encourage our stakeholders to join us on our sustainability journey.

Despite the many challenges that CLHG faced over the last 18 months, reducing the group’s negative impact on the environment remains a key focus. The solar installations at 25 of our hotels throughout the group reduced our dependency on the national energy grid. We provide guests with magnesiumenriched filtered water from hydration stations in all CLHG hotels to reduce the volume of bottled water used and the resulting single-use plastic waste. Our single-use-plastic-free range of bathroom amenities is popular with guests.

We are particularly pleased with the Green Star rating achieved by the new Courtyard Hotel Waterfall City. This is in recognition of its efficient water and electrical designs; energy efficient lights and appliances; intelligent lighting management systems; and building monitoring systems. It includes an automated mechanism for monitoring water consumption data and detecting leaks. The hotel also has a state-of-theart on-premises laundry that takes care of all of the hotel’s linen and terry products using energy, water and laundry efficient chemicals and equipment.

The group did not conduct a formal carbon footprint measurement this year. However, we are confident that with significant reductions in absolute electricity and water use, less waste generated and sent to landfills and less business travel, our total carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) would have shown a favourable decline year on year.

SPECIFIC SUSTAINABILITY FOCUS AREAS

Energy consumption

Our hotels and supporting infrastructure use electricity primarily generated by the national energy providers in the countries we operate in. As power outages are relatively common across Africa, all our hotels have backup diesel generators installed.

The bulk of the group’s energy consumption results from water heating, air conditioning, lighting, and laundry operations. As these functions generate 80% to 90% of our carbon footprint, mitigating their effects remains key. Our total energy consumption for the period was 17.7 million kWh (2020: 23.7 million kWh).

Sustainable energy management programmes at each hotel focus on operational and technical efficiencies. Our absolute energy consumption across all our hotels decreased by 25% (2020: 17%). As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the varying levels of lockdown, hotels were only reopened when demand for accommodation increased to adequate levels. However, even when closed for guests or operating at far lower occupancies, hotels consume electricity as part of their minimum baseload. This adversely affects the energy consumption per occupied room, which increased by 38%.

Electricity consumption (per occupied room and available room) and the resultant per room costs were:

  kWh per occupied room   Cost per occupied room (R)   kWh per available room   Cost per available room (R)
Brand 2021 2020   2021 2020   2021 2020   2021 2020
Courtyard 79.0 35.1   152.91 70.58   9.6 10.5   17.33 21.04
City Lodge 31.5 22.6   58.63 36.71   6.8 8.7   12.59 15.35
Town Lodge 36.4 22.9   82.45 43.65   5.3 7.5   12.03 14.66
Road Lodge 20.2 15.0   45.03 32.40   5.2 6.8   11.46 14.71

Once again, the group turned off non-essential lights during Earth Hour on Saturday, 27 March 2021, saving 293 kWh or 15% of the energy usually consumed during this time on a regular Saturday evening.

Renewable energy

The installation of solar power generation at 25 hotels was completed in 2019.

Our solar installations have produced 1.8 million kWh during the financial year. This helped us reduce the total amount of energy purchased from national energy providers by 8.2%, when compared with the same period last year. We also generated 389 463 kWh excess solar energy that could in future be sold into national grids.

Water consumption

Reducing water consumption remains a joint effort between employees and guests. We encourage guests to help reduce water consumption without minimising the guest experience. Our newer and refurbished hotels reduced the number of rooms with baths to approximately 60% of the total complement. We also installed low-flow showerheads and taps and are evaluating other ways to reduce overall water consumption.

CLHG relies on municipal supplies for water, although some of our South African hotels use borehole water for property maintenance. We are very mindful of the severe water shortages currently being experienced in the Nelson Mandela Bay region. We drilled a borehole and are currently investigating options to supplement the municipal feed with filtered and treated water into some of our beachfront hotels.

The total water consumption for the period was 312 112 kℓ (2020: 436 013 kℓ), a 123 901 kℓ, 28% decrease year on year.

As with electricity consumption, water consumption was significantly reduced by the Covid-19 lockdowns and hotel closures.

  kℓ per occupied room   Cost per occupied room (R)   kℓ per available room   Cost per available room (R)
Brand 2021 2020   2021 2020   2021 2020   2021 2020
Courtyard 1.79 1.14   59.61 37.10   0.22 0.34   6.76 11.06
City Lodge 0.49 0.35   18.98 13.30   0.10 0.13   4.07 5.56
Town Lodge 0.50 0.37   21.37 12.79   0.07 0.12   3.12 4.30
Road Lodge 0.41 0.32   12.08 8.66   0.10 0.14   3.07 3.93

We are also responsible for managing water quality at our properties, achieved by using biodegradable chemicals and products, installing grease traps, and implementing saltwater chlorinators for swimming pools.

Waste and recycling

The volume of solid waste generated by our hotels is low compared with fullservice hotels. Nevertheless, we recycle paper, glass, plastics, aluminium and steel cans where possible. Due to the challenges brought on by the pandemic, the percentage of group waste recycled declined, but we continue exploring cost-effective solutions to further reduce our waste-to-landfill.

Water filling stations for guests
CLHG guests have the option to replace single-use plastic bottled water with magnesium-enriched, filtered water from dispensers conveniently located in the hotel. The water filling stations reduce the carbon footprint of the supply chain by reducing the volumes of bottled water trucked to the hotels. As at 30 June 2021, 43 of the group’s 56 hotels in South Africa offer hydration stations.

We encourage guests to either use their own reusable bottles or cups or to purchase reusable glass or aluminium water bottles from reception. Reusable glass water bottles or jugs are provided for delegates using CLHG conference and meeting rooms and boardrooms.

Plastic free, eco-friendly amenities

CLHG, together with our South African supplier, The Bespoke Amenities Company (TBAC), remains committed to the new range of bathroom amenities that reduce the amount of single-use plastic used in our hotel rooms. These are available across all our hotel brands. We were the first South African hotel group and among the first in the world to implement such an innovation.

Our environmentally friendly amenities include ‘Zero’ shampoo bars and shower caps made from corn starch. Each of the new amenities is packaged in Forest Stewardship Council certified recyclable cardboard packaging.

Following these changes, we estimate that we substantially reduced the volume of single-use plastics going to landfills:

Items   Waste-to-landfill reduced by
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) bottles   688 201 units
Flow wraps   1 364 954 units
Plastic tubes   67 829 units
Boxed accessories (non-FSC board)   53 142 units
TOTAL   2 141 434 units

ANTI-ANIMAL CRUELTY

The public is increasingly concerned about the industrial model of producing food from animals, which may deliver cheaper food products in a manner that is cruel and harms environmental and public health. Consumers increasingly demand food that is safe, healthy and grown sustainably.

In January 2020, the group publicly committed to only serving 100% cage-free eggs throughout its operations by 2025. CLHG partnered with Humane Society International-Africa (HSI-Africa) on its journey towards offering eggs and egg products sourced in this way. City Lodge currently serves approximately 1.4 million eggs annually.

We acknowledge public concern and the wishes of our guests and are determined to ensure that our product supply chain is ethical and transparent.

COMPLIANCE

The group complies with the following South African legislation relevant to environmental sustainability:

  • Atmospheric Pollution Prevention Act, 45 of 1965
  • Environment Conservation Act, 73 of 1989
  • National Environmental Management Act, 107 of 1998
  • National Water Act, 36 of 1998
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act, 85 of 1993
  • Water Services Act, 108 of 1997.

No environmental accidents occurred during the year, nor were any environmental-related fines imposed on the group.

OUR GOALS FOR THE YEAR AHEAD

In the year ahead, we aim to further reduce energy consumption where possible, on a per-room-sold basis. We are committed to finding more ways to reduce overall consumption in our hotels during periods of low occupancy, especially until the Covid-19 pandemic subsides.

We are continuing our efforts to reduce per-room-sold water consumption and are finding additional sources of water for hotels in water-scarce regions. Solutions may include greywater reuse and water conservation in general.