In Stellenbosch’s historic Dorp Street, Eendracht Hotel & Apartments stands as a shining example of sustainable accommodation. Owner (and eco trailblazer) Daniel Lutz is a champion for all things green and has been planting seeds of change since he became a client of ours in 2008. He believes that hotels can do good for the environment, and his approach has made Eendracht a beacon of positivity in the community, and set a gold “green” standard for the hospitality industry.
We caught up with Daniel to chat about his innovative green initiatives and his future plans to make his hotel operations even more eco-friendly.
Sustainable from the Start
From the very beginning, Eendracht was designed to be environmentally friendly, showing Daniel’s commitment to a cleaner and greener future. Daniel carefully made choices while building, like making the walls thicker and the ceilings higher. These decisions help control the temperature naturally. Because of this, there’s less need for systems that use a lot of energy to heat or cool the buildings.
In 2008, Daniel made a forward-thinking change for Eendracht by switching to solar power before electricity cuts (or load shedding) became a common problem. He installed solar panels, which ensured that there would always be power.
This proactive approach also helped save a lot of money. But Daniel didn’t stop there – he kept upgrading the system. He swapped out old batteries for better ones, and switched to heat pumps that didn’t eat up as much energy. It’s clear he’s committed to playing the long game when it comes to sustainability.
These are some more of Eendracht’s eco-inspiring approaches:
Attention to Detail
Daniel carefully chooses suppliers that are also eco-friendly – and supports them. For example, he uses a laundry service that recycles water and gives the excess to a local car wash to avoid wasting it. He’s also increased the number of sheets and towels the hotel has. This means they can wash fewer items at a time, allowing the laundry service to work only during the day. This way, they can use solar power and rely less on other types of energy.
Supporting the Local Community
For Daniel, supporting the local community is a priority. He collaborates with a 90-year-old local florist to create beautiful floral displays for Eendracht. Beyond the hotel, Daniel’s passion for making a difference led him to co-found the Stellenbosch Fietsry NGO. This group promotes biking as a better way to get around, because it’s better for the environment and keeps Stellenbosch feeling like a small, friendly village.
Constant Innovation: An Ongoing Journey
Recycling, eliminating single-use plastics, and preventing food waste are embedded in Eendracht’s daily operations. But the journey towards sustainability doesn’t end there. Daniel has some big ideas for getting guests involved too. For instance, if you decide to skip your daily room clean, they’ll sweeten the deal with a coffee voucher.
Eendracht has also signed up to Toco, a carbon positive payment system. Another bold initiative is the installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. Even though EVs are still rare in South Africa, Daniel firmly believes in powering ahead of the curve. “I hope that providing the necessary infrastructure can inspire others to adopt EVs,” he says.
“I firmly believe that sustainability is not just about cutting costs; it’s about providing an unforgettable, environmentally responsible experience for our guests. Our dedication to sustainability sets us apart and fuels our drive to continually push the boundaries of innovation.”
To Daniel, success is not just about going ‘green’ by cutting costs, it’s about growing a thriving, sustainable business. This is achieved by cultivating customer satisfaction and offering eco-experiences that don’t cost the Earth. By tirelessly seeking new ways to greenovate, Daniel ensures that guests not only have a wonderful stay, but feel part of a larger, greener purpose.
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