The V&A Waterfront is one of the biggest tourist attractions in Cape Town, welcoming millions of visitors from all over the country and the world regularly. The iconic 123-hectare neighbourhood offers visitors many experiences from shopping to dining, to adventure activities and entertainment.
The V&A Waterfront prides itself in its commitment to responsible tourism with a corporate social investment (CSI) strategy that focuses on improving economic, social, and environmental impacts locally and internationally.
Here are some of the most effective Responsible Tourism initiatives that the V&A Waterfront has executed:
Supplier Empowerment Project
The Waterfront’s Supplier Empowerment Project focuses on providing small businesses and entrepreneurs with training to help them become fully independent businesses.
Small Business Development
The Small Business Development initiative creates opportunities for young entrepreneurs by providing them with either a kiosk around the mall or spaces at the Food Market.
The Watershed section at the V&A houses 150 small businesses and allows them to sell and showcase their products (mainly of art, crafts and design) to visitors.
This initiative is focused on building and boosting businesses and productivity in the workplace. Workshop 17 is a co-working space where entrepreneurs and innovators can come together to have flexible working spaces, have meetings, meet other entrepreneurs, brainstorm, and even collaborate.
V&A Community Programme
This programme deals with once-off requests, and disaster relief, as well as supporting several organisations and community service initiatives such as the SPCA, Relate Bracelet, 67 Blankets, The Haven, Habitat for Humanity, Ikamva Labantu, The Lalela Project, The Peninsula School Feeding Scheme, and Thula Thula.
The V&A Waterfront Staff Community Project
This initiative allows the V&A staff to apply for funding for projects they are either passionate about or are involved in within their respective communities.
The V&A Waterfront has implemented multiple water-saving measures, including installing water meters in all tenant premises, water-efficient toilets and urinals, sensor-operated taps in all bathrooms, using their borehole and grey water for toilet flushing and scrubbing of all hard surfaces and window cleaning, installing automated leak detection systems and more.
All V&A tenants have electricity meters installed on their premises. The Waterfront also uses seawater cooling in some of its air-conditioning.
The V&A Waterfront recently signed the Plastics Pact, which aims to change how plastic products and packaging are designed, used and reused to lessen the impact that plastics have on the environment. The Waterfront will also launch a research study with their restaurants on ways to eliminate harmful plastics. They have also eliminated plastic straws from their premises.
The Waterfront diverts 37% of all waste that is collected annually. They also ensure that their tenants recycle and deal with waste management via regular inspections.
For more information on the V&A Waterfront’s responsible tourism initiatives, please visit: https://www.waterfront.co.za/the-va/sustainability/