Archive for March, 2013

Green Lodge

Green Lodge pic

Sasaab Lodge – Samburu, a Five-Leaf System member, won the Ecotourism Partnership of the Year Award 2012, sponsored by the Federation of Community Organizations, at the Eco-Warrior Awards in Kenya. Congratulations!

The Eco-Warrior Awards recognize efforts, innovations and exceptional achievements for promoting responsible tourism and enhancing tourism sustainability which directly conserves the natural environment linked to local communities through mutually beneficial and equitable partnerships.

Nature conservation through community development from tourism is the essence of ecotourism.

Guests at Sasaab make a direct contribution by their stay towards helping six hundred families of the Ngutuk-Ongiron Group Ranch.

Community projects include schools in the Westgate Area with the provision of furniture, art supplies and over two hundred school text books supplied.

The women in the Westgate Community Conservancy live in a traditional hierarchical structure without any significant employment and Sasaab has helped to form three women’s groups to make artefacts which are used in the lodge and sold in the gift shop.

Sasaab also works with the Westgate Community health care workers planning and participating in community health programmes.

Lion conservation has become a major concern and research is being carried out to minimise its disappearance.

Sasaab Lodge generates hot water using solar panels and uses energy conserving light bulbs and well as growing its own vegetables.

Apart from winning the Ecotourism Partnership of the Year Award 2012, Sasaab was also awarded a gold Eco-Rating last June. This is a prestigious award in Kenya, and only one of 6 lodges in the country to have reached this level.

Green Lodge

By Silvia Pelham

Image source: Sasaab Lodge

This was THE week for Tourism and Eco Fairs across Europe.
BTL, ECOBUILD and ITB are all taking place during this period.

btl2013 (1)BTL – International Tourism Exhibition (27Feb/3Mar) celebrated its 25 years and Golf and Wine Tourism were the main attraction. You can find around 900 exhibitors, more than 45 destinations and an expected 65,000 visitors.


logo ECOBUILD, the future (5-7Mar) showcases the entire range of sustainable construction products for new build, refurbishment, residential and commercial projects. With 1,500 organisations exhibiting, it offers 1,100 experts, myriad of products and 180 conference and seminar sessions with a Future Materials Gallery.

itb_logo_enITB BERLIN (6-10Mar) has Indonesia as the Official Partner Country this year. With over 10,500 exhibitors, 113,000 trade visitors and a total number of expected visitors of 172,000, it is Europe’s leading travel trade show, where one can find all there is to know on the latest trends in tourism (from booking to youth travel).

By Silvia Pelham

WorldGBC reports on green buildings around the world

The latest report by the World Green Building Council on the economic and social benefits of sustainable buildings around the world was made public on March 6.

Jane Henley, CEO of the World Green Building Council, believes “sustainable buildings provide tangible benefits and make clear business sense.”

The Business Case for Green Building shows developers, investors and occupiers what are the costs and benefits of green buildings and how sustainability affects design and construction, lowers maintenance costs and raises the asset value of the properties.

The developer lowers his design and construction costs, can demand higher sales prices and can expect quicker sales and has other advantages shared with owners: the ability to secure finance, a rapid return on investment, increased market value and reduced vacancies.

The tenant raises productivity through increased health and well-being and shares with owners lower operating and maintenance costs and reduced downtime.

The owner has also lower depreciation and exit yield and increased occupancy rates and shares with all lower transaction fees and refurbishing costs, a better corporate image and increased prestige value and compliance with legislation and other legal requirements.

See full report at


By Silvia Pelham

Image source: World Green Building Council

Green DealThe new UK government policy for upgrading poor quality housing

Finance has been available since January 2013 in the UK for 45 energy saving measures for improving your property.

Loans are repaid through energy bills and are transferred with the property to new users – a novel concept in this country.

Homeowners repay the Green Deal charge on their monthly bill, even if the promised savings on their energy bills do not materialize, but the intention is that savings on energy bills will outweigh the cost of repayments.

This has been the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s policy since October 2012 and although interest rates are higher than average household loans, the aspiration is that the general public will join and help upgrade the quality of the country’s housing stock.

In terms of heating, ventilation and air conditioning, measures range from installation of equipment (boilers, gas recovery devices, ground and air source heat pumps) to complete systems (heat recovery, heating controls, mechanical ventilation and under-floor heating).

With building fabric, insulation and draught proofing are paramount (cavity walls, flat roofs, external and internal walling, floors and lofts) with the emphasis also on heating systems (cylinders and pipework).

With lighting, fittings and controls are considered; with water heating, innovative hot water systems and water efficient taps and showers are contemplated; with fenestration, energy efficient glazing and doors have been included.

Further measures have been confirmed to include roof lights, lamps and luminaires, radiant heating, solar blinds, shutters and shading devices as well as solar collectors, chillers, fans and pumps.

By Silvia Pelham

Image source: Which? -