Singita’s dedication to zero waste is supporting its local communities


The ten principles of One Planet Living are designed to structure holistic action for sustainability and many of them complement one another. Andrea Ferry, Sustainability Coordinator at Singita, shares how the conservation company is bringing together zero waste with equity and the local economy.

Singita manages over a million acres of land in Africa, with a commitment to conservation, community outreach and environmentally conscious hospitality. We have a strong commitment to One Planet Living to support this work.

As part of this, we strive to reduce our waste production while supporting local business and helping communities. Luckily, we have some wonderful recycling service providers who enable us to meet two objectives at once! These organisations not only help us recycle waste but are set up to enable local people to earn a living and have meaningful work.

Shanga in Arusha, Tanzania

Recycled glass from our Singita Serengeti operations is often sent to Shanga. Shanga is a successful social enterprise which employs 70 people with disabilities to create unique, high-quality, handmade jewellery, glassware and homeware using recycled materials. Learn more about some of these people’s stories.

These products are sold in Tanzania and all over the world, with profits being reinvested back into development of new products and further employment of disabled people. Beautiful Shanga tableware is even used at Singita Serengeti’s Faru Faru lodge and sold in Singita’s Boutique & Gallery, closing the circle on this easily recyclable resource.

Oasis Association in Cape Town, South Africa

Singita’s Cape Town office has contracted with Oasis Association for many years to process recycled materials, mostly office paper. For over 20 years, Oasis Recycling has provided recycling solutions for over 400 businesses. Oasis was founded in 1952 by a group of parents looking for a solution to the problem of their children being excluded from mainstream society. They started their own school for children with intellectual disabilities. Today Oasis Association provides employment opportunities, skills development training, day care centres and residential homes for over 450 men, women and children.

Whole Earth Recycling in Johannesburg, South Africa

Our Johannesburg office has recently contracted with Whole Earth Recycling to assist with recycling management. Whole Earth Recycling is a community-based project which brought together a group of 30 sorters. They generate an income for themselves by sorting and selling the material to a local buy-back centre. This is their only source of income and without it they would be rummaging through Municipal refuse bins (in most cases mixed with expired food waste etc.) to gather recyclables to sell. This project has created approximately 50 jobs covering sorters, administrators, drivers, and truck assistants.

Acornhoek Recycling in Mpumulanga, South Africa

Singita’s lodges in the Sabi Sand and Kruger National Park send their recycling to Acornhoek Recycling Depot, an initiative started by the Acornhoek municipality. This project employs 20 women who ensure our recycling is sorted to the highest compliance. Recycled materials are baled and sent to the buyback centre where other businesses will purchase reusable resources, thus closing the loop on much of this waste.

Learn more about Singita and its commitment to One Planet Living.

One Planet Living is our vision of the world where everyone, everywhere lives happy, healthy lives within the limits of the planet.

Photo credit: Shanga

Related blog posts

How can we expand urban areas sustainably? Lessons from Bicester

Sustainable Development Goal 11 seeks make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and…Read more

Why built environment professionals are on the frontline of healthcare

Sustainable Development Goal 3 seeks to ensure healthy lives and…Read more

Engaging colleagues and customers on sustainability – three lessons from the leaders

On Thursday Hayley Baines-Buffery attended the edie Sustainability Leaders Forum.…Read more