One Planet Living recognises the importance of health and happiness in the quest for sustainable ways of living and doing business. Katherine Cunliffe from Singita Serengeti, a One Planet Community in Tanzania, shares how they put this principle into practice in a workplace.
Singita Serengeti is a wildlife reserve in Tanzania, dedicated to environmentally conscious hospitality, sustainable conservation and community outreach. We have been using One Planet Living since 2012 to help drive our sustainability efforts.
Over the last four years we have installed solar PV, significantly reduced our plastic waste and continued with our extensive community development projects. We also have over 800 staff, so employee engagement is an important part of our work.
This February, we celebrated ‘Health month’ which was designed to promote healthy living among our employees. Over 250 people signed up – wearing a green ribbon to raise awareness and show commitment to the activities. We made things easy by running a variety of activities and implementing some new initiatives, including:
- Lots of exercise options available every day of the week, from running, walking, cycling and yoga to volleyball, weightlifting, soccer and rugby
- Healthy eating tips prominently displayed, including menus that listed calories per meal (all materials were provided in English and Swahili)
- Lemon and cucumber water available at the canteen
- Inspirational TED talks were emailed out periodically
Joseph Malenya, who works in the kitchen at Sasakwa Lodge, decided to sign up for Health Month so that he could get more information about healthy eating, get fit and lose weight. He made some dietary changes and participated in the weightlifting class – and lost six kilograms during the month of February. Reflecting on Health month, Joseph said: “I feel I have more energy and overall, I feel much healthier”.
Francis Muruthi, the Singita Serengeti Paramedic, also observed through the clinic that there was a substantial increase in the number of people doing exercise in February and that several of the staff lost weight due to improved diet and exercise.
Encouraging a healthy lifestyle for the Singita Serengeti team is something that the company is passionate about. One Planet Living has given us the framework and enthusiasm to do this and the result has been an increase in the amount of people who are exercising, eating healthily and appreciating the iconic setting which we are all fortunate enough to call home.
And while February may have ended, it doesn’t mean that this commitment to wellbeing in the workplace has disappeared. In the words of Moremi Wambura, a staff member from Issenye, “February has been very good for me and I will continue this during the year.”
Learn more about Singita Serengeti and its commitment to One Planet Living with its One Planet Annual Review 2015/16.
Sustainability Technical Adviser at Singita Serengeti