For the Environment’s Sake:
In Africa, El Gouna is at the forefront in terms of sustainability
Cairo/Munich, October 21st, 2018 (w&p) — Environmental protection is a top priority in El Gouna. Waste separation, clean streets and clear water are of paramount importance for Orascom as we strive for environmental sustainability. El Gouna, the charming town on the Red Sea, has long been recognised as the most environmentally friendly holiday destination in Egypt. It is thanks to our environmental efforts that the town was awarded the Green City Award and stands as a role model for other towns and cities on the continent.
A forerunner in recycling
Multi coloured waste bins have been placed all over El Gouna. As part of our sophisticated recycling initiative, waste is precisely separated and sent to a proprietary recycling yard outside the town where all the plastic is collected and melted. The recycled material is then turned into bags, clothes, hangers and even paving stones. Consequently, hotel guests may use sustainable clothes hangers and may walk over partly reused paving. In total, the town has been recycling 80% of its waste since 1991.
Vital: The element of water
El Gouna is one of the first producers of desalinated water from the Red Sea. Today, the town has the benefit of having a total of 18 desalination plants continuously processing water by means of reverse osmosis. Water from mountain springs is processed in seven plants while the water from the Red Sea is processed in the remaining 11 plants. The town uses its desalinated water to water its golf resorts and parks. El Gouna does not let any of the water go to waste: A proprietary system was developed for the rest of the town.
After all, home-grown tastes best
El Gouna takes pride in its local products. Fresh vegetables are organically grown in the area, and residents, hotels and restaurants are always supplied with the best. The National Organic Program, the US Federal regulatory framework governing organic food, as well as the Centre for Organic Agriculture in Egypt have certified the local farms as acting in line with EU and government regulations. Organic waste is used to supply local farms: Animal troughs are filled with the town’s leftover food while compost is used as fertilizer for fields and patches.
With its innovative ideas, El Gouna has drastically reduced its energy consumption. Factors like cooling and heating play an important role in the Egypt’s warm climate. So-called “phase change” materials act like thermal batteries in many hotel rooms. They store both heat and cold and release it as needed. El Gouna thus does not depend on energy-consuming devices for temperature regulation, especially in its newest buildings.
El Gouna, a home for both flora and fauna
Mangroves belong to the most important habitats in the world. They are resilient to the most extreme conditions, most notably: salt water. El Gouna is the home for an island in the Red Sea. Its eco-systems need to be protected, especially its mangroves, as they provide food and breeding grounds for many fish. Additionally, insects and birds use the plants above the surface as protection and as a nesting area.
“El Gouna is a showcase project for us at Orascom. This is not only because it was the first destination which was developed by us, but also because we are the absolute pioneer in Africa when it comes to sustainability,” Jens Freise, Vice President Market and Sales for Orascom Hotel Management, says. “We are particularly proud of having been awarded the Green City Award and we will continue to work on maintaining quality of life and implementing sustainable solutions.”