‘Think Planet’ means ‘Think Bicycle’ for the Radisson Blu Waterfront staff, Cape Town

Why a bicycle is the perfect mode of transport? Because I’m a very impatient person,” says Letisha Diedericks.
“I would rather do things myself!”

 

Letisha Diedericks, Food and Beverage Supervisor at the Radisson Blu Waterfront, is just one of the staff members brimming with excitement after receiving her folding bicycle at the Think Planet prize giving in Cape Town on Wednesday 29 May.
Bicycles awaiting the staff at the Radisson Blu Waterfront
All 230 Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront staff members were rewarded with a bicycle in recognition of the Hotel’s stellar performance in Rezidor’s energy saving initiative, Think Planet!

As part of this international initiative, the Group set themselves an ambitious goal of reducing their total energy consumption by 25% across their entire portfolio by 2016. As an incentive, Rezidor offered a Hoptown B-Twin foldable bicycle for each staff member of the individual Hotel which affected the highest energy savings in 2012. Lumi, the firefly who generates her own energy, was chosen as the initiative’s mascot.

“Our staff qualified for this prize by completely obliterating the 5% target set for year one, and in doing so, set a challenge to other the Hotels by achieving the highest overall reduction in energy – a remarkable 28%- or 1 million kilowatt-hours (equivalent to 20 000 LED bulbs lit for one year),” comments Michael Rathgeb, General Manager at Radisson Blu Hotel, Waterfront. “I am very proud of how the whole Hotel championed this cause, and for the valuable part each staff member played in reducing overall energy consumption”

Lumi the firefly

Letisha was part of Think Planet committee which was established within the Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront and comprised of staff members from different departments and seniority levels. Headed by Chief Engineer, Alan Petersen, the committee played a crucial part in achieving the overall objective by implementing initiatives which included the installation of LED lighting and lighting motion sensors, refurbishment of the HVAC system and cooling towers, and education of the guests and fellow staff members.

Letisha outlined the simple steps her Food and Beverage department took to reduce their energy consumption – these included switching off coffee machines between meals, sweeping instead of using the vacuum cleaner and switching off lights in sections not being used.

Staff members were encouraged to make suggestions for energy saving – with the best and most practical suggestion achieving “Lumi of the Month” status.

Staff members Letisha Diedericks and Christma van Zyl

Staff members Letisha Diedericks and Christma van Zyl

Letisha, who lives in Bontheuwel, intends to use her new bicycle for both fun and commuting. Although she does own a private vehicle, she has been using public transport to travel to work, which costs in the region of R30 per day. Letisha’s brother has been commuting on his bicycle for 25 years, and she plans to follow his example. “I’m a very impatient person” she says, “I would rather do things myself!”

The overwhelming impression we got from the staff at the Radisson is that they are immensely proud of their achievement – and that the Think Planet ideals of energy saving have overflowed into their everyday lives. They have shown that by working together, it is possible to reduce our environmental footprint and work towards a more sustainable future.

Staff with their Cape Town Bicycle Maps

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