The southern tip of Africa is wild, diverse and blessed with abundance. Overlooking this untamed coastline,
flanked by forest, fynbos, and the Overberg mountain range, lies a 5-Star luxury eco-reserve
dedicated to the unique biodome in which it resides.
In 1994, Michael Lutzeyer developed a piece of land on a farm overlooking the quiet Gansbaai area. In those early days, it had yet to impact the local community. It wasn’t dedicated to the preservation of the endemic fynbos ecosystem. And it wasn’t leading the way in progressive luxury tourism. Grootbos was a humble Bed & Breakfast focused on getting off the ground.
What followed was a period of transformation and a commitment to putting sustainability at the centre of their operation. Today, Grootbos is responsible for a number of programs to benefit the communities that they work with. The Grootbos Foundation works to conserve fynbos by developing the skills of their surrounding communities. Their commitment to the natural ecosystem is also far-reaching, through the conservation of 3500 hectares of pristine wilderness and by ensuring their community upliftment feeds into the preservation of the Cape Floral Kingdom.
The point is that Grootbos didn’t start out as a world leader in sustainable tourism. It took hard work, sacrifice, and data to get there, and that continues every day in order to remain sustainable and worthwhile for those invested in Grootbos’ success.
The indigenous nursery, watered through the grey water system
Green Futures Foundation training
Rain water harvesting tanks
The ever-present challenge
Grootbos’ commitment to constant innovation led to the recent reconstruction of their Garden Lodge. Its 1000 sqm roof was designed to collect rainwater that is used throughout the lodge. This sort of undertaking calls for a comprehensive understanding of their business and a watertight knowledge of the associated costs and benefits. That’s why consistent data capture and management have been invaluable to Grootbos. According to General Manager, Sean Ingles, it’s something they can’t live without.
"Monitoring your data is essential to understanding impact. For example, we found a massive leak on the property that we would never have found otherwise."
Weaving their magic
It’s not just deciding whether to implement new projects or understanding which processes are working. Weeva’s platform is designed to make operational efficiency and resilience more accessible and achievable in all areas of a property. This explains why Grootbos was one of the first to adopt Weeva for a complete view of its business, ingesting 10 years of historical data, so that the past can inform the future.
The Grootbos story has become one of demonstratively important work. And seeing this in action is a big part of the appeal for guests. With tourists becoming more aware of the impact of their choices, there has never been a better time to make smart, sustainable decisions that are well-informed.
Numbers don’t lie
Data is important because it tells a real, verifiable, true story. Analysing that story and learning from it leads to progress that benefits everyone. So whether your identity is wrapped up in sustainability or you’re just getting started, Weeva’s platform will adapt to your needs.
It’s probably fair to say that every hospitality business wants to have a net positive impact. But having a net positive impact on the environment, the community, and the culture, while running a profitable business?
That’s the challenge that keeps Grootbos going, and Weeva is helping them to stay on top.
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