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Green Building Council Net Zero Waste rating: Nothing ventured nothing wasted

Green Building Council Net Zero Waste rating: Nothing ventured nothing wasted

“I got rid of the waste compactors in secret, during the busiest time of year,” admits Sonja Stroud, safety, health and environmental officer at Sun International’s Wild Coast Sun, the first resort in Africa to receive a Green Building Council Net Zero Waste rating. “Three weeks later management asked after them, but by then we had proved we could do it.”

Sun International’s Wild Coast Sun Resort went from 40 tons of waste to landfill per month to zero by the end of 2016. In the process they initiated two profitable Enterprise Development businesses employing 13 people and, during 2018, saved R550 000 normally spent on compost and organic vegetables for their kitchen.

The journey from wasting less to wasting nothing started in 2014 when despite all their recycling efforts the volumes to landfill remained unchanged. “We discovered our recycling was getting mixed with the food waste, so we employed Aben Mbabala to regularly take out our cardboard, paper and ink cartridges from our offices,” said Stroud. Today Mbabala heads Gayo enterprises and employs 7 people.

The successful effort to separate recyclable materials and contaminants from organic waste resulted in changing how waste was collected. Instead of having access to compactors and wheelie bins, which promote anonymous dumping of waste, Gayo use bags to separate out 70% of all waste on site. This allows their convenient transport of whatever cannot be reused on site.  The considerable volume of food waste produced by the 396-room resort employing more than 1000 people is separated out in the kitchen by Gayo around the clock and handed over to be turned into composting. Beyond the cost saving to the hotel, the successful management of this waste stream by Vuka Uzenzele Trading has created 5 jobs for those producing the compost and planting organic vegetable gardens.

“Whatever waste can’t be composted and repurposed is recycled by Recycle4Africa in nearby Port Edward,” explains Jennifer van Niekerk, a waste engineer with GCX who was the accredited professional that compiled the GBCSA Net Zero Waste certification process. “Seven people sort through between 40 and 50 tons each month. Much attention has been given to developing off-takes for unusual waste streams that normal recyclers do not buy, and whatever remains is shredded, treated, and compacted into blocks that can be used in construction.”

“Our goal is zero waste, the bricks are made and sold as a last resort,” explains Stroud, who is looking to purchase them for a CSI project to construct a school classroom.

Individual Membership

Designed for professionals acting in their individual capacity, including single consultant-businesses.

Organisational Membership

Ideal for companies, government departments, and organisations.

  • Total Employees: 1 - 5 Employees - R 4080.00
  • Total Employees: 6 - 20 Employees - R 12570.00
  • Total Employees: 21 - 50 Employees - R 24690.00
  • Total Employees: 51 Plus Employees - R 43840.00

Lisa Reynolds

Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director

Lisa Reynolds is the CEO of the Green Building Council South Africa.

Lisa was the driver for the drafting of Energy Efficiency Standards and Regulations for Buildings and has been involved in Energy Efficiency since 2003. She serves on many committees in the SABS and within the energy management professionals’ space. She was President of the SAEEC from 2016 to 2019 and was the previous President of the ESCo (Energy Services Companies) Association. Lisa was instrumental in the formation of SAFEE (Southern African Females in Energy Efficiency) within SAEEC.

She has assisted the South African Government with its Green Building Framework policies, Energy Efficiency Tax Incentives and Energy Efficiency Strategies

Her passion for the “Green space” started with the birth of the Green Building Council in 2007. Lisa served on the Board and the Technical Committee of the GBCSA, as well as on several Technical Working Groups for Rating Tools and Criteria. Lisa. became CEO in June 2020.

Lisa has a BSc, an MBA and a CEM. Lisa’s awards include the 2007 ETA Award for Women, 2008 Individual Energy (SAEE), 2012 SABS Standards Writer Award; the 2014 Women in Energy (SAWIEN); and the 2016 Ian Lane Hall of Fame award.

Lisa is committed to growing the Green Economy within a Green Recovery.

Organisational categories

As an organisational member, you will fall into one of the below categories, and be charged according to specific size indicators. Please reach out to us for any further clarity on which category is best for your organisation

Property Developers

Annual Turnover

Investors, Owners, Property Managers

Total Asset Value

Major Corporate Tenants & Retail

Annual Gross Rentals

Building Contractors

Annual Turnover

Building Product Manufacturers & Distributors

Annual Turnover

Professional Services: Architects, Designers, Engineers, Quantity Surveyors, PM’s, Consultants, Legal

Number of employees

Research, Higher Education, NGO’S & Regulators

NGO or Research/Higher Education/ Regulators

Related Interests: Utilities, Financial, Insurance, etc.

Annual Turnover


Local/ municipal/ provincial/ state 
Contact GBCSA to confirm your category