Wilderness celebrates Earth Day with significant plastic usage reduction

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As part of its ongoing commitment to operating with a light footprint, Wilderness is proud to align its War on Waste campaign with this year’s Earth Day theme of Planet vs Plastic. Based on the fundamental principles of Refuse, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, Wilderness’ waste programme has seen a significant reduction in plastic usage across all camps, and lowered the company’s carbon emissions by a substantial 27% since 2012.


Couple enjoying a safari game drive Wilderness Botswana

“We stand firm in our resolve to eradicate single-use plastics across all our camps and operational regions, taking notable strides towards plastic-free environments and marking a significant milestone in waste reduction efforts”, noted Warren Ozorio, Wilderness Group Environmental Co-ordinator.


"This forms a crucial part of our Group Environmental Minimum Standards (GEMS) strategy, which has seen numerous successes across the Wilderness Group, most notably our reduction of bottled water usage by 96%. If we had continued to use the same number of bottles annually as in 2012, we would have used 7.3 million more bottles, which would've ended up in landfill. Taking bed night numbers into consideration, our bottled water usage consumed on average by each guest during their stay with us has reduced by 98% over the same period”, he added.


As part of Wilderness' efforts to eliminate bottled water usage, guests are provided with refillable bottles filled with water filtered through Reverse Osmosis (RO) filters. Plans are confirmed to install new-technology RO filters in camps, producing both still and sparkling filtered water. Additionally, filtered water provided in cans is used in situations where bottled water usage is required, ensuring recyclability.


"Our ultimate goal is to become completely plastic-free in all our regions. The next step in this process is to focus on reducing and eliminating our use of bottled water both in our aviation and touring operations, with the end goal of using zero bottled water across the entire operation", continued Warren.





Wilderness is driven by its longstanding commitment to safeguard, explore and expand the world's wilderness. Currently, it protects 2.3 million hectares of land, utilising its conservation and hospitality business to drive enduring, positive change. Its efforts are channelled into three core impact pillars: Educate, Empower and Protect.


In addition to its focus on waste reduction, Wilderness is actively combatting food waste in its kitchens and championing sustainable menus through growing initiatives at camps, supporting local farmers and producers wherever possible. What’s more, an immense reforestation programme in Rwanda has already seen the planting of 140 000 trees for Wilderness Bisate, Sabyinyo and Gishwati.


“As we mark Earth Day today (22 April), we remain committed to continuing our pursuit of mitigating negative impact, leading by example and actively contributing to environmentally-conscious travel and the preservation of the planet”, Warren concluded.


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