Cape Town - Cape Town's Two Oceans Aquarium has been awarded the prestigious Diamond status by the Heritage Environmental Rating Programme, becoming only the third establishment to achieve such status in SA.
The classification is awarded to participants in the Heritage Programme who have maintained Platinum status for five consecutive years and have shown continued improvement in their sustainability efforts.
Along with Two Oceans Aquarium, the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway and Tsogo Sun’s Drakensberg Sun Resort, are the only two other Diamond status properties in South Africa, which received their honours in 2015 and 2013, respectively.
According to Two Oceans Aquarium CEO Michael Farquhar, the new status cements the aquarium's aim to advocate sustainability.
"We are on a sustainability journey and this award is an affirmation that we are on the right track, not that we have reached the end. There is just no time to sit back and polish our diamond,” he says.
The Two Oceans Aquarium aims to raise awareness of environmental issues and promote conservation. This is in line with its vision of abundant and healthy oceans and its mission to inspire support for their future wellbeing.
Through its environmental charter, which includes aspects of legislation, resource usage and communication, the Aquarium clearly outlines its sustainability goals.
SEE PICS: Blissful freedom as Two Oceans Aquarium releases rehabilitated turtles
Two Oceans Aquarium Communications and Sustainability Manager Helen Lockhart also says with the sustainability journey, it has been "extremely gratifying and inspiring to see the shift in people’s attitudes and behaviour over the years and to see sustainability move from being on the fringe of the business to now being a core focus area".
The Aquarium joined the Heritage Environmental Rating Programme in 2007, on Silver status. Year-on-year improvements saw the Aquarium rise through the ranks and achieving Platinum status in 2011.
The Aquarium has maintained this status since, and through continued efforts and improvement to its sustainability practices, has, therefore, qualified for Diamond status.
The Heritage Environmental Management Company was first established in 2001 as an environmental rating initiative for the hospitality industry in South Africa.
Since then, the company has expanded its certification categories and product range to provide certification solutions to all facets of the service industry including hotels and accommodation, game lodges and resorts, zoos and aquaria, meetings and events, golf courses, residential estates, banking, retail businesses and business services.
Heritage is currently being applied by over 150 businesses across eight African countries and is recognised as the leading certification brand in Africa.
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