Hoteliers in Southeast Asia continue to keep their sights on sustainability and environmental consciousness.
SINGAPORE—Sustainability, environmental protection and responsible tourism have never been more important in order to protect both guests and the world, according to sources.
Hoteliers have taken it upon themselves over the years to embrace sustainability measures in varying degrees, and they continue to do so. With more than 2.6 million hotel rooms in the Southeast Asian region, the role of the hotel has never been made more precariously accountable to Mother Nature.
Nathalyn Fong, director of public relations and marketing communications, Ritz-Carlton, Millenia, Singapore, said her hotel embraces sustainability practices throughout the hotel. In 2017 it was awarded the BCA Green Mark Award (Gold).
That award is a green building rating system initiative by the Ministry of National Development’s Building & Construction Authority, a division of the Singapore government, used in evaluating a building for environmental impact and performance.
Fong highlighted sustainability practices such as a recycling compartment fitted in all guestroom dustbins, returning used Nespresso coffee capsules from guestrooms to the vendor for organic farming purposes and progressively replacing plastic packaging with paper or recycled wheat material.
At the Grand Hyatt Singapore, a holistic approach toward sustainability spans multiple touchpoints such as food sourcing, food-waste management, energy, water and hotel operations.
In 2011, the hotel started using a gas-powered trigeneration plant to supply 30% of its electricity in addition to heating and cooling for its laundry and air-conditioning needs. The hotel was also the first in Singapore to install an in-house waste management plant that converts 1000 kilograms of daily food waste to 300 kilograms of organic, pathogen-free fertilizers within 24 hours.
Reducing kitchen waste has in turn reduced food waste, as has its nose-to-tail F&B program introduced in 2019.
Lucas Glanville, Hyatt Hotels Corporation’s director of culinary operations for Singapore/Southeast Asia, said the hotel was the “first in Singapore to import entire animal carcasses instead of regular imports of specific cuts.
“Not only does this reduce waste at the source and destination, the hotel is also able to offer prime cuts at amazing value and rare, unique cuts to diners who are willing to explore their taste buds,” he said.
Among its other F&B firsts are servings of Mottainai lamb, the world’s first marbled lamb reared on plant-based products, and the replacement of 400,000 plastic water bottles with those made from carton in its event spaces.
Glanville added Hyatt sets goals for its hotels to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, use less water, produce less waste and make more environmentally responsible purchasing decisions, and all new construction and major renovation projects are mandated to achieve LEED certification, or its equivalent.
In Sabah, Malaysia, sources at hotel firm Echo Resorts said designers at its newly opened 13-villa Borneo Eagle Resort took particular pains to preserve the asset’s ecological landscape.
Echo Resorts’ owner representative Gillian Tan said initiatives include beehives strategically placed in the gardens for cross-pollination and the planting of coconut trees to provide guests refreshments.
“Discharged water is treated before being recycled for watering plants, (and) discarded timber is transformed into decorative works of art and functional furniture pieces,” she said.
Another local resource is the collaboration with local artisans from Changgih Designs to put together bathroom toiletries made from local herbs and plants.
Echo Resorts also owns a sustainable and environmentally conscious fish farm and an organic vegetable farm.
“It is our mission to adopt environmentally friendly practices, including chemical and antibiotic-free organic feed, to ensure product quality and safety for the benefit of our customers and employees. We prohibit the use of pesticides or chemicals in our farms, preferring to use quality compost and organic fertilizer instead to create healthy and fertile soil that farms a variety of organic vegetables,” Tan said.
“Our eco fish farm aims to take off the strain and exploitation of fish from the oceans and reproduce fingerlings from the farm’s own brood stock and grow them to table size for consumption,” Tan said, who added the fish farm has been certified by the local fisheries department for “good aquaculture practices.”