GREEN TALK Trisara, JW Marriott and Holiday Inn
Last week's AMCHAM Greater Phuket Best Green Tourism Practices Seminar featured leading hotels Trisara, Holiday Inn Patong, Soneva and the JW Marriott Khao Lak talk about sustainability. For those who missed the session the following are some take away notes –
This panel discussed a wide range of specific energy, waste, CSR and resort planning strategies that were implemented pre design and retrofitted and discussed how over the last few years the cost of M&E changes have dropped substantially making retrofitting commercially smart with short term ROIs.
Anthony Lark the GM made the following comments: Behind payroll ELECTRICITY costs were the second biggest cost at the resort
They performed, with support of Clinton Global Initiative in Bangkok an energy audit, completed a tender process, ROI analysis and changed 45,000 lights from 25-50w bulbs to 3w LEDS that produce NO HEAT.
Trisara increased its air-con efficiencies by 20% and new sensors on all doors linked to the air-con system.
Overall the investment in capital will be paid back in an estimated 5 years.
WATER was a problem from day one, as they did not have water onsite.
Landscaping took up to 80% of water use and guests only 20%
70% of the land area is landscaped and they employ 70 gardeners.
When they designed the hotel, they took 4,500 plants from the construction site to a nursery, and returned 19,000, all adapted and from local flora, which is water efficient and pest resilient.
GREY WATER is fully recycled, and all roofs collect rainwater that is pumped to the top of the site
Bottled Water: Trisara have designed their own water bottles and have put in an RO water system for guests drinking water, as they were using 250,000 plastic water bottles a year. At only 1mn baht in cost a 9 month ROI made great sense.
Chemicals: An effort to reduce chemicals in all aspects of the hotel, cleaning, laundry, kitchens and in gardens is ongoing. They have stopped Hot Fogging which kills not just mosquitoes but other small animals such as butterflies and lizards and replaced it with a Citronella/water combination.
Staff: The trickledown effect to an informed and green staff goes into their homes and local communities and they strive to support the local community as much as possible. Trisara also will continue to audit their processes, be more responsible with purchasing and buy more local products, which they already do with fruit and veg where possible from organic suppliers.
They want to be a responsible hotelier, which in turn will be used for PR internally and in the press.
HOLIDAY INN, the event host Morgan Layberry said that Holiday Inn Patong are becoming more active in green hotel procedures.
They have an international online system internally called GREEN ENGAGE that is aligned with LEED and is benchmarked regionally. They saved 8% quickly by lighting changes (bulbs and sensors) which equates to around USD10,000 a month in savings.
They segregate waste and give any recycling revenues to staff.
They are pushing suppliers to reduce packaging and plastics, providing for main fruit and veg supplier their own branded boxes that can be reused and have suggested this be a standard around the island.
Holiday Inn considered legislation be required to get businesses and hotels to comply with water, energy and waste efficiency and spoke out for sustainable seafood practices, the start of a new campaign on the island that is long overdue.
JW MARRIOTT RESORT AND SPA KHAO LAK
Ty Collins discussed Marriotts' operations on Phuket and Khao Lak.
They are reducing chemicals as much as possible and have been working with ECOLAB the supplier just starting cold water washing which is much better for the environment.
As a different province to Phuket they stated energy costs were up 43% y-y during High season, and up 90% y-y during Summer season.
They are constantly working on energy efficiency reviewing common areas and lighting strategies, they use ENTEK, an energy efficiency support tool.
They recycle food waste, compost garden waste and use 100% of the grey water.
The Marriott future programs will be continued support of the turtle foundation as USD1 from every room night goes to the Turtle foundation of the Marriot in Mai Khao, and the Khao Lak will announce soon its own charitable program.
Head office donated 2mn acres of rainforest to national park and internationally the group recognizes both the cost benefits and PR from being a responsible hotelier.
Ty called for hoteliers to do their research as lots of new technology is becoming available to enhance the resort industries impact on the environment and make more conscious choices for a more sustainable future.
SONEVA Arnfin Oines the panel moderator has been heading their green practice Internationally out of Phuket and is on of the most experienced hand on green practitioners. With Soneva founder Sonu Shivdashani they use a blueprint called the SLOW LIFE which is highlighted in a very informative coffee table book showcasing their Green initiatives and programs.
It is a set of principles to live and work by, which, as an individual can make a difference to the World, as well as help one to better appreciate and Love Life.
Lead a Sustainable life / Buy Local products / Use Organic produce / Be Wholesome and healthy in body and mind
Learning: Nothing comes easily… it must be practiced
Inspiring: Good leadership and strong ideals
Fun: Love Phuket and enjoy this bountiful Island
Experiences: Hands on teamwork, learn by doing it at home, at work, at play.
These principles, adopted individually and communicated on a broader scale will help us to make Phuket a better place today, and in the future.
Lead by example, educate others, encourage kids and lobby/support local government in its change of thinking and its embrace of sustainability.
SONEVA currently donate 2% of revenues to a "Soneva Slow Life Trust" that Arnfinn manages, and have made donations to Darfur victims, in Chiang Mai recently reforested 133 rai with 17,000 tress and are currently setting up a clean water project with other global hoteliers.