Sustainable Luxury in the Heart of Bangkok

Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel has achieved the highest individual score in attaining GOLD Certification to the global sustainability certification standard for travel and tourism, Green Growth 2050. With a score of 86%, Anantara Siam has set the benchmark for all other Hotels to aspire to across all assessment elements including social, cultural, environmental and operational best practice.

In the heart of one of the world’s most enigmatic capital cities, Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel offers discerning travellers a luxurious retreat to enjoy life’s finer pleasures and engage in soulful, original journeys. As ethical tourism continues to grow, certifications such as this allow travellers to feel more confident that they are not only getting their money’s worth, but are leaving behind a better chance for younger generations to enjoy the same liberties.

Anantara Siam attains GOLD certification by Green Growth 2050.“Sustainability is very important to us at the hotel and throughout the brand. We worked hard to comply with the Green Growth standards and we are thrilled with the result of 86%. The work doesn’t stop there, and it is important we maintain these high standards. We’ve already identified other areas to expand our practices, including planting more produce on our fourth floor garden, consumed in our staff canteen,” says General Manager Patrick Both.

In achieving GOLD Certification, Anantara Siam implemented a range of innovative sustainability initiatives including transitioning the hotel to glass water bottles in the rooms and related front of house areas, eliminating the use of PET plastic bottles. The hotel also used reclaimed, treated and filtered water in its air-conditioning cooling towers saving approximately 100 kilolitres of water each day.

“The team at Anantara Siam has worked tirelessly during the last six months to fully embrace the Green Growth 2050 Standard and ensure this outstanding result” said CEO of Green Growth 2050 Wayne McKinnon. “Patrick and his teams took the unique approach of establishing multi-layered ‘Green Teams’ across the organisation and providing them with the tools and responsibility to own all aspects of the process. Taking the teams on field trips to garbage collection centres, recycling companies and environmental programs gave everyone involved a ‘real-life’ view of why areas of the Standard were important and helped to instil a unique sense of engagement.” added McKinnon

Green Growth 2050 is the world’s most comprehensive GSTC recognized sustainability framework for the travel & tourism industry. It was designed and developed to meet the needs of hotels and travel businesses seeking today’s solutions to the issues driving social, cultural and environmental change.

Garden Terrace rooms at Anantara Siam Bangkok exemplify a sustainable oasis in the city.The Green Growth 2050 Global Standard is based on a range of internationally recognised UN Global Compact;

  • The UNEP Green Economy Principles;
  • The Code against the sexual exploitation of children;
  • UNWTO Ethics in Tourism; and
  • The Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria for Hotels and Tour Operators

Green Growth 2050 has been selected by the Minor Hotel Group to not only provide certification but also performance measurement, CSR impact analysis and business intelligence dashboard analytics across all aspects of sustainability reporting.

 

Editor’s Notes:

Anantara is a luxury hospitality brand for modern travellers, connecting them to genuine places, people and stories through personal experiences, and providing heartfelt hospitality in the world’s most exciting destinations. The collection of distinct, thoughtfully designed luxury hotels and resorts provides a window through which to journey into invigorating new territory, curating personal travel experiences.

From cosmopolitan cities to desert sands to lush islands, Anantara connects travellers to the indigenous, grounds them in authentic luxury, and hosts them with passionate expertise, currently boasting over 35 stunning properties located in Thailand, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, Cambodia, Mozambique, Zambia, the UAE and Qatar, with a pipeline of future properties across Asia, the Indian Ocean, Middle East and Africa.

For more information on Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas, please visit www.anantara.com.

Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/anantara; Twitter and Instagram: @anantara_hotels


About Global Hotel Alliance:

Founded in 2004, and based on the airline alliance model, Global Hotel Alliance (“GHA”) is today the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands. GHA uses a shared technology platform to drive incremental revenues and create cost savings for its member brands, and operates a multi-brand loyalty programme, DISCOVERY, which has over seven million members. GHA currently includes more than 30 brands, encompassing over 550 upscale and luxury hotels with 110,000 rooms across 76 different countries.

For more information visit www.gha.com


About Green Growth 2050

Green Growth 2050 is a new dynamic product and service set that links sustainable tourism and corporate social responsibility in support of Green Growth. It has been developed by Greenearth.travel, based in the EU and Vision CSR based in Australia. It draws on their multi decade experience as leaders and innovators in creating sustainable travel and tourism frameworks, as well as their extensive partnerships and alliances focused on green economy transformation and climate response.

To learn more, visit www.greengrowth2050.com

 

For media enquiries, please contact Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel:  Tel: + 66 (0) 2 126 8866

Monica Majors

Cluster Director of PR – International

Tel: +66 (0) 2 126 8866 ext 1705

Email: mmajors@anantara.com


Nannadda Supakdhanasombat

Director of Marketing Communications

Tel: +66 (0) 2 126 8866 ext 1720

Email: nannadda_su@anantara.com

Conference on Attaining UN SDGs in NUS 9-11 November 2016

Conference on Attaining the Sustainable Development Goals – Environmental Law, Policy and Management will be held in Singapore from 9-11 November 2016 

A high-profile conference with a focus on environmental law, policy and management aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be held for the first time in Singapore 2016.

The three-day conference explores the issues, challenges, solutions and implementation of law, policy, science and management of four specific SDGS: SDG Goal 12 – Sustainable Production and Consumption; Goal 13 – Climate Action; Goal 14 –Life below Water (Sustainable Oceans); and Goal 15 –Life on Land (Biodiversity Conservation). 

The organisers are Asia Pacific Centre for Environmental Law (APCEL), NUS Master of Science (Environmental Management) [MEM] and NUS Bachelor of Environmental Studies (BES). They have invited prominent speakers who will share their insights on achieving the SDGs.

Conference Details

What: Conference on Attaining the Sustainable Development Goals – Environmental Law, Policy & Management *

When: 9th – 11th November 2016, 8:30am to 6:00pm

Where: Shaw Foundation Alumni House Auditorium
National University of Singapore, 11 Kent Ridge Drive, Singapore 119244

Website: http://sdgsconf.sg/

Registration and payment details: http://sdgsconf.sg/registration/

 

About the Conference

In 2016, the NUS Law School’s Asia-Pacific Centre for Environmental Law (APCEL) celebrates its 20th Anniversary. Two degree programs focusing on the environment – the Master of Science in Environmental Management (MEM) and Bachelor of Environmental Studies (BES) also celebrate their 15th and 5th Anniversaries respectively.

To celebrate, APCEL, MEM and BES are coming together from 9-11 November 2016 to organise this three-day conference as well as the Asia Environment Lecture on 11 November 2016 at 5 pm.

Visit the individual organisers’ webpage:

*Qualified for PDU Points by the Professional Engineers Board (PEB). Refer to Registration Page for details.

Singapore Businesses and Sustainable Development Goals

Singapore moves towards Sustainable Development Goals with the help of the business fabric.  By Mallika Naguran

Singapore, 23 June 2016. Singapore businesses were urged today to respond to pressing social and environmental issues by heeding the newly minted United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). 

At a thought leadership session organised by Global Compact Network Singapore (GCNS), a mix of small, medium and large companies listened to sustainability strategies and measures outlined by multinational conglomerate Unilever and Diageo as well as homegrown City Developments Limited (CDL). These ranged from conducting materiality assessments to setting sustainability targets, implementing corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes, measuring performance and public reporting. 

Read more here: Singapore Businesses to Embrace Sustainable Development Goals

 

Singapore Alliance for Sustainable Palm Oil Formed

Haze, fires, destruction of forests and peat land… Singapore companies are coming together to deal with social and environmental impacts of palm oil through a new alliance.

GINKalimantan Conference 2016: Youths Dig Environmental Issues

Global Issues Networking Bali will hop over to another part of Indonesia for this year's meet up. Lots are in store for the Kalimantan conference from 16-18 September 2016, which will centre on environmental issues.

Air France-KLM leads CSR in air transport sector

For the eleventh successive year running, Air France-KLM surpassed other companies in its corporate social responsibility performance to emerge top in the “Airlines” category of Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI). By Tan Hui Zhen.

Singapore, 6th October 2015- Ranked amongst the 24 most accountable groups in the world, Air France-KLM is reputable for its active commitment towards environmental and social sustainability in the air transport industry. Mr Frédéric Gagey, Chairman and CEO of Air France, shares that corporate social responsibility is at the “heart of [their] corporate strategy”.

Carriers of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Air France. Photo credit: Air France"Every day, Air France-KLM does all it can to design the future of air transport. We want the transport we provide to be caring, innovative and responsible,” says Mr Alexandre de Juniac, Chairman and CEO of the major long-haul air service provider outside Europe.

Together, the two air carriers operate flights to 231 destinations across approximately 100 countries from their bases in Paris- Charles de Gaulle, and Amsterdam- Schipol. The group carried 87.3 million passengers in 2014 and boasts more than 24.5 million members for its Flying Blue frequent flyer programme in Europe.

To incorporate corporate social responsibility into its large-scale flight operations and activities, Air France-KLM prioritizes four key agendas:

(1) Minimizing environmental degradation by optimizing processes, engaging all staff and industry stakeholders, and improvising supply chain;

(2) Mainstreaming objectives of corporate social responsibility across entire service chain to produce creative and responsible goods and services;

(3) Providing opportunities for individual development and promoting a responsible workforce policy to maintain competence and drive of employees;

(4) Supporting local socioeconomic development in regions where the group operates.

Amongst its many innovative initiatives, Air France-KLM will be continuing the use of sustainable biofuel for some flights to spur the industry into establishing a biofuel market. It has also channelled investments towards designing more eco-friendly goods on-board flights to reduce carbon emissions.

Responding to Air France-KLM outstanding corporate sustainability performance in DJSI, Mr Pieter Elbers, President and CEO of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines says, “It confirms not only that we assume responsibility as an employer, but also pursue innovation and take our responsibility with regard to the environment and society seriously. KLM has an established track record proving this.”

Apart from being listed in DJSI by global asset management company RobecoSAM since 2005, the Group also performed strongly in non-financial indexes like NYSE Euronext Vigeo, Ethibel and FTSE4Good.

ACCOR Planet 21 - Eco-Responsibility Benchmarks in Action

Accor is a hotel group that runs over 630 hotels in 17 countries across Asia Pacific. In 2012, it  launched PLANET 21 to set quantifiable sustainability goals for its hotels - and today, over 90% of those hotels reach all those goals, and 97% of hotels offer eco products.

Singapore, 7 May 2015. Using its PLANET 21 campaign as a guide, Accor hotels across all brands - Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery, Grand Mercure, Sebel, Novotel, Mercure, Adagio and Ibis - claim  significant progress in reducing their environmental footprint. In Asia Pacific, waste recycling is practised in 86% of Accor hotels and 93% of them ban endangered seafood products such as shark’s fin (up from 71% in 2013). The group is progressing towards a total ban by 2015.

“PLANET 21 is more than just an environmental programme though, it is a clear pathway for our hotels to operate responsibly," says Michael Issenberg, Chairman and CEO Accor Asia Pacific.

The Green Meeting Package of Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay provides pens rolled out of used newspapers That approach has allowed hotel managers across the region to implement a whole range of sustainable initiatives. Today, 97% of Accor's Asia Pacific hotels use eco-labelled products. Almost 90% organize disease prevention training for employees. And 97% of hotels offer healthy menu options (up from 87% in 2013) and 87% promote locally-grown produce (up from 82%, and exceeding the original global target of 70%).

One key initiative was the reduction in water consumption: since 2011, Accor regional hotels have achieved a 5.6% reduction in water usage. Additionally, it has worked with bakery company Bridor to reduce the environmental footprint of its baguettes and croissants served on a average of 56 million breakfasts a year. Improvements in the baking process have seen electricity and water consumption reduction by 10% and 30% over in the last two years.

As well, individual hotels are encouraged to raise the bar higher with employee-inspired initiatives. Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay now offers a Green Meeting package with environmentally-friendly meeting and catering facilities, and with a reforestation contribution. Novotel Hyderabad Convention Centres generate little or no waste due to strict waste management policies. And the four Accor hotels at Sydney Olympic Park, Australia use solar energy for electricity and hot water production.

Novotel Hyderabad Convention Centre uses innovative technology to treat sewage water into clear water that is used for gardening

Accor chairman and CEO Sébastien Bazin described Planet 21’s goal as such: “With customers claiming to be increasingly concerned about sustainable development challenges, PLANET 21 lets us make sustainable hospitality a reality.”

Accor says it is proud of its stance, and its progress. Today, it lists 91% of the network (more than 500  hotels) as having achieved PLANET 21 goals in at least ten fundamental areas, up 11% from 2013. And guests can find eco-labelled and certified products at 97% of Asia Pacific hotels, as well as relish the fact that their Accor stays have resulted directly in the planting of 225,000 trees at ten regional sites in the last seven years. Even better, the reuse of laundry towels, group-wide has led to four million trees being planted at 150 sites planted in 21 countries - as well as giving €13 million in laundry savings.

"We have set firm commitments to protect our planet, its people and their environment,” said Issenberg.

  • More details: http://www.accor.com/en/sustainable-development/the-planet-21-program.html

 

 

Green Meetings: Companies reduce environmental impact

Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay introduces a service where aware companies can reduce their environmental impact, enjoy healthy meals - and help forestation by sponsoring tree planting at the same time.

Novotel Clarke Quay is innovating business meetings with its new range of offeringsSingapore, April 2015 – In line with its sustainability intiatives, the Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay (part of the Accor Group) has designed a new offering it calls “Green Meeting packages” along with environmentally friendly MICE facilities it describes as helping to “Plant your company success“.

Under its Planet 21 framework, Accor has made 21 commitments in favor of sustainable practice. Planet 21 echoes Accor’s recognition of the urgent need to focus efforts on changing our production and consumption patterns with the goal of protecting our planet, its people and their environment. Following the hotel’s recent ISO 14001 certification, it was awarded 2014’s Champion of the Singapore Environment Council under the Kimberly Clark Singapore Environmental Achievement Awards for its achievements in the Services category.

Its latest initiatiove allows companies wishing to keep their consumption patterns under control to make what it calls a “Green Choice” when booking the next meeting. The hotel has committed to plant one tree in plantation sites in Indonesia for every 40 meeting packages booked. The trees will be planted on the company’s behalf and a certificate of participation with the number of trees will be supplied to the organisers. The scheme is part of Accor’s reforestation program called “Plant for the Planet”.

The hotel will also supply Eco-pens as part of its green meeting packages. These are handmade by the poor using recycled newspapers through the “Yayasan Peduli Tunas Bangsa” Accor foundation in Indonesia. Accor channels funds collected to run workshops and financially support the underprivileged, who are then able to send their children to school.

Companies can enjoy 10% off when booking the Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay Green Meetings packages from now until end September 2015, and residential groups will enjoy a complimentary room. Terms & conditions apply. 

For more information about the “Planting your company success @ Novotel”,  visit www.novotelclarkequay.com  or call +65 6433 8633  or  email: H5993-SM3@accor.com

For more about Accor’s PLANET 21 drive, visit : http://www.accor.com/en/sustainable-development/the-planet-21-program.html.

 

Singapore’s Eco-hotel: Ibis Bencoolen bans plastic bottles

One of Singapore’s leading hotels has taken the plunge and stopped all use of plastic bottles for guest drinking water, reports Mallika Naguran.

Singapore, March 26, 2015. Ibis Singapore on Bencoolen has been working on a plan to reduce waste, plastic consumption, and save water. Part of this is a move by the 538-room Accor Group hotel to stop providing regular plastic mineral bottled water, and instead offer water from a special filtration system as part of what it calls its Eco Clean program.

Guests that opt for recycled bottles get a handmade Eco pen in appreciation of their gestureThe result? Less plastic and water used, more funds for charities that Accor supports, and a unique pen for guests to use.

“My team brainstormed and arrived at this idea of involving guests in this program,” explains Pierre de Montgrand, General Manager of Ibis Singapore on Bencoolen.

de Montgrand says the use of glass bottles has prevented the hotel from throwing away around 6,000 single-use plastic mineral water bottles a year -  equivalent to 700kg of plastic waste per annum that could end up in landfills or Singapore’s waterways. “I am pleased that our hotel is able to contribute towards Singapore’s sustainability direction,” he says.

The hotel’s initiative is set against the context of the tourism industry’s typical  contribution to ever increasing wastage and resource exploitation. Typical areas are waste in the form of newspapers, magazines, office papers, cardboard boxes, plastic bottles, aluminium cans, plastic containers, printer toner cartridges, food and water waste. Plus, lots of precious water and energy resources.

Beyond the Bottle

The Ibis’s Eco Clean goes beyond just recycling drinking bottles. It is a holistic program that starts with guests opting for Eco Clean at check in. This means housekeepers will tidy the room, make the beds and clear the bins, but cleaning chemicals will be used sparingly, linen and amenities will only be changed and replenished as requested.

The Ibis Bencoolen has moved completely to recyclable glass drinks bottles instead of disposable plasticAs a reward, guests are provided with the Ibis’s free and unlimited refills of sparkling or still water served in a re-usable borosilicate glass bottle. Ibis Bencoolen works with a local firm, Dr. WHO Waterworks Pte Ltd (Dr. WHO), a leading manufacturer and distributors in the bottled water industry for the complete bottling, sterilising and refilling system.

Cost savings from the Eco Clean program are then channelled towards supporting the livelihoods of the poor in Indonesia through the “Yayasan Peduli Tunas Bangsa” foundation sponsored by Accor Group.

With the funding received, a workshop for disadvantaged mothers has been set up to make pens hand rolled from recycled newspapers. These Eco-Pens are then purchased by Ibis Bencoolen for guests’ use, and left in their rooms.

“This completes the Eco Clean circular concept that starts with guests’ participation and ends with them seeing the fruits of our labour,” adds de Montgrand. And if that isn’t enough, guests can borrow bamboo bikes from the hotel to reduce the negative environmental impact of taking taxis and buses around Singapore.

The Eco Clean program is part of the Accor Group PLANET 21 initiative. This aims to bring sustainable development and a more responsible hotel operation worldwide.

Details from the Ibis Bencoolen – http://www.ibis.com/gb/hotel-6657-ibis-singapore-on-bencoolen/index.shtml 

Tackling Southeast Asia Haze with Game Rules

Instilling Greater Responsibility Using the Palm Oil Resource Trade Cycle Model as Guide. A Commentary By Mallika Naguran

Singapore 3 March 2014. Singapore is tackling the haze blame game by introducing a penalty card – fine or jail sentence for errant companies that have been found to be directly or indirectly responsible for the fires. The proposed Transboundary Air Pollution Act is intended to mitigate the year-after-year haze issue that enshrouds Singapore, causing immense healthcare, environmental and business related costs.

The Act, punitive in its object, fulfils only one end of the goal keeping. A game can only be played fairly and without dispute if there were clear governing rules in the first place. There exist no such game rules for agricultural-based companies profiteering from stripping forests bare or burning existing plantations to make way for new ones.

Forests are home to at least 70% of all land-based plants and animals, providing essential ecological services for human health, agricultural productivity and climate buffers. Forests help maintain soil fertility, protect watersheds and reduce the risk of natural disasters such as floods and landslides by regulating water supplies and reducing soil erosion.

Protecting such a valuable natural resource should thus be a requirement worked into the business regulations of agriculture-related companies registered in Singapore. Such companies, be they producers, traders or lenders, should demonstrate compliance to an international standard for sustainability with strict environmental protection.

Who’s to Blame

Regulating stricter ethics in capital flow would help in improving deforestation and plantation burning issues. Illustrated by Ivan Nasution.Knowing what rules to apply can only come with the understanding of the kind of players involved and their relationship dynamics.  A resource trade cycle analysis (RETRAC) model developed by Foundation Aidenvironment sheds light on this community and the linkages between the borderless demand, supply, production and consumption of natural resources based products. As haze has been attributed largely to the oil palm sector, a custom model helps identify capital and product flows (represented by arrows in the diagram), plus the policy leverage needed to manage sustainable oil palm trade. 

Policy leverage is important arising from sustainability driving forces such as governmental laws, non-governmental organisation (NGO) activism, EU Renewable Energy Directive (palm oil in biofuel), and intergovernmental organisations e.g. International Finance Corporation. This sphere of influence towards sustainable palm oil production should be extended to key players involved in capital flows (e.g. bankers, investors, stock exchange) as they grease the product flow particularly between traders, plantation owners, palm oil producers and goods manufacturers.

Financial institutions, accountable for providing liquidity in upstream and downstream ventures of agricultural-based trade, can use their leverage to prevent deforestation and forest degradation. Banks can do this with strict engagement and investment policies for the agricultural sector (including forestry) and related trading companies, covering environmental impact, labour rights and human rights. WWF’s Palm Oil Financing Handbook is a good reference for fund, investment and credit risk managers.

Sustainability frameworks that are in place include FSC-certification for forest management and tree plantation operations; FSC Chain of Custody certification for entire wood product and processing chain; and Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification. However, RSPO, being a voluntary and non-binding scheme, has revealed loopholes and limitations, and as such must not be accepted as the ultimate green certification.

Clear regulations must exist on not siting investments in protected areas,  High Carbon Stock Forests and areas with High Conservation Value. Along with that, respect the (land) rights of local communities and indigenous peoples is crucial.

Whatever certification is chosen, an initial independent assessment of socio-environmental impacts should be done to include the macro-impacts of new plantations located in regions in existing ones. The Singapore government could request for yearly compliance audit reports. 

The sphere of influence causes ripple effects too. Incredible NGO activism had recently pressured Kelloggs to impose stricter requirements on its suppliers to protect forests and peatlands, and respect community rights. This chain of events has pressured Wilmar International, the world’s largest palm oil trader and an RSPO certified member, into tightening up its sustainability policies within its own supply chain as well e.g. oil palm planters and producers in Indonesia. The RETRAC model shows where and how else influence could be applied to put sustainability in action.

Sustainability in Action

A RETRAC study by Greenpeace in Netherlands in 1999 revealed that many plantation company clients of Dutch commercial banks were involved in social and environmental issues in Indonesia. The study also showed that financiers were able to influence their clients’ environmental policies but lacked internal policies to do so. Under NGO pressure in 2002, all Dutch banks signed a simple statement of intent to declare that no financial services would be made available to errant plantation companies that were involved in illegal activities, deforestation, open burning, or social conflicts.

A Friends of the Earth study in 2006, however, found that Dutch banks performed poorly in implementing such policies. Commercial banks then funded BankTrack, an independent NGO, to focus on banks’ compliance with the Equator Principles.

The Singapore government could likewise ensure the set up of a similar NGO, with the financial industry’s support, to enrich the resource database of agri-businesses’ documentation of licenses, land concession maps, supply chain partner lists, sustainability certifications and audits. Guided by RETRAC models based on agri-businesses, this funded NGO could also double up as the Singapore government’s watchdog to provide evidence for prosecution.

Strengthening the sphere of influence with laws is one aspect. It is by governing product and capital flows that can the agri-game be played well, that is, according to the rules.

Illustrated by Ivan Nasution.

An edited version of this article appeared in Today 3 March 2014. Here's the link to it.