Green Awards Round-Up

Soneva Fushi, runner-up Smith Hotel Awards

Soneva Fushi, runner-up Smith Hotel Awards

Awards season has seen a host of hotels around the world receiving recognition for their sustainability and responsible business initiatives. Here’s the low down on who won what.

NH at the Worldwide Hospitality Awards

NH Hotel Group won the Grand Prix 2015 as the best international hotel chain at the Worldwide Hospitality Awards. The prize, which was announced at a ceremony in Paris, acknowledges the work of the hotel company deemed to have stood out among its peers in terms of business performance excellence during the previous year.

The company also picked up a prize in the Best Initiative in Sustainable Development and Corporate Social Responsibility category for its Hotels with Heart campaign, which helps seriously-ill children and their families by donating rooms in NH Group hotels located near hospitals in cities all over the world. The prize recognises the charitable work NH has been carrying out under its corporate social responsibility strategy for the last 11 years.

Langdon’s Employer of the Year Award

Lester Hotels has won Langdon’s Employer of the Year Award thanks to their commitment over the past two and a half years to employing people with learning disabilities as part of their workforce.

Jonathan Joseph, chair of Langdon said, “Langdon is passionate about supporting our members to find work, because a job gives them a huge sense of worth and independence. We are extremely lucky that we have companies like Lester Hotels that are willing to look beyond a disability and see people who are more than capable of doing an excellent day’s work for their company. We are very grateful that they have been employing our members for over two and a half years, and are looking to expand the number of people they employ from Langdon.”

Josh Gardie a Langdon member who works at the Ramada, Hatfield, said, “It’s great working at Lester Hotels. I help prepare the rooms for conferences and other events, making sure everything is ready. Both Lester Hotels and Langdon’s employment service have given me a lot of support to ensure I can do my job really well.”

Simon Lester, Chairman & Chief Executive of Lester Hotels said, “It is an honour to receive this award on behalf of our dedicated team. It is also a privilege to be able to assist Langdon individuals in reaching their full potential and it has been a very rewarding experience for our staff too. I would encourage all businesses to consider taking part in this fantastic initiative.

Large Green Hotel of the Year, Puerto Rico

El Conquistador Resort, A Waldorf Astoria Resort in Puerto Rico, was awarded 2015 Large Green Hotel of the Year by the Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association. The award is given to those who are and have been committed to environmental conservation and in compliance with environmental policies. El Conquistador Resort has implemented numerous green initiatives to become an ecologically conscious resort and leader in Puerto Rico concerning sustainability projects. Highlights of its green initiatives include being selected for the Blue Flag award for its private 100-acre Palomino Island, an exclusive eco-label that indicates clean and safe beaches; the use of treated water for its golf course; locally harvested ingredients for its dining outlets; an on-site green house and herb garden; biodegradable products; and more.

Steigenberger employment award

The Steigenberger Hotel Group secured first place in the category of “Recruiting & Human Resources Marketing” at the Hospitality HR Awards in Munich for its innovative “MobiPro” project, which offered training to 13 young people from Spain.

The jury found that the hotel group was pursuing new pathways in an attempt to counter the impending shortage of skilled workers, whilst also sending out a clear diversity message. It had placed its trust in young people who had initially been unfamiliar with Germany and the German language and had encouraged these trainees to embark upon an international career.

Matthias Heck, CFO and Director of Human Resources at Steigenberger Hotels AG said, “This is a splendid recognition of the long-term commitment displayed by the Steigenberger Human Resources Team. Our international recruitment strategy is delivering comprehensive added value for both our guests and staff.”

Roberto Rojas, Vice President of Human Resources at Steigenberger Hotels AG, added: “We are delighted about the positive feedback from the jury and the enthusiasm shown by the Spanish trainees. Further projects are already at the planning stage”.

Los Angeles Best Green Hotel Award

The LEED Gold Certified Shore Hotel Santa Monica was named the Los Angeles Best Green Hotel for 2015 at the 1st Annual Best of the Best Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Awards.

The award coincides with the hotel’s fourth anniversary and recent technology enhancement, reinforcing its commitment to the environment, guests, employees, and community.

COO Steve Farzam said, “Despite being open for four years now, the Shore Hotel continues to garner awards and recognition commending our sustainability efforts. We will not stop here and will continue to further our mission to create a better future by being responsible stewards of the environment and a positive contributor to our community.”

The hotel recently installed an AquaRecycle® Laundry Water Recycle System, which will reduce carbon emissions and laundry water usage by 85%.  The new system will allow the hotel to reclaim and reuse its laundry wastewater, conserving resources while offering guests premium eco-conscious accommodation.

Skål International Sustainable Tourism Awards

Sealed Air’s Diversey Care division presented awards to winners across eight categories plus the Skål Special Recognition Award at the Skål International Sustainable Tourism Awards, celebrating the best sustainable practices around the globe in the hospitality and tourism sectors.

The Diversey partnership has helped to re-imagine the hospitality and tourism sectors by developing solutions that address new market requirements and drive best practices to deliver new standards and higher levels of sustainability.

An independent panel of judges evaluated the entries according to strict criteria including the conservation of nature and cultural heritage, community involvement, educational features, business viability and innovation.

The winners in each category are:

  • Tour Operators – Coffeebeans Routes
  • Urban Accommodation – Chiva-som Integrated Wellness Initiative
  • Rural Accomodation – Basecamp Explorer Kenya
  • Transportation – Racing Forward on Green Gas by Fjord Line
  • Countryside – Parque Xcaret Marine – CHICOP by Chumbe Island Coral Park
  • Community and Government Projects – Linear Park
  • Major Tourist Attractions – Old Quarantine Station by Mawland Group

The winner of the Diversey Care Special Recognition Award was CHICOP by Chumbe Island Coral Park for meeting the Diversey Care pillars of sustainability. Developed in 1991, CHICOP is a private nature reserve providing sustainable management and protection of the Chumbe Island off Zanzibar, one of the last pristine coral islands in the region.

World Tourism Award at World Travel Market

The TreadRight Foundation, a joint initiative between The Travel Corporation’s family of brands was awarded a 2015 World Tourism Award at World Travel Market.

The World Tourism Award recognises organisations, destinations, and attractions for outstanding initiatives related to the travel and tourism industry, and for fostering sustainable tourism and developing programmes that give back to local communities.

Receiving the award, Céline Cousteau, brand ambassador for TreadRight, said, “Over the years, TreadRight’s many sustainability project partners have been a guiding light throughout The Travel Corporation’s continuing sustainability mission. Their expertise, insight, and dedication to their respective charge - from clean water, to saving wildlife, to conserving heritage sites and many more - has motivated us, focused us, and inspired us every step of the way.”

TreadRight co-founder and CEO of The Travel Corporation, Brett Tollman, added, “It’s truly an honour to have been chosen as a recipient of the 2015 World Tourism Award. We’ve come a long way since the introduction of our sustainability and conservation programme in 2008. In addition to the amazing partners we have worked with, I am particularly proud of the way our family of brands have embraced all the TreadRight means, and integrated the TreadRight philosophy into our programmes and initiatives. This award belongs to all of them too.”

TreadRight was recognised for its mission to promote sustainable travel through conservation, leadership, and education. To-date, TreadRight has supported more than 35 sustainable tourism projects worldwide.

Best Multinational Workplaces

Marriott International, Inc. has been named one of the top global companies to work for in 2015, placing #11 on Great Place to Work®’s World’s Best Multinational Workplaces based on its top rankings in the United States, Brazil, India, Mexico, Peru and United Arab Emirates.

The Great Place to Work World’s Best Multinational Workplaces list ranks the top global companies in terms of workplace culture, based on global surveys of multinational companies and their associates. Marriott is the highest-ranked hotel company on the list and the only one to be named for five consecutive years.

Other hotels were also named including Accor which placed 18th and Hyatt at 19th.

Butterfly Mark

The Banyan Tree Mayakoba resort on Mexico’s Riviera Maya has been awarded the Butterfly Mark. The resort is part of Banyan Tree Group that defines success not just financially but also socially and environmentally.

Banyan Tree sees sustainability in terms of the environment and the benefit to the communities they operate in. This ethos continues to be their guiding principle since the company was founded.

Banyan Tree Mayakoba supports the local community and environment through a range of initiatives, including the group’s Stay for Good Greening Together Communities initiative, planting 21,830 trees and mangrove seedlings since 2010.  Banyan Tree Mayakoba offers guests the opportunity to participate in their Green Imperative Fund, which provides financial support to local communities and environment-based projects. The resort has vowed to protect the endangered Mayan Stingless Bee (Melipona Bee), an important part of the Mayan tradition and culture.  Through their Melipona Bee project the resort provides materials and training for the local community to traditionally keep and harvest bee colonies.

The Butterfly Mark is awarded by Positive Luxury – the organisation that communicates and celebrates luxury brands’ sustainable actions.

Positive Luxury CEO and co-founder Diana Verde Nieto said, “We couldn’t be prouder to have Banyan Tree Mayakoba join our community as pioneers in the luxury hotel industry. Each Banyan Tree resort individually makes a huge difference to their local communities and we’re looking forward to working closely with the group in order to spread their positive story far and wide.”

Banyan Tree Mayakoba General Manager, Peter Hechler, said, “We are delighted and honored to be the newest member of Positive Luxury. Our partnership testifies to the commitment of both entities in making a difference and longstanding contribution to the communities in which we operate.”

Sustainability Innovation Award

Lancaster London on Hyde Park is one of seven companies to be honored in recognition of their progress in embedding sustainability at the annual Business for Society Forum of Business School Lausanne, Switzerland.

The Sustainability Innovation Award winners are promoted as examples of best practices for sustainability, Lancaster London Hotel was named for establishing cross-sectorial collaborations in the area of educational hospitality.

Mr and Mrs Smith Eco Award

Winner: Song Saa Private Island, Cambodia

Song Saa’s biologist-backed marine reserve. Initiatives include the inventive waste and water-management schemes, the reclaimed driftwood décor creating a balance of island paradise luxury and eco chic.

Runner up: El Silencio Lodge & Spa, Costa Rica

Judges said: ‘The setting is spectacular, in a private reserve: guests can get involved in tree-planting and sustainability projects. It’s the quintessential forest eco lodge.’

Runner up: Soneva Fushi, Maldives

Judges said: ‘Commitment to the environment here is as clear a priority as delivering a first-class experience; conservation efforts have resulted in the identification of new species.’

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