This year's winner of the Green Hotelier Awards, named Green Hotelier of the Year, was the Mercure Convention Centre Ancol, Jakarta. This hotel has very deliberately invested a lot of time and effort in improving its sustainability across the board. They were also the winners of the GH Awards in the Water category, not least for taking the bold - but responsible - step of stopping drawing water from their well in order to directly benefit the local population.
We invited them to share their journey and expertise as a Best Practice Case Study.
Can you take us on your hotel or resort’s sustainability journey? When did it begin? Where are you now?
Mercure Convention Center (MCC) is a 44 years old hotel offering 436 keys, deeply involved in Energy-Water efficiency and sustainability over the past 3 years.
A five year’s full renovation programme started in 2015 while the hotel remained on operation. To support this programme, management and shareholders defined a clear “roadmap-2020”.
Starting with a global needs assesment in parallel of the renovation (structural and technical), we proceeded with surrounding potential impact and energy improvement, associated to a clear team mindset to accompany the process and the communication to our guests.
Continuing today to monitor improvements and to evaluate additional benefits, the full operating team is now “extra-concerned” on performances and new projects linked to the hotel sustainability.
Why did the hotel decide to become more sustainable? / Why did you feel it was important to have a sustainable hotel?
Everyone considered the necessity to place long term sustainability at the center of this renovation.
Energy and water were significant and growing components on operating costs. Most equipments were obsolete. SOP’s were not anymore in line with service condition. Comfort and cosmetic for guest satisfaction were key challenges to compete in the market. Team members needed a motivation booster to support the management vision and commitment.
Despite that Environmental Impact Assessment was not a mandatory requirement from Indonesian jurisdictions, environmental issues were fully considered by management.
A sustainability consultant was appointed and steps implemented at every level : Monitoring tools and clear action plans – Water-Energy Demand management strategy - eco design and eco friendly investment, efficient equipment – energy recovery on main supply – rain harvesting for landscaping – STP optimization – local community impacts assessed - team and guests sensitisation...
Accorhotels Planet 21 programme, through its link with COP21, became the perfect internal tool to fix targets, monitor progress and achieve management’s global goals and CSR activities.
This online system connected to Accor worldwide allowed MCC to communicate performances, clearly demonstrating the completion of 77 actions including energy, water, people, training, health and care...
Eventually, the combination of MCC management Vision and Accorhotels commitment are today perfectly in line with ITP’s Goals 2030.
What are the key initiatives that the hotel has undertaken to improve its sustainability?
The required preliminary assessment was supported by metering, data tools, audits, team survey, surrounding communities, guests feedback,... and allowed to determine baselines and to define KPI’s. The following initiatives were undertaken:
- Identification of the deficient but strategic equipment
- Appointment of an external water efficiency expert
- Key efficiciency upgrades on lighting, HVAC, fixtures, insulation, plumbing, metering...
- Saving programmes from each department
- Mapping adjustment to international standards of all equipments
- Closing totally the deep-well; water usage from government water utility optimized.
- Sewage Treatment Plant full refurbishment to feed toilet flushing and gardening.
- Comprehensive Water Audit to identify and reduce over-consumptions and improve water quality.
- Set benchmarks and targets per location. Analyse improvements and trends on daily basis.
- Multi level team engagement and sensitisation trainings
- Food waste programmes at kitchen and recycling best practices in all departments
- Donation activities, education programmes and representation in the local community.
- Local food sourcing for all menus
- Creation of “Itouch” quarterly internal magazine that allowed communication to all employees about internal activities, initiatives, renovations, development, rewards, ..
What initiatives have had the biggest impact on your sustainability and / or your bottom line? Do you know how much energy / water / waste / money you’ve saved?
MCC is monitoring water and energy consumption, through an internal (Accorhotels) Building Management System (BMS) and a partnership with a water efficiency consultant. All common actions have contributed to tremendous achievements :
- Reduction of 3.7% electricity consumption despite a 10% yearly activity growth since 2016
- 51% water saving in the last 6 years (equivalent to 160,000m3 per year). While 10% savings since 2016 against 7% of revenue growth. Achieved savings allows Jakarta Government a provision to supply daily decent water to 7.306 poor people.
- Reduction of 33% grease and oil in the effluents over the last 2 years.
- Increase water recycling efficiency from STP up to 70% of usage.
- Estimation cost reduction of 11.8% if comparable activity in 2017 vs 2016.
Do you have any community outreach programmes and if so, can you describe them for us?
Local Accorhotels Program “A Tree For A Child” : MCC is engaged in Accor Jakarta hotels contribution to education house, food security, english course teachers and usage of “obsolete” but still functioning ex-hotels equipment.
Funding exclusively comes from 38 hotels committed all along the year into recycling, guests merchandise and donations.
Partnership with surrounding schools for training and recruitment purpose at every level and department.
Four students, benefiting from this programme have been hired by Mercure Ancol (Engineering, Housekeeping and F&B department), on long term basis.
Regular donation activities to orphanage in the hotel neighborood, education programmes, social celebrations, food or equipment support.
Promotion of interfaith religious local celebrations with hotel team specific committee.
Organization of three blood donations per year with team and local community.
Food rescue programme with local NGO “Emmanuel” : Donation to neighbourood poor community of food left over from our restaurants and miscellaneous public events.
Invitation of local “heroes”, from MCC neighbourhood to special events (ie: for the 50th Accorhotels anniversary in November 2017, Fire Brigade, hospitals, Police, orphanage, foundations, head representatives of local community and villages.)
MCC clearly favours local sourcing for all restaurant menus.
What has been the biggest challenge?
Jakarta Government struggles on its environmental efforts and image to support a megapole of around 35 million inhabitants. Supply of clean water to the whole city has become a nightmare, as well as waste management, growing pollution, energy shortage and lack of coordination among the community assistance programmes.
MCC has targeted all these challenges to ensure its own sustainability while contributing to government efforts and demonstrating impact on hotel guests, local community, on environmental and financial side.
What has been the biggest surprise on your sustainability journey?
Our biggest positive surprise has been the team adhesion and their commitment to all component, from execution to innovation, from dependency to monitoring, from questioning to advocacy.
How have guests and / or business partners reacted to your sustainability programmes?
In addition to very close and personalized contacts to guests and visitors by hotels guest relation officers, MCC undertakes guest communication in rooms and public areas including :
- Sorting waste bins in each public area, advocacy posters on fight against sexual harassment, Planet 21 programme visuals, video channel in room, stimulating towels and linen reusage in room, urban garden, decorative wedding booth with recycle items and local Javanese icons highlighted.
- Social media communication on resort facilities and sustainable programme as priorities.
- Accorhotels Planet21 communication and commitment direct access from website.
Guests are invited to join events such as blood donation, cooking class, Earth Day, International Women’s Day, walk for children discovery of nature in neighbouring Eco-Park
- Social media are extremely developed in Jakarta and on-line communication has become a daily routine to communicate, understand and eventually meet guest comments and expectations.
MCC, as the biggest Mercure Brand hotel in south Asia, has engaged an interactive and “educative” relation with its half million guests per year that also includes business and government stakeholders. This mixed but strategic market is composed of 1/3 government MICE including all ministries, 1/3 corporate local and international companies and 1/3 leisure families within its resort facilities connected to the Ancol theme park. The transversal impact of MCC sustainability programmes exceeds by far, the pool of guests, since we target a broad communication and dissemination of our sustainability showcases.
Is there a stand-out aspect to your sustainability that is unusual or eye-catching or different from other hotels?
Since the beginning, we have considered sustainability as a policy instead of considering it as a project. We have integrated sustainability as a real global strategy that should include all actors and their mindset instead of an investment that would target a specific R.O.I. We have clearly considered sustainability as our long term business security with a new consideration of CAPEX and OPEX budget allocations.
What plans do you have for your hotel’s sustainability in the future?
Sustainability is a never ending story and a source of many innovations, relationships, improvement and communication tools...
Even today we are continuing to improve benefits with a rain harvesting system for landscaping, efficiency for the back of the house, vegetal decorative wall or acting for diversity with our employees, we are also working in relation with many other local actors to develop additional sustainability procesess on biodegradable cups/packaging, soil sustainability with internal compost or waste management for recycling upgrades. Furthermore we consider our position as strategic to promote human rights, children protection and fight modern slavery including sexual trafficking.
Please list any awards and / or certificates your hotel has been awarded for its sustainability.
MCC has been the first hotel in Indonesia rewarded with APSAI certification. APSAI is an independent Indonesian institution that defines the eligibility criteria of a company on the fulfilment of children's rights and measures the rating of a child-friendly company. APSAI is supported by the Indonesian Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection and by child protection organizations, such as UNICEF, Save The Children and more.
To support our sustainability strategy, we also appointed a recognized water sustainability consultant PT PIPA. This consultant was twice winner of the “Sustainable Business Award (SBA) Indonesia” (2012 and 2016), granted by WBCSD Indonesian branch (World Business Council on Sustainable Development).
Please feel free to add more detail on any aspect of your sustainability including carbon footprint, energy, water, waste, community, training & education, events and meetings.
Once again the team members are key actors to our sustainability practices.
The identification and animation of our talents is triggered and boosted through :
- Multi trainings on key priorities (health and wellbeing, Planet 21 programme, group values, behaviour at work, cooking classes, sensibilisation on energy consumption, English and Indonesian language...)
- MCC internal “Itouch” magazine promotes talents by exposing their journey to success, their work place, the guests, their performances,their ambitions, their contributions, their expectations...
Age, religious, gender and cultural differences are totally integrated in MCC talent development boosting instruments. Each employee is invited on equal and fair basis to participate to:
- Employees birthday and “Best Talent Of The Month” celebrations.
- Planet 21 Accorhotels programme that details achievements and targets related to every sustainabilty concerns. Specific committee and champion with social, recycling, energy experts.
Planet 21 sensitisation on each job description with the organization of environmental, sustainability and well-being sensitisation training (First Aid, health, insurance, retirement plan).
- “Heartist” Accor programme to any team members with personalized training on attitude, guest feeling, Heart in the core of our hospitality.
- Staff social activities including creation of specific committees : sport activities, access to loan, outings, English class all levels...
- Saving programme to boost each department involvement (light timers, equipment usage, paper usage, facilities aircon standard setup...).
- Daily pickup by hotel to train and bus station (encourage employees on public transport usage)
“Women At Accorhotels Generation” hotel champion to promote female employment all over Jakarta.
- Management focus on team development and promotions.
What tips or advice would you offer to any other hotel in your region which is just beginning the sustainability journey?
In our challenging region, the main tips will be :
- It all starts from the team and shareholders’ commitment and full understanding of the challenges and objectives
- Give preference to long term rather than short term impacts
- Investment is not the main resource
- Clear baseline and KPI’s implementation are the key to getting results
- Critical, positive analysis and regular evaluation are the source of continuous improvements
- Responsibility, transparency and communication leads to engagement. Engagement leads to ownership. Sense of ownership is essential to sustainability.