HICAP sustainability winners announced

The natural lodges at Cempedak

The natural lodges at Cempedak

The winners of the annual HICAP sustainability awards have been announced and include Sustainable Design, Sustainable Investment and Community Impact.

The HICAP Sustainable Hotel Awards were launched in 2007 and were designed to recognize hotels in the Asia Pacific region creating innovative new methods, strategies, and technologies to face today's sustainable development challenge, while providing tangible examples of sustainable best practices that can be replicated and adapted across the region.

The winners are:

In the category of Sustainable Design, the winner is Cempedak Private Island in Bintan Island, Riau Province, Indonesia. On a tiny tropical island, covered in forest, there are no phones, wifi, televisions, aircon or mini bars. Rooms are made of bamboo, the roof is grass, and furniture of construction off cuts.

Working closely with the architect, local bamboo specialists and the landscape designer, the owners have enabled two thirds of the island to remain untouched. The landscape design has predominately used plants propagated from the island. Through the combination of minimising electrical devices, while incorporating highly efficient DC ceiling fans with bamboo blades, gardens to filter waste water rendering it reusable, solar hot water systems, low energy relay lighting systems and gas powered hand pulled espresso machines, the power consumption is around 300kW/hr per day across the entire resort, designed to run on a single 24kW generator.

In the category of Sustainable Investment, the winner is Soneva Fushi in Baa Atoll, Maldives. On a remote island without access to an electric grid or potable water, Soneva Fushi demonstrates remarkable financial ingenuity and ROI regarding its sustainability initiatives.

For instance, a Purchase Power Agreement was engineered to source electricity from a 700kW on-site solar installation which reduced annual energy spend by 20% with no up-front costs. Capitalising on waste as a resource, an on-site glass studio was established to create innovative art from the operation's glass waste for in-house display and guest purchase. Along with onsite vegetable production with food waste composting, such initiatives generated USD265,000 in value in 2016.

To address the impact of guest flights, a 2% environmental levy on all room rates was introduced in 2008. The funds (US$6M to-date) are used for a variety of social carbon projects certified with Gold Standard carbon credits, which collectively have benefitted 185,000 people, while mitigating the hotel's entire carbon footprint.

In the category of Positive Community Impact, the winner is Shangri-la Hotels & Resorts' group-wide "Rooted in Nature" initiative. Created based on guest feedback indicating a strong demand for local, sustainable menu options, Rooted in Nature aligns company strategy and targets with local community benefit and guest experience.

A goal was set to procure 50%/75% of menu items by 2017/2020 directly from local, small scale producers and fish traders producing quality ingredients supplied by farmers, herders, fishers, butchers, bakers and artisans preserving traditional knowledge and techniques, and working with respect for the environment, landscape and animal welfare.

Through 2016, nearly 2,000 Rooted in Nature dishes were offered across the portfolio's restaurants meeting at least one of the criteria of being locally grown (20km radius), chemical-free, sustainably sourced, or certified organic or fair trade. Suppliers are given support and training, and feedback indicates 86% of the programme's suppliers increased their revenues as a result, and 41% have committed to changing their way of farming to incorporate more sustainable practices.

The 28th annual Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific (HICAP) will be held 18-20 October 2017 at the InterContinental Hong Kong where winners will collect their awards.

Soneva is a member of the International Tourism Partnership, an international organisation working with the world's leading hotel groups helping collaborate on sustainability and responsible business practices. Director Fran Hughes will also be present at HICAP where she will explain more about ITP's Goals for the hotel sector for 2030.

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