Global green hotels awards round-up

InterContinental Singapore

InterContinental Singapore - EarthCheck Gold

This time of year brings awards season so plenty of hotels around the world have been celebrating their recognition for being sustainability and responsible business leaders. Here’s Green Hotelier’s round-up of the winners.

Ilunion Hotels win UNWTO Ethics Award
The World Committee on Tourism Ethics (WCTE) has awarded Ilunion Hotels with the UNWTO Ethics Award. The Award distinguishes Ilunion Hotels for its work in the area of accessible tourism for all and its contribution to change attitudes, break down social barriers and make the accommodation industry more inclusive.

Ilunion Hotels’ pioneer policies and outstanding commitment in the area of universal accessibility is applied throughout its business model, comprising not only customers with disabilities and other access needs, but also its employees and suppliers. For these reasons, the Jury considered that Ilunion Hotels represents a virtuous, innovative and replicable best practice of corporate social responsibility.

Shunyata Villas Bali
The boutique resort Shunyata Villas has been named as “Southeast Asia’s Best Sustainable Resort 2016” and no 1 “Green Luxury Hotel 2016 in Indonesia” by World Luxury Hotel Awards and World Boutique Hotel Awards.

Some of the features which contributed the award include that the resort can largely care for itself, operating by solar energy and natural gas. The natural materials for building the villas originate from sustainable forestry. Their own spring is used as their source for drinking water. Sewage is cleaned with the help of a bio-safe system and is reused for watering the garden. The 36m infinity pool is free of chlorine and chemicals, but is of drinking water quality. Laundry, kitchen and staff use biologically decomposable detergents and guests are provided with natural care products. The ingredients for cooking come from organic cultivation and pesticide free local farmers.

InterContinental Singapore awarded EarthCheck Gold
The InterContinental Singapore has been awarded EarthCheck Gold Certification for excellent water, electricity and waste to landfill reductions generating financial savings as well. The hotel achieved near‐COP21 target reductions in Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

Paul Snyder, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at IHG, says the group’s dedication to addressing environmental concerns—achieved internationally through its Green Engage™ program—is reinforced by utilising EarthCheck Certified’s external benchmarking data and independent auditing process.

“Using EarthCheck data to benchmark the environmental performance of our hotels gives us an accurate thirdparty perspective, to support the great progress made globally by using IHG Green Engage across our entire portfolio,” Mr Snyder said.

InterContinental Singapore has minimised Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 30.7%, with 4,649,804kg CO2 saved, equivalent to taking 1560 cars off the road.

The review also identified savings of:

  • 9 million megajoules of energy – enough energy to power 1464 houses;
  • 83 million litres of fresh water – enough water to fill 32 Olympic swimming pools; and
  • 500,000 litres of waste saved from landfill – which would have filled 17 shipping containers.

“Corporate responsibility is a key priority for all eight hotels in our estate in Singapore,” said Leanne Harwood, Vice President, Operations, South East Asia and Korea, IHG.

“EarthCheck’s personalised training for employees at the hotels helped raise their awareness of responsible business practices, which were applied to the management and operations of the hotel.

“As one of the world’s leading hotel companies, we understand the impact our business activities have on the environment and receiving this recognition from EarthCheck is testament to the effort we’ve put towards minimising the impact our hotels have on the local environment. This could not have been possible without the continuous commitment and support from our hotel owners, colleagues and partners.”

Premier Inn wins ‘Open Doors’ award
Premier Inn has won a national award for accessibility from charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, having been put forward by deaf telephone engineer and beneficiary of the charity Ian Finney and his hearing dog, black Labrador, Cinders.

“For a deaf person their hearing dog can be a lifeline, giving them security and confidence when out and about in public.

The hotel chain was nominated for the Open Doors award in recognition of outstanding accessibility and the warm, practical welcome it offers deaf people and their hearing dogs.

Ian Finney nominated Premier Inn having stayed at the hotels across the country. Ian has always experienced a warm welcome for himself and Cinders and was particularly impressed with the deaf-friendly features that Premier Inn carries as standard.

Ian commented: “For a deaf person their hearing dog can be a lifeline, giving them security and confidence when out and about in public. Premier Inn has obviously thought about its equalities policy; you can go in with no stress whatsoever, knowing that the team members are properly informed about the Equality Act and that your hearing dog will be welcomed. It makes such a difference.

“In fact Premier Inn caters for all deaf people, with features such as strobe lights linked to the fire alarm, a deaf guard system to place under the pillow to shake you awake if the fire alarm goes off and they also have very good subtitled televisions.”

Sam Fensome, Accessibility Co-ordinator and Janis Gillespie, Senior Safety & Security Manager for Premier Inn said, “We ensure all of our team members receive disability awareness training and we regularly update our information. We also provide training material that shows working dogs in their coloured harnesses so our team are fully aware of which assistance dog a guest has with them when they arrive to check-in.”

Vigilius Mountain Resort named World's Most Sustainable Hotel
The resort in South Tyrol, Italy was recognised at the World Boutique Hotel Awards. Further the regional winners are as follows:

Africa’s Best Sustainable Boutique Hotel:                  Hatari Lodge, Arusha National Park, Tanzania

Asia’s Best Sustainable Boutique Hotel:                     Kulu Safaris, Sri Lanka

Southeast Asia’s Best Sustainable Boutique:             Shunyata Villas, Bali, Indonesia

The Americas’s Best Sustainable Boutique Hotel:   Fond Doux Plantation & Resort, St. Lucia


Inspira Santa Marta

Inspira Santa Marta

Inspira Santa Marta, Europe’s Greenest Hotel
Former Green Hotelier Award winner the Inspira Santa Marta Hotel, Lisboa, Portugal was named Green Hotel of the Year at the European Hospitality Awards.


Alila Manggis earns EarthCheck Gold
The resort is the second of Alila Hotel and Resorts Bali-based properties to achieve the gold award.

Since it began measuring its environmental and CSR performance, Alila Manggis has saved more than US$220,000 in operational costs due to reduced energy and potable water consumption, along with a reduction in waste sent to landfill, proving what is good for the planet is also good for business.

Since partnering with EarthCheck, Alila Manggis has minimised its energy consumption by 25.4% and reduced potable water usage by 52.7%. More than 81,000 litres of waste has been saved from being sent to landfill.

Sustainability initiatives at Alila Manggis include:

  • A reef restoration project run in partnership with a local diving operation which is generating new coral growth and fish life;
  • Local community education and engagement including a playground built for village children which also comprises a waste collection and sorting station for local use;
  • Monthly ‘clean-up’ days for the local beach and surrounds which are participated in by staff, guests and local villagers;
  • The ‘Greenbank’ project which has trained and employs local villagers to recycle and produce needed food and items used by the resort such as candles, gifts and paper products;
  • 100% glass bottle use, composting and reusable shipping boxes; and
  • Support of Balinese cultural and religious ceremonies.

QHotels a winner at Green Tourism Awards
UK-based QHotels has received recognition for sustainable best practice with Green Tourism, Gold & Silver accreditations to each of its 26 hotel destinations around the UK.

Managing staff green teams, investing in sustainable technologies, developing innovative practices and effective customer communications has resulted in 21 gold and 7 silver awards for the hotel group.

Practicing sustainable initiatives has been proven to generate greater economic benefits for the business, local communities and provide a more enjoyable experience for tourists, by creating meaningful connections with local people.

Green Tourism also awarded individual awards within QHotels for Best Green Display, Best Staff Engagement and Most Innovative Site.

The Midland Hotel in Manchester was recognised as the most innovative site, for work involving installing induction cookers, cleaning water using ionisation and planting an extensive rooftop garden to grow herbs and flowers for use on the hotel menu.

Best Green Display was awarded to Bridgewood Manor in Chatham for its great consumer communication, including informing guests of appropriate local activities, selling local honey and other products and even hosting a seasonal butterfly farm for guests to watch caterpillars transform to butterflies.

Cheltenham Chase was awarded Best Staff Engagement. Excelling in staff communication and involvement, the four-star hotel has implemented a Green Team, which helps staff focus on targets for minimising waste, saving energy and wowing the customer.

Speaking about the latest awards Jon Proctor, chief executive of Green Tourism and assessor, said: "QHotels is a leading green business, and the latest assessments demonstrate this as the company's sustainability rating goes from strength to strength.

"There is an excellent synergy between top-level management and day-to-day running of the hotels, with feedback and suggestion ensuring that the business operates well in a sustainable way - something QHotels should be proud of."

Michael Purtill, Managing Director at QHotels said: "Demonstrating our green credentials is important to us and our guests, so there has been an enormous effort by our hotel teams to ensure we continue to be leaders in sustainability within the UK hotel sector.

"Their hard work and innovation has really paid off and it's great to see that the investments we have made have been recognised by Green Tourism."


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