MISSION with a vision
Pioneering the way towards a more sustainable future, top hotels in the region have been taking the lead, incorporating carbon offsetting initiatives, integrated into meeting and events held on their properties.
Frequent travellers in Asia are familiar with carbon offset programmes that monitor carbon emissions through sustainability programmes. But how does this affect the bottom line?
According to Martin Rinck, president, Asia-Pacific, Hilton Worldwide, the corporation is committed to sustainability, under Hilton's corporate responsibility theme of travel with purpose.
'In Australasia, our properties have been offsetting carbon emissions generated during every revenue-generating meeting and event, at no additional cost to clients,' says Rinck, who has been offering the initiative in every hotel in Australasia since July 2010. 'The Carbon Offset Meetings and Events initiative is part of that overall system to not only monitor and reduce our carbon emissions, but to assist our clients with their sustainability requirements.
'Our main objective in establishing the programme was to support Hilton Worldwide's renewable energy commitment.' Hilton has offset 5,750 metric tonnes of carbon since August last year and won additional business as the programme appeals to organisations that have their own carbon management programmes.
'Increasingly in China, we see more focus on environmental issues and sustainability, and our hotels already participate in LightStay,' says Rinck, referring to their proprietary system of sustainability measurement. 'Building on the success of our Carbon Offset Meetings and Events initiative launched in Australasia, we are keen to replicate a similar initiative in China sometime this year.'
Since December 2009, the Intercontinental Hong Kong has been offering optional carbon offsetting for its event clients, including a simple event assessment, carbon measurement, suggestions for carbon reduction, plus options of carbon offset, along with official verification options by an accredited organisation.
In February 2010, the 'Low Carbon Menu' was launched in response to the global call for action to build a new low carbon economy to mitigate climate change.
Hong Kong-based luxury brand Langham Hotel Group has piloted green meetings in its Los Angeles and Auckland properties with great success. In Hong Kong, it hosted an event with CLP Power at Langham Place, Mong Kok in September last year.
'The main reason for working with Langham Place is not only the convenient location of the hotel but also its presence of in-house environmental management systems and existing green practices such as carbon calculation,' says a CLP spokesman. 'As the partner of the conference, the hotel has implemented a series of green banqueting services from venue settings to waste management.'