Small Luxury Hotels adds five properties to Considerate Collection

WORLDWIDE: Small Luxury Hotels, which recently launched its green collection of hotels, has added five properties to the Considerate Collection.

WORLDWIDE: Small Luxury Hotels, which recently launched its green collection of hotels, has added five properties to the Considerate Collection.

The Considerate Collection has 38 members and aims to reach 50 by the end of this year.

The collection defines its sustainability as “supporting the environment, community and culture” and its members must meet a range of standards set by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council. 

Hotels within the Considerate Collection are aligned with the UN’s Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) as well as Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) framework. Each property has either achieved a GSTC recognised certification or passed an assessment by the SLH Sustainability Advisory Panel, with independent and impartial review by the GSTC. 

When the Considerate Collection launched in October last year, Daniel Luddington, vice president of development, Small Luxury Hotels of the World said: “We’ve carefully curated the Considerate Collection to spotlight luxury boutique hotels exemplary in their sustainability efforts, making it easier for customers and the travel trade to make better-considered choices. Staying in small, independent hotels goes hand in hand with travelling sustainably and all SLH hotels are already steeped in the many facets of sustainable hospitality, so we haven’t had to look far outside of our portfolio for the launch collection. We also have an exciting pipeline of new hotels to add in the coming months. This is not about creating a new brand, but rather building on the strong brand values that have existed within SLH since inception – independent spirits, community-centric, questioners, storytellers and the ultimate belief that Small is beautiful and a better way to travel.”

The five additions to the Considerate Collection include: Castello di Reschio, Lisciano Niccone, Italy; Dar Ahlam, Ouarzazate, Morocco; and Paradise Cove, Anse La Raie, Mauritius, as well as Amilla Maldives, Baa Atoll, Maldives (which already has its EarthCheck Silver certification); and Aristide Hotel, Syros, Greece.

The hotels are doing a range of sustainable activities including re-wilding programmes, the elimination of single-use plastic, solar energy to heat water, coral propagation project, and ‘re-greening and tree-planting project’ to offset guests’ carbon footprint.

Image from Small Luxury Hotels

Riu Hotels & Resorts switches to renewable energy

SPAIN: Hotel group, Riu, has switched to 100 per cent renewable energy across its Spanish hotels and headquarters.

SPAIN: Riu Hotels & Resorts, has switched to 100 per cent renewable energy across its Spanish hotels and headquarters.

The group has made a deal with green energy supplier Iberdrola, and will aim for its Europe and Mexico hotels to follow suit. The group hinted it would consider its other hotels around the world for the switch going forward, but nothing solid has been confirmed.

The agreement with Iberdrola means that the hotel group can sustainably power more than 11,000 rooms across its 27 hotels in Spain. The hotels currently consume around 70 gigawatt hours per year. To put that into context, 1 gigawatt is the same as 1 billion watts (which would power around 10 million 100 watt light bulbs or 100 million LED light bulbs).

According to RIU Hotels & Resorts, by changing energy suppliers, the group will stop 30,000 tonnes of C02 emissions.

Bartolomé Enseñat chief procurement officer of RIU Hotels & Resorts, said: “[The agreement is] a big step forward in our aim to make our operations sustainable. We are very proud to announce to our customers and colleagues that, from today, all the energy we use in Spain is 100 per cent renewable, as certified by the Spanish National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC). Iberdrola was the perfect partner to help us reach this goal and we hope that this is just the beginning, as we’ve set our sights high when it comes to sustainability”.

The hotel chain is currently working with Iberdrola to roll out renewable energy across its hotels in Europe and Mexico, with preliminary contracts already in place.

Miquel Cardona, Iberdrola’s sales representative in the Balearic Islands said: “…We hope to continue working with RIU on different projects to jointly increase the electrification of its activity”.

Rui Hotels & Resorts recently created a new department in its team; the energy purchasing department and the Iberdrola agreement is its first major project. 

The group is aiming for a circular economy and has committed to working with waste management and reuse, reducing paper use, working for positive impact on the local economy, as well as aiming for global sustainability certificates. It has been awarded the international TRAVELIFE certification programme, since 2012 for 80 of its hotels. The accreditation specialises in sustainability management for the travel industry, which guarantees responsible management and compliance with its sustainability commitments.

Its Sustainability Report 2020 highlights a few of its aims and goals in both environmental and community sustainability. It has just released its 2021 report which will be available shortly.

Among the sustainable products currently used by RIU, the report highlights:

  • Coffee and teas with a Rainforest Alliance certificate
  • Replacement of normal straws for compostable straws
  • Priority acquisition of local products
  • Biodegradable cleaning products and detergents
  • Purchase of seasonal fruit and fish
  • Promotion of hydroponic crops in destinations with adverse conditions
  • Reduction in consumption of endangered marine species
  • Cellulose sourced from sustainable forests
  • Recycled cardboard packaging instead of plastic
  • Oeko-Tex and Made in green certified textiles
  • Optimisation of goods transportation to reduce CO2 emissions
  • Elimination of chemicals considered harmful to human health and the environment
  • Cloth or compostable laundry bags
  • Compostable glasses and containers for take-away services
  • Eggs from cage-free hens*
  • MSC certified fish
  • FSC certified toilet paper and holders
  • AENOR certified milk (animal welfare) *

*Pilot projects in some RIU destinations in Spain.

RIU Hotels & Resorts has 100 hotels in 20 countries. In 2021, the chain welcomed 4,2 million guests and provided jobs for around 28,004 employees.

Adelaide hotel development to be carbon neutral

AUSTRALIA: Thrive Construct in Adelaide has announced a AUS$300 million plan to develop two international hotels with a focus on sustainable construction.

AUSTRALIA: Thrive Construct in Adelaide has announced a AUS$300 million plan to develop two international hotels with a focus on sustainable construction.

The two hotels will be in Adelaide’s city centre and on the coast at Whyalla foreshore.

To help make the construction sustainable the company will be using cross-laminated timber (which is eco friendly in the sense renewable and made from sustainable materials) and green steel, which is steel with the lowest carbon footprint possible at the time.

Barrie Harrop, executive chairman of Thrive Construct said: “Upon completion, the Victoria Square site will be the tallest hotel in the world manufactured from cross-laminated timber. We have worked with Cox Architects to develop a structure that is completely carbon neutral and constructed from renewable plantation pine and green steel. All supplied from Australian industry”. 

The Victoria Square hotel in the city will have 324 rooms and 22 apartments as well as a rooftop bar. The Whyalla property will have 164 suites and 49 apartments surrounded by the botanic garden.

The hotels will be prefabricated using modular construction and factory assembled before being constructed onsite.

Both hotels are expected to be completed by 2024 with the Whyalla foreshore hotel construction beginning later this year and Victoria Square construction starting early next year.

Image: Thrive Construct

Munich Kempinski first of the brand to gain EarthCheck gold certificate

GERMANY: Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski Munich has become the first Kempinski hotel in the world to get a gold certificate with the EarthCheck programme.

GERMANY: Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski Munich has become the first Kempinski hotel in the world to get a gold certificate with the EarthCheck programme.

 The hotel has been noted for use of goods and products from the regional market, avoidance of chemicals in cleaning agents, and more energy-efficient building services.

Holger Schroth, managing director of Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski Munich said: “To achieve the high standard, we closely monitor the environmental and social impacts of our hotel operations including energy and water consumption, carbon footprint, waste generation and engagement with the city. The economic aspects include employment conditions, support for the local economy or the use of fair trade goods and services. I am very pleased to see that our environmentally friendly commitment has been rewarded and that we have thus been able to minimise our ecological, as well as social footprint decisively.” 

Ten Kempinski Group hotels have so far been awarded silver and 17 hotels have received bronze certifications for meeting the requirements of EarthCheck.

When the hotel had its renovations it implemented new environmentally friendly measures including facade insulation, heat-insulating windows, LED lighting, air-conditioning and ventilation systems with heat recovery.

 The hotel also uses an ‘intelligent’ in-room energy management system which switches off lights and air conditioning when guests are not in the room. Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski uses green electricity. 

Other contributions to a positive ecological balance are the use of materials with a long service life, installed by regional companies, and using green electricity.

The hotel roof has two bee colonies producing the hotel’s honey since 2012.

Image: Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski Munich

Trip.com announces green goals and sustainable operations

WORLDWIDE: Trip.com Group, a leading global travel service provider, has announced its long-term goal to build green tourism.

WORLDWIDE: Trip.com Group, a leading global travel service provider, has announced its long-term goal to build green tourism.

The company is working with travel partners to cover key areas across 10,000 products in the travel sector. 

This includes offsetting flights, zero waste camping, eco hiking and green hotels.

As part of the push for sustainable accommodation and travel, the corporate travel brand of the group, Trip.Biz, recently campaigned for “Green Hotels” and “Green Flights” in mainland China. 

Trip.Biz was awarded a Silver rating by EcoVadis, an internationally recognised corporate social responsibility (CSR) rating platform in 2022. 

Jane Sun, Trip.com Group CEO said: “We have always adhered to the vision of ‘pursuing the perfect trip for a better world’ and will work with our users and partners to further reduce carbon emissions in a more holistic and systematic manner. We still have a long way to go and much more to do.”

As part of the Group’s long-term commitment to improving sustainability awareness, Trip.com sent out a survey to its customers and asked them their thoughts on sustainable travel.

The 2022 Sustainable Travel Survey revealed that travelling sustainably is essential to most respondents. Barriers to sustainable travel were discussed, with respondents highlighting that the accessibility of sustainable travel products appears to be the biggest issue. Most respondents said that sustainable travel options aren’t clearly labelled, so they aren’t easily able to locate these options when choosing a travel product; and that sustainable travel options are lacking in general.

To keep up with its sustainability goals the Trip.com Group has adopted environmental initiatives, including building intelligent energy management systems, solar hot water systems, and renewable heating systems to reduce energy consumption. 

Its headquarters in Shanghai has been awarded LEED Gold certification. 

In 2021, Trip.com Group announced its ESG Committee and joined the UN Global Compact, committing to create a more sustainable future for tourism and society.

Booking.com also recently released findings from its Sustainability Report, which indicated the importance of staying sustainably for UK travellers.