Kew Green Hotels to manage Morocco’s first eco-village

MOROCCO: UK-based Kew Green Hotels has been appointed by Earth Holding, as the hotel management company for Azembay, the first eco-village in Morocco, North Africa. 

MOROCCO: UK-based Kew Green Hotels has been appointed by Earth Holding, as the hotel management company for Azembay, the first eco-village in Morocco, North Africa. 

Azembay, which is due to reopen next year, will feature 206 villas and apartments, waterfront restaurant, a spa, conference and events spaces and a kids club. 

Set in 1,000 hectares of forest and leading to a private beach, Azembay is known as the first eco village in Africa, and was built to international energy efficiency standards.  

Through its partnership between Earth Holdings, Kew Green Hotels, intends to build an international brand which provides a purely sustainable experience. 

Chris Dexter, CEO of Kew Green Hotels said, “We are delighted to welcome Azembay into our family of hotels as we continue to expand our international hotel portfolio. At Kew Green Hotels, we set ourselves apart by combining years of experience with strong commercial awareness to deliver operational excellence and industry-leading profit delivery for hotel owners and partners.” 

Azembay will be the pilot project of this brand, the first to be developed globally, which will focus on making sustainability and well-being the essence of a new travel experience. 

Azembay will be autonomous both in terms of water and energy supply, producing its own drinking water, vegetables through a permaculture field and school, fishing boats, and an animal farm – all of which will serve the five restaurants of the village and supply a basis for activities both for adults and the kids’ club.  

Activities will feature educational elements for guests to learn about leading a more autonomous and sustainable lifestyle. The resort will be car-free with green mobility including horses, mule carts, and electric vehicles.

Youssef Benamour, owner at Earth said: “We are thrilled to be working with hotel management specialists, Kew Green Hotels, to realise our vision of delivering a pure-play eco resort, offering laid-back luxury that both harnesses and enhances our local community and natural environment, offering our guests an authentic experience in this stunning area of Morocco. We are also pleased that Azembay serves as a blueprint for innovation to showcase best practices in sustainable development technologies” 

The resort is just 45 minutes from Casablanca and just over an hour from Casablanca International Airport. 

Kew Green Hotels launched in 2001 with one hotel and is now a leading hotel management company with more than 55 international hotels.

Kew Green Hotels has pledged to become Net Zero by 2040 – 10 years ahead of the Paris Accord Target. Kew Green Hotels also became Planet Mark certified through measuring and reducing its carbon footprint. It measured scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, using data from 2019, which has been the most comparable year of trading. It aimed to reduce its footprint by 10 per cent by the end of last year. 

Planet Mark is an internationally recognised sustainability certification for every type of organisation. A Planet Mark certification recognises continuous improvement, encourages action and builds an empowered community of like-minded individuals.

Last month saw “the first eco hotel” opening for the Garden of England, Kent, UK.

The Eden Hotel Collection achieves zero waste and launches Green Champions

UK: Boutique hotel chain, The Eden Collection, has achieved its green goal of zero waste going to landfill over the last year.

UK: Boutique hotel chain, The Eden Collection, has achieved its green goal of zero waste going to landfill over the last year.

The group is now taking steps to get the accreditation by Green Tourism.

The Eden Collection recycled 313 tonnes of waste across all of its hotels in 2022. Of that 30 per cent was recycled, and 50 per cent was converted into renewable energy through incineration. The final 20 per cent of the group’s waste was food waste and this was broken down to create organic matter through the process of anaerobic digestion – where the bacteria breaks down waste in the absence of oxygen.

The group has also announced the launch of its ‘Green Champions’ at every hotel, which achieves the Green Tourism accreditation this year. One member of staff from each of those hotels has volunteered to be responsible for taking the lead on environmental initiatives. This includes using more energy-efficient light bulbs, sourcing local produce, and encouraging paperless bills. 

Jayne O’Malley, group operations manager at The Eden Hotel Collection said: “We are so proud of the work that has taken place across the Group over the past 12 months and we’re really looking to build on that in 2023. We are aiming to be a collection of environmentally responsible hotels, providing intelligent luxury and to assist in achieving a cleaner, safer and healthier world for ourselves, our families and that of future generations.”

The group is working with the Carbon Trust and 1st Waste Management Consultants Ltd, as well as in tree planting and wind turbine projects in the UK.

The Eden Hotel Collection has hotels across the UK, including Bovey Castle in Devon, The Greenway Hotel and Spa in Cheltenham, Brockencote Hall Hotel in Kidderminster, Mallory Court Hotel and Spa in Leamington, and The Arden Hotel in Stratford.

In other UK hotel news, Kent’s first eco hotel opened late last year.

Image: Bovey Castle, Devon – The Eden Collection

Relais & Chateaux publishes first sustainability report

FRANCE: Relais & Chateaux, the French association of 580 luxury hotels and restaurants, has just published its first sustainability report.

FRANCE: Relais & Chateaux, the French association of 580 luxury hotels and restaurants, has just published its first sustainability report.

The document, which has been written after analysing results from half of the 580 properties which took part in the report, looks at the environmental, social, and societal impact the group has on the world, and defines 15 goals for 2025 and 2030 based on three core pillars: environmental conservation, sustainable cuisine and social and societal empowerment. 

The 89-page Sustainability Report: In Search of Hospitality in Harmony with the Natural World (baseline year 2021) aims to measure and share the association’s progress, as well as focusing on the positive impact its independent chefs, hoteliers and restaurateurs can have on sustainability.

Philippe Gombert president, Relais & Chateau and owner Chateau de la Treyne said: “I am deeply proud our association of 580 independent hoteliers, restaurateurs and chefs appreciates that hospitality must operate in harmony with the natural world. We have been working regeneratively long before that became a buzzword. Now, as the world faces the grim realities of climate change, it is time to consolidate our progress and accelerate the pace of change as we enter a new, critical phase in humankind’s relationship with nature. Against this context, our first sustainability report is published so that we can openly and transparently share our successes, acknowledge our challenges, set ambitious new goals for all our properties and showcase to the world the positive contribution that hospitality can–and must–make for future generations.”

The report provides a comprehensive snapshot of members’ sustainability practices and has sections on progress, such as how many of the United Nation’s SDG’s the group is meeting with a score against the ones they are committed to.

Page 23 of the report also has a detailed map – that of a tree dissected, with the growth rings showing the complexity of the process to cover all aspects of the groups’ impact on the environment. 

Not all properties in the 580 have replied to the first round of sustainability questions for the report and it is the hope of Oliver Roellinger, vice president, Relais & Chateaux, cook and owner Les Maisons de Bricourt that all properties will be part of the process for future annual sustainability reports.

Roellinger said: “It was a great success that half of our 580 properties responded to our first questionnaire, which measured activity in 2021. But it’s our ambition that all member properties respond each year, to reach the goals we are setting for ourselves. We want the data to be accurate and as robust and reflective of the association as possible– that way we can drive the necessary transition into a regenerative future.”

With the adoption of their sustainable development action plan, Relais & Chateaux will measure the progress of its members in a comprehensive annual report developed with engineers and sustainable development experts. 

The full report can be found in full on the Relais & Chateau website’s Sustainability section.

In September luxury hotel group Kempinski also published its first ESG report.

Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts joins Sustainable Hospitality Alliance

Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts is the latest hotel group to join the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance

Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts is the latest hotel group to join the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance

Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts, which operates 26 properties across the Middle East, Europe and Asia, already operates a range of sustainability initiatives for the environment and community engagement.

Jumeirah’s environmental initiatives include working to eliminate single-use plastics beginning with the removal of plastic straws, and transitioning to sustainable packaging across its hotels.

The Group has begun to roll out onsite water bottling and filtration systems, which have removed over nine million single-use plastic bottles from reaching landfill, or the sea, per year. 

Thomas B. Meier, chief operating officer of Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts said: “Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts is committed to identifying and co-creating new ways to incorporate sustainable and inclusive practices across our business ecosystem, to shape the best possible future where everyone can thrive. The hospitality industry touches many communities and industries worldwide, and we believe we have the opportunity with the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance to bring about transformative change, by working alongside our industry peers and finding practical solutions that will ultimately set the foundations for long term value creation and sustainable growth.”

Jumeirah played a pivotal role in protecting biodiversity through its Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project, releasing more than 2,000 rehabilitated turtles back to their natural habitat, combined with free environmental education programmes for school children.

Other initiatives include setting up an on-site hydroponic farm to supply fresh produce to their restaurants which uses 70 per cent less water per yield, and implementing innovative food tech systems to not only help reduce waste but also convert the waste to fertiliser for local use.

Glenn Mandziuk, CEO of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, said: “Each new member brings a unique perspective and set of experiences which complement our existing community of responsible businesses, which enables us to better support the wider hotel industry around the world – at all stages of their sustainability journeys. We are delighted to welcome Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts to the Alliance and look forward to their insights and contribution as, together, we support the industry to achieve net positive hospitality.”

By joining the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, Jumeirah has become part of the world’s leading responsible hospitality network, with a reach of more than seven million rooms, along with strategic and supply chain partners to create shared solutions for environmental and social challenges.

The Alliance’s work includes climate action, water stewardship and responsible resourcing, alongside human rights, employability and equity, diversity and inclusion. 

Last week Choice Hotels became one of the largest members of the Alliance.

Studio Moren partners with Energy and Environment Alliance

WORLDWIDE: Hospitality design specialist Studio Moren has announced a strategic partnership with the Energy and Environment Alliance (EEA).

WORLDWIDE: Hospitality design specialist Studio Moren has announced a strategic partnership with the Energy and Environment Alliance (EEA).

Studio Moren is an award-winning practice of 70 architecture and interior design specialists, working across the hospitality spectrum

EEA is an international not-for-profit coalition driving the decarbonisation of the hospitality industry – to provide expertise on sustainable architecture and interior design practices across the sector.

EEA’s mission is to develop the first universal sustainability standard for the hospitality industry, including the design, build and operation of buildings. 

Studio Moren, working in collaboration with EEA and its other partners, will utilise its knowledge and experience designing effective and energy-efficient hotel and hospitality projects to help steer the ongoing development of the new BREEAM in Use Hospitality (BiUH) standard.

Studio Moren senior designer and certified passive house designer, Bryan Oknyansky, AIA, will sit on the EEA Technical Committee to work with the EAA and BRE Group in the development of hospitality-specific standards, metrics and methodologies, embracing all lifecycle stages of hotel or aparthotel development, including design, construction and operations to redevelopment or decommissioning.

Oknyansky said: “According to UN data, the built environment is currently responsible for about 40 per cent of global energy-related carbon emissions. As architects and designers, we have a key role to play in driving a reduction in carbon emissions, as the greatest opportunity for impact on building performance and energy efficiency comes at the design stage.”

As a world-renowned hotel and hospitality architect and interior designer, Studio Moren has a long-term commitment to both sustainability and the hospitality industry and shares EEA’s mission to improve sustainable outcomes in the sector. 

Oknyansky added: “Measures being more widely adopted by the hospitality industry include designing out the excess energy demands of operating buildings and recovering heat from both plant equipment and wastewater for reuse elsewhere in building services. Additionally, exploiting opportunities for circularity will lead to the use of materials and products that have lower embodied carbon through sourcing locally, recycling and reuse. We look forward to working collaboratively with the EEA and its partners to further increase the uptake of such measures, whilst also helping asset owners and managers in the hospitality industry mitigate climate risk and meet net zero targets.”

Whilst it is well understood that hospitality operations require a considerable amount of energy to ensure the comfort of guests and offer individualised experiences and services, in addition to generating a considerable amount of waste from consumables, Studio Moren believes a lot can be done to decarbonise the hospitality sector to enable sustainable growth.

The EEA’s priority is to achieve faster carbon reduction rates in the hospitality industry. It will help its members do this in three ways:

  1. By bringing the industry together with renowned experts, regulators and specialist services, to share knowledge and implement new technologies
  2. By enabling member companies to purchase their energy 100 per cent sustainably
  3. By helping members drive energy productivity levels in a highly cost-effective manner

Ufi Ibrahim, CEO and founder, the Energy & Environment Alliance (EEA), said: “Studio Moren stands out as a hospitality focused architectural and design practice that puts sustainability at the heart of its creative philosophy. We are therefore delighted to have its input into our Technical Committee, helping to determine the most relevant and useful standards and metrics for ESG in the industry.”

Image: Photo by BREEAM Excellent © Studio Moren