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.
In the category of Sustainable Design, the winner is Cempedak Private Island in Bintan Island, Riau Province, Indonesia. Imagine a tiny tropical island, covered in forest, bathed in sunlight and lapped by the clear blue sea. There are no phones, wifi, televisions, aircon or mini bars. Your room is made of bamboo, the roof grass, and your furniture of construction off cuts. There’s one restaurant with a single menu. Working closely with the architect, local bamboo specialists and the landscape designer, the owners have enabled 2/3 of the island to remain untouched. The landscape design has predominately used plants propagated from the island. Through the combination of minimizing electrical devices, while incorporating highly efficient DC ceiling fans ‐ with bamboo blades of course, 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. Capitalizing 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 program’s suppliers increased their revenues as a result, and 41% have committed to changing their way of farming to incorporate more sustainable practices.