New roadmap, marketplace for Singapore hotels’ green operations

The Singapore Hotel Association (SHA) and Singapore Tourism Board (STB) took a big step yesterday towards the country’s aspiration of becoming one of the world’s most sustainable urban destinations, with the launch of the Hotel Sustainability Roadmap at the inaugural Hotel Sustainability Conference and Marketplace, an in-person business matching of sustainability solution vendors with hoteliers.

The event at Sands Expo and Convention Centre was officiated by guest of honour, minister of state, Alvin Tan, for the ministry of trade and industry & ministry of culture, community and youth.

Minister of state, Alvin Tan, for the ministry of trade and industry & ministry of culture, community and youth officiated the Hotel Sustainability Conference and Marketplace

In line with the Singapore Green Plan 2030, the Hotel Sustainability Roadmap sets out clear targets and strategies for hotels to adopt in their sustainability journey.

This enables the industry to contribute to sustainable development goals, seize new opportunities, strengthen enterprise resilience, and tap new visitor segments.

The vision is to create a hotel industry in Singapore that integrates sustainability as a core value across the ecosystem; is established as a living lab and uses sustainability to drive business competitiveness and growth; and is recognised as a regional leader in environmental sustainability.

The roadmap has set out two targets – one is for 60 per cent of hotel room stock in Singapore to attain internationally-recognised hotel sustainability certification by 2025, and another for Singapore hotels to start tracking emissions by 2023 and reduce emissions by 2030, with a view to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

The four focus areas identified to green hotel operations are water conservation; waste management, recycling and circular economy; sustainable sourcing and procurement; and energy conservation.

Some strategies include test-bed and adopt innovative sustainable solutions, and raise awareness of the industry’s sustainability efforts and promote sustainable consumption habits among hotel guests.

Kwee Wei-Lin, president, SHA, said: “Enlightened hospitality organisations adopt sustainable business strategies because it makes commercial sense. Sustainable solutions can improve efficiency and reduce our energy requirement and waste, and therefore bottom lines. In addition, our customers are also looking for socially responsible products and services.”

The roadmap is endorsed by the Hotel Sustainability Committee, which will also be producing a Hotel Sustainability Playbook to support it, targeted for completion by year-end.

Call for nominations will also start this year for a new sustainability award. The Singapore Hotel Environmental Sustainability Excellence Award will replace the SHA-NEA 3R Award and the Singapore Green Hotel Award, shared Kwee.

Gino Tan, country general manager of The Fullerton Hotels and Resorts, told TTG Asia: “In alignment with this roadmap, we will also actively track our hotels’ carbon footprint, with the aim of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. At our hotels in Singapore, we currently monitor our electricity and water consumption on a daily basis.”

The hospitality player’s key green initiatives include utilising water-efficient fittings, Green Mark certified water-cooled chillers, LED lighting system, replacing single-use plastic items in guestrooms, dining outlets and meeting venues with alternative materials, and recycling used soap bars.

Keith Tan, CEO, STB, urged all hotels in Singapore to adopt the roadmap quickly and to integrate it into their current and future plans. “Through these efforts, I am confident that Singapore’s hotel industry will emerge stronger, and greener, which will help us achieve our ambition of becoming one of the world’s most sustainable urban destinations.”

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