Is sustainability still important to hotels during COVID?
The talk of sustainability has been overshadowed by the pandemic that has pushed hotels to do extreme cost-cutting measures. The association of sustainable programs being expensive has led to hotels putting sustainable initiatives in the backseat of their to-do list this year.
With hospitality being part of commercial buildings, the industry contributed to 12.3% of the Earth’s carbon emissions in 2018. These figures are expected to increase by 130% by 2035 if hotels don’t try to curb their emissions now.
The question now is, how should hotels react to this? Is sustainability the right strategy for hotels to recover and gain a strong standing in the post-COVID world? Will sustainability programs burn more holes in the hotels’ already-loose pockets?
What will be covered?
- What should hotels do to prepare for “eco-travellers”?
- Possible opportunities or drawbacks in focusing on sustainability at this time.
- How sustainability trends are evolving for the hospitality industry in Southeast Asia.
- The available sustainability programs/solutions for hotels that are cost-effective and why they’re important for hotels to consider.
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Industry leaders discuss their perspectives on whether sustainability is still a virtue that hotels should prioritise.
Franck Droin is passionate about luxury and serving with excellence. He has a strong belief in creating unforgettable experiences for guests. Throughout his career in hospitality, he strives to empower his colleagues and facilitate meaningful projects that build up the local community and make a positive impact in the world.
With over 17 years of experience in working in numerous global high profile and luxury hotels, he has always been a leader to implement processes and service standards including the restructuring of the hotel organization. He was also being part of the hotel pre-opening team in UAE, Asia and Europe, growing company footprint with the development of a heritage hotel project.
He joined Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok as Hotel Manager in 2016 and has also been appointed as a chairperson for Hotel Sustainability Working Group.
Jayne Has more than 2 decades of experience in the hospitality industry with Le Meridien Hotels and Resorts, with the past 5 years working as a Consultant and trainer for Risk Management and sustainability in the hotel industry. Her experience includes supporting hotel sustainability programs, risk management and safety issues, including food safety training and auditing, and more recently training hotels about hygiene measures for COVID-19.
Appreciating how interconnected we are with the environment; Jayne has been active as the Chairperson for the Phuket Hotels Association Environment Working Group, helping to guide the 80 member hotels in plastic reduction, food waste minimization, education about the environment and sustainability.
Jayne conducts workshops in plastic reduction and works closely with other hotels, government and non-government organizations to find solutions to preserve the beauty of Phuket and promote Phuket as a ‘Sustainable’ destination.
Shafar is a multi-lingual hospitality industry professional with 30 years’ experience in the industry. His career spans around most Asian countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei, China, Japan and Indonesia. He started his career in Food & Beverage, before moving to the Front Office department. After a few years in the Front Office, and a few convincing words from an ex-GM, he moved into Sales and Marketing Revenue where he had spent most of his time in.
Work has taken him to a number of countries including Japan, Thailand and China where he spent the most time in. These countries really contributed a lot to his career and also served as the base for his interest in sustainability.
One of the youngest thought leaders in the region, Sai builds SensorFlow into an award-winning smart energy solution provider for hotels across Southeast Asia. He’s been invited to speak at numerous international events on the topics of hospitality technology and A.I.
With an extensive background in energy management and smart home automation, Sai developed SensorFlow’s smart solution to help hotels to be energy efficient, achieve operational excellence, and be more sustainable.