How Hotels Around Asia Are Going Green

Eliminating Food Waste And Going Digital in Southeast Asia

Meliá Hotels International’s efforts worldwide have resulted in the hotel group being recognized as one of the top-performing hotel companies globally, according to the latest Sustainability Yearbook by S&P Global. Some examples of initiatives across Southeast Asia include Meliá Ho Tram Beach Resort’s Carbon Offset Program, where they offset guests’ travel emissions through tree planting initiatives. Hotel’s like Meliá Vinpearl Phu Quoc and INNSiDE by Meliá Yogyakarta are turning food scraps into soil nutrients and properties such as Sol by Meliá Benoa Bali and Gran Meliá Jakarta are managing extra food through an initiative that addresses food inequity and eliminates food waste. Meliá Hotels throughout the region are increasingly going paperless with necessary information and menus available via QR code at such properties as Gran Meliá Nha Trang, Meliá Phuket Mai Khao and INNSiDE by Meliá Kuala Lumpur Cheras. Eco-friendly grass straws and paper straws have become the norm and plastic bottles are increasingly a thing of the past. Meliá Makassar is the most recent convert having switched to glass bottles in December 2023.

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Luxury and Eco-Conscious Are Not Mutually Exclusive in Tokyo

The Forbes Five-Star Palace Hotel Tokyo runs a cyclical food-waste management project dubbed ‘Eco-Palace’, which turns the property’s compostable kitchen refuse into biodegradable fertilizer for use by local farms. The resulting crops of rice and produce are then bought by the hotel for incorporation into the staff canteen’s daily menu. The early stages of this project date as far back as 1992, two decades prior to the property being razed and rebuilt from the ground-up, and at a time when the hotel was the first in its industry to repurpose organic refuse to produce compost. More recently, Palace Hotel Tokyo’s culinary team launched a collaboration with Food Loss Bank to incorporate imperfect-looking, but entirely edible and delicious produce into select menu offerings, such as the hotel’s desserts and its pastry shop’s popular veggie bread loaf.

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Integrated project honours Central Vietnam’s pristine nature with eye-catching eco-initiatives

Located in a part of Vietnam renowned for its pristine nature, Laguna Lang Co prides itself on having a strong focus on sustainability. Notable green achievements include a moratorium on single-use plastics and its “edible golf course” planted with rice fields and tended by water buffalos. And the far-reaching integrated resort — which encompasses the acclaimed Sir Nick Faldo Signature golf course Laguna Golf Lang Co as well as the Banyan Tree Lang Co and Angsana Lang Co resorts— has restated its credentials as one of Vietnam’s most sustainable large-scale projects by retaining its EarthCheck “Gold Certification. Other notable sustainability initiatives, meanwhile, include a pledge to reduce meat production and consumption by introducing a minimum of one meat-free day per month at the project’s associate canteen. In addition to this, F&B outlets across the board have widened their variety of vegetarian and vegan options.

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To Plant, to Raise and to Understand on Phuket

Trisara, an exclusive hideaway in Phuket’s unspoiled northwestern corner, is notable among resorts in Thailand for its sustainability philosophy. It is a creed that covers everything from the upcycled Thai antique wooden furniture in the rooms, the grey water recycling systems that keep the ground lush and green to F&B that encompasses PRU—the only Michelin-starred restaurant on Phuket—and Jampa, a zero-waste venue leading the charge for sustainable dining on the island. Locavore inclinations reach a delicious crescendo at Pru. The venue's name – an acronym for Plant. Raise. Understand. – provides a solid clue as to its overriding creed. Jampa, meanwhile, takes Trisara’s “Dine Good, Do Good” motto to a logical conclusion with its zero-waste cuisine.

The beating heart of this philosophy is Pru Jampa, Trisara's 16,000-square-metre farm. The treasure trove of a garden is a culinary playground bursting with aromas and flavours to be utilised by award-winning chefs Jimmy Ophorst (Pru) and Rick Dingen (Jampa). Here chickens are raised for their eggs, fish is farmed sustainably, and myriad fruits, vegetables, flowers, and herbs are cultivated. All together, along with rotating their crops, this creates a sustainable ecosystem to nourish the land and to support the local economy.

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Hotel Volunteers Help Restore Chiang Mai’s Biodiverse Forest Ecosystems

Meliá Chiang Mai’s staff have helped regenerate more than seven acres of seasonally dry tropical forest in Thailand’s mountainous north, planting more than 4,350 trees of species typical of the region’s natural forest ecosystems. In partnership with Chiang Mai University’s Doi Suthep Nature Centre and Forest Restoration Research Unit, the hotel’s volunteers have painstakingly conserved and restored forest within Doi Suthep-Pui National Park – Chiang Mai’s green backdrop and premier natural tourist attraction. In addition to tree-planting, Meliá Chiang Mai staff also collected tree seeds in the natural forest, raised tree seedlings in nurseries, weeded around planted trees, applied fertilizer and monitored the survival and growth of the planted trees. 

Activities took place at Ban Pong Yang Nai, the Huay Kaew-Wang Bua Ban Nature Study Trail, Mon Cham and Doi Suthep Research Tree Nursery. The hotel’s volunteers are planning to embark on further restoration activities in the national park throughout 2024. They started working with the university’s subsidiary units in June 2022 to regenerate forest, as part of Meliá Chiang Mai’s ongoing “Meliá Go Green” initiative.

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New Sustainable Farm Feeds Mouths and Minds

With 8500sqm of its 12 beachfront hectares dedicated to cultivating an array of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and eggs for meals for guests and staff, The Anam Cam Ranh has launched a program for children to learn about sustainable farming. Chefs incorporate fresh, organic ingredients from the resort’s farm – such as morning glory, malabar spinach, corn, mustard green, wild betel leaves, and chicken and duck eggs – in meals served to Lang Viet Restaurant & Bar’s diners as well as at the staff kitchen. The farm’s variety of vegetables also include lettuce, cucumber, green onion, and cassava root. Custard apple, papaya, banana, mango, gac fruit and bitter melon are among the farm’s fruits. Herbs grown include basil, coriander, thyme, mint, imperata cylindrica, and plantago asiatica. In addition to ducks and chickens, the farm is home to an abundance of geese, rabbits, goats, guinea fowls, turkeys and peacocks. The Anam Group group general manager Laurent Myter urged young guests and their parents to visit the farm as part of a supervised program to learn about sustainable farming and interact with the friendly animals.

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Cam Ranh Heats Up Major Solar Power Project

Alma is in the process of implementing what is believed to be Vietnam’s most ambitious solar power project, installing 4470 solar panels totalling 23,290 square metres on the roofs of its 196 pavilions, two V-shaped towers housing 384 suites, lobby lounge and utility building. With a capacity of 2462 kilowatts peak – the rate at which it generates energy at its peak performance on a sunny day – the solar power system will fuel between a quarter to almost 35 percent of Alma’s energy needs, depending on occupancy dictated by the low and high seasons. It's estimated this system will save Alma millions of dollars in electricity bills over the next 25 years and significantly reduce Alma's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Alma also has a sustainability officer to track the property’s energy use, resource conservation, recycling, pollution reduction, waste elimination, transportation, education efforts and building design. The role also involves creating sustainability programs, budgets and schedules, evaluating the success of sustainability initiatives, and managing three staff committees focused on ‘green products’, ‘innovation and solutions’ and ‘people and partnerships’.

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Planting Mangroves Close to Bangkok

Situated in the heart of the action in Bangkok’s On Nut neighborhood, INNSiDE by Meliá Bangkok Sukhumvit is balancing its city vibe with projects designed to protect Mother Nature. Through its GREENSiDE project, the hotel, which debuted in July 2023, has partnered with Bang Pu Nature Education Centre for tree planting activities. INNSiDE by Meliá Bangkok Sukhumvit’s volunteer staff have planted more than 100 mangrove trees so far at Bang Pu’s Recreation and Convalescene Centre. The mangrove trees will benefit the mangrove forest in various ways, such as helping to protect inland areas from flooding, purifying water by filtering diverse pollutants, and capturing surplus sediments. The hotel’s volunteer staff also recently visited the Royal Thai Navy Sea Turtle Conservation Centre to learn more about the importance of the conservation of sea turtles, marine life and ecosystems and protecting the environment via efficient waste management, and plan to assist with the release of sea turtles to the ocean.

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Guests join beach and reef clean-up on Koh Samu

Banyan Tree Samui is inviting guests to roll up their sleeves on April 22nd and join in an effort to clean, not only the resort’s private beach, but also the coral reefs that flank the crescent-shaped cove. It’s all part of an annual campaign initiated by the hotel’s Sustainability Team. Banyan Tree Samui is considered a torchbearer in eco-friendliness and was the first and only hotel in Thailand to be awarded the highest ranking Platinum Certification by EarthCheck, the hospitality industry’s environmental monitor. Meanwhile, the hotel’s sister resort on the Andaman, Banyan Tree Krabi, will be conducting its own roadside clear-up campaign on Earth Day, likewise with the assistance of conscientious guests.

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