There are number of hotels that are heavily involved in making a change and unfortunately there are also several hotels that are not doing anything at all.
As a hotel, saying that you are ‘green’ or ‘environmentally friendly’ in your business manifesto is a great idea and it sells to bankers. It sells to your guests too. Most of all, it is just the right thing to do. It’s all about taking responsibility. So what are your excuses?
‘I strongly believe that we are responsible for future generations and should collectively act now.’ said Christian De Boer, the General Manager of Shinta Mani Hotel in Siem Reap. Christian has successfully run several environmentally sustainable initiatives not only at his hotel, but also another like-minded hotel in Siem Reap, the Heritage Suites Hotel.
‘The goal of both hotels is to make a real and sincere difference through education and treating the Khmer in a respectful way’ Christian added.
Shinta Mani and Heritage Suites have saved 56,575 plastic bags from entering Khmer landfill sites and burning facilities over the past year alone. It was actually easier than you might think to accomplish this. Everything being delivered to the hotel needs to be in a cloth bag, not plastic.
Shinta Mani has replaced plastic straws with bamboo straws, which help reduce 40,000 plastic straws. When asked about hygiene, Christian said that these bamboo straws can be cleaned in a washing machine under high pressure water. Once through the cycle, and they are clean as new. The average bamboo straw has a life cycle of about six or seven uses. There is no big difference in cost.
He is now replacing all air-condition systems with a much more efficient system which he estimates will reduce electricity consumption by 35% this year. The cost of this will be around USD$170,000. When asking him on whether or not it was a good business decision, Christian believes that the benefits way outweigh the cost.
Christian is also working on eliminating around 73,000 bottles a year (200 bottles x 365 days) by using only glass bottles. Shinta Mani is now in the testing phase of using their own in-house water purification system. Christian insists that the quality of the water once purified through their system is second to none.
Christian is a great example to all hoteliers out there showing that all of us in the industry must take full responsibility and take real action when it comes to ensuring a healthy planet for future generations. Christian really does walk the talk and he is making a difference.
’*I am hoping that Shinta Mani is taking a role that showcases to both other hotels and the local Khmer that we should collectively be more aware of the damage plastic ‘could do’ *says Christian.
When a 62 room hotel like Shinta Mani can achieve so much, it serves as a great example and inspiration for many. So what are the reasons some of the bigger hotels – or actually any hotel are using to not take action for such a good cause?