Hospitality Chains Work To Reach Sustainability Goals

(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) As Dubai gears up to host COP28, one of the critical sectors where sustainability is a key concern is hospitality. Fabien Chesnais, General Manager and Nina Mohamed, Director of Marketing & Communications, Movenpick, speak to Khaleej Times on the challenges in the sector and the initiatives being taken.


How is sustainability affecting the economy and the hospitality industry?

By implementing practices such as energy-efficient lighting and water conservation measures, hotels and resorts not only reduce operational expenses but also experience a substantial enhancement in profitability. Travellers are becoming more environmentally conscious and seek out eco-friendly accommodation options. Hotels that adopt sustainable practices can attract a growing segment of environmentally conscious guests.

Governments worldwide are implementing stricter environmental regulations. Hotels that do not meet these standards may face fines and penalties, making sustainability an economic necessity.

Hotels that prioritise sustainability build a positive reputation and brand image. This can lead to increased customer loyalty and a competitive advantage in the market. Sustainable sourcing practices for food, amenities, and other products are becoming vital. Suppliers that offer sustainable products and services are preferred partners in the hospitality industry.\Sustainability initiatives differentiate hotels in a crowded market. Travellers are more likely to choose accommodations that align with their values and preferences.

As the effects of climate change become more apparent, businesses that do not adapt to sustainable practices may face challenges to their long-term viability.

In summary, sustainability is not only an ethical choice but also a strategic and economic imperative for the hospitality industry.

What are the sustainable solutions adopted by Movenpick to be ahead of the competition?

In adherence to local regulations and international labour conventions, we ensure no child labour, forced labour, discrimination and adhere to health and safety standards. Our comprehensive employee training program covers brand values, mandatory courses on safety, anti-bribery, diversity, sustainability and child protection.

We prioritize customer satisfaction through guest feedback, third-party audits, social media engagement and quality meetings.

We maintain accurate promotional materials and uphold Movenpick brand standards. Our excursion desk offers guests opportunities to explore local culture, natural surroundings and heritage sites.

Safety is paramount; we conduct drills for fire, earthquakes, extreme weather and chemical spills.

Our procurement process is equitable and compliant with laws; we collaborate with suppliers to improve ethical standards. We support community development and vocational training for employability in the hospitality sector.

Employee protection, equitable hiring and gender diversity are essential aspects of our workforce.

We strictly prohibit bribery and corruption, whether directly or through third parties.

We integrate local arts and culture into our public areas and celebrate Emirati cuisine and culture weekly.

We monitor and minimize energy consumption with sensors, LED lighting and efficient transportation.

We treat and reuse greywater, reduce single-use plastics and aim to eliminate plastic water bottles. Our linen programme reduces water and detergent consumption.

We manage waste with recycling initiatives, food waste monitoring and landscaping using native species.

We collaborate with animal protection organizations for wildlife conservation and plan to educate on wildlife impact.

Our commitment to sustainability spans legal compliance, employee training, customer satisfaction, accurate promotion, cultural heritage, environmental conservation and waste management.

Fabien Chesnais, General Manager, Movenpick

Given natural disasters can occur anytime, how important it is to be certified by renowned international organisations?

Certification by renowned international organizations is vital due to these key reasons:

1: Boosts confidence in guests and partners, signalling a commitment to safety.

2 Compliance: Ensures adherence to strict disaster preparedness standards.

3 Reduction: Mitigates financial, reputational and safety risks.

4 Response: Enables swift and efficient disaster response.

5 Assurance: Provides guests with peace of mind about their safety.

6 Benefits: May lead to favourable insurance terms.

7 Support: Allows properties to assist the local community during emergencies.

What are some of the certifications Movenpick holds?

As a relatively new hotel we hold both the Green Globe Certificate and Earth Check Bronze Certificate within just one year of operation.

What is Movenpick doing to ensure it is working towards the UAE's goal of Sustainability, given that COP28 is close?

Movenpick actively contributes to the UAE's sustainability goals through initiatives such as:

1 Efficiency: Using LED lighting and efficient HVAC systems to reduce energy consumption.

2 Reduction: Implementing waste segregation and recycling programs while minimizing single-use plastics.

3 Conservation: Employing water-saving measures and greywater recycling.

4 Sourcing: Supporting local communities by sourcing products locally.

5 Menus: Offering sustainable, locally sourced food and minimizing food waste.

6 Engagement: Engaging in educational programs and awareness campaigns.

7 Programs: Pursuing certifications like Green Globe and LEED.

8 Offset: Participating in carbon offset programs.

9 Reporting: Regularly reporting on sustainability performance and achievements.

These efforts align with COP28's sustainability goals.

What are the yearend plans for the resort and how does the line-up of booking look?

Our year-end focus: Sustainability and zero single plastic usage, including in-room water bottles. We're implementing Eco Pure for on-site tap water treatment, using in-house bottling to save 50,000 plastic bottles yearly. Priority on community engagement and culturally enriching experiences for guests and colleagues.


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