Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts has launched a two-year development strategy to enhance its corporate social responsibility activities.A corporate CSR Committee, spearheaded by the group’s chief operating officer, has been established to continue to fulfill the group’s responsibilities in five key areas: the environment; employees and the community; health and safety; supply chain management; and stakeholder relations.
In the area of environmental sustainability, the group’s focus is primarily in five areas: climate change; ozone depletion; water use management; waste disposal management; and indoor air quality. Shangri-La is ramping up energy conservation initiatives so that it will reduce 2006 groupwide energy consumption figures by 12% by the end of 2008.
Currently, the group practices a wide array of environmentally friendly measures including, for example, fitting all guestrooms with water saving devices in taps and showers as well as using energy-saving lamps in more than half the group’s guestrooms.
Shangri-La initiated environmental procedures even before its hotels began to receive ISO14001 certification, the international Environmental Management System Standard. The group has an extensive list of internally developed environmental best practices that all hotels have implemented, with inspections to monitor for compliance. The inspection results affect each hotel’s annual performance and development review scores.
In addressing impacts on climate change, the group is working on reducing carbon dioxide emissions per room night by 6.7kg, as compared to 2006 figures. Shangri-La has three broad methods for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases: through existing systems and processes; the use of new technologies and alternative energy sources; and by building more efficient buildings.
Wherever possible in new hotels, Shangri-La seeks to save energy and resources through a variety of techniques; for example, by rainwater harvesting, hot water production using solar panels or heat pumps, and improvements in building envelope design to reduce heat loss or heat gain as well as air filtration.
In other areas of corporate social responsibility, Shangri-La has established food safety benchmarks with the HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point System) certifications in the hotels. Twenty Shangri-La properties are now HACCP certified, with all current hotels to be anticipated to be awarded the certificate by 2008. Suppliers are expected to be part of the system of ensuring that only safe, high quality food is served. In the future the group will be expanding supply chain initiatives to other areas of procurement.
As for developing and maintaining a safe and healthy environment for its guests and employees. All hotels have implemented a comprehensive set of precautionary and control measures to combat avian influenza. This includes training employees on avian flu awareness and taking appropriate measures for the prevention of exposure of employees and guests to the virus. In addition, the group actively promotes wellness programmes to improve the health and well-being of employees.
Shangri-La hotels also stand out for their promotion of biodiversity and conservation practices. For example, the Nature Reserve at Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort in Sabah, Malaysia, is the first and only one of its kind in the state and includes a rehabilitation centre for baby orangutans. Shangri-La’s Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa in Oman has a dedicated Turtle Ranger to raise awareness of the country’s endangered sea turtles through guest education. A coral garden replanting project plays a central role in marine conservation at Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort and Spa, Yanuca Island.
“CSR has been and continues to be a high priority for Shangri-La; in fact, we were active in this area long before the term came into common usage,” said Symon Bridle, chief operating officer. “But by formalising our CSR structure and engaging in dialogue with our stakeholders, we are illustrating that CSR is no longer a ‘soft’ addition to the business - it is an indispensable ‘hard’ business component which our customers expect from the companies they patronise. We are committed to protecting the environment, respecting our staff and supporting the communities where we operate.”