Green Globe Certification CEO Guido Bauer said: “The Cinnamon Grand is a landmark in Colombo. It is both a luxury hotel for leisure travelers, and just as importantly, a major conference and meeting venue serving Sri Lanka’s capital city.
“Cinnamon Grand has shown leadership in staff education with a recent guest lecture by Sri Lanka’s leading environmentalist, Professor Sarath Kotogama from the Environmental Science Department, University of Colombo. This education of staff and management on key concepts of sustainability and biodiversity was an exceptional contribution by the hotel.”
Cinnamon Grand General Manager Rohan Karr said: “The certification reiterates the hotel’s commitment to infuse the triple bottom line philosophy into the hotel’s daily operations and take sustainability seriously and pro-actively.
“The commitment of the hotel’s management and employees to re-evaluate the way the hotel conducted business and the mindset change that transcended into daily actions, were the key contributory factors that resulted in Cinnamon Grand obtaining Green Globe credentials.
“We will continue to further improve our business model to establish a common and global approach to environmental, employer, and social sustainability. We appreciate the guidance given by Sting Consultants (Pvt) Ltd., to evaluate and understand the processes, as well as the benchmarking tools.”
Cinnamon Grand has implemented all the standard requirements for Green Globe certification including energy management systems (EMS) for all guest rooms, certified carpets, the use of only biodegradable cosmetic and cleaning products, waste sorting and recycling, and the sale of waste organic food products to farmers as animal feed. The hotel also manufactures its own bottled drinking water, which is served exclusively throughout the property. All guest rooms are fitted with CFL and LED bulbs, and a change-out plan is in place for converting all lighting in the banquet halls to LEDs.
Environmental education is also facilitated through their Nuga Gama Restaurant, which hosts children from local communities. The children are provided with environmental education based on the natural surroundings of the restaurant (an abundance of plant species, along with a compost areas where all garden waste is directed to), and are also made aware of energy and water conservation and waste management practices. Guests are provided with environmental education through the sale of “Environmental Wisdom Cards” at Nuga Gama, the proceeds of which are invested in conservation projects.
The hotel’s “Banners to Bags” program, takes discarded promotional banners and transforms them into fashion handbags for sale from the hotel boutique. The B2b initiative is part of the “365 ways to save the Earth” program, where staff are provided with an environmental message or tip each day at the morning briefing. All funds from the sale of the fashion handbags are donated to the Children’s Cancer Ward at Maharagama Hospital.
Green Globe auditor Ruchi Gunewardene, Director, Sting Consultants (Pvt) said: “The hotel’s unique achievements are in promoting the respect and understanding of local cultures and customs, as well as in environmental education for guests, staff, and local communities.
“The hotel creates awareness of local cultures through its outdoor restaurant, Nuga Gama - “the village in the city” - where an authentic rural village experience has been created in the heart of Colombo. Apart from serving exclusively indigenous foods, the restaurant also promotes an understanding of local cultures through the displaying and sale of handicrafts and art products (made by villagers to whom the proceeds are returned), through weekly cultural shows and programs, and through active education of guests by restaurant staff.”
Areas that have been identified for continuous improvement include updating the hotel’s purchasing policies to include a stronger commitment to sustainable sourcing and favoring certified suppliers and certified products. Further, the hotel has begun the installation of sensor-operated taps in the restaurants, as well as dual-flush toilets and low-flow aerators for faucets.
Also in Sri Lanka today, City.Mobi is celebrating the success of its new guide to Colombo.
City.Mobi offers the most comprehensive mobile travel guides available, with over 800 cities in 200 countries listed. Each is developed by the City.Mobi team to combine into a single global travel directory.
Colombo.mobi is the latest in this illustrious line up, offering click to call functionality – which means no scribbling down telephone numbers.
Most entries are also linked to websites where users can quickly access more detailed information if needed.
Other key features include information on accommodation, restaurants, attractions, entertainment, nightlife, shopping, and transport.
City.Mobi guides include user reviews and traveller utilities such as a translation guide, currency converter, news and local weather guide.