Demonstrating its commitment to protecting the environment and mitigating climate change, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, Asia Pacific’s leading luxury hotel group, announced today that it will participate for a second consecutive year in Earth Hour, a global Worldwide Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) climate change initiative.
On 27 March, between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m., more than 60 Shangri-La hotels and resorts worldwide will turn off their lights in most back-of-the-house areas and dim the lights in public areas, restaurants and hotel exteriors. Guests will be encouraged to participate by turning off the lights in their guestrooms.
Shangri-La estimates that for each hour of shutting off or dimming lights per hotel, it can save up to 60 Megawatts of electricity, which is equivalent to providing the lighting energy requirements of a city of 500,000 residents for 24 hours.
“As an environmentally conscious and socially responsible company, it’s only fitting that Shangri-La participates in Earth Hour to help raise awareness for climate change with our employees and guests,” said Madhu Rao, managing director and chief executive officer of Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts. “Shangri-La remains steadfast in its commitment to pursuing initiatives that mitigate the effects of climate change, not only through Earth Hour but also through other green programmes such as building greener hotels, moving towards 100 per cent eco-friendly machines and greening the supply chain.”
Various Shangri-La hotels and resorts will also be organising local community activities such as coastal clean-ups and tree-planting projects while Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa, Maldives, will be offering guests an organic moonlit massage using virgin coconut oil produced by a local community. The treatment will only be available on Earth Hour Day starting at 7 p.m. local time at CHI, The Spa.
In addition, a number of hotels will be running supplementary energy- saving activities that involve hotel guests. Several hotels’ restaurants including Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo, Traders Hotel, Kuala Lumpur and Shangri- La’s Kerry Centre Hotel, Beijing will offer candlelight dinner experiences for diners. Children at Shangri-La’s Mactan Resorts and Spa may choose to go on a guided tour of the fireflies or shadow puppet show. At the lobby of Shangri-La Hotel, Wenzhou, the resident band will perform unplugged.
The World Trade Organisation and the United Nations Environment Programme (2008) estimate that while the aviation industry accounts for almost two per cent of the world’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per year, the hotel industry contributes as much as five per cent of global CO2. In response to this situation, Shangri-La has made environmental protection one of its top priorities. The group has adopted a number of environmentally friendly measures in its hotels worldwide and continues to play an active role in reducing its carbon footprint.
Participating in Earth Hour is only one small part of Shangri-La’s environmental efforts. Each Shangri-La hotel and resort has implemented Green Programmes to identify ways to reduce wastage, eradicate practices that damage the environment and generally promote environmental awareness. To date more than half of Shangri-La hotels are ISO14001 certified (International Standard for Organisation), with the rest to be certified by end of 2010. Examples of these practices include using energy-saving light bulbs and biodegradable cleaning materials, water restrictors, and sewage treatment facilities to prevent water pollution.