Every year on March 22, the global community celebrates World Water Day as a chance to recognize its true value and how we can better protect the vital resource. Today, water is under extreme threat from a growing population, increasing demands of agriculture and industry, and the worsening impacts of climate change.
As a global organization that operates in some of the most pristine environments in the world and in close collaboration with surrounding communities, Shangri-La Group recognizes the importance and necessity of water to our guests, communities, colleagues and ecosystems. Every day, Shangri-La Group is committed to reducing water stress on our local ecosystems and ensuring the lasting longevity of one of earth’s most precious resources.
Shangri-La Group recognizes that water is a scarce resource in many places around the world. With that in mind, our hotels have a responsibility not to consume more than necessary. Through hotel and resort water conservation efforts, Shangri-La has decreased its Group-wide average potable water consumption by over 25 percent since 2010 and has reduced overall water intensity by 26 percent compared to 2010 levels.
We work hard to mitigate our impact on the availability of freshwater in ecologically sensitive regions. For example, our resorts in Boracay, Cebu, the Maldives, Mauritius and Yangon operate desalination plants using groundwater or seawater to produce freshwater for consumption.
In Penang, Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa and Golden Sands Resort benefit from an in-house bottling plant, saving over 4,700 kilograms of plastic drinking bottles per year. The bottling plant is the first of its kind in Penang. Resorts in the Sultanate of Oman, Maldives and Mauritius produce recycled water for irrigation, washing of external surfaces and other suitable purposes.
In Australia, Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney provides guests with Just Water, a greener alternative to water in plastic bottles. Available in the hotel since 2019, the Just Water cartons reduce emissions with sustainable packaging that is made from 88 percent renewable materials and plant-based plastic. Cartons are filled with 100 percent spring water and naturally occurring mineral and PH content from Cottonwood Springs, located at the base of Mount Warrenhelp, Victoria. Since inception, Just Water has prevented nearly 4.4 million pounds of carbon from being released into the environment.
Every year, the Group’s hotels save over 120 cubic meters of freshwater through the showerhead replacement program, which is designed to limit the flow rate and reduce water consumption by 20 to 30 percent. In 2020, Shangri-La Bosphorus, Istanbul installed faucet aerators into guestrooms, effectively reducing water consumption by 30 percent. Eleven properties serve in-room water in reusable glass bottles to reduce the lifecycle of plastic bottle production, thereby saving water on a larger scale. Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa implements over 100 best practices for management and employees to continuously save water, evaluate and explore techniques that can be adopted for greater ecological preservation.
Water for Our Communities and Environment
“Water stress” refers to the ability, or lack thereof, of local ecosystems to meet human and ecological demand for water. It occurs when demand exceeds supply during a certain period, or when poor water quality restricts its use. At Shangri-La, we use the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas developed by the World Resources Institute (WRI) to identify which of our hotels are located in areas experiencing “High” or “Extremely High” levels of water stress. These areas include North, East and West China, Hong Kong SAR, Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, India, Mongolia and Turkey.
World Water Day Activities
Shangri-La properties will host various activities and programs to educate colleagues, guests and community members about the importance of conserving water. For example, in Indonesia, Shangri-La Hotel, Surabaya will host a planting program with members of the Down syndrome community in partnership with Coordinating Board for Social Welfare Activities (BKKKS). The event will teach children and community members the importance of water in growing plants and our ecosystems.