World Environment Day: Shangri-La Group Commits To Environmental Protection Year-Round

Every year on June 5, World Environment Day is globally recognized to encourage awareness and action for environmental protection. Spearheaded by the United Nations, World Environment Day was first held in 1964 to raise awareness about emerging environmental issues, marine pollution, human overpopulation, climate change, sustainable consumption, wildlife crime and more. Since then, World Environment Day has grown to be an annual global platform with participation from over 143 countries.

From Oman to Australia, Shangri-La Group is committed to extending the same hospitality from the heart that we serve our guests to the environment and the flora and fauna that depend on it. Here are a few ways Shangri-La Group is committed to the environment on a daily basis around the world.

Operating With A Sustainable Mindset

Shangri-La Group invests in green buildings certified to local and international standards. This helps to ensure new projects and renovations integrate sustainable design features, construction techniques and operational processes across the entire value chain in line with industry-best practices. Environmental considerations are also fully integrated into daily operations of our hotels through Environmental Management Systems (EMS) that provide a robust framework for planning, managing and controlling environmental impact.

Shangri-La Group operates 36 certified green buildings, 17 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified hotels and 19 hotels with other locally relevant certifications. Properties such as Shangri-La at the Fort, Manila, Shangri-La Hotel, Bengaluru and Shangri-La Hotel, Shenyang have achieved Gold status in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), which is the most widely used global rating system for environmentally-friendly buildings.

Shangri-La Group properties continuously update operations and procedures to increase the efficacy of environmental operations including operating with low-wattage lightbulbs, monitoring water usage, decreasing carbon dioxide emissions and more. For example, Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong uses the ORCA food waste machine, which compresses food waste into sewage water. The sewage water is drained to the sea and does not pollute the environment. Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong is the first hotel in Hong Kong to use the OG100 model, which can process an average of 100 pounds of food waste per hour.

One third of all food produced in the world – approximately 1.3 billion tons – is lost or wasted every year. Globally, if food waste were represented as its own country, it would be the third largest greenhouse gas emitter, as estimated by the United Nations Environment Programme. To take a step in the right direction, Shangri-La at the Fort, Manila implemented zero food waste efforts with Bake House, a sustainable cake shop and bakery. Located at the hotel’s lobby, the Bake House commits to reducing waste and its carbon footprint by working with suppliers and purveyors that produce quality and eco-friendly products and packaging, and utilizing all ingredients in the kitchen. The outlet offers sweet and savory treats that are all-natural, trans-fat free and refrains from using artificial dyes and flavors. One of Bake House’s best-selling items, the Conscious Cookie, utilizes various ingredients that are left over from other dishes’ creations, including ingredients such as potato chips, bacon, cookie crumbs and more.

Some properties support large-scale environmental projects, such as Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu’s Rasa Ria Reserve. Located in the 130-million-year-old jungles of Malaysian Borneo, the Rasa Ria Reserve focuses on local nature conservation and education through scenic walking trails, hiking to the Ria Lookout, a Discovery Centre, Canopy Walkway, Waterfall Garden Area, and an Adventure Point with a climbing wall and playground. Through these facilities and programs, guests can explore some of the world’s oldest rainforests and one of the most biodiverse places on earth.

Serving Sustainability In Restaurants And Bars

With the continued rise of the sustainable food movement, more diners want to know where their food comes from so they can make informed decisions on what to eat or drink. Shangri-La Group has committed to sustainable menus at restaurants and bars by achieving Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Chain of Custody certification for all Shangri-La and sister-branded properties in Mainland China and Hong Kong. Guests dining at Shangri-La and sister-brand restaurants can identify MSC-certified seafood with the blue eco-label placed next to the menu item. The label signifies that the seafood comes from a certified sustainable source and is safely tracked.

The MSC achievement aligns with Shangri-La Group’s Sustainable Seafood Policy. Launched in 2012, the policy announced the Group would cease serving shark fin in all of its operated restaurants and for banqueting events.

The Group's culinary sustainability initiative, Rooted in Nature, recognizes the differences in our locations and allows all of our hotels and resorts to incorporate sustainable items from their unique markets into their dishes. Through Rooted in Nature, the Group aims to respect the natural order of things and reduce the damage on the environment by:​

· supporting local agricultural and fishing communities,

· buying chemical pesticide-free local produce,

· sourcing from free-range livestock and poultry products where possible,

· acquiring sustainably-sourced seafood that are caught through ethical means,

· and serving organic and fair trade products indicated by national and local food safety standards.

Shangri-La Group has a goal to serve 75% more sustainably sourced food on every hotel menu from Shanghai to Istanbul by end of 2020.

Many of our hotels are well on their way to achieving this goal. Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver is a partner of Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise™ Program, a national Canadian conservation initiative to educate and empower consumers about sustainable seafood, and Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney’s Altitude menu changes weekly as it is influenced by the availability of local produce. Shangri-La Hotel, Paris hosts a monthly 100% Green Dinners that showcases organic and locally-sourced ingredients from ethical purveyors. Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto, Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney and Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort & Spa, Mauritius all host on-property apiaries that benefit the environment in their areas. The properties serve honey and honeycomb from the hives in dishes and as in-room amenities.

Shangri-La Eco-Centres

Shangri-La Group is committed to preserving, conserving and protecting nature and its inhabitants through Sanctuary projects. In line with Sanctuary, many resorts have a Shangri-La Eco Centre where visitors can learn about surrounding marine life or the local flora and fauna through information, talks and activities. Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa’s Eco Centre is dedicated to helping guests learn about the ecosystem of Oman. The center has information that guests can dive into and hosts a daily Turtle Talk presented by Mohammad, the resort’s resident Turtle Ranger. Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort & Spa hosts an on-site eco center where guests can learn about Sri Lanka’s natural environment. The key programs focus on the development of elephant conservation programs in and around Hambantota and address the human-elephant conflict and habitat loss. In the Philippines, Shangri-La’s Boracay Resort & Spa focuses on both terrestrial and marine conservation activities. This Shangri-La Eco Centre provides information about the island’s rich biodiversity and sells crafts from the Ati tribe, an indigenous local group. All proceeds of the craft sales are donated to the Ati community.

Working Together For A Greater Cause

Shangri-La Group properties partner with local and global organizations to create greater impact. In September 2019, Shangri-La Group kicked off Race for Hope, a China-wide CSR initiative as part of the Group’s environmental efforts to protect the planet. In partnership with Alipay’s Ant Forest and communities throughout China, Race for Hope aims to plant 5,000 trees by 2021. Shangri-La Group brings together all 50 Shangri-La, Kerry, Jen and Traders properties in Mainland China to encourage daily participation from guests, colleagues and community to promote environmental protection. Created by Alipay and Ant Financial Services Group, the Ant Forest campaign encourages users to adopt sustainable practices in their daily lives including walking, jogging, taking public transportation and more. When a user completes a sustainable practice, the user logs it in the app, which is converted to “green energy” within the user’s “forest.” When the user earns enough “green energy,” a virtual tree grows in the user’s forest. Ant Financial plants a real tree for every virtual tree.

Shangri-La properties including Hotel Jen Penang and Midtown Shangri-La, Hangzhou work with Diversey’s Soap For Hope to reduce waste that would have otherwise been discarded in a landfill. Through the program, the properties repurpose used soap by sanitizing, remolding and repackaging used soap. The project donates soap to communities and charitable organizations in need. In Hong Kong, Soap Cycling recycles hundreds of thousands of soap bars hotels across the city and distribute them in hygiene kits to the homeless and low-income communities. Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong works with Soap Cycling to repurpose, repackage and donate soap to low-income community members and non-profit organizations. Last year alone, Soap Cycling collected about 17,545 kilograms (38,680 pounds) of soap.

From towels to bed sheets, linens are an essential part of daily operation at hotels and resorts. According to Sealed Air, a typical 400-room hotel generates two to three tons of used linens per year. After the linens have completed their cycle on property, many of the unwanted but still usable items go to waste. Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa, Cebu and Sealed Air Corporation partnered to help alleviate this strain on the environment by launching Linens for Life, a charitable initiative that provides underprivileged community members the tools to repurpose hotel linens into household items. The program provides job opportunities to women in the Tingo community by teaching the women how to sew and sell the items.

Combating Climate Change

Many Shangri-La Group properties are helping combat climate change in their regions. Shangri-La Hotel, Chiang Mai has partnered with World Heart Organization to eliminate seasonal haze in Northern Thailand by providing equipment and support to operate biochar production facilities, which will create biochar that can be resold as fertilizer or combustible briquettes. The biochar facilities create a source of income for villagers and reduces the carbon footprint through elimination of burning crop waste in the area. As a start, the hotel has supported the creation of two community-based biochar facilities that prevented the release of 313 kilograms of PM2.5, a dangerous air quality element that is found in smoke.

Urban Outreach

In urban destinations, Shangri-La Group properties support the environment by organizing weekly and monthly community cleanups, beach cleanups, gardening programs, planting mangroves, volunteer opportunities and more. Shangri-La Group properties routinely participate in these programs to ensure continued environmental outreach and protection.

Shangri-La Group operates hotels and resorts in over 22 countries and 76 destinations. Through committed programs and impactful initiatives, Shangri-La is proud to serve guests and support the communities and environment in which we operate.

To learn more about Shangri-La Group’s environmental programs and initiatives, check out the Our Environment section on the blog.