Starwood has introduced a new meetings offer that urges planners to choose initiatives designed to offset the environmental impact of meetings and events.
For every event booked at any of the region's 300 participating hotels, organisers who participate in the 'default' Sustainable Meeting Practices set-up will receive 2,000 bonus Starpoints.
“Starwood is committed to drive sustainability efforts and our Global Citizenship work is a great reflection of this. However we recognize that besides making sure that our internal operations and infrastructure are ecosystem friendly, our efforts should also include our customers and make it possible for them to actively participate in and be involved in this initiative," said Starwood Vice-President of Sales Asia Pacific, Nichlas Maratos.
Starwood’s Sustainable Meeting Practices were launched in 2014 to offer planners options that reduce their environmental impact. The initiatives include:
– Sustainability The Standard: Starwood simplifies the process by making sustainability the standard in every aspect of the meeting with practices including:
- Post-consumer recycled paper for printed materials and flip charts, as well as double-sided printing
- Environmentally friendly non-paper supplies
- Smart resources, including LED signage and whiteboards
- Potted plants, organically grown and sustainably sourced flores
- Access to sustainable transportation services
- Recycling bins in all meeting spaces
– Go Digital: Sales proposals, menu selection, room-list creation and reservation crosscheck are all available to help customers conserve the resources used for their meeting.
– Food For Thought: With Sustainable Food and Beverage practices, hotels minimise the procurement of over-harvested and endangered species, work with local vendors, minimise waste and source the finest ingredients for guests. In 2014, Starwood was the first international luxury hotelier to ban shark fin in its restaurants. Last year it launched an innovative guide for hotels to make sustainable seafood decisions. Options include:
- Sustainable menu items featuring locally sourced produce and sustainable seafood
- Meeting tables that do not require coverings, or, if preferred, tables with reusable coverings
- China service or, if customers prefer disposable food packaging, environmentally friendly serving options
- Condiments in bulk dispensers
- Environmentally friendly alternatives to conventional bottled water
– Meetings Impact Report (MIR): The report assesses the environmental impact of individual events through indicators such as energy and water consumption, waste management and sustainable food choices. Once the MIR is calculated, planners can offset the event’s carbon footprint with donation opportunities through South Pole Carbon, Starwood’s global carbon-offset partner, that advance emission-reduction projects around the world.
– Community Outreach With Monumental Impact: Customers can promote teambuilding and giving back to local communities with activities that contribute to their organisation’s corporate responsibility goals. At The Andaman Langkawi, meeting planners can opt in for Coral Nursery Program where meeting delegates can take part in coral transplanting as part of their teambuilding.
Starwood Sustainable Meeting Practices events must be booked from March 1 to October 31, 2016, for arrival by December 31, 2016. A minimum spend of US$10,000 is required.
In 2008, Starwood launched its 30 by 20 programme which aims to cut energy consumption by 30 per cent and water consumption by 20 per cent by the year 2020.
Since launching, the programme has saved the equivalent to 79,000 hot air balloons in carbon emissions, 216,272 homes’ energy use and 116 million bathtubs of water.