Ascott launches green initiatives with 15% energy reduction target

The Ascott Limited has embarked on a global sustainability drive as it strives to become the world’s leading green serviced residence company.

Its Go Green @ Ascott initiative, launched across the group’s offices
and properties worldwide, targets to achieve 15 per cent savings in
water and energy consumption by 2015, using 2008 as the base year.
 
In 2011, Ascott consumed nine per cent less water and energy compared
with 2008. The 225,000 cubic metres of water saved would fill more than
90 Olympic swimming pools and the 18,000 megawatt hours of energy saved
equates to the annual consumption of 3,500 households.
 
“Ascott can make a significant positive impact on the environment,
across the 21 countries and more than 70 cities where we operate,”
Ascott’s Chief Corporate Officer and Chairman of Ascott’s Green
Committee which oversees the company’s global sustainability efforts,
Tony Soh, said. “That’s why we are taking proactive and meaningful steps
to transform our business practices and promote sustainability among
our staff, residents and business partners. Ascott is committed to
playing its part in the global sustainability effort. It is the right
thing to do, in order to safeguard our planet for future generations.”
 
Ascott will focus on five areas to realise its green vision:
 
•       Green Buildings
 
Ascott will incorporate green elements in all new properties to be built
or renovated, creating sustainable residences that are both comfortable
and resource/energy efficient. This includes the use of sustainable
building materials or products that are locally sourced, more energy
efficient and more durable, and consequently with less impact on the
environment.
 
•       Environment, Health and Safety
 
Ascott has put in place comprehensive environment, health and safety
procedures across its serviced residences. To date, its properties in
nine countries: Australia, China, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines,
Singapore, Thailand, the United Kingdom and Vietnam, have received
international certifications on environmental management (ISO 14001) and
occupational health and safety management system (OHSAS 18001).
 
•       Green Products
 
Ascott has established procurement guidelines to increase the use of
green products at its serviced residences. For instance, Ascott has
introduced energy-saving light bulbs, solar water heaters, sensor
lighting, biodegradable laundry bags and bathroom amenities with
innovative and recyclable packaging to reduce waste. At Somerset
JieFangBei Chongqing, Ascott replaced 800 11-volt lamps with four-volt
lamps in public areas. This translates to savings of over 3,500 kilowatt
hours per month, the equivalent power consumption of 25 average-sized
refrigerators.
   
•       Water, Energy, Paper and Waste Reduction

 
Ascott has implemented green practices to promote the conservation of
water, energy and paper as well as the reduction of waste. Since 2009,
Ascott’s serviced residence directory is available for download on its
website which reduced the number of print copies and saved more than
8,000 kg of paper every year.
 
Other examples of sustainability initiatives at Ascott’s properties
include offering long-stay residents the option not to have daily
housekeeping, the installation of water-saving devices in toilet
cisterns, the use of recycling bins and providing reusable eco-bags or
shopping trolleys which reduce the use of disposable grocery bags.
 
Ascott recycled and distributed more than 40 tonnes of furniture to
charitable organisations and groups in need after the refurbishment of
Citadines Prestige Trafalgar Square London.

 
•       Stakeholder Engagement
 
An Ascott Earth Day is held every first Friday of the month at Ascott’s
offices and properties worldwide. On this day, staff and residents are
encouraged to dress down while the air-conditioning at the offices and
properties are adjusted to conserve energy. Similarly, staff and
residents in temperate countries are encouraged to wear warmer clothing
as the heating temperature is reduced. Ascott’s offices and properties
will also switch off beacon signage lights and other non-essential
lightings for 10 hours from 8pm.
 
In Vietnam, staff from Somerset Chancellor Court Ho Chi Minh City and
Somerset Ho Chi Minh City travelled more than 250 kilometres to the
Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang to grow two hectares of mangrove
forest which had been destroyed by storms. In Manila, Ascott Makati
offers a Green Meetings Package providing recyclable notebooks and white
boards instead of flip charts as well as personalised water goblets in
place of paper cups. In addition, Ascott Makati provides residents an
eco-menu that requires less cooking and, therefore, less energy
consumption.
  
Ascott claims to be the largest global serviced residence owner-operator
with circa 30,000 serviced accommodations including 8,000 under
development in key cities throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe and the Gulf
region.
 
Any conference-related news? Email sarah@mashmedia.net

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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