HotelsSingapore kickstarts an ambitious mission for hotels to focus on sustainability and achieve carbon neutrality country-wide in less than 30 years.

By 2050, Singapore wants all its hotels to go green

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More hospitality players in Singapore have risen to the challenge of providing sustainability-driven accommodations to guests.
More hospitality players in Singapore have risen to the challenge of providing sustainability-driven accommodations to guests. Photo Credit: Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay

The hotel industry in Singapore has been tasked to aspire towards an ambitious goal: achieving net-zero emissions in 2050.

The ‘What’

The Singapore Hotel Association (SHA) and Singapore Tourism Board (STB) have outlined a comprehensive Hotel Sustainability Roadmap to bring its hotels closer to its aim in small, incremental steps. The roadmap sets out to achieve the following targets at four different timestamps:

  • 2023 — Commence tracking of emission
  • 2025 — Attain internationally-recognised hotel sustainability certification across 60% of all hotel room
  • 2030 — Reduce emissions
  • 2050 — Achieve full carbon neutrality

The ‘How’

The roadmap also sets out strategies, guidelines and a list of assistance that can be requested from the government to help hotels strive towards these targets. Hotels are encouraged to practise better water conservation, waste management, recycling and circular economy, sustainable sourcing and procurement of produce, and energy conservation.

Hotels can tap on STB funds to support sustainability initiatives; source for sustainability solution providers via SHA’s hotel technology directory; upskill staff in eco-conscious practices with STB’s training grant; and partner with innovative tech providers through STB’s Tcube programmes to co-develop sustainability-related industry pilots.

The ‘Why’

Across a global scale, 83% of travellers think sustainable tourism is vital in their purchase decisions, and 61% said that the pandemic has made them want to travel more sustainably in the future, according to Booking.com’s 2021 Sustainable Travel Report.

The same survey revealed that almost half of the travellers polled think there is a lack of sustainable travel options, and many get annoyed if somewhere they are staying stops them from being sustainable.

In light of more travellers demanding for greener accommodations and generally more eco-friendly vacations, this prevailing trend propelled Singapore’s officials in encouraging the hospitality to embark on this sustainability journey. Not only will the targets enable the industry to contribute to a more sustainable future for the earth, but it can also help capture new opportunities to drive tourism.

The ‘Who’

Prior to the roadmap being launched, many hotels in Singapore have already integrated some form of eco-conscious practices into its operations. Most tend to start out small by eliminating single-use plastics, from toiletries to water bottles, and giving guests the choice to opt out of daily towel replacements in a bid to save water.

More encouragingly, several new hotels have integrated sustainability at the heart of its ethos, such as Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay which underwent a S$45 million (US$33 million) transformation to bring greenery and nature-inspired architecture through the hotel interiors, and eco-friendly features built into its furnishings.

Melvin Lim, general manager of Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay believes that the eco-friendly initiatives will also serve to enhance the guest experience. From its in-house Urban Farm that contributes to 20% of the hotel’s fruit, vegetables and herbs supply which guests can frequent in leisure, to the guestrooms’ double-glazed glass that filters natural daylight and reduces ambient temperature by 2°C, keeping guests cooler while reducing energy use by 2%.

“Our green innovations — such as the installation of our solar panels, food waste digester, Urban Farm, filtered water taps in every guestroom, and the extensive planting of 150sqm of plants in our hotel, resulting in improved air quality — were all part of our green hotel design plan right from the start,” Lim added.

With these forward-thinking hoteliers aiming to drive change for a better future, it seems that Singapore’s aim in achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 is off to a promising start.

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