The Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa has been awarded the international Green Globe Certification (GGC), achieving a 90% rating following an exhaustive sustainability audit conducted by sustainability experts, Farnek Consultancy.
The five-star, 361 rooms and 182 serviced apartments, Polynesian island themed resort is the first to be Green Globe certified on Palm Jumeirah and is the first within the Accor group, which is one of the world’s leading hotel operators, with more than 3,500 hotels, 450,000 rooms and over 160,000 employees.
“We are very proud to receive Green Globe Certification, which is the result of many months of preparation and hard work by the management team and all members of staff, highlighting our true commitment towards sustainability. We shall endeavor to carry on reducing our impact on the environment and creating a better workplace,” said Christophe Schnyder, General Manager, Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa.
The hotel which opened in July 2013, already had key energy efficient systems incorporated within its initial design, clearly indicating that its commitment to sustainability started on the drawing board. For example solar panels installed on the roof, covering 530 square metres, provide 50% of the hotel’s hot water.
Condensation from the air conditioning units is drained and recycled to irrigate the hotel’s 27,000 square meters of landscape. The irrigation system itself is monitored by a weather station located on the property, which allows the hotel to operate its sprinklers more efficiently.
Post opening, all public area taps were fitted post opening with water aerators, saving 6,000 cubic metres of water, 80% of the resorts 24 hour lighting has been replaced by LED lights saving more than 290,000 kilowatt hours of energy in less than four months. Low energy lighting in guest rooms will be phased in during the year.
The hotel also has an extensive waste segregation programme. Paper, plastic, cardboard and cooking oil is collected by a local waste management company to be recycled. The indirect savings alone are remarkable, in just six months the hotel has saved the equivalent of 759 trees, 187,446 kilowatt hours of energy, 25,505 litres of oil, more than 1.1 million litres of water and 2,678 pounds of air pollutants.
An integral part of the GGC audit is training. Creating awareness and best practice is of paramount importance. Commenting on the hotel’s impressive staff engagement, empowerment and recognition programme, Sandrine Le Biavant the divisional director at Dubai based Farnek Consultancy said: “The synergy between the engineering department and the learning department is exceptional. Employees have engaged in sustainable best practice with passion and creativity. Each day there are energy and water saving updates and monthly green team meetings where the hotel management recognize sustainable achievements and encourage employees to suggest additional initiatives.”
Moving forward, Rohit Salunke, the hotel’s director of engineering, was enthusiastic about the positive effect that an international award would have on their sustainability strategy.
“The certification process provided us with a perfect framework to create awareness about sustainability throughout the resort. This has and will support our plans for further investment in energy efficiency,” said Salunke.
As a permanent ‘green’ reminder to guests and staff alike, the hotel has covered parts of the interior with a unique collection of 24 vertical gardens with 170 species of plants, covering 600 square metres designed by renowned French botanist Patrick Blanc.
“Being renowned for a certain sense of style, it seems highly appropriate that a French luxury hotel brand, should embrace sustainability with such a chic display,” added Schnyder.
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