Special file – Environmentally friendly hotel

Most hoteliers actively introduce initiatives that contribute to cost savings, but more investment is needed

MB September 2021 Special Report | Macao Green

In the first study conducted in Macau to assess environmental management (EM) across various rankings and types of hotels (2007), Penny Wan, Macau-based scholar, Macau Tourism Studies Institute ( IFTM) found that hoteliers generally realized that their hotel had an influence on the natural environment (81 percent agree and 5.4 percent strongly agree); that SE would bring economic benefits (54.1 percent agree and 8.1 percent strongly agree); and that EM has contributed to the brand image and to the competitiveness of the hotel (51.4% agree, 13.5% strongly agree).

At that time, the awareness of hoteliers “did not always translate into action”. Wan pointed out that “low customer demand, poor knowledge of the environment and lack of regulations were obstacles preventing hoteliers from adopting green practices.”

Nonetheless, around 80 percent of hotels had strategies to reduce energy consumption, with a slightly lower proportion having strategies to reduce water consumption (77.8 percent) and waste (77.8 percent). hundred).

Ten years later, Penny Wan updated the information (based on new surveys and interviews with 31 hoteliers): “Macau hotels have a high level of environmental awareness,” she writes in a study co-written with a colleague from Macao and another from the Continent.

Most hoteliers actively introduce initiatives that contribute to cost savings. Practices such as the use of energy saving light bulbs, water saving appliances and active systems to detect / repair leaky installations are widely implemented, unlike programs involving the use of solar lawn lighting, recycling of food scraps and reuse of wastewater.

Wan also points out that “the main obstacles to going green include the absence of government regulations on ME, financial constraints, lack of employees to manage ME and fear that environmental initiatives could have a negative impact. on the guest experience, especially VIP and hardcore gamers, and guests who expect luxury services in Macau hotels. Less star hotels have a harder time adopting green approaches.

Much has changed in ten years.

Penny Wan, Macau’s leading researcher on this topic, has no doubts that the tourism industry is increasingly environmentally friendly: “They are paying more attention to food waste and fuel consumption. electricity and water, ”she said. Macau Affairs.

According to the IFTM professor, this trend “occurs on the industry’s own initiative, because companies have to demonstrate their CSR. [corporate social responsibility] to establish their business ethics and suitability for casino license extension. It is also because of the government’s increased demands on environmental protection, to make Macau greener and more sustainable.

On the other hand, says Ms. Wan, “Customer demand for green is comparatively low. When choosing a hotel to stay in, most customers look for value-for-money hotels with a good atmosphere and good food with a variety of entertainment options; the environmental performance of a hotel is not their major concern.

Perhaps this explains the fact that, despite the positive developments recorded, casino operators and major hotels have not yet moved beyond the stage of investing in energy and environmental sustainability.

So when Sands China installed a hybrid heat pump power plant at Londoner Macau last year, they were quick to add that it was the first ever used in hospitality and industry. Macau Integrated Resort.

According to Sands China, the plant generates both heating and cooling for the 2,000 hotel rooms in the Sky Tower of the Sheraton Grand Macao Hotel, eliminating the need for a natural gas boiler with a solar thermal capacity of 520 kilowatts and a high capacity of 800 kilowatts. -Heat pump system with water source at temperature. Sands China has installed a total of 222 solar thermal panels on 15,000 square feet of the hotel tower roof space, which will generate more than 500 megawatt hours of thermal energy per year.

“It’s good to hear that casino dealers are investing large amounts of money and resources in technology to save energy,” Professor Penny Wan said. Macau Affairs.

“Only the large casino operators are able to do this,” she adds, stressing that “all hotel-casinos are suffering from the pandemic. Many are struggling for their survival. Ms. Wan also notes that the casino license extension requirements have not yet been clearly published and that “there are a lot of uncertainties for casino dealers. It is difficult for them to invest even more in high-tech machinery and equipment that is costly for the environment.

“I think it’s especially important to educate and inspire clients to work together towards environmental goals,” adds Penny Wan. “Our customers need education to increase their awareness, but at the same time practical incentives, such as coupons, cash rewards, etc. “

Professor Wan draws our attention to the Pousada de Mong-Há at IFTM, where there is an energy consumption monitoring system in each of the rooms. Staff and guests will know how much energy has been used during a stay. “This monitoring system can measure the customer’s efforts to go green, allowing the distribution of performance-based rewards, such as food vouchers or room price discounts, etc.”

“Macau hotels have a high level of environmental awareness” – Penny Wan

By Ricardo Lima

Pollution caused by tourism

The tourism industry is becoming more and more environmentally friendly, but as the largely dominant industry in Macau, it is also the most harmful to the environment. A 2016 study found that Macau produces 5.91 metric tons of greenhouse gases per year, with 62% of all carbon emissions produced by the gaming industry.

“Recently, Macau tourism has grown rapidly. However, the environment, due to its fragility, has been severely damaged by pollution caused by tourism, ”said Zhang Shu-yin from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen.

“In the ecological environment, traffic noise and construction noise, which have a negative impact on citizens, become the main component of pollution in Macau,” adds the researcher.

Dr Zhang believes that “in the face of this situation, the Macau government should use every available plot of land to plant trees and flowers along the roads around hotels and accommodation. Likewise, the government should build a metro in order to reduce the number of buses, passenger cars and motorcycles. In this way, Macau will be elegant and peaceful, and the ecological and social environment will be better for human beings to be in harmony with nature.

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