What happens when a hotel embraces sustainability

Sheraton Manila showcases green efforts from the food they serve to the way they care for guests

(Images from Sheraton)

Years before the COVID-19 pandemic happens, the call for sustainable business model and lifestyle has always been there. And this pandemic has made the call even louder for it emphasizes the importance of taking care of our environment. 

And as the world slowly opens its door for tourism, among these nations is the Philippines, businesses especially, those in the hospitality industry have embraced and answered the call for greener livelihood, one of them is the Sheraton Manila Hotel. 

In an interview with Manila Bulletin’s Sustainability and Environment section, the hotel’s general manager Anna Liza A. Vergara shares that their hotel has been practicing sustainable business model since they opened from the food they serve, to the utilities they are giving to their customers. 

Sustainable food

Just recently, the group has reintroduced its partnership with Sea Trace, the company that supplies Sheraton Manila sustainable, world-class quality sea food produce. 

“Sea Trace has been a partner of Marriott hotels here in the Philippines,” she says. “Marriott Manila actually initiated this and then they enticed several other hotels to join the group to basically support local farmers to support the sustainability project.” 

Sea Trace supplies fresh yet sustainable sea produce such as crabs, prawns, oysters, and yellow fin tuna that recently named as the first global certified fish of the Philippines. 

“It's obviously an ongoing process. This is not a one kind shot of deal,” she says. “And this is coming from the need for us to really focus and get the support of all the local farmers and to ensure that everybody's thinking about sustainable seafood. It's a process that we are committing to support.” 

Greener services

But the company effort doesn’t end here. Apart from serving sustainable food choices, the hotel is also shifting to more environmental conscious choices moving forward. 

“We are going to shift from plastic bottles to reusable bottles. Apart from ensuring that we don’t use a lot of plastics, it translates to good savings too for us,” Anna continues. “When it comes to cleaning agents and chemicals, that costs a lot of money. But recently, we’re able to discover pineapple peels that’s fermented and converted into chemicals that use to clean our receiving areas.” 

She also shares that the whole facility is conscious on how they use water on daily operations, plastic packaging is changed to recyclable ones, and by 2022, the staff’s uniform will also shift to sustainable clothing designs. 

“When emptying jacuzzi, when make sure that it goes to something more useful than just draining the water,” she adds. “On electricity, there's some plans to shift to solar panels for some of the areas of the complex.”

With all of these, Anna admits that the investment to shift to sustainable business model is not cheap, in fact expensive. But she says that the return of investment for the company is looking good, aside from the fact that they know that they are doing good for their customers, for the business, and for the environment as a whole.