Armed with a firm belief that a sustainable future is a better future, City of Dreams Manila steps up its strategies to meet sustainability targets by 2030 aligned with the goal of its parent company Melco Resorts & Entertainment (Melco). Despite the challenges brought by the pandemic, the integrated resort has persisted on undertaking projects anchored on its core values of service for colleagues, guests, community, and the environment.
The company’s sustainability strategy led by Melco chairman and CEO Lawrence Ho, dubbed “Above and Beyond” outlines ambitious goals that include carbon neutral and zero-waste resorts by 2030. Since 2018, City of Dreams Manila’s sustainability endeavors are focused on environment, economy, and social responsibility.
City of Dreams Manila Property President Geoff Andres said, “We are committed to seamlessly integrate sustainable luxury in our guests’ experience in our restaurants, hotel rooms, gaming, and entertainment facilities. We will continue to progress further with our green undertakings and soldier on to contribute to a more sustainable future.”
A testament to this commitment is the 2022-2024 ASEAN Green Hotel Award presented to the three luxury hotels on property - Nüwa Manila, Nobu Hotel and Hyatt Regency Manila - for their environment-friendly principles that include resource consumption reduction and local community involvement. Melco has also been recognized at the 2019 Sustainable Business Awards (SBA) Philippines for its talent development program for its workforce in both Manila and Macau, as well as its energy efficiency efforts to tackle climate change at City of Dreams Manila.
Since its opening, City of Dreams Manila has been initiating corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities and efforts geared towards environmental protection. In 2019, with the launch of Melco’s global “Above and Beyond” sustainability strategy, as City of Dreams Manila invested P76 million to harness renewable energy with the installation of 3,120 PV solar panels at the topmost floor of its parking building, becoming the first integrated resort in the country to utilize solar solutions.
Solar panels have been fully operational since the beginning of 2020 and can generate 1.2MW at full capacity. On an annual basis, the panels can generate over 1,600 MWh, which is equivalent to charging over 139 million smartphones in a year.
Reducing water consumption
Filtered and monitored to ensure that water quality meets the required health standards; treated greywater is reused, estimated to save about 88 Olympic-sized swimming pools worth of water or about 219,000 m3 annually, from the city’s supply. Laundry wastewater is also reused for the cooling towers and the gardens, and clean latrines.
Elimination of single-use plastic
With Melco as a signatory to the Global Tourism Plastic Initiative, led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with UN Environment, City of Dreams Manila continuously addresses the elimination of problematic plastic.
Since 2020, the property has substantially reduced its plastic waste through replacement of non-biodegradable materials with sustainable alternatives: bagasse packaging materials for take away boxes, resealable paper pouches for chocolates, use of cardboard boxes replacing acetate boxes, greaseproof paper for sandwiches, among others.
Single-use plastic bottled water in the hotel rooms, restaurants and gaming areas have been eliminated and small toiletry amenity bottles in hotel rooms are replaced with reusable, refillable and convenient pump bottles.
Onsite water filtration plant
The resort has installed a US$370,000 onsite water filtration plant and a bottling system with NORDAQ, resulting in the elimination of 95 percent single-use plastic bottles throughout the property, equivalent to more than 14 million single-use plastic bottles per year.
Diversion of waste away from the landfill
With the current sustainable initiatives, the property diverts 40 percent of its waste away from the landfills.
To lower the property’s environmental impact, the other initiatives include: an onsite composting facility that recycles kitchen organic waste to reuse in the gardens and donate to local farmers; a rooftop herb garden that provides the kitchens with fresh herbs for daily operations; recycling used coffee capsules into novelty items in collaboration with Nespresso and partnerships with non-government organizations that collect recyclable plastics.
Food waste at the employees’ dining room is reduced with the deployment of Winnow system, an AI technology that measures food plate waste and monitors overproduction of food, while used kitchen oil is used as biofuel.
The resort also practices sustainable sourcing in support of Filipino Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), with 86 percent procured from local seafood and vegetable vendors, rice and food manufacturers, whose business practices align with the integrated resort’s vision to contribute in the preservation of marine ecosystems and the livelihoods of communities that depend on them.
It adopts a holistic and sustainable coffee program for which it partners with local coffee farmers through the Philippine Coffee Board Inc. to serve 100 percent Filipino coffee beans in restaurants and hotels, all roasted-blended-brewed onsite.
Digitalization of products and services such as the use of the Melco app for guests’ convenience in hotel and/or restaurant bookings are initiatives to go paperless Digitizing the supply chain was also prioritized with the implementation of a new P2P (purchase to pay) procurement system, allowing the property to achieve supply chain sustainability targets, such as going paperless in receiving and warehouse processes, among others.
Another sustainable initiative is switching to a 100 percent use of cage-free eggs across its restaurants, by partnering with Lever Foundation, an international animal welfare non-profit organization that helps leading food companies in the Philippines and across the Asia Pacific Region for a more sustainable supply chain. It is first among the integrated resorts in the country to fully adopt the initiative.
A Sustainability Committee composed of colleagues from different departments work together to initiate and oversee sustainability projects. Trainings for new hired colleagues to engage them on Melco’s sustainability programs, goals, and initiatives are regularly implemented to promote awareness and drive employee responsibility. Employee surveys are also conducted annually to help the management improve its undertakings.
Encouraging volunteerism mirrors City of Dreams Manila’s “Employee Love” program. The focus is not only on maintaining a people-centric workplace for the wellbeing and development of its team members but also in creating opportunities for them to engage in service to society and inspire positive change such as blood donation to the Philippine Red Cross, planting mangroves, and bay clean-up drives.
In recognizing City of Dreams Manila’s employee-centered culture driven by 10 Core Promises, Forbes Travel Guide (FTG), considered the only independent global rating system for luxury hotels, restaurants, and spas, also conferred on the integrated resort the global 2022 ‘Work Here, Work Happy’ accolade.
As businesses bounce back from the challenges of the past two years, City of Dreams Manila continues to align its green activities with Melco’s “Above and Beyond” sustainability strategy, to nurture the planet and create an environment centered on sustainable luxury.