Ascott has embarked on a global sustainability
drive, “Go Green @ Ascott”.
The company has implemented, and will
continue to roll out, sustainable initiatives across its offices
and properties worldwide, and targets to achieve 15% savings in
water and energy consumption by 2015, using 2008 as the base year.
In 2011, Ascott consumed 9% less water and
energy than in 2008. The 225,000 cubic metres of water saved can
fill over 90 Olympic-sized swimming pools, while the 18,000
megawatt hours of energy saved can power some 3,500 average
Singapore households for a year.
Mr Tony Soh, Ascott’s Chief Corporate Officer
and Chairman of Ascott’s Green Committee which oversees the
company’s global sustainability efforts, said, “Climate change is
a real issue that is affecting how we live, work and play. As the
world’s leading international serviced residence owner-operator,
Ascott can make a significant positive impact on the environment,
across the 21 countries and more than 70 cities where we operate.
Hence, we are taking proactive and meaningful steps to transform
our business practices and promote sustainability among our staff,
residents and business partners. Ascott is committed to do its
part in the global sustainability effort, as it is the right thing
to do, to help safeguard our planet for future generations.”
Ascott will focus on five areas to realise its green vision:
Green Buildings: Ascott will incorporate green elements into all
new properties to be built or renovated to create sustainable residences that are both comfortable and resource and energy
efficient. This includes the use of sustainable building materials,
or products that are locally sourced, more energy efficient and
more durable, which consequently have less impact on the environment.
An example of an Ascott serviced residence with
sustainable features is Citadines Mount Sophia Singapore. The
property features sky gardens and naturally ventilated corridors
which lessen the need for air-conditioning.
Apartments are also
designed to allow abundant daylight, thus reducing the dependency
on electrical lighting. Ascott aims to attain green certifications
from established green building rating systems for all new and
Environment, Health and Safety: Ascott has
put in place comprehensive environment, health and safety
procedures across its serviced residences. To date, its properties
in nine countries – Australia, China, Japan, Malaysia, the
Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, the United Kingdom and Vietnam –
have received international certifications on environmental
management (ISO 14001) and occupational health and safety
management system (OHSAS 18001). Ascott targets to achieve
international certifications for its environment, health and
safety management system in all properties it owns worldwide by
the end of 2012. Major contractors engaged by Ascott are already
required to be certified to these international standards.
Green Products: Ascott has established procurement guidelines to
increase the use of green products at its serviced residences. For
instance, Ascott has introduced energy-saving light bulbs, solar
water heaters, sensor lighting, biodegradable laundry bags and bathroom amenities with innovative and recyclable packaging to
reduce wastage. At Somerset JieFangBei Chongqing, Ascott replaced
800 11-volt lamps with four-volt lamps in public areas. This
translates to savings of over 3,500 kilowatt hours per month, which can power up to 25 average-sized refrigerators in a month.
Ascott has also adopted the use of Forest Stewardship Council or recycled paper where possible for the printing of office
documents, marketing collateral and stationery.
Paper and Waste Reduction: Ascott has implemented green practices
to promote the conservation of water, energy and paper as well as
to reduce waste. Since 2009, Ascott’s serviced residence directory
is available for download on its website which reduced the number
of print copies and saved over 8,000 kg of paper every year. Other
examples of sustainability initiatives at Ascott’s properties
include offering long-stay residents the option not to have daily
housekeeping, the installation of water-saving devices in toilet
cisterns, the use of recycling bins and providing reusable
eco-bags or shopping trolleys which reduce the use of disposable
grocery bags. Ascott also recycled and distributed over 40 tonnes
of furniture to charitable organisations and groups in need in the
United Kingdom following the refurbishment of Citadines Prestige
Trafalgar Square London.
Stakeholder Engagement: An
Ascott Earth Day is held every first Friday of the month at
Ascott’s offices and properties worldwide. On this day, staff and
residents are encouraged to dress down while the temperature of air-conditioning
units at the offices and properties are turned up by 1 degree
Celsius to conserve energy by around 10%.
Similarly, staff and residents in temperate countries are
encouraged to wear warmer clothing as the heater temperature is
reduced. Ascott’s offices and properties will also switch off
beacon signage lights and other non-essential lightings for 10
hours from 8pm. In Vietnam, staff from Somerset Chancellor Court
Ho Chi Minh City and Somerset Ho Chi Minh City travelled over 250 kilometres to the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang to grow two
hectares of mangrove forest which had been destroyed by storms. In
Manila, Ascott Makati offers a Green Meetings Package providing
recyclable notebooks and white boards instead of flip charts as
well as personalised water goblets in place of paper cups. In
addition, Ascott Makati provides residents an eco-menu that
requires less cooking and, therefore, less energy consumption.
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