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Melia Bali awarded top EarthCheck rank

By: Megan Gell Posted: June-10-2011 in
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Megan Gell

Resort attains regional-first platinum certification following 10-year commitment

Melia Bali was recently awarded Platinum Certification by EarthCheck – the first venue in Asia to receive this and one of just five worldwide. CEI Asia speaks to Melia Bali general manager Jim Boyles about the landmark achievement:

How has the local community been impacted?
The programme not only changes thinking at the hotel, but our staff take this knowledge home with them. Bali has a ‘throw away’ culture, but where once the containers being thrown away were of organic matter such as banana leaves, it is now plastic. This is getting a lot better.

How much does sustainable thinking impact your decision-making?
Very much. When we make business decisions about equipment purchasing, for example. We need to consider whether at the end of its use, can it be recycled? We are currently looking at purchasing our own chipping machine to process organic waste, which makes up 80 per cent of our total waste. This matter will then be used on the gardens.

Staffing is also based on these considerations. More than 80 per cent of our staff live within a 20km radius of the hotel, which reduces our carbon footprint significantly. We also look to source as much as we can locally.

Has sourcing sustainable products become easier?
Our suppliers know that the first question we ask is about a product’s impact on the local environment. They have come to expect it and it has begun to change different elements of our supply chains. For example, our beach chairs were once made of wood. Now they are made from sustainable fabric and recycled aluminium frames.

What does this recognition mean to the hotel?
There are a lot of misconceptions in our industry about certification. Many venues develop their own internal grading system and compete for awards that involve superficial assessments. Third-party auditing is the only way clients can be assured of sustainability achievements and genuine commitment.

The rigorous assessment of our energy consumption, waste management and community initiatives helps keep us focused. If our energy consumption rises, we have to ask ourselves why. Do we need to invest in renewable sources or can we lower usage?

It has also been good for business. The hotel is often selected by the government and private sector for events with a sustainability focus. We are seen as an example and are often asked to deliver presentations at these events.



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