Emaar Hospitality Group, the hospitality and leisure business of Emaar Properties PJSC, and Rove Hotels – a joint venture of Meraas Holding and Emaar Properties PJSC, have joined hands with Emirates Green Building Council (Emirates GBC), an independent forum aimed at conserving the environment by strengthening and promoting green building practices, to secure the ‘Green Key’ certification for all its operational hotels and leisure assets in Dubai.
Emirates GBC is the UAE’s National Operator for the Green Key certification, a standard of excellence in the field of environmental sustainability and sustainable operation within the tourism industry. The agreement was signed by Olivier Harnisch, Chief Executive Officer of Emaar Hospitality Group, and Saeed Al Abbar, Chairman of Emirates GBC.
Initially, Emaar Hospitality Group and Rove Hotels aim to have 15 hospitality and leisure assets in Dubai Green Key certified. These will include all operational hotels under the three lifestyle hotel brands under Emaar Hospitality Group, and Emaar Leisure Group assets such as Arabian Ranches Golf Club and Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club in addition to all Rove hotels.
Olivier Harnisch said: “Across our hotels and leisure assets, we have an abiding commitment to uphold the highest standards of energy and water use efficiency as well as environmental best practices. These properties have already launched in-house green practices and have dedicated teams supporting the mission to ‘go green’ in line with the UAE Green Agenda and the Dubai Plan 2021. The Green Key certification will be a crowning glory that will highlight our environmental stewardship and focus on sustainable development for a greener tourism industry.”
Saeed Al Abbar added: “As the National Operator of the Green Key certification, we have been working closely with the UAE’s hospitality industry to promote environmental best practices. Having earlier undertaken a green hotel bench marking programme, we fully understand the requirements and aspirations of the hospitality operators. Emaar Hospitality Group and Rove Hotels are world class UAE hospitality operators, and through the agreement, we will support them in driving and setting sustainability standards that will serve as a model for the industry.”
Created in 1994 in Denmark and internationally operated by Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) since 2002, the Green Key certification is being operated by EmiratesGBC in the UAE since 2013. To date, over 30 hotels in the UAE have been Green Key certified with significant growing interest from other industry stakeholders.
Supported by both United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UN WTO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Green Key is the largest global ecolabel operating in 56 countries and operates as a non-governmental, non-commercial and independent program. Securing the Green Key certification adds value of the hotels and properties and serves as a mark of international recognition of environmental responsibility.
EmiratesGBC will work with each of the hotel properties and will conduct the first of the Green Key audits in early 2018 following submission of the full application forms from Emaar Hospitality Group and Rove Hotels. Implementation of the Green Key criteria will be essential, and hotels will be audited the first two years and then every three years to ensure they operate to the standards set by Green Key and continually improve operations and environmental performance.
The properties under Address Hotels + Resorts, a premium luxury hotel and residences brand, that will strive for the Green Key certification are: Address Boulevard, Address Dubai Mall, Address Dubai Marina, Address Montgomerie, Palace Downtown and the upcoming Address Downtown.
Both hotels under Vida Hotels and Resorts, the upscale lifestyle hotel and residences brand – Vida Downtown and Manzil Downtown – as well as the four operational hotels – Rove Downtown, Rove City Centre, Rove Healthcare City and Rove Trade Centre – under Rove Hotels, will work towards the Green key certification.
The certification will be provided after due diligence by Emirates GBC, ensuring that all assets uphold the international criteria of Green Key covering areas such as environmental management, staff involvement, guest information, water usage, washing and cleaning, waste management, energy use efficiency, food & beverage handling, quality of indoor environment, green areas, and green activities as part of Emaar Hospitality Group’s corporate social responsibility.
Complementing the Green Key programme, EmiratesGBC also conducts the Energy & Water Benchmarking for UAE hotels that documents energy and water consumption and outlines the potential for savings, thus contributing to reduced carbon footprint by UAE hotels. As part of the first benchmarking exercise, 46 hotels that volunteered for the programme were benchmarked. EmiratesGBC is now inviting hotels in the UAE to take part in the 2018 Building Efficiency Accelerator, another free-of-cost benchmarking programme.
Serving the hospitality sector, Emirates GBC has also developed and conducts a series of training modules tailored to meet the specific needs of hotel properties, covering areas such as green hospitality & sustainability, water management, energy management, responsible procurement, waste management, indoor air quality, sustainable food & beverage, sustainable housing and communications & community development.