February 09, 2014 00:00 By The Nation 6,774 Viewed
Hotel giant launches three renewable energy projects in Southeast Asia
Hilton Worldwide is expanding its carbon offset programme in Southeast Asia with three renewable energy projects including the Mungcharoen biomass project in Thailand.
The other two are the Musi hydropower project in Indonesia and the Song Ong small hydropower project in Vietnam.
The three will join the Borneo rainforest rehabilitation project in Malaysia as beneficiaries of the programme.
Initiated in October 2012, Hilton Worldwide’s carbon offset programme in Southeast Asia measures carbon generated by meetings and events held at the company’s properties and, at no cost to customers, offsets this through the purchase of carbon credits.
Hotels use the company’s proprietary LightStay meeting impact calculator to calculate carbon emissions and the programme supports the “living sustainably” pillar of company’s global corporate responsibility strategy, travel with purpose.
As of January 1, four hotels joined the 13 in the programme – DoubleTree by Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok, Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok, Hilton Hanoi Opera and Hilton Garden Inn Hanoi.
“In the first 12 months of the carbon offset programme in Southeast Asia, we offset 7,200 tonnes of carbon emitted from events held in our properties,” William Costley, vice president for Southeast Asia operations, said.
“This well exceeds our initial carbon offset target of 6,000 tonnes and is a credit to our hotels, team members and customers.”
The 7,200 tonnes is equivalent to 758 economy class flights around the world.
The participating hotels are Conrad Centennial Singapore, Hilton Singapore, Hilton Kuala Lumpur, DoubleTree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur, Hilton Petaling Jaya, Hilton Kuching, Millennium Hilton Bangkok,Conrad Bangkok, Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa, Hilton Pattaya, Hilton Hua Hin Resort & Spa, Conrad Bali, Hilton Bandung, DoubleTree by Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok, Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok, Hilton Hanoi Opera and Hilton Garden Inn Hanoi.
Hilton Worldwide is one of the first major multi-brand hospitality companies to make sustainability measurement a brand standard and require performance against sustainability goals.
In 2012, the company registered US$253 million in utility cost savings through a 12.8-per-cent reduction of carbon output, a 12.2-per-cent reduction in energy use, a 24.9-per-cent reduction of waste input and a 10.2-per-cent reduction in water use.
The Borneo project aims to restore the rainforests of Sabah, Malaysia and grow the habitable area for wildlife such as orang-utans, sun bears, gibbons, pygmy elephants and the critically endangered Sumatran rhino.
The project will also contribute to lowering greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere.
The Mungcharoen project uses a rice husk-fuelled combustion technique to generate electricity for two local rice mills and feed into the local power grid. It converts rice husks, previously considered waste, into a valued commodity while reducing reliance on the combustion of carbon-intensive fossil fuels.
The Musi project is a 210-megawatt, run-of-river hydropower plant on the Musi River in Bengkulu, Sumatra. With three 70MW turbines, the project exports 1,140,000MWh of clean energy to the grid.
Besides being a source of clean energy, the project sustains the local community by providing employment opportunities and running environmental initiatives such as reforestation, invasive water plant removal and waste management projects.
The Song Ong project consists of three hydropower units on the Ong River in Ninh Thuan province. The project feeds 40,000MWh of clean electricity each year into the national power grid, reducing carbon emissions by 21,500 tonnes per year and improving electricity supply in the region.
The project has also led to the improvement of infrastructure including the construction of a road and improved communications and water treatment systems.