Hotels in Qatar are continuously implementing various sustainable practices to reduce carbon footprint, a move that not only helps preserve the environment but also enhances business operations, Katara Hospitality (KH) CEO Hamad Abdulla al-Mulla has said.
“We have significantly increased our priority on understanding the environmental impact of our activities and our main goal is to reduce our electricity and water consumption at all our properties,” the senior KH official told Gulf Times.
He noted that they continuously seek to lessen negative environmental impacts by adopting “environmentally-preferable business practices and innovative technologies.”
KH’s corporate social responsibility approach, al-Mulla added, is built on its established infrastructure for addressing issues related to the environment, community workplaces, and product development.
“We are strongly committed to the sourcing of local produce, services, and building local supplier capacity, to bring sustainable economic worth and empowerment to the communities where we are active, whether in Qatar or abroad,” he said.
KH received an award in November 2015 from the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification System for recycling cooking oil by many of its properties to produce biofuel.
According to al-Mulla, the Qatar Green Building Council is also urging all hotels in Qatar to seek ‘environmental sustainability certification’ to comply with the new hotel classification system being implemented by Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA).
In the new system, QTA included several requirements under the mandatory criteria such as energy consumption and waste segregation, in addition to those that fall under the rating criteria.
Some of the required improvements are related to bettering measurement of water and electricity usage to ensure sustainable practices, adding business centres and meeting facilities, increasing the number of multilingual staff, and training staff on providing first aid.
Al-Mulla said sustainability practices in Qatar’s hospitality sector are expected to increase in the next two years as the country gears up to build around 40,000 hotel rooms for the Fifa World Cup in 2022.
“This increases competition to maintain the high quality of our hospitality industry and ensures all hotels whether five, four, or three stars, must be intelligent,” he stressed. “Utilise sustainability certification system is the right answer to maintain quality and to optimise operation cost.”
The CEO pointed out that such sustainability practices enhance and optimise operations, increase staff productivity, and promote the establishment as a ‘green’ hotel to both the local and international market.
He stressed that it is the duty of “every noble citizen and organisation to employ initiatives that reduce the impact of greenhouse gas emissions.”