Ahead of Earth Day in April and on the heels of Meliá Hotels International being named one of the most sustainable companies in the world, the Spanish hotel group is running Meliá Sustainability Week this week, shining a light on eco-initiatives that its hotels & resorts have undertaken. Here are some of the highlights from

Ahead of Earth Day in April and on the heels of Meliá Hotels International being named one of the most sustainable companies in the world, the Spanish hotel group is running Meliá Sustainability Week this week, shining a light on eco-initiatives that its hotels & resorts have undertaken.

Here are some of the highlights from the growing group’s properties in Southeast Asia.

Increasing biodiversity in Thailand and Vietnam

Meliá Chiang Mai kicked off a forest restoration project in partnership with the Doi Suthep Nature Study Center and the Forest Restoration Research Unit in 2022 to help restore the tropical forest in Northern Thailand. Their efforts have covered an area of more than seven acres and they have actively contributed over 4,350 trees, including important native species, to the area.

INNSiDE by Meliá Bangkok Sukhumvit, in Thailand’s capital, is also balancing its central city location with projects that prioritize the earth. Through their GREENSiDE project they partner with Bangpu Nature Education Center for tree planting activities, with their volunteer staff planting over 100 mangrove trees so far.

In Thailand’s south, Meliá Koh Samui is enhancing green spaces within the property and decreasing erosion. So far volunteers have added an additional 40 trees to the property.

In nearby Vietnam, Meliá Ho Tram Beach Resort runs a Carbon Offset Program, offsetting guests’ travel emissions through tree planting initiatives. The seaside resort has also introduced more nature-based, educational experiences that highlight local ecology and conservation efforts.

Creating a 360-degree food economy, minimizing food waste, and local sourcing

Meliá Chiang Mai is embracing sustainability and promoting healthy eating with its ‘360° Cuisine’ concept. In partnership with SEED farm, Meliá Chiang Mai runs a sustainable farm and harvests organic fruit, vegetables, and herbs for its restaurants. They also work closely with local farmers such as the Rong Khum Farm, sourcing free-range eggs for breakfast at The Level and organic San Pa Tong Jasmine Rice for Mai Restaurant and Bar and SUPHA BEE FARM, a local honeybee farm in Mae Rim. In their circular system they have sent back more than 3,000 kg of food for compost and fertilizer since starting the project in 2022 and over 600 kg of cooking oil has been used to produce diesel fuel from renewable resources.

At Meliá Phuket Mai Khao, the team has gotten creative with the island’s most famous fruit, the Phuket Pineapple. The cleaning team uses a natural detergent made from pineapple peel, and pineapple tops are the main table decorations throughout the property. Like Meliá Chiang Mai, the Phuket property also has its own organic vegetable garden as do several Meliá hotels including Meliá Vinpearl Cam Ranh Beach Resort, Meliá Ba Vi Mountain Retreat and Meliá Ho Tram Beach Resort. INNSiDE by Meliá Yogyakarta has its own fruit and vegetable garden, growing such produce as passion fruit, melon, chili, and bananas.

On Phu Quoc Island, off the southwest coast of Vietnam, Meliá Vinpearl Phu Quoc turns food scraps into soil nutrients for its outdoor plants. INNSiDE by Meliá Yogyakarta processes its eggshell waste into powder fertilizer for plants and vegetables.

Meliá Yangon isn’t letting the property’s central location dampen its farming ambitions, as well, and the hotel has its own organic vegetable garden located on the third floor.

Sol by Meliá Benoa Bali and Gran Meliá Jakarta in Indonesia are managing food waste through the Scholars of Sustenance program, an initiative in Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines designed to address food inequity and ensure that disadvantaged communities are getting nutritious meals. Through this partnership they are providing hundreds of meals per month using food that may otherwise be wasted. Both properties work to minimize food waste throughout their operations but when there is an excess it isn’t wasted.

Supporting those in need in the local community

The team at Meliá Koh Samui supports the Samui Special Needs Foundation through Roses for Hope, an artistic project where the children supported by the foundation create cardboard roses that are sold in the restaurant with proceeds going back to the worthy cause. The hotel has also been supporting Ban Plai Laem School in renovating the school premises, including installing solar lighting, painting and maintenance to help create a rich learning environment.

Meliá Hanoi has recently embarked on several outreach initiatives including organizing a fun day and gifts for the kids at Phuc Tue Center, which provides support and education to children with autism and intellectual disabilities; and providing donations to Hanoi’s Care Centre for Children with Disabilities and the Thuan Thanh Wounded Soldier Nursing Center. Meliá Hanoi, VinaCapital Foundation and Vu A Dinh Scholarship Fund also worked together to organize a workshop on vocational skills for female ethnic minority students from all over Vietnam, who gathered in Hanoi to participate in an Empowerment Meeting.

Meliá Purosani Yogyakarta has joined global cleaning products manufacturer Diversey’s Soap for Hope program. The hotel recycles hotel soap into new (sterilized) soap which is then packaged and sold as souvenirs in the hotel. Soap sale profits go to the Reachout Foundation, which supports various community empowerment programs. The Indonesia-based hotel also started a coffee brick initiative where the hotel processes used coffee grinds into charcoal/coffee bricks which are then used as fuel for barbecue theme dinners and events at the property.

In Malaysia INNSiDE by Meliá Kuala Lumpur Cheras and Meliá Kuala Lumpur, partnered up in December to visit Pusat Kebajikan Amal Jian An, a local welfare center, where they distributed essential goods and enjoyed games and performances ahead of Christmas.

The Meliá Yangon team are also actively involved in community programs such as Linen for Life, where they made 4,000 masks by upcycling old bed sheets and unusable uniforms into fabric, and through visiting local elderly homes and youth centers to provide support.

More digital and less plastic at properties

Meliá Hotels throughout the region are increasingly going paperless with necessary information and menus available via QR code at such properties as Gran Meliá Nha Trang, Meliá Phuket Mai Khao and INNSiDE by Meliá Kuala Lumpur Cheras.

Eco-friendly grass straws and paper straws have become the norm and can be found in drinks at Meliá Vinpearl Hue, Meliá Vinpearl Danang Riverfront, and Meliá Makassar among most other hotels in the region. Plastic bottles are becoming a thing of the past at each property too. Meliá Makassar is the most recent convert having switched to glass bottles in December 2023. Gran Meliá Jakarta has also eliminated all plastic water bottles in guest rooms and meetings and moved away from plastic straws, and single-use disposable amenities opting for refillable dispensers for toiletries instead. Plastic keycards are being updated to bamboo keycards at properties such as Meliá Makassar.

Global recognition

Meliá Hotels International’s efforts worldwide have resulted in the hotel group being recognized as one of the top-performing hotel companies globally according to the latest Sustainability Yearbook by S&P Global. The leading financial ratings and market analysis provider ranks Meliá in third place – behind Thailand’s Asset World Corporation and Minor – making it the first European-origin hotel company in the ranking.

The Sustainability Yearbook 2024 is based on the 2023 Corporate Sustainability Assessment, an annual evaluation of companies’ sustainability practices. It covers over 9,400 companies from around the world.

“We are very proud to once again be recognized as one of the leading hotel companies in sustainability worldwide, and we will continue to work to innovate and lead the way towards more responsible tourism, contributing to generating wealth in destinations and improving our positive impact on communities,” stated Gabriel Escarrer, President and CEO of Meliá Hotels International.

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