Savoy Dubai’s journey to becoming a green tourism pioneer in the hospitality industry

08 August 2023

The hospitality industry plays a significant role in global environmental impact due to its resource-intensive operations. However, a growing emphasis on sustainability and eco-conscious practices has emerged in recent years, reshaping how hotels operate. Savoy Dubai has embarked on an inspiring journey to practise green tourism within the industry. 

In this blog article, we delve into the transformative steps we took to prioritise sustainability and embrace eco-friendly practices.

What is green tourism, and why is it important? 

Green tourism, also known as sustainable tourism or eco-tourism, is an environmentally conscious and responsible approach to travel and leisure activities. It focuses on reducing negative environmental impacts, preserving natural resources, assisting local communities, and raising cultural awareness. The fundamental principle of green tourism is to ensure that the places visited are not harmed and are accessible to future generations.

Green tourism is essential for a variety of reasons:

  • For starters, it helps to conserve biodiversity and ecosystems by encouraging tourists and operators to use environmentally friendly practices. This protects vulnerable environments, wildlife habitats, and endangered species from exploitation and degradation. 
  • On the other hand, green tourism promotes socio-economic development in local communities. Involving locals in tourism-related activities creates job opportunities and raises income levels, ultimately improving their quality of life.
  • Furthermore, green tourism helps to reduce the travel industry’s carbon footprint. The industry can reduce its impact on climate change by implementing sustainable practices such as promoting public transportation, using renewable energy sources, and minimising waste generation.

Before the sustainability initiative: challenges and vision

Like many other hotels in the region, Savoy Hotel Apartments faced common environmental challenges in the hospitality sector. These challenges included high energy consumption due to extensive infrastructure, substantial water waste from amenities and the arid climate, and inadequate waste management leading to landfill contributions.

In response, our management embarked on a transformative journey toward practising green tourism. The vision and mission was clear: to conserve natural resources by smartly reducing energy and water consumption without compromising guest comforts. We aimed to find newer and better ways to practise waste management, educate our associates and staff to sustain the initiatives, and promote a green lifestyle.

Implementing sustainable practices: from concept to reality

To make our green vision a reality, we introduced a series of innovative green initiatives that demonstrates our dedication to both sustainability and exceptional hospitality. Our commitment to eco-consciousness has earned us top accolades at the Dubai Green Tourism Awards and Middle East Hotel Awards. Here’s how:

  1. Energy efficiency: public and room lights were converted to energy-saving CFL/LED lights. Key card sensors were installed to activate lighting in the rooms, and computers were programmed to go into ‘cut off/sleep mode’ when not used for more than three minutes.
  2. Waste management: separate garbage disposal containers and systems were implemented for various materials. The hotel partnered with recycling companies to collect and reuse waste. Offices adopted recycled papers for internal purposes, and printer cartridges were recycled.
  3. Water conservation: water-saving aerators were fitted on room and public area taps, reducing water usage by 50%. Sand-filled sealed bottles were placed inside each toilet flush tank to reduce water consumption, and condensation water from outdoor units of split ACs was collected for plant irrigation.
  4. Eco-friendly initiatives: we gifted Executive Staff with plants on their birthdays, promoting a green message. Pool covers were used to reduce water evaporation and chlorine loss, and sunshade covers were placed above the overhead water tanks to contain water temperature.
  5. Education and awareness: guests were educated on environmental issues through in-room materials, digital displays, and educational booklets. An in-house movie channel played movies on environmental topics 24/7 to create awareness.

Embracing sustainability culture: engaging staff and guests

To ensure the success of our sustainability efforts, Savoy Hotel Apartments organised comprehensive training programmes for staff. These programs not only educated employees about the environmental impact of hospitality operations but also provided practical guidance on incorporating sustainable practices into their daily routines. The goal was to instil in employees a sense of ownership and responsibility, encouraging them to actively participate in our sustainability initiatives.

To further foster a sustainability culture, we recognised staff members who exemplified sustainable practices and implemented recognition programmes and incentives. This approach reinforced the sustainability culture, and cultivated employee pride and unity.

Guests were also encouraged to actively participate in sustainability efforts, such as linen and towel reuse programs, sustainable cooking classes, and tours of eco-friendly facilities.

Interactions with guests provided a deeper connection to Savoy Hotel Apartments’ sustainability values, promoting mindfulness of their environmental impact during their stay and beyond. Our journey and goal of becoming a green tourism role model was shared through storytelling, creating a memorable and meaningful experience for environmentally conscious guests.

Green leadership in the hospitality industry: recognition and awards

Our unwavering commitment to sustainability and its exceptional efforts in green leadership has not gone unnoticed. As we continue to make strides in our journey towards practising eco-friendly tourism, we’ve garnered widespread recognition and earned several prestigious awards within the hospitality industry and beyond.

Savoy’s green journey and awards in the last decade 

2019:   Dubai Sustainable Tourism Award Winner 2019 (5th Cycle)

Savoy Suites – Deluxe Hotel Apartment Category

Savoy Central – Standard Hotel Apartment Category

Savoy Suites – Best Green Team Award (Special Category)

2017:   Dubai Sustainable Tourism Award Winner 2017 (4th Cycle)

Savoy Suites – Deluxe Hotel Apartment Category

Savoy Central – Standard Hotel Apartment Category

2016:   MEHA 2016 Hotel Awards (Middle East Hotel Awards).

Savoy Suites – Winner in the Best Eco-Initiative Category 

2015:   MEHA 2015 Hotel Awards (Middle East Hotel Awards).

Savoy Park – Best Hotel in the Environmental Innovation Category

2015:   Dubai Sustainable Tourism Award Winner 2015 (3rd Cycle)

Savoy Crest – Deluxe Hotel Apartment Category

2014:   MEHA 2014 Hotel Awards (Middle East Hotel Awards).

Savoy Suites & Savoy Crest – Top Finalist in the Environmental Innovation Category

2013:   MEHA 2013 Hotel Awards (Middle East Hotel Awards).

Savoy Crest – Top Finalist in the Sustainable Initiative Category

2012:   Dubai Sustainable Tourism Award Winner 2012 (2nd Cycle)

Savoy Suites – First Winner Deluxe Hotel Apartment Category

Savoy Park – First Winner Standard Hotel Apartment Category

Savoy Crest – 3rd Winner Deluxe Hotel Apartment Category

2010:   Dubai Sustainable Tourism Award Winner 2010 (1st Cycle)

Savoy Crest – First Winner Deluxe Hotel Apartment Category

Savoy Hotel Apartments’ journey to becoming a green tourism pioneer in the hospitality industry is a testament to the power of determination and commitment to sustainability. By recognising the environmental challenges we faced and taking transformative steps to implement eco-friendly practices, we’re proud to raise the bar for hotels and businesses in the travel industry.Experience green tourism with us by booking a stay today!

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