Amidst the growing emphasis on sustainable practices in the hospitality industry, Jonathan Leonard, Director of Property at Premier Inn Middle East, sheds light on the hotel chain’s proactive measures.
From adopting solar energy to their recent partnership with Dulsco, Premier Inn is not only setting benchmarks for eco-friendly operations but also echoing Dubai’s green vision for the future, he says in an interview with ESG Mena.
What are the best practices you are embracing to boost your green drive? Any shared practices across your chain?
Premier Inn is proud to contribute to the continued success and growth of Dubai’s hospitality and tourism sector – and to support government sustainability policies and objectives. We are fully aligned with the Dubai Sustainable Tourism initiative which, in turn, supports the UAE Net Zero Strategy, and 100 per cent committed to making sustainability an even greater priority in all aspects of our operations. We are in the process of obtaining the DET’s sustainability tourism stamp.
Premier Inn uses solar energy to generate hot water and water recycling systems at several of its hotels in the Middle East, and is working towards becoming a plastic-free organisation line with government policies.
We also have an in house, dedicated eco-committee, comprising team members from all departments – to further drive sustainability initiatives and instil green thinking among the entire team.
In addition, we have recently stepped our sustainability drive and further reinforced our commitment to supporting government green goals by appointing Dulsco Environment as our waste management provider.
The transformation implies risks and opportunities. How can we optimise the outcome?
Sustainability should be considered as a way of life and a way of continually enhancing and improving our operations. Premier Inn remains focused on the long-term vision of optimising the business in a sustainable way. The practises and ‘’quick wins’’ we implement along the journey will help us to avoid risk and capitalise on opportunities when they arise.
It’s also important to maximise team engagement through regular communication and training sessions. Our inhouse eco-committee meets regularly to review our long- and short-term plans, adapting and enhancing where necessary.
We want to ensure that all of our ESG-related operational changes and actions are achievable and have a positive, meaningful impact to the entire business. Therefore, we are focusing on essential and realistic initiatives for now.
Dubai recently announced mandatory energy reporting for hotels. What is your strategy in this regard and thoughts to avoid greenwashing?
Premier Inn Middle East has been recording energy data with the authorities since 2017, before it became compulsory. As we move forward, we will begin to measure our longer-term performance against similar properties in the market as well as track the impact of the improvements we make.
Partnerships play a major role in progress. What does your road map look like?
Our new partnership with Dulsco is a key element of our sustainability strategy and progress. Under the contract, new technology, training and targets have been put in place to further reduce waste and promote recycling.
With 2023 the Year of Sustainability in the UAE, COP28 taking place in Dubai this winter and travellers increasingly demanding eco-friendly tourism and accommodation, sustainability is under the spotlight like never before. With this new partnership, we will take our waste management practices to new levels through an holistic approach and tailor made solutions that includes better waste segregation, tailored training for team members and regular audits to ensure targets are met and identify areas for improvement.
Additionally, Premier Inn always aims to adopt sustainable sourcing practices, from the suppliers we partner with to the products we buy.