With a capital investment of Bt13 million, the installation of solar panels across a 938-square-metre space on the rooftop to power a solar water heating system at Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok is the largest solar system ever installed in the hotel business in Thailand.
Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok has been actively involved with several corporate social responsibility projects, especially in the area of environmental conservation. Recognising the serious threat that greenhouse gas emissions pose to the environment and the harm they may cause to future generations, the hotel has invested Bt13 million in the solar water heating system to reduce the carbon footprint produced by the hotel
Heating systems are one of the highest and most expensive energy consuming processes, especially in developing countries. Reducing dependence on traditional energy sources and maximising use of natural energy such as the sun proves to be the more sustainable choice. The solar water heating system is a process of harnessing the power from the sun as a renewable energy source to warm water for both domestic and industrial usage. It encourages high productivity, especially in tropical climates.
“The solar water heating system enables the hotel to heat 25 million litres of water a year, which is sufficient hot water production for the 802 guestrooms of the Shangri-La Wing and the Krungthep Wing,” said Mr. Kieran Twomey, the vice president and general manager of Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok. “The installation completed in March 2011 and the hotel can reduce hot water energy consumption as well as reducing expenditure on liquefied petroleum gas by up to 30 per cent, which equals savings of Bt2.7 million each year.”
By contributing to a clean and green environment, the solar water heating system appears to yield many advantages. In terms of economic and financial achievement, the solar water heating system offers the largest potential savings and at the same time, allows the hotel to conserve non-renewable fuel for other applications and reduce dependence on foreign oil. The environmental also benefits, as using clean energy to heat water instead of using a combustible source, fewer pollutants are being introduced into the environment.
The emission of carbon dioxide, sulphates and nitrates has a direct impact on our health of people. These emissions are the main factors that lead to the greenhouse effect.
“With the implementation of the in-house solar water heating system, the hotel has put a stop to 435 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions annually. It may look like a tiny step but hopefully, this tiny step makes a difference in the world.” said Mr. Kieran Twomey.
Shangri-La Hotel, Bangkok strives to offer guests comfort, facilities and resources that do no harm the environment, following in the footsteps of the company’s corporate social responsibility mission, which states that the group strives to be a leader in corporate citizenship and sustainable development, caring for employees and customers, seeking to enrich the quality for the communities in which the group’s business is undertaken, and serving as good stewards of society and the environment.
Director of Communications
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts remains committed to operating in an economically, socially and environmentally responsible manner while balancing the interests of diverse stakeholders. In striving to be a leader in corporate citizenship and sustainable development, a corporate-level CSR Committee drives the company's initiatives in the strategic areas of stakeholder relations, environment, health and safety, supply chain and employees. Under the umbrella of sustainability, Shangri-La's social responsibility programme consists of the two elements of "embrace" and "sanctuary". Embrace focuses on Shangri-La’s Caring People Project, which aims to promote the highest level of education and health support in underprivileged communities. In sanctuary, the programme concentrates on Shangri-La's Care for Nature Project, which promotes the conservation and restoration of biodiversity. For more information, please access the CSR section on www.shangri-la.com