Ideally located in the commercial centre of the city, Shangri-La Hotel, Huhhot is the first international luxury five-star hotel in the city. Since its grand opening in 2007, the hotel has been committed to providing guests with a comfortable stay experience whilst meeting its corporate social responsibility (CSR) in its operational and management processes. As a leading hotel in the hospitality sector, Shangri-La Hotel, Huhhot strives to set a good example with actual deeds and encourages hotel guests, staff and suppliers to contribute.
Shangri-La Hotel, Huhhot has unified all of its CSR initiatives within the two key areas of the environment and sustainability. In moving to protect the environment, the hotel is committed to serving as a good steward, ensuring the restoration of natural habitats, conserving biodiversity and managing waste, water and energy in an effective and efficient manner. Under the umbrella of embrace, Shangri-La's Care for People Project, the hotel is committed to a 10-to-15-year partnership with a chosen beneficiary working in the areas of children's health or education.
Shangri-La Hotel, Huhhot is devoted to protecting the environment and fulfilling its role with the use of low carbon activities. With the completion of its recent renovation, not only has the hotel facilities been upgraded, but the surrounding environment has been enhanced. At the same time, environment protection hardware has been integrated into the hotel’s daily operational and management processes.
During the renovation, some of the hotel lights in public areas were replaced with LED lights to save energy, which is estimated will result in nearly 100,000 kWh of electricity being saved each year. In addition, the hotel has invested more than Rmb250,000 in equipment for waste reduction, energy saving and optimisation. The power frequency electrical equipment has been adjusted to be more energy-efficient, and the heat recovery equipment effectively recycles waste heat gas for use in the hotel’s hot water supply system.
The hotel’s Engineering Department undertakes the key work of monitoring carbon emissions, and it submits to the corporate office a monthly report on this. According to the five-year plan, the hotel aims to make a 20 per cent reduction in energy consumption and 15 per cent water savings by 2015.
Since the hotel has 365 luxurious rooms and suites as well as 11 serviced apartments, hotel guestrooms consume a large amount of energy. The hotel has taken many initiatives to reduce the energy used. For its in-room bathroom amenities, it uses packaging made from biodegradable Plastarch material printed with soy-based ink. This material can decompose by 70 per cent within 80 days. “Use and reuse” cards placed on the guest’s bed gently reminds guests of recommendations regarding the changing of bed linen, whilst a hanging version advises guests to reuse bath towels.
The Laundry Department is a large user of energy, and every day a significant amount of water is utilised. An effective laundry system of low temperature and low alkalinity washing has been introduced into the department. This system achieves the same cleansing result as that of a conventional high-temperature wash, but at vastly reduced costs and energy; the system also reduces the chances of injury due to chemicals and damage to clothing. The new system has resulted in energy savings of 20 per cent and water savings of 40 per cent.
Green cleaning agents have been introduced in the housekeeping of rooms as an alternative to more commercial agents containing harsh chemicals such as phosphorus (P), 3-Aminopropyltriethoxysilane (APEs) and nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA).
The hotel's environmental conservation and protection policy extends into its dining facilities. It no longer serves shark fin in any of its operated restaurants, and does not accept orders for shark fin products in banqueting. Early in December 2010, the hotel initiated the process with the removal of shark fin products from its restaurant menus. The culinary team has specially created more than 10 courses as replacement options using local ingredients, such as Stewed Lamb Shank with Tricholoma Matsatake.
In addition, the protection of the environment is important during the hotel's daily operational routine. All newly hired staff members undergo an orientation programme that includes education on practices such as switching off unnecessary lights when not in use, using the stairs instead of elevators, recycling paper and reducing photocopying. The hotel’s general store is responsible for the collection of all kinds of solid waste, waste oil and waste chemicals for recycling and disposal by a company with recycling qualifications. Kitchens are equipped with fume hoods, and waste soot is released only after being processed to meet environmental standards.
In January 2012, Shangri-La Hotel, Huhhot received ISO 14001 certification. ISO (International Organization for Standardization) 14001 is an environmental management system that defines the criteria for implementing environmentally friendly and efficient practices, ultimately requiring organisations to benchmark their systems that have any environmental impact. Examples of these practices include using energy-saving light bulbs and biodegradable cleaning materials, water restrictors and sewage treatment facilities to prevent water pollution. Certification is only awarded to organisations that are able to show ISO 14001 compliance throughout all operations.
ISO 14001 recognition and the hotel's long-established "green" practices are all part of Shangri-La Hotel, Huhhot's aim to maintain a "green" status, thereby ensuring a "green" stay experience for guests.
The hotel conducts a series of environmental activities each year, such as organising volunteers to go to Huhhot Green Basement to plant trees, an activity that has seen over 2,000 trees planted during the past five years. The hotel also actively participates in Earth Hour, cutting off the electricity supply for one hour on the last Saturday in March every year, which is accompanied with a variety of interesting activities such as a lights-out ceremony, a green slide show and candlelight dinners.
Shangri-La Hotel, Huhhot entered a 15-year relationship with Huhhot Children's Welfare House in 2008. With the aim of securing a stable and efficient public programme, this long-term co-operation is committed to focus on the actual beneficiaries of the Huhhot Children’s Welfare House, providing support and help in the areas of health, education, consumption, maintenance and hygiene.
After more than one year of planning and preparation, the hotel established the Shangri-La Home in the Huhhot Children's Welfare House in September 2010. At the Shangri-La Home, four full-time nursing staff carefully nurse orphans and disabled babies aged up to three years old. The salaries and insurance of the nursing staff are paid by the hotel.
Shangri-La Hotel, Huhhot maintains close communication with the Huhhot Children's Welfare House to ensure that problems can be solved quickly. For example, when it noticed that the ground the babies were crawling on was hard and cold, the hotel purchased tatami matting for the area. The hotel has also repaired the lighting system, changed adapters and solved a range of computer problems. Apart from specific public welfare funds, the hotel appeals to guests and the public to show their care for children in need by displaying promotional material in the public areas of the hotel.
The hotel does not only care about the hardware required to support the children, but also for the emotional feelings of the children. The hotel organises regular visits to the children’s house and invites the children to the hotel during public holidays. Special gifts are prepared for the visits. Central to the culture of Shangri-La is warm hospitality, and the hotel ensures that the children feel special and are treated as members of the Shangri-La family. The hotel has spent over Rmb100,000 on the Huhhot Children’s Welfare House programme.