Friday, 14 November 2014

Madinat Jumeirah scores international sustainability certification first



Madinat Jumeirah resort in Dubai has been awarded international Green Globe certification across its entire luxury complex. The integrated resort is the first mixed-use hospitality destination in the world to receive the Green Globe badge of honour.
The resort’s three high profile hotels, popular conference centres and souk-themed mall were given the Green Globe seal of approval following a comprehensive sustainability audit conducted by Dubai-based consultancy Farnek, Green Globe’s preferred partner in the Middle East.
Margaret Paul, General Manager at Madinat Jumeirah, said: “We are proud to show leadership in sustainable practices and delighted to share this responsibility with our colleagues and guests. We work daily to ensure we create harmony at the resort, enhance the knowledge of our local culture and preserve our environment. In addition, we ensure our colleagues are valued and engaged, our customers have exhilarating experiences and our local community wellbeing is increased.”
The successful certification includes two firsts for the region. The Madinat Conference Centre became the first of its kind to be Green Globe certified in the Middle East & Africa and Souk Madinat also scooped the same accolade as the first shopping centre to be certified in the region.
“We were very impressed by the resort’s established track record of both employee and guest engagement and its associated achievements in the area of sustainability. Change and innovation are a cornerstone of Madinat Jumeirah’s corporate philosophy and this was a key driver in supporting the efforts of all five hospitality-related units in integrating a remarkable collection of environmental technologies over the past year, with the resort as a whole aiming for a 3% year-on-year increase in Green Globe sustainability criteria,” said Sandrine Le Biavant, Director Consultancy for Farnek, Green Globe’s Middle East partner and authorised auditor.
Madinat Jumeirah achieved extremely high scores across all areas of the operational audit. A host of ground-breaking initiatives positively impacted its performance including the Madinat Conference Centre’s successful Green Meetings programme that covers both back and front-of-house operations to address waste reduction, paperless event planning and food donation initiatives.
The trio of hotels has also been active in the area of waste management, investing in a composting machine and Al Qasr became one of the first UAE properties to implement the Bokashi Digester Compost Programme. Around 2.1 tonnes of composted waste per month are used to fertilise the resort’s gardens with the hotel also introducing a glass-crushing machine earlier this year.
Each individual operating unit within the resort also undergoes monthly monitoring and benchmarking using Farnek’s Hotel Optimizer programme to maximise performance and support further energy enhancement initiatives.
In addition, a new rooms management system at Dar Al Masyaf allows customers to control their own energy consumption using an iPad and Souk Madinat also implemented a new automatic door system in order to effectively partition specific areas of the operation to make further energy savings.
These examples, combined with other ongoing energy management practices have shown a 14% annual saving since 2008.
“Innovation extends beyond the implementation of technology and Madinat Jumeirah, the first audited property in the Middle East to have a dedicated Community Engagement Manager, also happens to be a UAE national and coordinates programmes supporting the community related to special needs, breast cancer, tobacco and diabetes,” noted Le Biavant.
The resort has a strong focus on Emiratisation and also on training in general, with its 3,000-plus employees all receiving environmental awareness and on-the-job waste management training.
Souk Madinat, which in itself represents the respect of the local architecture, is also the venue for a weekly farmer’s market targeting the local community as well as in-house guests.
The group’s Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project, one of its flagship initiatives, has seen the release of over 700 rehabilitated turtles back into their natural habitat over the last 10 years where, after initial treatment at the Burj Al Arab aquarium, they are accommodated at the Mina A’Salam rehabilitation pen prior to release. The resort also showcases its natural flora and fauna with a nature trail experience for guests.

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