Ascott achieves GSTC-Recognised Standard status with launch of sustainability framework
Ascott receives GSTC-Recognised Standard status and marks milestone recognition with launch of sustainability framework
New Ascott CARES programme aligns with the gold standard for sustainable tourism; pledges commitment to key pillars of Community, Alliance, Respect, Environment and Supply Chain
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Ascott CARES is aligned with CapitaLand’s ‘Sustainability Master Plan’ pillars and will be rolled out across all of Ascott’s managed and branded properties. Alongside this new framework, Ascott has also announced its supporting targets which will be progressively achieved from 2023, with target completion by 2030
Singapore, 17 November 2022 – The Ascott Limited (Ascott), a lodging business unit wholly owned by CapitaLand Investment, today announced the conferment of Recognised Standard by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). As a member of GSTC, Ascott is one of the first hospitality groups to be conferred this GSTC-Recognised Standard status for its adoption of the GSTC Industry Criteria. It is an affirmation of Ascott’s commitment to the gold standard for sustainable tourism. Marking this milestone, Ascott has unveiled Ascott CARES, a sustainability framework that aligns its growth strategy with environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations alongside GSTC Criteria. The expanded framework is centred around five pillars representing the acronym CARES - Community, Alliance, Respect, Environment and Supply Chain.
“The sustainability landscape is an ever-changing one, made more complex by the prevailing macroeconomic environment. Recognising that, we need to evolve our approach to sustainability in a more holistic and strategic manner. As both an owner and an operator, Ascott has the ability to design a strategy that integrates purposeful sustainability goals with financial objectives. We have a strong position that allows us to influence and manage properties throughout their entire real estate lifecycle, beginning from the investment stage, to design stage, right through to operations."
“The need for us to accelerate our sustainability initiatives stems from the wider crisis of climate change. The built environment is a key contributor to the climate change crisis and there is much work to be done. As a key player in the lodging industry, every stakeholder has a part to play,”
- Ms Beh Siew Kim, CFO & CSO, Lodging, CapitaLand Investment and MD, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Japan and Korea, The Ascott Limited
Having evolved from a hygiene and safety programme that was first introduced in May 2020, Ascott CARES has since been strengthened to extend the culture of care and hospitality to the community and environments within which it operates through its business and across its supply chain as part of its sustainability framework.
Ascott CARES is aligned with CapitaLand’s ‘Sustainability Master Plan’ pillars and will be rolled out across all of Ascott’s managed and branded properties. Alongside the new framework, Ascott has also announced its supporting targets which will be progressively achieved from 2023, with target completion by 2030.
Driving effective implementation of the sustainability programme, Ascott has taken further steps to establish a robust sustainability governance structure that fosters cross-collaboration between regional leaders and Ascott’s Sustainability Leadership Council (SLC).
Co-led by Ascott’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Kevin Goh, and Chief Financial & Sustainability Officer, Ms Beh Siew Kim, Ascott’s SLC exercises oversight of sustainability and climate risks, and determines the strategy and goals for the company. These strategies are driven by the Corporate Sustainability team, in collaboration with regional and property leaders who facilitate the execution of programmes within the local market.
“Responsible stewardship is key to corporate governance, and a sound governance structure will ensure we remain focused in our efforts. Sustainability has been a key priority for all our stakeholders and will continue to play an integral part in our business and growth strategy,” said Ms Beh.
Community: Ascott will prioritise local employment, mobilise staff and develop partnerships to contribute skills and resources in view of local environmental and social issues. As a hospitality company that seeks to deliver on experiences, it will also support and promote the appreciation of local cultural heritage to bring vibrant, diverse experiences to guests. This is reflected in its targets to:
Have all Ascott’s managed and branded properties involved in annual community and cultural heritage activities
Have all Ascott’s managed and branded properties commit to volunteer hours to support Ascott CARES goals every year
Alliance: With the goal of driving meaningful partnerships, Ascott will continue to be in alliance with external stakeholders to advance sustainability across the destinations it operates in and within the lodging industry. Its goals and commitments for this pillar are to:
Lead the industry in best practices to ensure sustainable operations across its global portfolio
Ensure all Ascott’s managed and branded properties are certified to a recognised sustainability standard (GSTC or the equivalent)
Ascott most recently achieved its GSTC-Recognised Standard status, meeting Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)’s Criteria for sustainable tourism. The GSTC Criteria serve as the global standards for sustainability in travel and tourism, built on the key aspects of sustainable management, socio-economic, cultural and environmental impacts. In Singapore in particular, all Ascott properties are expected to achieve full certification by 2025, in line with the goals of the local tourism board’s hotel sustainability roadmap.
With a dedicated global hospitality training arm, the Ascott Centre of Excellence (ACE), Ascott is also committed to further educating and training organisations in delivering on sustainable practices. In collaboration with partners such as Institutes of Higher Learning, ACE will be launching a series of courses in hotel sustainability, including curriculum on driving sustainable human capital related practices within the hospitality industry.
Respect: Under this pillar, Ascott will undertake initiatives in areas including health and safety, diversity, equity and inclusion, human rights and customer engagement. Its targets are to:
Cultivate a safety-first culture with zero fatality, permanent disability or major injuries across Ascott’s portfolio and its main contractors
Extend 100% ISO14001 and 45001 certifications to all locations Ascott operates in from our existing full certification status in 15 countries
Achieve diverse mix of associates employed
Equip associates with future-ready skills under the CapitaLand Building Capability Framework (BCF) which aims to develop a competent, adaptable and future-ready workforce
Ensure that all associates complete mandatory trainings including but not limited to areas on sustainability, human rights, human trafficking awareness, as well as recruitment policies and practices
Adopt new solutions or technologies to improve guests’ well-being
Strengthen customer relationships and attain consistently high levels of guest satisfaction
Elevate guest experience through technology and innovation
Environment1: Ascott will focus on low carbon transition, water conservation and resilience, sustainable accommodations as well as waste and circular economy solutions. Ascott’s commitments for this pillar are aligned with CapitaLand Investment’s 2030 Sustainability Masterplan and include:
Transition to a low-carbon business aligned with science-based targets for a 1.5°C scenario; 46% reduction of GHG emissions2. Commit to Net Zero by 20503
Reduction of energy intensity by 35% and water intensity by 45%4 while increasing the proportion of renewable energy to 35%
Achieve green building certification for all owned properties
Achieve 25% recycling rate in day-to-day operations. Full elimination of single-use plastic (SUP) bathroom amenities and bottled water
Work towards setting an embodied carbon target
Supply Chain: Ascott will engage with its supply chain network to make a positive impact through responsible procurement. Its goals include:
Have all properties abide by CapitaLand Supply Chain Code of Conduct which influences its supply chain to operate responsibly in the areas of anti-corruption, human rights, health and safety, as well as environmental management
Commitment to responsible sourcing of all housekeeping and cleaning supplies, as well as bathroom and in-room amenities including towels, linens, coffee and tea
Build collaborative relationships and work closely with companies Ascott conducts business with to make positive impact on their sustainability performance
Ensure all procurement associates are fully trained in the area of responsible sourcing
1 Energy and carbon reduction are based on GHG Protocol (operational approach)
2 Scopes 1 and 2; from a 2019 baseline
3 Scopes 1 and 2
4 Energy and water intensity percentage reductions are from a 2008 baseline