Ascott introduces Sustainability Passport to mark 1st anniversary of Ascott CARES
Ascott introduces sustainability passport at Somerset properties globally to mark 1st anniversary of corporate sustainabilty framework, Ascott CARES
~30 properties in Ascott’s portfolio receive EDGE certification, more than double 2022 count
Singapore, 23 November 2023 – The Ascott Limited (Ascott), a lodging business unit wholly owned by CapitaLand Investment, has unveiled the Somerset Sustainability Passport Programme to engage guests in a series of eco-friendly activities, wellness programmes and community initiatives at Somerset properties globally. The programme is launched in support of Ascott’s sustainability goals in Ascott CARES1, which celebrates its first anniversary this November. Ascott is committed to not just delivering on responsible travel as a hospitality company, but also acknowledging the pivotal role that guests can play. Exemplified through the Somerset brand, which champions inclusivity and sustainability, the launch of the SomersetSustainability Passport Programme is part of a wider commitment at Ascott to embark on a collaborative journey together with all its stakeholders.
Ms. Tan Bee Leng, Ascott’s Managing Director for Brand & Marketing, said: “Sustainability is a global challenge that requires collective effort. The Somerset Sustainability Passport programme is a global initiative by Ascott to foster a sense of community and shared purpose through our Somerset brand. By actively involving our guests in these efforts, we are not just telling them what the Somerset brand stands for; we are amplifying our impact to create a lasting emotional connection. Small individual actions, when multiplied across our portfolio of Somerset properties globally, can inspire our guests of all ages, especially the next generation, to recognise the importance of taking practical action today.”
“As sustainable travel gains pace, Somerset brand’s philosophy of finding harmony within ourselves, with the people around us, and being in harmony with the environment, is exactly in line with shifting traveller demands to embrace greater mindfulness and sustainability when they travel and in their daily lives. Positioning ourselves as forward-thinking and socially responsible in a world that increasingly values sustainability and inclusivity, is a strategic imperative for Ascott which goes beyond the transactional nature of business.”
Somerset, where harmony is second nature
Somerset is a key growth brand in Ascott’s global portfolio and is well-suited to multigenerational families, given its flexible brand offerings and spacious multi-bedroom units. From 20 November 2023, the new Somerset Sustainability Passport programme will be rolled out at Somerset properties around the world to promote family bonding during their stays. Somerset guests will get to enjoy a series of on-site sustainability initiatives, from eco-friendly activities and wellness programmes to community initiatives, as well as sustainability passports with tasks for guests to complete. Embracing Somerset’s brand ethos “where harmony is second nature”, these initiatives revolve around three pillars of harmony – being in harmony with the environment, with oneself, and with the people around.
In harmony with the environment
Committed to delivering sustainable travel experiences, Somerset actively nurtures a passion for environmental conservation, particularly among young guests.
Somerset Suzhou Bay Suzhou in China has a unique plant adoption drive, where guests can learn to cultivate plants in reused cups and bottles. Similarly, Somerset Rama 9 Bangkok in Thailand offers kids the opportunity to plant herbs in the property’s eco-friendly rooftop garden. In addition, Somerset Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam recently hosted a “floral sea-themed” art workshop, where guests of various ages reused waste materials to create beautiful art pieces. At Somerset Central Salcedo Makati in the Philippines, kids and their families are encouraged to explore the nearby Jaime Velasquez Park to get close to nature and learn about flora and fauna.
In harmony with oneself
In embracing harmony with oneself, Somerset aims to educate guests on the importance of physical and mental wellbeing, encouraging them to unplug their devices and partake in screen-free activities like workouts and craft workshops.
In Indonesia, in promoting healthy eating habits, Somerset Sudirman Jakarta offers wholesome snacks and beverages such as healthy crackers and milk for kids upon check-in. Meanwhile, Somerset Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia offers a mini salad station in the lobby for all guests to enjoy healthier diets. Somerset Pattaya in Thailand has in place an ongoing rotation of diverse fitness classes such as yoga, aqua aerobics and muay thai (Thai boxing) for families or individuals. In fostering greater mindfulness, Somerset Al Fateh Bahrain has introduced yoga and meditation classes for both adults and kids.
In harmony with the people around
Offering a place where guests may feel right at home with people they love, Somerset aims to encourage family bonding and interaction with the local community.
For instance, Somerset Ginza East Tokyo in Japan will host culture workshops for guests to better appreciate and understand local traditions. At Somerset Maslak Istanbul, families can participate in captivating local experience tours and visit famous landmarks like the Blue Mosque and the Hippodrome to explore the rich cultural heritage of the locale.
Enriching the Next Generation
Recognising that the next generation holds the key to a sustainable future, the Sustainability Passport Programme further seeks to educate kids on eco-friendly and community-related tasks that they can undertake in their daily lives. Through an engaging Sustainability Passport booklet, kids and their families embark on a journey of exploration around the property, where they complete tasks such as sorting recyclables, conserving energy, gardening, or even referencing a green message from the property’s digital compendium. A unifying task that runs through the programme is a call for families to opt in for GoGreen, an eco-friendly initiative that allows guests to select a reduced housekeeping frequency via the DiscoverASR mobile app and receive Ascott Star Rewards points that can be redeemed for future stays. Upon completion, kids will be rewarded with prizes including limited-edition collectibles that are unique to each property.
Furthering Sustainability Efforts
Championing environmental stewardship through thoughtfully designed events and initiatives, guests of Somerset Central Bundang in South Korea are encouraged to donate items for a charity bazaar on 23 November, where proceeds will go towards supporting Seongnam-si Hanmaum Welfare Center, a charity in aid of persons with disabilities.
Across other markets, further sustainability efforts have been undertaken to reduce carbon footprint:
India: Plastic water dispenser bottles at Somerset Greenways Chennai are recycled into t-shirts and gifted to guests in appreciation of their sustainability efforts.
China: Somerset properties in China have repurposed close to 40,000 plastic bottles into school uniforms that were donated to underprivileged students through Lingshan Charity Foundation.
Singapore: Somerset Bencoolen Singapore has switched away from bottled water to in-room water dispensers. In addition, all the lights along the corridors have been changed to LED lights which are more environmentally friendly.
Sustainable Built Environment
Apart from engaging guests on its journey of sustainability, Somerset is also committed to environmental stewardship from the ground-up. Designed with sustainability as a focus, Somerset properties are integrated with environmentally friendly features that seek to reduce carbon emissions.
Somerset properties around the world have received the Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) certification, for achieving at least 20 percent reduction in energy consumption, water consumption and embodied carbon in construction materials. These include Somerset Central TD Hai Phong City, Somerset Grand Citra Jakarta, Somerset Grand Hanoi, Somerset Hoa Binh Hanoi, Somerset Kuala Lumpur, and the newly certified Somerset Olympic Tower Tianjin and Somerset Ho Chi Minh City. Furthermore, Somerset Greenways Chennai, which utilises 100 percent renewable energy, was conferred the EDGE Advanced certification for achieving at least 40 percent energy savings.
In addition, other properties under Ascott’s portfolio that have been awarded the EDGE certification include Citadines OMR Chennai, Citadines République Paris, Citadines Barbican London, Temple Bar Hotel Dublin,and La Clef Tour Eiffel Paris. Citadines Islington London and Citadines Connect Fifth Avenue New York have further been conferred the EDGE Advanced certification. These additions have brought the total number of EDGE-certified properties under Ascott’s portfolio to almost 30, more than double of last year’s count.
Ascott CARES will continue to play a pivotal role in Ascott’s operations and delivery of sustainable travel experiences, as it actively works towards meeting its sustainability targets in accelerating low carbon transition to reach Net Zero emissions (scope 1 and 2) by 2050.