Engaged in Green: Crowne Plaza Vientiane

How does IHG implement its strict Green Engage global guidelines in Laos? “It’s hard work to get to where we want to go,” said Crowne Plaza Vientiane General Manager Patria Puyat, “but it can be done.”

Patria Puyat

“Sustainability is the right thing to do,” Ms Puyat said. “It’s part of our daily business.” And topping Crowne Plaza’s list are reducing its carbon footprint and managing its environmental impact.

Crowne Plaza Sustainable tourism Laos Showcase

The hotel’s Chief Engineer Adrian Holcombe added, “We implement Green Engage guide-lines as best we can to achieve the carbon footprint benchmark.”

And their efforts are paying off. The hotel targeted a 6% reduc-tion in 2019, “but our Green Team managed 17.6%,” Mr Holcombe noted. The Green Team consists of various depart-ments: housekeeping, kitchen, engineering, human resources, and sales and marketing. Their 2020 goal is another 2.2%.

Crowne Plaza Sustainable tourism Laos Showcase

To accomplish this, Crowne Plaza cuts energy use across the board: electricity, diesel, gas. “We adjust systems where possible without effecting the guest experience and staff welfare.” 

Mr Holcombe credits the hotel’s computerized Building Manage-ment System. “It allows us to monitor and adjust temperatures, as well as lighting and air-con programs in meeting rooms, public space, and the back of the house…it comes down to setting thermostats.”

Green Engage also comes down to details. The 197 guest-rooms feature energy-saving minibars, hot water delivery, air-con settings, and LED lights. High-pressure showerheads and aerators, alongside reduced flush settings, save water. 

Crowne Plaza Sustainable tourism Laos Showcase

“We recycle waste water for our landscaping sprinklers via tanks and filters,” Mr Holcombe said. “We then inspect its quality, store it, and pump it.

Ms Puyat added, “By 2021, we’ll have our own drinking water bottling plant.”

The Green Team attends to recycling. “We follow best practices and implement a series of actions. Every bit counts,” she explained. They use colored bins for speci-fic recyclables – plastic, paper, cardboard, and glass – that are sold. Local pig farmers buy food waste.    

All this adds up to the Lao government awarding Crowne Plaza their Environmental Certificate.

Further, Green Engage prioritizes developing local talent. “Laos has a treasure of passionate people…a young generation open to new ideas. We employ the right people, and they grow,” Ms Puyat noted. “We also have four local colleagues on our management team.” 

Crowne Plaza supports the local supply chain as well, but purchas-ing in Vientiane presents a hurdle. Ms Puyat cited gaps such as no garden market, few certified food vendors, and a lack of recyclable, bio-degradable, and non-plastic products the hotel must import from Thailand. 

However, they use Lao décor, Southern Lao coffee, and soaps and hand lotions from Lao Natural. “We also promote local arts and crafts through our recently opened Gift Gallery,” Ms Puyat said. “And, we give IHG members a welcome gift from the Lao Disabled Women Development Center.”

Crowne Plaza Sustainable tourism Laos Showcase

Crowne Plaza Vientiane continues climbing the four-tier Green Engage ladder, and is closing in on Level 3. “It’s hard work…but it can be done.” 

Crowne Plaza Sustainable tourism Laos Showcase

Covid Clean & Safe

“We were way out in front of Covid when it hit, as safety and cleanliness are part of our culture,” Ms Puyat said.

The Crowne Plaza already had IHG Way of Clean measures in place, and launched the IHG Clean Promise on 1 June, 2020.

“Our vision is to ensure our guests’ and staff’s safety, not just for Covid, but even more enhanced,” she said.  “We reached hospital-grade cleanliness by the end of the year.”

Website: Crowne Plaza Vientiane

Download “Engaged in Green: Crowne Plaza Vientiane” .pdf

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