Wyndham Destinations Asia Pacific has been honoured with the prestigious Best Environmental Program accolade at the 2019 HM Awards.
The HM Awards for Hotel and Accommodation Excellence, presented by Sealy Posturepedic, now in its 17th year, is the leading industry award program in the region and celebrates the best properties, departments, people, chains and brands in Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.
“As a hospitality leader with 69 hotels and resorts and some 5,000 associates across 13 Asia Pacific countries, Wyndham Destinations Asia Pacific has a global responsibility and unique opportunity to make a positive impact – from helping to reduce our carbon footprint to reducing the amount of plastic in our oceans,” said Barry Robinson, President and Managing Director, International Operations, Wyndham Vacation Clubs.
The company’s recent initiatives include banning single use straws and balloons across its managed resort portfolio in countries including Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Indonesia and Thailand.
“Plastic straws, which are only used once, are one of the most prevalent litter items in our oceans and by making this change we are saving the planet from approximately 400,000 plastic straws per annum. Balloons are another damaging litter item which turtles are known to ingest when they are mistaken for jellyfish so we have stopped using them at our events. Instead, we opt for more sustainable choices,” said Mr Robinson.
Reusable coffee cups are now sold at the company’s Gold Coast café, Canteen Social and the business has also switched to BioPak plant based cutlery and packaging. Battery and soft plastic recycling stations are being installed in trials across the company’s resorts and sites. Digital signatures have been implemented across the business, saving thousands of sheets of paper each year, and its 100 per cent Tjindgarmi recycled paper purchases go towards increasing awareness of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.
One of the company’s Gold Coast properties, Club Wyndham Surfers Paradise has partnered with the City of Gold Coast to participate in a food waste recycling trial. The hotel and the restaurant co-tenants are together creating 10 tonnes of usable compost per annum that would have otherwise gone to landfill. The compost produced is then used for native regeneration projects.
The WYNDGreen program also asks for suppliers to be accountable when it comes to sustainability. The company recently requested that no more plastic wrappers be used on individual biros and USBs delivered across the resort network, which resulted in the elimination of 127,000 plastic wrappers per annum. Regular litter collections and beach clean ups are organised throughout the year, along with upcycling clothing swaps.
“We are immensely proud to have been recognised with the prestigious 2019 HM Environmental Program Award, which is a testament to our service commitment to provide Hospitality with heart. We recognise that how we do business is as important as the business that we do,” said Mr Robinson.
Across the globe, Wyndham Destinations associates are encouraged to Catch a Colleague Green Handed. For each person who is, the company plants a native rainforest tree in Gunung Leuser National Park in North Sumatra, Indonesia, in their honour. The park is one of two remaining habitats for Sumatran orangutans.
Wyndham Destinations Asia Pacific develops, markets and sells vacation ownership interests across a network of 51 vacation ownership resorts, serving close to 60,000 members of Club Wyndham South Pacific. It is also a development partner of choice with management subsidiaries overseeing 69 properties, predominantly in the Asia Pacific region.