BANGKOK - Avani Hotels, part of the global hospitality group Minor Hotels, worldwide have shared their commitment to the future of sustainable travel by signing the UNESCO Sustainable Travel Pledge. Launched in 2019, and in collaboration between UNESCO and Expedia Group, the UNESCO Sustainable Travel Pledge aims to promote sustainable travel, community resilience and heritage conservation globally and counts the EU Ecolabel and Green Tourism Accreditation among its members.
Every Avani hotel or resort must hold an independently audited Green Growth 2050 certification and Avani is proud to support like-minded organisations by joining several global pledge campaigns such as Google’s Green Leaf Eco-certification, Booking.com’s Travel Sustainable Scheme, the upcoming GHA Green Collection and most recently the UNESCO Sustainable Travel Pledge, in partnership with Expedia Group.
As part of Avani Hotels’ determination to become a Net Zero Carbon organization by 2050 Avani is introducing science-based targets for energy, carbon and water intensity as well as pledging to cut organic waste to landfill in half in the next 8 years. Avani has pledged to reduce the usage of single use plastic by 75% by 2024 and every nature-based property will support long term habitat or species conservation by 2023.
In announcing its decision to support the global travel ecosystem, Avani adds over 30 properties across the globe to the list of signatories to the UNESCO Sustainable Travel Pledge. “At Avani, we uphold belief that travel is a force for good and are committed to supporting sustainable tourism both on property and industry level,” said Manuel Melenchon, Vice President of Operations Asia for Minor Hotels. “We are proud to be joining our sister brand Anantara and other global hospitality and travel players in developing a platform for the travel community to push for step change in climate action.”
Since embarking on the sustainability journey with a pledge to eliminate plastic straws in 2018, Avani Hotels has been committed to implementing eco-conscious initiatives focused on preserving the planet for future generations. With the pioneering straw initiative, Avani along with sister brand Anantara, became the first major hotel brand to eradicate plastic straws at every single property in Asia. In addition to replacing plastic straws with those made of fast-growing bamboo by artisans of Northern Thailand, Avani properties are constantly looking for creative uses for natural materials. At Avani+ Luang Prabang Hotel in Laos, for example, recycled tree bark is being turned into packaging for the hotel’s all-natural soaps and other toiletries.
Avani has also embraced sustainability-led innovations to minimise environmental impact when it comes to building new properties. These initiatives range from using recycled materials to installing the latest energy-saving technology, such as low-flow faucets to save groundwater.
In 2021, both Avani Palm View Dubai Hotel & Suites and Avani Ibn Battuta Dubai Hotel were awarded the prestigious Green Growth 2050 certification for their stellar sustainability practices, with Avani Palm View Dubai receiving Green Growth’s Platinum certification in recognition of its water and energy conservation programmes; aluminium-can, glass and cooking oil recycling; tree planting; green public transport awareness campaign for guests; and more.
Another example of the brand’s sustainable development efforts is Avani+ Khao Lak, a 100,000-square-metre oceanfront property in Phang Nga Province of Southern Thailand. Respecting the existing landscape with its natural ponds and lush gardens, the development team preserved over 600 trees and replanted another 100 thanks to a tree nursery initiative that kept the plants healthy during the construction phase. The Avani team worked closely with architects, landscaping designers, contractors and gardeners to carefully preserve most of the existing plants, whether mature trees or saplings, continuously making design adjustments to protect the most vulnerable trees.
To reduce carbon emissions, several Avani hotels have embraced the farm-to-table movement. Avani+ Luang Prabang Hotel in Laos successfully launched a 140-sqm rooftop garden to supply the hotel kitchen with organic fruit to local herbs and, following that success, have started work on a larger project set amidst rice paddies a short electric buggy ride away. In a coastal town in Thailand, Avani Pattaya Resort’s hydroponic farm grows over 22,000 plants, including a wide range of salads and greens - enough to meet the needs of the resort and to supply the community too.
At Avani+ Hua Hin Resort over 90% of kitchen supplies are grown locally thanks to the resort’s commitment to working with local smallholders. The property prioritises partners that run ethical and fully sustainable operations to source everything from organic eggs from free-range hens to artisanal products made without artificial colours and flavourings.
Avani Hotels is currently developing an app that will facilitate paperless check-in, check-out, and billing by prioritising digital payments and other paperless transactions.