Pioneering Sustainability And Environmental Stewardship

By Priyanka Elhence

Sustainability is more than a trending buzzword for Grand Hyatt Singapore; it’s a way of life. Director of culinary operations Lucas Glanville shares how the hotel walks the talk as a pioneer for several long-term environmental-friendly initiatives  across all its operations.

Embracing a philosophy of sustainability at the core of Grand Hyatt Singapore’s operations. The hotel is committed to protecting the planet for future generations by adopting a holistic approach towards sustainability and pioneering sustainable initiatives across the hotel. The hotel’s long term strategy for environmental stewardship is embedded in all its operations such as Food Sourcing, Food Waste Management, Energy and Water, and Hotel Operations.

It is a journey that started in 2011 where Grand Hyatt Singapore aimed to achieve better waste and water reduction, and better utilisation of resources and energy while providing guests with greater value through sustainable dining and wellness offerings. Says chef Lucas Glanville, director of culinary operations, “At Hyatt, our purpose of care defines our practice of responsibility, which is building strong communities and fostering sustainable practices by caring for the planet to create an environment in which people thrive in.”

Pioneering Initiatives

Glanville says that the hotel started with the installation of its Trigeneration Plant to reduce water reduction while ensuring better utilisation of energy across the entire hotel. “To our knowledge, we are the only hotel in Singapore that has a plant located within the hotel’s premises. Since its installation, it has inspired multiple initiatives for us as we introduced new long-term environmental goals and associated strategies to build on our ongoing efforts related to climate change, water stewardship, waste, sourcing, and caring for our communities.”

When it comes to sustainable green efforts in place for Food Sourcing and Food Wastage, there are several initiatives, to which the hotel has already received multiple awards and accolades in recognition of them. For instance, the hotel was the first in the region to introduce plant-based options in 2018 to provide diners with a healthier, inclusive dining experience.

Grand Hyatt Singapore currently uses more than 200 tonnes of seafood per year, of which 80 percent of it is certified sustainable by Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC). The hotel was awarded the Chain of Custody (CoC) certifications by both bodies in 2015 to ensure responsible farming and fishing practices of the hotel’s procured seafood.

In 2019, the hotel implemented the Nose-to-Tail initiative – the first to do so in Singapore – by importing whole carcasses of beef from Yulgibar Cattle Farms in Australia to minimise wastage at the source and destination. Each cattle is all natural and grass fed, giving diners a selection of popular and unique cuts across the hotel’s restaurants and events.

Grand Hyatt Singapore works with Flinders+Co to import Roaring Forties lamb, the first carbon-neutral certified lamb. Imported from Tasmania and Southern Victorian Farmland, Roaring Forties lamb are raised on some of the most nutrient-rich pastures found in the world, and bred with the best combination of cleanest air and greenest pastures.

Another example of the hotel’s sustainability efforts is its use of organic rice from Fresh Rice, Natural Harvest (Thailand) across all its culinary operations. Known for its superior quality, the rice is harvested in the fertile Surin province using organic farming methods that benefit both producer and consumer, and is immediately vacuum-packed to omit extensive silo storage period, hence preserving its freshness and quality.

Finally, the hotel sources more than 80 percent of its organic and seasonal vegetables from Weeds & More, a cooperative farm in Cameron Highlands. The initiative has helped the hotel reduce its carbon footprint by more than 100 times as compared to using air-flown greens, to ensure that dines receive only the freshest greens every time they dine in the hotel.

“Recognising that supporting small-scale businesses, which practice ethical and sustainable farming, is a critical step in adopting a holistic approach towards sustainability, we have embarked on multiple projects to source for the best farmers and gourmet producers from around the world. We purchase directly from these businesses in bulk while ensuring that they are as close to Singapore as possible. This not only reduces the carbon footprint of the hotel for the import of its produce, by reducing waste generated from packaging and transport from distant regions, but also helps in ensuring the survival of smaller businesses who are doing good for Earth and its inhabitants. We are always on the lookout for new partners that can help us on our sustainability journey, working with like-minded partners who share our commitment towards building a greener planet together,” says Glanville.

Not only does the hotel’s restaurants ensure that diners enjoy sustainable organic produce, Grand Hyatt Singapore has gone even further by offering members of the public access to the same prized produce and range of products at their newly launched The Grand Marketplace, located at the lobby level of the hotel.

“Since we purchase directly from the farmers in bulk, we were in a position to pay it forward and extend these savings onto consumers, allowing everyone easy and affordable access to high-quality and fresh produce. Therefore since the launch of the Grand Marketplace in April, we have been receiving very positive feedback from our guests and have seen customers regularly purchasing their food supplies for their home cooking from us,” confirms Glanville.

Managing And Reducing Waste

Finally, the hotel sources 30 percent of its herbs from its rooftop garden that’s situated above the Grand Ballroom. The garden provides the ballroom with natural heat insulation, resulting in more efficient air-conditioning. It is maintained by in-house gardeners using fertiliser produced by the hotel’s in-house waste management plant.

The hotel was the first in Singapore to install such an inhouse waste management plant (in partnership with Biomax Technologies since 2016). It consists of a vacuum system, grinder and dewatering unit, and digester system to convert 1000kg of daily food waste from the hotel’s activities to 300kg of organic pathogen-free fertilisers within 24 hours. This has allowed the hotel to keep food waste off landfill, eliminate the use of 55,000 trash bags, and save over $100,000 per year on waste haulage. “The fertiliser produced by our plant are used to maintain the rooftop herb garden as well as across all the urban landscaping within the hotel,” shares Glanville.

Not surprisingly, in recognition of all its efforts, The Grand Hyatt Singapore is in the midst of getting a Food Waste certification which ensures a mandated action plan to help the hotel to continue with its savings of carbon dioxide emissions and reduction of food waste.

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