Success Stories/General Articles/Commentary

Rotorua Sustainable Tourism Charter members are always implementing new and innovative sustainable business practices.  Check back here regularly to learn about the contributions Charter member businesses are making towards sustainability. Here you will also find general articles and commentary relating to sustainability and the Charter.

Greening The Langham

Jun 5, 2012

Greening The LanghamAs well as being a high end hotel The Langham in Auckland has become a model for good practice around social and environmental sustainability. An article by Vicki Jayne entitled ‘Greening The Langham’ discussing The Langham’s sustainability journey appeared in the April edition of Hospitality magazine (Vol. 48, page 37) and the following is a summary of this article.

There are bound to be failures when adopting sustainability into a business and these are important to acknowledge and learn from. Recycled cardboard hangers and solar powered spa facilities are examples of ideas that didn’t work for The Langham. And being an early adopter of sustainability meant that addressing some sustainability issues was simply not possible because relevant services or infrastructure weren’t available. Food waste is a good example; no one in Auckland collected food waste so various options were tried including worm farming. It was two years before the issue was resolved when a new service became available on the market and now The Langham’s food waste is collected by BioCosmo and turned into fertiliser. Another unintended ‘detour’ on the sustainability journey was around packaging. The hotel initially took responsibility for packaging received from suppliers to the point of buying a crusher that helped reduce the volume of waste stored at the hotel between recycling collections. Finally the penny dropped that packaging waste should be the supplier’s problem, not something the hotel gets ‘lumbered’ with. Suppliers have come on board and packaging is now collected by suppliers rather than left for the hotel to deal with.

One of the most important sustainability actions taken by The Langham has been the decision to influence the hotel’s supply chain. Suppliers are increasingly being asked to join The Langham on its green journey by looking at the sustainability of their own operations. In this regard The Langham suggests that small businesses wanting to adopt sustainable practices work together to generate more clout with suppliers. Finally, the benefits of adopting sustainability have been significant with many enquiries coming from companies who want details on the hotel’s green credentials before booking conferences.