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Understanding ESG
Mandarin Oriental 2030 sustainability on track
Increased transparency, accountability, new sustainability unit, significant reductions
The Asset 20 Jul 2023

Luxury hotel group Mandarin Oriental, in its 2022 sustainability report, says that it has made steady progress in measuring to sustainability impact, both positive and negative, which provides the necessary transparency to its stakeholders and drives its accountability.

One of the highlights of the group’s sustainability journey is the disclosure of climate-related financial risks in its first-ever Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures report, which was released in 2022. A sustainability risk assessment was conducted for the group's portfolio, highlighting climate, water, socioeconomic factors and biodiversity risks, and identified opportunities to put into practice.

In 2022, to strengthen its sustainability governance structure, the group also established a dedicated sustainability department, which plays an essential role in overseeing the brand's sustainability initiatives and ensuring effective communication and collaboration throughout the organization.

The group’s environmental commitment, it says, has yielded impressive results, as demonstrated by significant reductions in carbon (30% ), energy (31%) and water (16%) intensities against 2012 baselines across its portfolio, keeping it on track to meet its environmental targets for 2030.

The group continues to measure and report on its greenhouse gase activities. Scope 1 emissions were reduced from 16% in 2012 to 12% in 2022, while Scope 2 emissions increased slightly from 84% to 88% over the same period, which may be attributed to a mixture of using more electricity rather than gas or diesel in its kitchens and for heating, and some hotels using heating from city sources.

Although Scope 3 emissions reporting is still in progress, the group points out that it collaborates with industry peers to contribute to the development of a comprehensive framework – a joint initiative between Greenview, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, the World Travel & Tourism Council and others.

The company also notes that it conducts regular energy audits in its hotels at three-year intervals and each hotel has its own detailed energy audit action plan based on these audits. In 2022, the group performed six energy audits in line with the guidance from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-conditioning Engineers, resulting in estimated future savings of US$1.1 million per annum.

As well, the group’s target of eliminating single-use plastics has been highly successful, with 99% of single-use plastics eliminated across all operations in 2022, excluding supplier packaging. This concerted effort is estimated to have avoided more than 930 metric tons of plastic waste annually.

Furthermore, the group, according to the report, has prioritized responsible procurement, particularly in key categories like endangered seafood, coffee, tea, cocoa, vanilla and paper. The company achieved a meaningful milestone by attaining 100% responsible sourced status in these categories, verified by Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance, an independent third-party assurance provider.

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