2019 winner: The Langham London
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The Langham London was praised by our judges for its rigorous sustainability strategy, with solid targets to reduce its environmental footprint. The hotel is benchmarked and audited annually through sustainable tourism body EarthCheck and is one of only two UK hotels to achieve its gold certification, as well as being the first luxury hotel in Europe to achieve certification in 2014.
Its main objectives last year included reducing energy and water consumption and single-use plastic products, maintaining its impressive recycling levels and hitting 450 hours of community engagement. It smashed all these targets, including a 15% reduction in water consumption per guest night against a 3% target.
The hotel team undertook 654 hours of volunteering last year, including community garden work, playground improvements and fundraising activities, with £1,468 raised for Great Ormond Street Hospital.
One of the core objectives of the Langham Hospitality Group is to be a responsible and sustainable business, and employees at all levels are educated in this as a key part of their three-day induction training, while existing team members undergo ad hoc training when a new initiative launches.
For example, teams were trained on which items could be ‘digested' by the hotel's Orca when it first arrived (the hotel was the first in Europe to introduce the rapid composting food waste management system), and teams are regularly re-briefed on recycling processes.
The installation of the Orca in August 2018 resulted in an 80% reduction in volume of solid food waste across the property, and food waste that cannot be disposed of by the Orca is transformed into fertiliser by one of the hotel's waste disposal contractors.
In fact, the Langham sends no waste to landfill whatsoever – unrecyclable waste is incinerated and generates renewable energy for the national grid, glass is crushed onsite, and used cooking oil is recycled into vehicle fuel. Of its paper products, 75% are eco-labelled or recycled, while the kitchens use sustainable seafood after signing up to Fish City Pledge.
All suppliers sign a code of conduct. When it comes to future plans for this green business, the Langham London intends to eliminate all single-use plastic products by the end of the year.
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID
"The Langham London has exemplified how, by putting in place a rigorous, well-structured strategy, any hotelier can deliver consistent, measurable and inspiring positive change that can enhance the guest experience while reducing their environmental impact."
Dominic Burbridge, associate director – business advice, Carbon Trust
"Excellent best practice and targets. Good evidence and proof that initiatives do neutralise its impact."
Clare Wright, director of procurement, Royal Lancaster London
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