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Sustainable tourism

Ascott receives GSTC-recognised standard status and marks milestone recognition with launch of sustainability framework

Author: Theodore Koumelis / Date: Mon, 11/21/2022 - 03:23
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New Ascott CARES programme aligns with the gold standard for sustainable tourism; pledges commitment to key pillars of Community, Alliance, Respect, Environment and Supply Chain.

SINGAPORE – The Ascott Limited (Ascott), a lodging business unit wholly owned by CapitaLand Investment, announced the conferment of Recognised Standard by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). As a member of GSTC, Ascott is one of the first hospitality groups to be conferred this GSTC-Recognised Standard status for its adoption of the GSTC Industry Criteria. It is an affirmation of Ascott’s commitment to the gold standard for sustainable tourism. Marking this milestone, Ascott has unveiled Ascott CARES, a sustainability framework that aligns its growth strategy with environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations alongside GSTC Criteria. The expanded framework is centred around five pillars representing the acronym CARES - Community, Alliance, Respect, Environment and Supply Chain.

“The sustainability landscape is an ever-changing one, made more complex by the prevailing macroeconomic environment. Recognising that, we need to evolve our approach to sustainability in a more holistic and strategic manner. As both an owner and an operator, Ascott has the ability to design a strategy that integrates purposeful sustainability goals with financial objectives. We have a strong position that allows us to influence and manage properties throughout their entire real estate lifecycle, beginning from the investment stage, to design stage, right through to operations,” said Ms Beh Siew Kim, Chief Financial & Sustainability Officer, Lodging, CapitaLand Investment and Managing Director, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Japan and Korea, The Ascott Limited.

“The need for us to accelerate our sustainability initiatives stems from the wider crisis of climate change. The built environment is a key contributor to the climate change crisis and there is much work to be done. As a key player in the lodging industry, every stakeholder has a part to play,” added Ms Beh.

Having evolved from a hygiene and safety programme that was first introduced in May 2020, Ascott CARES has since been strengthened to extend the culture of care and hospitality to the community and environments within which it operates through its business and across its supply chain as part of its sustainability framework.

Ascott CARES is aligned with CapitaLand’s ‘Sustainability Master Plan’ pillars and will be rolled out across all of Ascott’s managed and branded properties. Alongside the new framework, Ascott has also announced its supporting targets which will be progressively achieved from 2023, with target completion by 2030.

Driving effective implementation of the sustainability programme, Ascott has taken further steps to establish a robust sustainability governance structure that fosters cross-collaboration between regional leaders and Ascott’s Sustainability Leadership Council (SLC).

Co-led by Ascott’s Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Goh, and Chief Financial & Sustainability Officer, Beh Siew Kim, Ascott’s SLC exercises oversight of sustainability and climate risks, and determines the strategy and goals for the company. These strategies are driven by the Corporate Sustainability team, in collaboration with regional and property leaders who facilitate the execution of programmes within the local market.

Responsible stewardship is key to corporate governance, and a sound governance structure will ensure we remain focused in our efforts. Sustainability has been a key priority for all our stakeholders and will continue to play an integral part in our business and growth strategy,” said Ms Beh.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Theodore Koumelis

Co-Founder & Managing Director

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.