WHAT’S sustainability without solidarity? As in water, in order to make the ripples of change more apparent, more than a drop is needed to change its surface.
The Accor Group in the Philippines consists of the properties Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila, the Fairmont, the Raffles, Novotel, Joy-Nostalg Hotel & Suites, and Mercure in Ortigas, and the food outlets of these hotels all set up shop in Sofitel’s Seawall Garden for a seafood dinner.
The dinner was held to celebrate Sustainable Seafood Week, organized by seafood distributor Meliomar, Inc., which kicked off late in February. Each property of the Accor Group showed off what their chefs could do with seafood: for example, sushi made from sustainably obtained tuna was served by Sofitel, while Salmon Balls were served by the Joy-Nostalg. Mercure served Salmon-Kinilaw and Quinoa Salad, while the Raffles served Pickled Mackerel topped with salmon roe, and finally, Novotel served a tuna ceviche.
“If you don’t start to create the awareness, then we’d never create the demand,” said Adam Laker, general manager of Sofitel and area general manager for Accor Hotels Philippines.
In an interview with BusinessWorld, he said that the hotels under the group try their best to serve only sustainable seafood, when they can, and if they do, it is highlighted on all their menus.
Of course, in the word itself, sustainable only makes sense when an entity’s efforts to help the planet are sustained, but Mr. Laker insists that the dinner is not a one-night gimmick. “We make sure that we eliminate items like that,” he said, for example, not serving items such as shark fin, which contribute to the depletion of the world’s population of sharks.
In other areas of the hotel, Mr. Laker says that it also puts in place sustainability measures, such as tracking food waste through a system called Winnow, trying to use renewable energy with solar panelling, and using biodegradable materials in their packaging, and switching light fixtures from halogen to LEDs.
“We’re trying to live up to the promise that Accor has for Planet 21,” he said, a series of initiatives for lowering the group’s carbon footprint, and lowering the impact in the community where their establishments are located.
Just as well, since the Accor Group is expanding in the Philippines, Mr. Laker said that in the coming months, an M Gallery by Sofitel is popping up close to the Philippine Plaza property, as well as two new Novotels, in Makati City and Cebu.
As for their Planet 21 initiatives, these include planting for the planet, fighting against human trafficking and child sexual exploitation, eco-friendly design, and, of course, healthy and sustainable food choices. — Joseph L. Garcia