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Shangri-La celebrates sustainable food purveyors for properties worldwide

April 7, 2015

Shangri-La in Maldives Shangri-La in Maldives


Hotel chain Shangri-La is expanding its environmental awareness far beyond Earth Day with an initiative that embeds sustainable ways in the hotel’s daily culinary efforts.

“Rooted in Nature” will begin with a month-long celebration of Shangri-La’s food purveyors from around the world. Releasing the year-round campaign near Earth Day will drive attention from fair-weather environmentalists and those looking to expand sustainable living past April 22.

“Shangri-La’s Corporate Social Responsibility efforts are not just a focus on Earth Day,” said Judy Reeves, director of public relations at Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, New York. “The group's CSR program, Sustainability, is a long-term commitment to our people, our communities and our environment.

“Rooted in Nature is a perfect example of the multiple benefits of responsible business,” she said. “Through this project, Shangri-La hotels and resorts have deepened their relationships with their local communities, created markets for sustainable farming, fishing and livestock practices and provided higher-quality cuisine to our guests.”

Celebrating the behind-the-scenes

Rooted in Nature was introduced in 2014, but this month-long celebration will highlight the farmers, fishermen and ranchers who provide the food for the hotels worldwide.

In Toronto, the Shangri-La Hotel uses local products such as certified organic caviar produced by Western Canadian fishery.

caviar shangri-la

Caviar donuts at Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto

Shangri-La’s Cillingili Resort & Spa, Maldives works with farmers on an island nearby to supply the hotel with melons, basil and tomatoes, and local fisherman sell Maldivian lobsters for the menu as well.

Many of the other hotels work with local farms or organizations to provide fresh and local food the guests.

The campaign aims to support local agricultural and fishing communities, buy chemical and pesticide-free produce, source from free-range livestock and poultry products, acquire sustainably-sourced seafood and serve organic and fair trade products.

Shangri-La's sustainability program has its own blog that chronicles initiatives happening throughout the year at varying property locations.

Looking natural
Luxury hotels commonly hold environmental campaigns throughout the year.

For example, Luxury hotels around the world stood up for sustainability March 28 by participating in Earth Hour to promote awareness about climate change.

Earth Hour is an international event started in 2007 in which participants turn off their lights for one hour from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. local time to remind people about the serious consequences of neglecting the environment. Hotels and resorts celebrated Earth Hour 2015 in a variety of different ways, expressing their dedication to environmental issues and their willingness to work for change (see story).

Similarly, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is leading the industry in sustainability, having recently become the first hospitality brand to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions to the World Wildlife Fund’s recommended target.

The hotel brand announced that it has been able to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions to 20 percent below its 2006 levels, thus achieving the ambitious goal suggested by the WWF’s Climate Saver’s Program. Individual hotels around the world used different strategies to improve their sustainability and bring down the company’s total emissions (see story).

Environmental initiatives give brands a campaign that allows them to reach locals and guests.

“April is a month-long celebration of Shangri-La’s most exceptional food purveyors, featuring the finest locally and ethically-sourced ingredients,” Ms. Reeves said. “Through set menus and special promotions, the hotel restaurants will highlight their sustainable sources of produce, fish and meat that can be found on their menus year round.

“By informing our guests about the sources of the ingredients and by telling the stories of our remarkable suppliers, Rooted in Nature deepens the restaurant experience as a whole,” she said. “When consumers develop a greater level of knowledge about where their food is from, they feel a greater connection to the cuisine, the chefs and the purveyors.”

Final Take
Nancy Buckley, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York