Carbon and greenhouse gas emissions are major concerns for hotels and commercial buildings across the world.
"Caring about our environment and reducing pollution have become global issues," says Jor Fan, environmental management system manager at Langham Place Hotel. "As a socially responsible corporation, the hotel is dedicated to the environment."
Langham Place, located in busy Mong Kok, has adopted measures such as installing energy-saving lighting in most areas of the hotel and encouraging the use of the three Rs - reduce, reuse and recycle - throughout the property.
Heat pumps have been designed for the hotel's air-conditioning system to reduce thermal pollution.
By collecting heat that is generated from air conditioning, which will then be used to heat water for guest rooms and kitchens, energy is conserved. The boiler in the hotel is only used in winter.
Another measure to reduce thermal pollution is the installation of hydrovents in kitchens. They serve as cooling agents that absorb smoke and grease, preventing their release outside the hotel.
Between 2007 and 2009, Langham Place reduced its use of A4 paper by about 30 per cent.
The hotel also recycles cooking oil, food waste and glass bottles.
"The costs of recycling food waste and glass bottles are quite high," Fan says. "But we insist on doing this [because we] care about the environment."
Langham Place encourages guests to be environmentally friendly. Instead of replacing bottles of shampoo, conditioner and shower gel that are not completely used, the hotel puts new bottles next to the existing ones.
Fan says guests can choose to open a new bottle or not, and they usually finish the old one first.
Earlier this year, the hotel replaced hand soap with soap dispensers on two floors on a trial basis, and the practice is now extended to half the rooms. The hotel's in-house magazine, My Place, features environmental issues and promotes sustainability.
"We hope to create a win-win situation by providing excellent quality of service and encouraging our guests to save the environment," Fan says. Langham Place aims to reduce carbon and greenhouse gas emissions by 10 per cent by 2013, compared with 2008.
Fan says the hotel is kept abreast of the latest energy-saving technology and is happy to try various innovative products. The hotel has just started using biodiesel for its truck.
Fan says he wants to convey the message of environmental protection to all his colleagues.
"I hope to strengthen their awareness so that they can spread the message to their family and friends."
Langham Place was the first Hong Kong hotel to take part in the food waste recycling trial programme set up by the Environmental Protection Department and Baptist University last year
The hotel took part in the Australian-developed sustainability solution EarthCheck and obtained the EarthCheck bronze certificate in December last year
The hotel reduced 5.6 per cent of energy consumption and 11 per cent of water last year compared with 2008