In an event organised by the Malta Business Bureau at the Corinthia Palace Hotel in Attard, Minister de Marco this morning welcomed the Corinthia’s latest environmental initiative – the implementation of a water savings programme in all its Malta hotels, estimated to save 2,669,000 litres of water every year.
Commenting on the Corinthia Group’s initiative, Minister de Marco said that Government, tourism operators and stakeholders are working together towards strengthening the sustainability of the tourism industry. The participation of 70 businesses and hotels in the EU LIFE+ Investing in Water coordinated by MBB, the Malta Chamber and MHRA, shows the commitment and cooperation of Government, tourism operators and stakeholders in strengthening the sustainability of the tourism industry.
Paul Bugeja, Corinthia Hotels’ chief financial officer, explained that all 600 rooms and back of house areas at the Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa, Corinthia Hotel St George’s Bay and the Marina Hotel, are being fitted with water restrictors. These are devices that ensure an optimal water flow by suppressing excessive delivery of water. This investment is expected to pay for itself in just one year at the St Georges and Marina hotels and within only half a year at the Corinthia in San Anton.
Taking this project to the next level, the hotels are also planning to replace most of the bathroom shower heads with more efficient ones. This will help them save some additional 8,000,000 litres of water a year. Various other initiatives and recommendations are being studied in detail and will be gradually introduced if found to be feasible.
Commenting on the company’s current investments Mr Bugeja said “This initiative represents only a small part of the total investment that the group has made in its Malta hotels over the last four years. Various other initiatives have been taken to upgrade the product, improve guest services, and at the same time identify opportunities for efficiency and cost savings. A typical project saw a major upgrade at the Corinthia Palace Hotel and Spa, including guest rooms, business centre and public rest rooms over a 4 year period. Moreover, in energy efficiency initiatives alone, the company has to date invested €700,000 at its three Malta hotels alone. The ultimate aim of course, is to ensure sustainability throughout our operations, especially in these challenging times.”
The Corinthia’s water saving programme was developed based on a set of water saving recommendations presented by the MBB’s EU LIFE+ Investing in Water Project. MBB CEO Joe Tanti complimented the Corinthia on being the first hotels to adopt the project’s recommended water saving solutions, and saving enough water in one year to water a Mediterranean forest of 15,000 trees for three years.
He explained that through the project the MBB and its partners the MHRA and the Malta Chamber aim to help enterprises reduce their water consumption. To this end the project website has been transformed into a resource for enterprises wishing to save water. Water saving solutions are described on the website, successful case studies feature to share best practice, and an online self-assessment tool has been made freely accessible to all interested parties.
“85% of businesses and hotels could save 10-15% on their water consumption if they adopted a few simple water saving solutions. The EU LIFE+ Investing in Water Project website has all the information they need to identify which water saving solutions are applicable in their circumstances – this is the first time such a wealth of information on water savings is freely accessible to local enterprises.” concluded Mr Tanti.
Minister de Marco highlighted that the Corinthia hotels were amongst the 42 operators that benefitted from the Malta Enterprise Energy Grant Scheme and were amongst the hotels certified through the Eco Certification Scheme, administered by MTA.
The Government’s commitment to encouraging investment by tourism operators was emphasised by Mario de Marco, who stated that government has in fact launched various schemes in recent years that offer assistance and that encourage investment in strengthening the tourism product and sustainability. He said that the cooperation between Government, entities and stakeholders has led to positive results in the tourism industry with four record years in the last five years.
The EU LIFE+ Investing in Water Project receives 50% co-financing under the European Community’s LIFE funding programme, with the Ministry for Tourism, Culture and the Environment as the main co-financier, further co-financing and sponsorship from Easydry Malta, APS Bank, Island Hotels Group, and MSV LIFE.