Ideas that change the world can come from anywhere. But when they come from the ground up and pave the way for company-wide change, you sit up and take notice.
This is exactly what is happening at the iconic Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Gold Coast.
Recognising the hotel was using too many plastic bottles, the team set about finding a solution to the waste. Vestal Water was contacted and began a passion project to reduce waste.
“We were throwing away 179,000 plastic water bottles a year,” explains Marketing Executive, Georgia Fahey, “and this was just from the complimentary bottles in our guest rooms and villas. It doesn’t even include what we were consuming in our events and conference space.”
The 295-room property now has a Vestal water station on every floor, providing still, sparkling and ambient water for guests to enjoy. Each room has two reusable aluminium bottles which guests can purchase and use for the cost price of just $5.
At the start of September, the team initially trialled the project in one wing of the hotel to see how guests would react. “The feedback was actually astonishing. There was so much positivity from our guests,” said Georgia. “They even took to social media to talk about what we were doing!”
“Our aim was to wait a month before we rolled it out to the rest of the property but after two weeks, we decided to include the other wing, thanks to all the positive feedback. We now also provide refillable glass bottles for all the tables in our conference facilities.”
The hotel is also looking to see how they can reduce waste and increase sustainability across the whole hotel. “Even down to the carbon emissions in the kitchen, and sourcing produce as locally as possible. This is just the start of a big change.” Just before Christmas, the hotel also introduced recycling bins in all of the guest rooms.
The Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort’s parent company, Marriott International, is now looking to roll this initiative out across the APAC region.
It is great to see a worldwide brand embracing the impact that has been made at a local level. Proving that everyone can make a difference . . . one plastic water bottle at a time. Ultimately, of course, the change is good for the hotel, good for the guests and absolutely good for the environment.
Rooms at the Sheraton Grand Mirage start at $XXX. 71 Sea World Drive, Main Beach, Gold Coast. Tel: 07 5577 0000.