Ascott Achieves Strong Progress in Global Sustainability Drive
March 30, 2013 (PRLEAP.COM) Travel NewsCapitaLand's wholly-owned serviced residence business unit, The Ascott Limited (http://www.the-ascott.com/) (Ascott), has achieved strong progress since the launch of its global sustainability drive, 'Go Green @ Ascott', in March 2012. Ascott has made significant strides in the areas of environment, health and safety as well as reduced water and energy consumption, as it strives to become the world's leading green serviced residence company. It will be participating in Earth Hour on Saturday, 23 March 2013, by turning off the beacon signage lights and other non-essential lightings of Ascott's offices and properties worldwide starting from 8.30pm. The air-conditioning and heater temperatures at its offices and properties will also be adjusted to conserve energy. Beyond Earth Hour, Ascott also conducts a monthly Earth Day to encourage guests to conserve resources.
Mr Tony Soh, Ascott's Chief Corporate Officer and Chairman of Ascott's Green Committee, said: "With our extensive global network of properties, Ascott can make a significant positive contribution to the environment wherever we operate. We have taken proactive and meaningful steps to transform our business practices, and are pleased that our green efforts are bearing fruit. Ascott has attained international certifications for our environment, health and safety management systems. We have also achieved considerable savings in water, energy and paper consumption as well as reduced waste. Ascott is committed to the green cause and we will continue with our concerted efforts to minimise our environmental footprint."
Environment, Health and Safety
Ascott has achieved the ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certifications for 106 serviced residences across 15 countries in Asia Pacific and Europe. ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 are globally recognised standards for environmental management, and occupational health and safety management of businesses respectively. The certifications were awarded to Ascott by internationally established certification organisation, TÜV SÜD.
Water, Energy, Paper and Waste Reduction
Ascott targets to reduce water and energy consumption by 15% by 2015, using 2008 as the base year. By 2012, Ascott had achieved its target of 15% savings in water consumption. The 447,000 cubic metres of water saved can fill about 180 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Ascott also recorded savings of 8% in energy consumption compared with 2008. The 17,000 megawatt hours of energy saved can power some 3,000 average Singapore households for a year.
With paper as the main source of waste generated at its offices, Ascott has also taken steps to reduce paper consumption. These include having double-sided and black-and-white printing as the default print settings, encouraging staff to reduce printing by using soft copies, and promoting the recycling of used paper and envelopes. At Ascott's corporate offices in Singapore, paper consumption in 2012 has been reduced by more than 20% from 2011, saving over 1,300 kg of paper.
Green Buildings, Green Products and Stakeholder Engagement
Ascott is also focusing on other areas to realise its green vision:
Ascott received the BREEAM 'Very Good' rating for its Citadines Prestige Trafalgar Square serviced residence in London following the property's refurbishment last year. BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) is an internationally recognised measure of a building's sustainability. The green features in Citadines Prestige Trafalgar Square London include a building management system to monitor water and electrical utilities usage and maximise operational efficiency, chiller gas leak detector to prevent refrigerant loss, energy efficient lighting system with motion sensors, and proper waste management system that involves monitoring, reducing, reusing and recycling waste. Ascott aims to attain green certifications from established green building rating systems for all new and renovated properties.
Ascott's other green accolades include the 'Highly Commended for Green Achievement' award received at the 2011/2012 Re:locate Awards and 'Green Model' award at the 2012 China Economy Summit.
In conjunction with Earth Hour on Saturday, 23 March 2013, Ascott's offices and properties worldwide will turn off beacon signage lights and other non-essential lightings for extended hours starting from 8.30pm. Staff and residents are encouraged to dress down or wear warmer clothing as the air-conditioning or heater temperatures will be adjusted to conserve energy. These initiatives are also carried out during Ascott Earth Day, which takes place every first Friday of the month.
To further spread the message of conservation, Ascott will be organising various activities for its residents and staff. These range from a tree planting event and recycling workshop in Vietnam, giving out of small pots of plants or packets of herb seeds carrying notes on conservation in Indonesia, to the screening of the documentary film about global warming, 'An Inconvenient Truth' in China, and a green tea light party in the United Kingdom.
Other initiatives implemented as part of 'Go Green @ Ascott' include offering long-stay residents the option to play a part by reducing the frequency of housekeeping, and providing recycling bins and reusable eco-bags or shopping trolleys that reduce the use of disposable grocery bags. At Ascott's serviced residences such as Ascott Jakarta (http://www.the-ascott.com/en/indonesia/jakarta/ascott_jakarta.html), Somerset Greenways Chennai, Somerset Hoa Binh Hanoi (http://www.somerset.com/en/vietnam/hanoi/somerset_hoa_binh.html) and Somerset Youyi Tianjin (http://www.somerset.com/en/china/tianjin/somerset_youyi.html), its Cubbies Kids' Club playrooms feature wall murals with a green message, encouraging young residents to love and care for the environment. Ascott also adopts the use of green products such as biodegradable laundry bags, FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)-certified paper and bathroom amenities with recyclable packaging to reduce wastage at its properties.
For further information on 'Go Green @ Ascott', please visit www.theascottlimited.com/aboutus/gogreen/index.html.
 Australia, Belgium, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, United Kingdom and Vietnam
 Water and energy consumption savings are calculated based on per square metre of gross floor area.
About The Ascott Limited
The Ascott Limited is a Singapore company that has grown to be the world's largest international serviced residence owner-operator. It has more than 22,000 operating serviced residence units in key cities of Asia Pacific, Europe and the Gulf region, as well as over 8,000 units which are under development, making a total of more than 31,000 units in over 200 properties.
The company operates three brands – Ascott, Citadines (http://www.citadines.com/) and Somerset. Its portfolio spans over 70 cities across more than 20 countries, 14 of which are new cities in Ascott's portfolio where its serviced residences are being developed.
Ascott, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CapitaLand Limited, pioneered Asia Pacific's first international-class serviced residence with the opening of The Ascott Singapore in 1984. In 2006, it established the world's first Pan-Asian serviced residence real estate investment trust, Ascott Residence Trust. Today, the company boasts a 29-year industry track record and award-winning serviced residence brands that enjoy recognition worldwide.
Ascott's achievements have been recognised internationally. Recent awards include DestinAsian Readers' Choice Awards 2013 for 'Best Serviced Apartment/Residence Operator', TTG Travel Awards 2012 for 'Best Serviced Residence Operator', TTG China Travel Awards 2012 for 'Best Serviced Residence Operator in China', Business Traveller Asia-Pacific Awards 2012 for 'Best Serviced Residence Brand' and 'Best Serviced Residence in Asia-Pacific', and Business Traveller UK Awards 2012 for 'Best Serviced Apartment Company'.
Visit http://www.the-ascott.com for more information and connect with us on social media at www.the-ascott.com/connect.
About CapitaLand Limited
CapitaLand is one of Asia's largest real estate companies. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, the company's businesses in real estate and real estate fund management are focused on its core markets of Singapore and China.
The company's diversified real estate portfolio primarily includes homes, offices, shopping malls, serviced residences and mixed developments. The company also has one of the largest real estate fund management businesses with assets located in Asia. CapitaLand leverages its significant asset base, real estate domain knowledge, product design and development capabilities, active capital management strategies and extensive market network to develop real estate products and services in its markets.
The listed entities of the CapitaLand Group include Australand, CapitaMalls Asia, Ascott Residence Trust, CapitaCommercial Trust, CapitaMall Trust, CapitaMalls Malaysia Trust, CapitaRetail China Trust and Quill Capita Trust.