Sustainability driving the agenda at voco Gold Coast
Since the rebrand of the Watermark hotel to voco Gold Coast in November 2018, the hotel has undergone significant enhancements, not only to guestrooms and public spaces but to the way the hotel is thinking about sustainability and energy reduction.
In a bid to eliminate as much plastic from the hotel as possible, from April 2019, voco Gold Coast will replace miniature shampoo, conditioner and soap bottles with large bottle, refillable Aveda bathroom amenities in all its 389 guestrooms. By doing so, it will reduce its plastic waste by 80%.
In addition, the hotel has introduced smart-down bedding made from 100% recycled materials and have replaced plastic water bottles with glass bottles in key areas of the hotel while also replacing all plastic straws with biodegradable straws.
General Manager for voco Gold Coast, Brenden van Blerk, said the roll out of large format refillable amenities is just one of many initiatives the hotel has undertaken to reduce the impact associated with its operations.
“We have been trialing the large bottle amenities for the last 12 weeks and the feedback we’ve received from guests was been overwhelming – guests have loved the concept and been impressed with our sustainability mission. They have also loved the fact that we are using Australian owned beauty brand, Aveda.
“As well as our crusade to reduce our plastic consumption, we have chosen to participate in a green waste program headed up by Gold Coast City Council whereby we recycle all of our Food and Scrap waste out of all of our kitchens. This waste is then turned into garden mulch which the council then uses on the garden beds and in parks and grounds, reducing the amount of water for these public spaces which in turn drives down the council rates charged to residents.
“We have also recently partnered with coffee brand Will & Co to be able to offer amazing handpicked coffee out of our Social House cafe. Will & Co is one of only a few brands that produce a biodegradable and compostable take away cup – so when guests leave the hotel, they know that they’re still doing their part.
“Being involved in the community and caring for our environment is a key pillar for our voco brand and since we launched in November last year, we have been looking at ways to involve our guests and the local community in our sustainability journey and whether it has been through our bees, little notes left in guestrooms asking guests to drink the filtered tap water, or through working with the Council on their waste reduction programs, we feel like we are making a difference and it is incredibly rewarding.”
In addition to the hotel’s waste reduction program, voco Gold Coast has a resident beekeeper who manages more than 300,000 bees which are buzzing in beehives on its rooftop. The hotel uses the honey in its signature welcome honey and lavender shortbread biscuits, at the breakfast buffet and in Social House’s cocktail menu.
In what can be described as a Gold Coast first, a rare occurrence recently took place in the beehive, where the two beehives naturally split – which means the hotel has now seeded the local ecosystem with two hives of honey bees and a new Queen Bee has been born.
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