18 May 2017
Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC) has urged hotels in Qatar to seek environmental sustainability certification to comply with the new hotel classification system being implemented by Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA), enhance the quality of their operation and become more competitive amid the increasing number of hotels in the country.
“In the new classification system regulations of QTA, there are a number of environmental sustainability requirements under the mandatory criteria such as energy consumption and waste segregation, in addition to those that fall under the rating criteria,” said Hamoda Youssef, Communications Head and Sustainability Consultant at QGBC.
Speaking on “Sustainable Hospitality in Qatar” at the 11th Hotelier Summit yesterday, Youssef underscored the advantages of hotels achieving green certification.
“Operational expenses are increasing and at the same time the market is slowing down. There will be rise in the number of rooms for World Cup 2022 which will need up to 60,000 rooms, so the competition is increasing. To keep your quality you have to be intelligent and in our opinion utilizing sustainability certification system is the right answer to maintain quality and optimize operation cost,” he stressed.
He cited Green Key, a leading sustainability certification entity which has certified more than 2,600 hotels in 55 countries using various criteria such as staff engagement, environmental management, guest information, water and energy, food and beverage, waste administrative indoor environment, green area, green activities and corporate social responsibility.
“It’s not just environmental sustainability but the overall aspect of the establishment is looked into which makes it heavily aligned with QTA’s new classification system - from mandatory requirements to rating and scoring criteria,” he said.
Guest room requirements, smoking policy, business centres, staff training and development, environmental sustainability requirements, water filtering and landscaping are among the mandatory requirements he mentioned.
“Having certification system in place will not only help you get those additional points, but also going through a certification process will help you achieve the mandatory requirements, “ he said.
As a non-government entity, QGBC provides a number of opportunities to the hospitality sector such as sharing best practices, finding solutions for hotels to meet the requirements, providing training and education and site visits to find ways to optimize performance, he added.
© The Peninsula 2017