Each hotel has created its own action plan. Each hotel has created its own action plan.

In January of this year,  Emaar Hospitality Group rolled out The Pearl Pledge, a sustainability campaign that promotes marine conservation and the sustainable use of water across the group’s properties, including hotels, serviced residences, restaurants, and leisure  attractions.

Planned sustainability best practices at the group’s hotels include sustainable water use, strengthening awareness on the need to conserve ocean and marine resources, decreasing the use of plastic bottles, minimising printing of papers, reducing food wastage, and successfully segregating waste into plastics, aluminium and metals, paper and cardboard, and organic material.


Under the Pearl Pledge, Emaar Hospitality Group is aiming to decrease its consumption of energy and water by 30% and 25% respectively, both by 2021. Additionally, the group is also looking to cut down the amount of waste it generates, and has set an ambitious target of diverting 75% of waste away from landfill.

Emaar Hospitality Group CEO Olivier Harnisch told Hotelier Middle East: “The entire exercise began in July 2018, with a steering committee consisting of senior managers from the head office, general managers and chief engineers. This allowed us to recognise the purpose of why we are aiming to become sustainable. Thereafter, the formation of teams and adoption of actions plans was the next phase.

“Simultaneously, Sara Al Liusie, our sustainability lead and e25 partner, finalised the central operations and marketing guidelines across Emaar Hospitality Group. The structure ensured roles are not duplicated, and there is consistency across all initiatives under The Pearl Pledge campaign.”


To conserve energy, Emaar Hospitality is set to replace all incandescent bulbs with LEDs and is looking at incorporating the use of electric cars and solar energy. Individual properties will also carry out lighting audits at the end of each day to ensure that lights are off, and use motion activated lights to improve efficiency. At present, the audit is carried out manually during security rounds; however, the group will invest in smart technology to monitor energy and light usage in the future.

As part of its water conservation efforts, the group has installed water saving aerators to decrease the flow of water in faucets in guest bathrooms, while infrared activated and push taps have been installed in kitchens and toilets. Water audits are also in place to ensure there are no leakages.

Kitchen staff are being trained to use a pre-rinse spray gun to conserve water. And installing a sub-metering system across the group’s properties will alert the team in case resource use exceeds the set limit.

Group properties will also track water consumption with a data logger, which will help spot any usual trends of increasing water consumption which cannot be associated with normal operational activities.

“Emerging technology has the potential to transform water and energy management. We are integrating both – an intuitive approach and advanced technology at data collection and infrastructure level to achieve our sustainability goals. For example, we are updating our systems with more sophisticated technology which will automatically measure and track various data points to ensure we stay on track,” Harnisch said.

The new initiatives are being implemented by a “Green team”, headed up by a “champion” at each property. Each hotel has created its own action plan, which is unique to its operation. The action plan consists of four main areas: management, water, energy, and waste. SMART goals have been created in each of these areas to ensure the properties contribute to the overall group objective of decreasing consumption and conserving resources.


While training staff has been an important aspect of getting the group ready to roll out The Pearl Pledge, one of the main challenges the team faced was implementing the changes in a way that had the least impact on everyday operations, Harnisch stated.

He said: “For example, does one use paper straws or PLA straws? Which one is recyclable, and has the least environmental impact in its production? Do we even need a straw to begin with? How about children or people with disabilities who require a straw? We explored all possible circumstances and considered every detail through in-depth investigation and research.”

As part of the group’s food wastage reduction programme, Emaar Hospitality has adopted the Winnow solutions system, which allows restaurant and hotel kitchens to track how and what food is wasted in real time and through regular reporting. The system has allowed Emaar to save the equivalent of 216,057 meals, reduced food wastage by approximately 70%, and achieved annualised savings of AED 1.8 million as compared to baseline level, year-to-date, Harnisch said.

Story continues below