The First Group Hotels, one of Dubai’s leading lifestyle hospitality operators, is steering the way in environmentally-friendly practices in the industry with a range of sustainability initiatives mapped out for 2023.
The fast-growing firm, which operates The First Collection lifestyle hotel brand in Dubai, alongside leading third-party upscale hotel properties including Wyndham Dubai Marina and TRYP by Wyndham Dubai, was one of the city’s first major operators to eliminate plastic bottle usage in 2019, followed by initiatives to reduce water and energy consumption and adopt waste recycling and elimination of plastic key cards across its portfolio in Q4 2022.
These steps have already led to a significant reduction in The First Group Hotels’ environmental footprint, reducing its collective carbon emissions output while significantly reducing operational costs.
Furthering the sustainability agenda this year, the group recently entered into an agreement with UK-based hotel amenities supplier Gilchrist & Soames to exclusively use its environmentally friendly Zero% range of liquid soaps and shampoos, which are made from all-natural ingredients and feature 100% recycled and reusable packaging, in all guestrooms across hotels in the portfolio. The introduction of these products will eliminate more than 400,000 plastic containers being disposed of as waste annually.
The First Group Hotels also introduced the ‘Recycling First’ waste management programme in Q4 2022, which is on track to meet its target of recycling 15% of all daily waste produced across its hotel portfolio by mid-2023, up from the current 2% that has been achieved. The programme has also generated cost savings of approximately US$35,000 annually, which is set to rise as new initiatives are rolled out across the portfolio.
In an effort to uphold the highest standards of sustainability as it rolls out these new initiatives, the hotel group will work towards international benchmarking and certification, recognise and honour sustainability champions across the organisation, and educate and involve guests and partners in the green journey.
“We have received an overwhelmingly positive response from our guests toward our sustainability initiatives,” says Karim Abdelhamid, Vice President of Hotel Operations for The First Group. “The majority of international travellers are now committed to protecting the planet and value hotel and tourism operators who are conscious about the environment and want to make a difference in the global fight against climate change.”
“By measuring our operations against international benchmarks, we are also setting a precedent for the industry and building brand recognition and loyalty among our guests and partners.”