On March, 11th March, 2020, MVB Indonesia organised their Sustainable Hospitality Conference at the Institut Français d'Indonésie (IFI) Thamrin Jakarta, supported by DANONE-AQUA and BOCA Espresso. The conference marked the first conference or seminar from the series of seminars that will be held by MVB Indonesia in their 2020 program.
The Sustainable Hospitality Conference aimed to discuss hot issues related to the hospitality industry such as how consumers are increasingly turning to life-enhancing experiences and travel in preference to consumerism and the aquisition of goods. Also what effect and impact is tourism or ‘over-tourism’ having on the environmental, social and eco systems of global tourist destinations. And how we change the “mindset” of the hospitality industry to implement the right waste management systems and setting examples of what they can do to help the environment.
These concerns were raised by experts as part of their presentations as they also shared their valuable insights and solutions to the problems occurring all around the world.
The Conference was opened by MVB Chairman, Alistair Speirs who expressed his appreciation to all guests and speakers who with the Covid-19 outbreak situation were still willing to participate in the event, but with sanitizing and social distancing as SOPs. He also said that as the most visible and interactive of all the service industries, the travel, hotel and restaurant businesses need to set examples for not only business but the consumers they are serving.
The Conference was organized in three panels with different subjects startin with the first panel who’s theme was Quality vs Quantity : How to Reduce Visitor Numbers but Retain Profitability. The presenting speakers were Wiwik Mahdayani of Desma Center who talked about carrying capacity as the key to success and each destination has different capacities which may vary by season, by event schedules or by flow within the destination- which ALL needs anaylsed and careful planned. And Susan Santos de Cardenas of the Global Sustainable Tourism Foundation, who gave eloquent examples of ways to reduce the number of tourists by focusing on high-value markets. She emphasized on the importance for private sector to works together with government to ensure green destinations standards.
The conference continued with the second panel, with the theme of How to change the Paradigm of the Hospitality Industry, whereby the Restaurant and Café industry should work closer with the recycling industry and its suppliers to create seamless sustainable supply chains.
These Panellists came from industries who have taken steps ahead in changing the paradigm of the Hospitality Industry. Ratih Anggraeni, Senior Manager Sustainability of Danone-Aquapresented about how they are making the value chain sustainable by protecting water ecosystems, reducing the environmental impact by innovative sustainable packaging of all of their products. Then came the perspective of Waste Management expert, M. Bijaksana Junerosano, Founder and President Director of Waste4Change talked about how in a year, garbage from commercial areas can build the 10 tallest buildings in Jakarta, as the sector in hospitality and tourism needs to including responsible waste management from supply chain until the end service/product. After gaining expertise from waste management, the conference moved to the next panelist who has embedded ‘responsible’ into all Starbucks stores in Indonesia, presented by Anthony Cottan, President Director of Starbucks who detailed the changes they made by replacing plastic to paper straws and the campaign to reduce waste at all their stores. Last panelist of this session was Bo Holmgreen, Founder and CEO of Scholars of Sustenance who highlighted the importance of food equity whereas there is “Enough Food for 10 Billion people and we are just 7.7 Billion yet 1 Billion of us are hungry and 1 Billion of us are obese”, this bring perspective of what the hospitality industry’s ‘leftover’ food can do to increase nutrition and create happy smiles on needy people, its only a matter of distribution. This session was moderated by Eamonn Sadler as CEO of MVB International.
The last and third panel of the conference debated on “Protecting the Future” and featured on how the hotel industry has to change its practices, the food industry needs to learn about nature and the whole industry has to change its source of materials to protect the future. And to present this subject was Kevin Girard of Hilton Bandung Hotel, who talked about Travel with Purpose as the tagline of Hilton Bandung’s contribution to manage the waste reduction within the hotel services, waste segregation at kitchen and using all the organic waste to make their own composting site, buying food locally and growing together with the community, since it is the core of success in managing the sustainability hotel industry. The theme was continued by David Christian of Evo & Co. as our last presenter who talked about alternative packaging plastic-free and hence ensuring the sustainability of the supply chain, reducing the waste and increasing efficiency of products in the hospitality industries.
After a very exciting Q &A session the conference then closed with a summary and conclusion by Alistair Speirs, who was very enthusiastic about the results.