Armed with a firm belief that a sustainable future is a better future, City of Dreams Manila steps up its strategies to meet sustainability targets by 2030 aligned with the goal of its parent company Melco Resorts & Entertainment (Melco).
Despite the challenges brought by the pandemic, the integrated resort has persisted on undertaking projects anchored on its core values of service for colleagues, guests, community, and the environment.
The company’s sustainability strategy led by Melco Chairman and CEO Lawrence Ho dubbed “Above and Beyond” outlines ambitious goals including carbon neutral resorts and zero-waste resorts by 2030. In adherence, City of Dreams Manila’s sustainability endeavors are focused on the environment (renewable energy, energy efficiency, zero waste initiatives, reduction in water consumption, recycling, digitalization of processes, sustainable gardening or organic urban farming; economy (sustainable sourcing and support to local small and medium enterprises) and social responsibility (looking after colleagues’ welfare, workforce diversity and trainings, and extending a helping hand to communities needing of aid through community development and volunteerism programs).
City of Dreams Manila Property President Geoff Andres said, “We are committed to seamlessly integrate sustainability in our guests’ experience whether it be in our restaurants, in our hotel rooms, even in our gaming and entertainment facilities. Inspired by the “Above and Beyond” ethos, we will continue to progress further with our green undertakings and soldier on contributing to a more sustainable future.”
A testament to the resort’s commitment to sustainability is the 2022-2024 ASEAN Green Hotel Award presented to the three luxury hotels on property – Nüwa Manila, Nobu Hotel and Hyatt Regency Manila – for their environment-friendly principles that include resource consumption reduction and local community involvement. Melco has also been recognized at the 2019 Sustainable Business Awards (SBA) Philippines for its talent development program for its workforce in both Manila and Macau, as well as its energy efficiency efforts to tackle climate change at City of Dreams Manila.
Renewable Energy. Since its opening, City of Dreams Manila has been initiating corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities and efforts geared towards environmental protection. This advocacy further intensified in 2019, with the launch of Melco’s global “Above and Beyond” sustainability strategy, as City of Dreams Manila initiated harnessing of renewable energy with the installation of 3,120 PV solar panels at the topmost floor of its parking building. Being the first integrated resort in the country to utilize solar solutions, the property’s solar panels have been fully operational since the beginning of 2020 and can generate 1.2MWh at full capacity. On an annual basis, the panels can generate over 1,600 MWh, which is equivalent to the amount of CO2 absorbed by close to 19,000 tree seedlings grown for 10 years or charging over 139 million smartphones in a year.
Reducing water consumption. In reducing water consumption, treated greywater is being reused in the property’s cooling towers. Filtered and monitored to ensure that water quality meets the required health standards, the reused wastewater is estimated to save about 88 Olympic-sized swimming pools worth of water or about 219,000 m3 annually, when business is back to normal, saving the same amount of water from the city’s supply. Looking for more ways to reduce water consumption, the property’s laundry wastewater is also being reused for toilet flush in employees’ locker rooms.
Elimination of single-use plastic. With Melco as a signatory to the Global Tourism Plastic Initiative, led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with UN Environment, City of Dreams Manila continuously addresses the elimination of problematic plastic. Since 2020, the property has reported a substantial reduction of plastic waste through replacement of non-biodegradable materials with sustainable alternatives including the use of bagasse packaging materials for take away boxes, resealable paper pouches for chocolates, use of cardboard boxes replacing acetate boxes, greaseproof paper for sandwiches, among others.
Single-use plastic bottled water in all gaming areas have been eliminated, and small toiletry amenity bottles in hotel rooms are replaced with reusable, refillable and convenient pump bottles.
Onsite water filtration plant. To bolster this initiative, the resort has installed an onsite water filtration plant and a bottling system with NORDAQ. This is projected to result in the elimination of 11,000 single-use plastic bottles from hotel rooms per day, equivalent to more than 4 million single-use plastic bottles per year.
Other programs. To lower the property’s environmental impact, various initiatives include: reduction of food waste through an on-site vermicomposting system; growing and using of own herbs and spices at the property’s herb garden; recycling of used coffee capsules with Nespresso, partnerships with non-government organizations that collect recyclable plastics; elimination of soap waste through its “Soap for Hope” program; implementation of food waste programs with the deployment of Winnow system, an AI technology that aims to reduce plate waste and overproduction of food served at the employee’s cafeteria; recycling of used kitchen oil from F&B outlets, to be used as biofuel; and digitalization of products and services such as the use of the Melco app for guests’ convenience in hotel and/or restaurant bookings; among other endeavors.
The resort also practices sustainable sourcing, with 86% of its procurement consisting of local products in support of social, ethical, and environmentally responsible local Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the country. It adopts a holistic and sustainable coffee program for which it partners with local coffee farmers through the Philippine Coffee Board Inc; procures rice that are 100% chemical-free and 100% traceable – from grain sourcing to planting and processing – from the fertile farmlands of Alangalang, Leyte through its partnership with Chen Yi Agventures, a fully integrated and sustainable rice business behind the brand Dalisay Rice otherwise known as Renucci Rice; sources fresh vegetable produce grown in hydroponics from Aba Pardes Agritech Corporation; and purchases responsibly-sourced seafood from local fisheries and farms through sustainable seafood companies such as Meliomar and SeaTraceability, Inc., whose business practices align with the integrated resort’s vision to contribute in the preservation of marine ecosystems and the livelihoods of communities that depend on them. Digitizing the supply chain was also prioritized with the implementation of a new P2P (purchase to pay) procurement system, allowing the property to achieve supply chain sustainability targets, such as going paperless in receiving and warehouse processes, among others.
One of City of Dreams Manila’s most recent sustainable initiatives is switching to a 100% use of cage-free eggs across all its restaurants. Cage-free eggs are known to be more food safe, of higher quality, and at the same time, more humane to animals. The first among the integrated resorts in the country to fully adopt the initiative, the commitment was made possible through partnering with Lever Foundation, an international animal welfare non-profit organization that helps leading food companies in the Philippines and across the Asia Pacific Region in upgrading their protein sourcing for a more humane, safe and sustainable supply chain, with a particular focus on cage-free eggs. Currently, the property sources cage-free eggs from Bounty Fresh Eggs, one of the largest egg producers in the country.
To bolster the property’s sustainability programs and in recognition of the importance of each colleagues’ participation in the success of the property’s initiatives, City of Dreams Manila formed a sustainability committee composed of colleagues from different departments to initiate sustainability projects. Trainings for new hired colleagues to engage them on Melco’s sustainability programs, goals, and initiatives are regularly implemented to promote awareness and drive employee responsibility. Employee surveys are also conducted annually to help the management improve its undertakings.
As businesses continue to navigate the uncertainties resulting from the pandemic, City of Dreams Manila continues to align its green activities with Melco’s “Above and Beyond“ sustainability strategy, firmly set on taking positive strides towards a more sustainable future by being a force of good not only in the tourism industry but for the people and the planet.