06 June 2018

Meliá Hotels International to eliminate single-use plastics in all its hotels in 2018

  • Gabriel Escarrer highlighted the positive impact the decision will have: in 2017 more than 22 million plastic bottles were consumed in Company hotels
  • Elimination will avoid more than 15 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year generated by waste disposal
  • This "further step in Meliá's fight against climate change" affects bottles, cups, bags, straws and coasters which will immediately be replaced by reusable materials

The Executive Vice President and CEO of Meliá made the announcement during his speech at the Group’s General Shareholders’ Meeting, a decision justified by the fact that "great customer experiences have to be compatible with respect for the planet, and plastic pollution is a global challenge which affects all destinations."

The Meliá CEO recalled that the prestigious "Carbon Disclosure Project" index has named Meliá one of the world's leading companies in the fight against climate change. Escarrer reminded the audience that "combatting climate change and reducing emissions has been part of our strategy for years, with well-established energy efficiency programmes in hotels and agreements with suppliers regarding the exclusive use of renewable energy, and was recently further ratified by the Company assuming the commitments defined at the Paris Climate Summit."

Escarrer highlighted the importance of the tourism industry mobilizing to combat climate change. According to the Global Risk Report, four of the five biggest risks for the industry over the next 10 years are related to climate change, including extreme weather events, natural disasters or water shortages. "The tourism business depends to a large extent on the sustainability of destinations," he said, "something of which we are very aware at Meliá as an international leader in resort hotels."

For the Meliá CEO, the decision to eliminate single-use plastics from its entire value chain will have a significant impact. On the one hand reducing pollution, in 2017 alone more than 22 million plastic bottles were consumed in Company hotels, and on the other leveraging the capacity of Meliá to raise awareness about this global issue among the almost 30 million customers who stay in Company hotels every year. Escarrer stated that, "great customer experiences have to be compatible with respect for the planet.", and also mentioned that climate change is one of the material issues that is of greatest interest to its stakeholders, as stated in its Annual Report.

The Company has already drawn up a roadmap to replace single-use plastics (bottles, cups, bags, coasters and straws etc.) with biodegradable or environmentally-friendly alternatives before the end of 2018, and also from in-room cosmetics as soon as possible.

Gabriel Escarrer firmly believes in the fundamental role that companies must play in contributing to the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, and affirmed that "the business world, institutions and society in general has to get involved and work together in combatting climate change and tackling other major global challenges."

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