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An Industry First: Fairmont Singapore and Swissôtel The Stamford Debuts Urban Aquaponics Garden

November 20, 2019 Hotel News No Comments Email Email

In a concerted move that belies its strong commitment to sustainability, Fairmont Singapore and Swissôtel The Stamford announced this weekend the launch of the Industry’s first urban aquaponics garden, that will not only cater to a rising demand among guests for fresh quality produce, but also actively supports Singapore’s goal of producing 30% of its nutritional needs locally by 2030. Announced in March this year, the “30 by 30” goal calls for one-third of the food that Singapore needs to be home-grown by 2030.

The property’s 450m2 aquaponics garden will supply produce that’ll meet an estimated 30% of vegetable and 10% of fresh fish needs across the Hotels every month. The produce grown will be phased in and used in various outlets within the hotel complex.

“Over 90% of food consumed in Singapore is imported. As a leading hotel group and a purpose-driven organisation, we have a stake in building a more sustainable Asia for future generations. We want to do our part, not only in aligning with the Singapore government’s 30 by 30 vision, but also enhancing our guests’ dining experience by serving them only the freshest, healthiest produce, obtained in the most sustainable way possible,” said Marcus Hanna, General Manager of Fairmont Singapore and Swissôtel The Stamford.

Aquaponics combines aquaculture – the growing of fish and other aquatic life – with hydroponics, which is growing plants without soil. It is a sustainable, pesticide-free solution to traditional methods with substantially higher yields while requiring less water, space and labour. It is a sustainable method in which a full meal can be grown, in just one system. Fish and vegetables grow together in an integrated system – fish waste is converted to nitrates, which the vegetables use as fertilizers; while the latter filter and clean the water for the fish, lowering the consumption of water as compared to soil gardening.

The aquaponics solution at Fairmont Singapore and Swissôtel The Stamford is the result of months of careful and thorough research, looking at the best possible way to meet demand among guests and consumers for fresh food; optimise limited space for growing produce; and to save water and minimise water wastage.

“We champion innovation and are constantly looking at ways to enhance overall guest experience and improve operational efficiencies. Aquaponics ticked the boxes for us and provided a wonderful means for us to produce the volume of food we need on property within a short turnaround. We are hopeful that this breakthrough for the hospitality industry will inspire other companies to help drive a positive movement towards greater sustainability for the community at large.” added Hanna.

“We see great potential in how this will enable us to lower water usage and power consumption as we make affirmative contributions to future global food security. This also greatly reduces carbon footprint of food as hotels can now produce and supply more of what we need to use, ” said Hanna.

Aquaponics is just one of many sustainability initiatives at Fairmont Singapore and Swissôtel The Stamford. The Hotels also deploys an AI system to analyse and minimise food waste. An Eco-Wiz food digester system converts leftover food into water and compost, and a food waste reduction programme with waste management firm Good For Food helps reduce the amount of food sent to landfills.

Additionally, Fairmont Singapore’s new South Tower rooms and suites come with Swisspro fresh water taps installed – eliminating the need for single-use plastic bottled water. Similarly at Raffles City Convention Centre, plastic water bottles that used to be provided in the meeting rooms have since been replaced by water dispensers that are conveniently available within easy access of event spaces; and each function room is furnished with re-fillable glass carafes.

Fairmont Singapore and Swissôtel The Stamford also sources for sustainable produce where possible. It does not use endangered fish, and Fairmont Singapore was the first hotel in Singapore to stop serving sharks fin. The Hotels work with local oyster farmers for SKAI’s brunch concept; and unconsumed bread from breakfast service is given daily to local charity, Food from the Heart, which supports families in need.

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