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voco Celebrates First Year

November 21, 2019 Hotel News No Comments Email Email

In signature playful charm, voco is shaking up first anniversary traditions, leaving behind the ‘paper’ gift and celebrating with a roundup of sustainability initiatives to eliminate paper, waste and do good for the environment. The initiatives bolster a remarkable first year of sustainable milestones for the brand, with its ‘tread lightly’ philosophy playing a foundational role from the first voco on the Gold Coast all the way to Dubai, Cardiff and Oxford.

A first ‘paper’ anniversary – minus the paper!

voco™ Gold Coast and voco™ Kirkton Park Hunter Valley have extended the ‘tread lightly’ philosophy with all-new paperless check-out initiatives. From today, both hotels commence the pledge to further reduce paper with a paperless check-out experience, including all receipts, invoices and IHG Rewards Club points updates issued via email*.

Continuing the pledge to do good, voco Kirkton Park has rolled out PRESSHUB for guests across the estate, enabling them to log in and access newspaper and magazine content digitally. The complimentary access has resulted in a significant reduction of paper throughout the hotel and guestrooms.

A good night’s sleep that’s good for the environment

Over 150 recycled plastic bottles are put to good use in voco guest rooms, turning plastic waste into a sustainable sleep with high quality bedding. Guests can rest easy knowing the voco bedding is made from 100 per cent recycled materials, while the linen produced in line with the Better Cotton Initiative supports sustainable cotton harvesting. To date, the initiative has equated to over half a million bottles that have been recycled to make voco bedding across the hotels.

Eco-friendly finishes extend to the bathroom with aerated shower heads to support the reduction of water usage and lowering energy consumption for water heating, while indulgent large-format amenities continues the ambition to reduce plastic waste, resulting in up to 80 per cent less plastic waste (compared to bathroom miniatures). ‘Green ingredients’ also take centre stage with sustainably-sourced amenity partners using renewable or plant-based origins.

Trees for bees and communities

Designed to future-proof the iconic Hunter Valley region, voco Kirkton Park has unveiled its ‘Trees for Bees’ program to offset the carbon footprint from meetings and events. Based off an average 70-person event, Australian organisation Carbon Neutral has estimated the expected emission is 44.25 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (COe) – or, simply, one tree per delegate. In addition to voco Kirkton Park’s solar farm, onsite vegetable garden and bee farm, the hotel will now plant one tree per event to support local biodiversity and reduce the environmental impact of events held at the hotel. Year to date, voco Kirkton Park has reduced its carbon emissions by 20 per cent, water usage by 13 per cent and increased recycling by 26 per cent.

voco Life: Sustainably sourced dining

Proving paddock to plate is more than lip-service, voco hotels across the globe have rolled out various initiatives to drive sustainable dining. voco Kirkton Park offers an interactive vegetable garden which is utilised daily and celebrates the connection between farmer, gardener and chef. At optimum, the garden can provide over 60 per cent of produce in the restaurants, with aim to grow to over 80 per cent.

Both voco hotels in Australia are home to several beehives, including more than 300,000 bees and a resident beekeeper at voco Gold Coast. Honey and honeycomb are used throughout the hotel, while signature ingredients including lavender are used in shortbread biscuits for guests. At voco Kirkton Park, six signature cocktails have been curated using estate grown botanicals, including rosemary, chili, lavender, mint and rose, showcasing its passion for local produce.

Gold Coast’s partnership with Gold Coast City Council has seen its first year recycling all food and scrap waste from the kitchens, transforming waste into garden mulch which is transitioned onto garden beds and in parks and grounds, and ultimately reducing the amount of water for these public spaces.

voco creating sustainable communities in the UK

Stepping up its pledge to conserve its surrounds, voco® Oxford Thames has initiated a unique housing program for owls. The hotel announced it is partnering with local charity Chrissie’s Owls Sanctuary to support conservation efforts in protecting the local owl population. The partnership with Chrissie’s Owls Sanctuary will see voco Oxford Thames install owl nesting boxes within the hotel gardens to create a safe breeding ground for the birds. All nesting boxes should be in place at this time of the year, ready for next year’s nesting season.

A distinguishable marker of the voco brand is its three hallmark mascots, each one representing a different element of the hotel guest experience. One of the mascots is the notable owl, representing ‘Me Time’ – cosy bedrooms, luxurious amenities and a relaxing environment. As one of its brand emblems, voco Oxford Thames instinctively wanted to help protect these birds.

Being on the River Thames and set in 30 acres of parkland, wildlife also plays an important role at voco Oxford Thames which has introduced two bee colonies earlier this year. Not only is the hotel helping to protect the bee population and improve local biodiversity, guests will soon be able to benefit from the onsite honey production as part of the restaurant menu.

Earlier this month voco® St. John’s Solihull announced a partnership with Solihull Council to support its ‘Urban Forestry’ strategy. Surrounded by leafy suburbs and known as ‘Urbs in Rure’ (the Town in the Country), trees within developed areas, parks, open spaces and traditional orchards are an integral part of the Borough’s woodlands, as they provide additional habitat for wildlife, connectivity between habitats and contribute to the overall green and ‘leafy’ character of the Borough. As part of the partnership, Malvern Park in Solihull town centre will see the introduction of an orchard in late November – coinciding with National Tree Week (23rd November – 1st December). The orchard will consist of cherry, apple, pear trees and will be accessible to the public all year round.

The voco brand made its global debut in Surfers Paradise with the opening of voco Gold Coast in November 2018. Its bold, playful charm and bright yellow accents set voco apart as IHG’s newest upscale brand, full of individual spirit and signature voco moments. Since then, IHG has opened six voco hotels across the globe and has another 14 in the pipeline, including voco Melbourne Central, voco Yarra Valley and voco Sydney Central which will open by 2021.

voco continues its ambition to ‘tread lightly’ as it continues to grow and expand across the globe. For more information please visit our website here.

*Digital format will be first preference for all guest check-out.

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