Ms. Mere Rakoroi, Tanoa Plaza General Manager, Group Sales Executive.
Tourism is a very important sector in the Pacific, more so in Fiji. For this reason, one of the sectors of focus of the Pacific Green Business Centre is the promotion of sustainability in the tourism industry. The transition of the tourism sector to a more sustainable tourism model would go a long way in the country’s transition to a Green Economy. Environmentally conscious tourists and visitors are today being more selective who they give business to, selecting those with better environmental credentials over others. As Conference venues, organisations are also starting to become increasingly selective on the venues they choose for their events opting for those that strive for greater sustainability. For example, the PIDF has recently compiled a green events checklist to ensure their events are as sustainable as possible. This interview is our first with an established hotel group. Ms. Rakoroi discusses with us the Tanoa Group’s initiatives and plans to become more sustainable.
Q1. What would you describe as the vision of Tanoa Hotels in terms of transitioning to a greener business model?
Being a local brand, the Tanoa Hotels has Fiji at heart. Along with our aim to promote destination Fiji, we also strive to promote local talent and local produce.
Green initiatives are being promoted and practiced in the hotels. We acknowledge the fact that our business has a huge impact on the environment and failure to take care of our environment today will inevitably lead to it not being able to do the same for us, and future generations.
Tanoa Hotels strives to continually minimize environmental impact where possible and take necessary measures to sustain the environment.
Q2. What can Tanoa do in the short and medium/long term to bring about this transition?
Continuous, consistent practice will enable us to continue appreciating and preserving the environment we do business in. Initiatives such as recycling and reuse reduces waste and using relevant waste from our kitchen as compost for local gardens reduces costs and also aids in our efforts to become more environmentally sustainable.
A way to maintain consistency is to continually train and educate staff on green practices thus creating more awareness that will enable everyone in the company to share the same goal.
Q3. With some building renovations completed and others in the investment pipeline, were Green Building Designs employed to some extent?
Yes, these have been considered. One of these is the installation of sky light roofing. This enables natural lighting to be utilized instead of having to turn on lights during the daytime.
Q4. Have energy-saving measures, such as energy management systems, fluorescent bulbs, ceiling fans, motion sensors for public rest rooms, meeting rooms, exercise rooms, etc., been introduced at Tanoa Hotels?
To reduce energy consumption, measures such as installation of LED lights, usage of energy rated refrigerators have being employed.
Additionally, notices are placed around the hotels to turn off lights and other electrical appliances when not in use.
Q5. Now that we have established a Pacific Green Business Centre (PGBC), what sort of assistance could the PGBC provide Tanoa to help with this transition?
The Pacific Green Business Centre can support us by having sessions with the senior management team and provide expert insight into broader ways to sustainability. Industry practices and proven methods with statistics (if related) could provide greater insight.
Short training and awareness sessions on practical ways to ensure responsibility around the environment for the operational staff would be beneficial as well.
Note: If you enjoyed reading this Exec Interview you may also enjoy reading our other previous interviews. You can find them here.