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Cinnamon Grand Colombo awarded Green Globe Certification for Eco-friendly Sri Lanka holidays

The Cinnamon Grand Colombo is now a Green Globe certified eco-resort recognised for its ongoing efforts at providing sustainable Sri Lanka holidays for all guests and the wider community involved with a variety of eco-friendly projects and green standards

Cinnamon Grand Colombo awarded Green Globe Certification for Eco-friendly Sri Lanka holidays

Last 19th August 2011, Green Globe, the organisation that assesses and certifies green buildings worldwide for commercial and hospitality use, recently announced their awarding of a Green Globe certification to the Cinnamon Grand Colombo hotel in Sri Lanka, for the sustainability of the property's management and operations.

With this new certification recognising the hotel's efforts in implementing eco-friendly guidelines and standards, the Cinnamon Grand Colombo positions itself as one of the most desired resorts for green Sri Lanka holidays. With a range of sustainable measures that range from energy-efficient management systems (EMS) in all guest rooms, to certified biodegradable carpets, waste sorting and recycling, to the use of only biodegradable cosmetic and cleaning products, the hotel has not cut corners in ensuring the property peacefully coexists with the lush environment that surrounds it and gives back to the community by selling the waste of organic food products to farmers as animal feed. In addition, the Cinnamon Grand Colombo has become one of the few Sri Lanka hotels to fit all its guest rooms with CFL and LED bulbs, as well as include a change-out plan for making all lighting in the banquet halls LEDs.

And the hotel's eco-efficiency traits certainly don't end there, as the property goes as far as manufacturing its own bottled drinking water, served exclusively within the hotel's grounds. For eco-friendly Sri Lanka holidays, the Cinnamon Grand has gone beyond and above the usual Green Globe Certification standards and has included environmental education in its agenda. Environmental sustainability lessons are given at Nuga Gama Restaurant, which hosts children from local communities. Through this programme children are provided with free environmental education based on the restaurant's natural surroundings, which includes a great abundance of various plant species and compost areas where all garden waste is deposited. Children are also taught about energy and water conservation as well as waste management practises. Guests staying at the hotel during their holidays in Sri Lanka can also learn about the local environment through the sale of Environmental Wisdom Cards' at Nuga Gama, the proceeds of which are returned back to the community in the form of investment in conservation projects.

"The Cinnamon Grand is a landmark in Colombo. It is both a luxury hotel for leisure travellers, and just as importantly a major conference and meeting venue serving Sri Lanka’s capital city." - said Green Globe Certification CEO, Guido Bauer when announcing the hotel's new green certification.

"Cinnamon Grand has shown leadership in staff education with a recent guest lecture by Sri Lanka’s leading environmentalist, Professor Sarath Kotogama from the Environmental Science Department, University of Colombo. This education of staff and management on key concepts of sustainability and biodiversity was an exceptional contribution by the hotel", - he went on to add.

And yet, there's more as the hotel transforms discarded promotional banners into fashionable handbags that are then sold at the hotel's boutique. This fashion "Banners to Bags" initiative is part of the hotel's '365 ways to save the earth' programme, where hotel staff are provided with an environmental message or tip each day at the morning briefing. In addition, all receipts from the sale of the handbags are donated to the local Children’s Cancer Ward at Maharagama Hospital.

Rohan Karr, Cinnamon Grand Colombo's General Manager said upon being bestowed with the Green Globe award: "The certification reiterates the hotel’s commitment to infuse the triple bottom line philosophy into the hotel’s daily operations and take sustainability seriously and pro-actively.

"The commitment of the hotel’s management and employees to re-evaluate the way the hotel conducted business and the mindset change that transcended into daily actions, were the key contributory factors that resulted in Cinnamon Grand obtaining Green Globe credentials.

"We will continue to further improve our business model to establish a common and global approach to environmental, employer and social sustainability."

Other hotel areas that are to receive the touch of a green makeover include new sensor operated taps being installed in the restaurants, and dual flush toilets and low-flow aerat ors for faucets. The hotel is also looking at other eco-friendly aspects that include a stronger commitment to sustainable sourcing and the favouring of certified suppliers and Green Globe certified products, all of which will contribute to greener holidays to Sri Lanka, appealing to a wider number of eco-concerned travellers worldwide.

Ruchi Gunewardene, Director at Sting Consultants talks about some of the aspect that make green holidays at the Cinnamon Grand Colombo so great: "The hotel creates awareness of local cultures through its outdoor restaurant Nuga Gama - 'the village in the city', where an authentic rural village experience has been created in the heart of Colombo. Apart from serving exclusively indigenous foods, the restaurant also promotes an understanding of local cultures through the displaying and sale of handicrafts and art products (made by villagers to whom the proceeds are returned), through weekly cultural shows and programmes, and through active education of guests by restaurant staff’.

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