TravTalk Middle East together with Bahi Ajman Palace Hotel and Ajman Department of Tourism Development conducted a very special panel discussion under the theme “Shaping the sustainability future in businesses.” Iftikhar Hamdani Area General Manager Bahi Ajman Palace Hotel and Coral Beach Resort Sharjah moderated the event with seven panellists. Among the panellists were Khadija Mohammed Turki – Tourism Marketing & Promotion Expert – Ajman Department of Tourism Development, Roxana Jaffer – CEO – Sovereign Hotels Ltd, Sanith de Silva Wijeyaratne – Director Climate and Conservation Consortium, Shubhojit Mahalonobis – Director and Managing Partner -Danube Home and Hospitality Solutions, John Horgan – Director – Eco Burner, John Whaley – CEO – Integrity Business Solutions and Amish Chok
The keynote speaker opening the floor was young sustainability advocate Sarim Hamdani who shared that sustainability is the need of the hour as there will be severe consequences for the next generation if we don’t take any action at this point of time.
Iftikhar Hamdani Area General Manager Bahi Ajman Palace Hotel and Coral Beach Resort Sharjah shared that it was utmost important to get all businesses involved in making a change. Hamdani has been an advocate over the past many years for sustainability. It was not just a mere project, but for him a passion to make that simple change in life to prepare for the future.
Khadija Mohammed Turki – Tourism Marketing & Promotion Expert – Ajman Department of Tourism Development shared the various sustainable tourism practices carried out by the Ajman tourism department as a government entity and the collaboration with public and private sector which is a key important aspect in order to promote the sustainability goals.
Roxana Jaffer – CEO Sovereign Hotels reiterated the necessity to focus on people, planet and profit which are three important aspects to focus on especially in the hospitality industry.
We learnt something really interesting with Shubhojit Mahalonobis – Director and Managing Partner -Danube Home and Hospitality Solutions shared about their global campaign on Aerowater where you can condense water from the humidity and how they are looking at supplying water to the African region as water is a scarcity and it is important that they bring that water to the doorstep of the people. Another example was the oil rigs which need water, but they currently helicopter the water hence they are comingup with new methods to deliver that water sustainably. In terms of their hotels, they reduced the carbon footprint by 150 tonnes between 15 properties and they are looking at further reducing immensely over the next year. He stated that all this is a possibility with the collaboration of both the public and private sectors and only then can they go forward.
Amish Choksey – Partner and General Manager – Green Gold Eco Tech Fzco, shared about the various programmes that he has been working on to ensure sustainable practices especially with different hospitality projects across the UAE.
Sanith de Silva Wijeyaratne – Director Climate and Conservation Consortium, revealed the urgency to address the many issues at hand with climate change and shared examples to engage the audience. He further reiterated that the need of the hour is future thinking and to understand your personal carbon impact. Thus, he shared the various ways that can be measured in terms of the carbon footprint and how they need to be managed and thereafter mitigate for the betterment of society.
John Horgan – Director – Eco Burner reiterated that over the years there has been many challenges, yet they are surely addressing each of these issues as they are more important at this point in time. The main fact is change as it is important that people change now not in another 5 years.
John Whaley – CEO – Integrity Business Solutions and Amish Choksey – Partner and General Manager – Green Gold Eco Tech Fzco, who is involved in training those in sustainability shared about the forgetting curve. When you’re small all the good practices are shared with you however, as you get older you forget those important factors that you once held important.
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