voco Riyadh, owned and operated by the InterContinental Hotels Group, has launched an electric vehicle charging station, as part of a series of new initiatives to protect and preserve the environment. In doing so, voco Riyadh has become the first hotel in the Saudi capital to offer an EV charging point.
Green initiatives such as these have made voco hotels around the world popular among tourists and guests looking for environmentally-friendly accommodation options.
M. Allaf, regional general manager of IHG and general manager of voco Riyadh, said sustainability is one of the most important priorities of voco hotels in the Kingdom. “voco aims to be the leading destination for sustainable tourism in the Kingdom, in line with Vision 2030 goals, which have placed sustainability among its most important pillars, as the Kingdom aims to reach zero-carbon neutrality by 2060.”
He added: “voco is a brand built on sustainability, and it continues to take sustainable measures with regard to carbon, energy, waste and water. voco cares about our planet as much as it takes care of its guests. voco’s care for the environment is seen in practices such as serving guests drinks in biodegradable glasses and cups or providing them with the opportunity to refresh and bathe under energy-efficient ventilated shower heads.”
The new EV charging station is also in line with the Saudi government’s direction toward supporting and developing the electric car industry. In May, the Saudi Ministry of Investment announced an investment of more than SR12.3 billion ($3.27 billion) to build a Lucid Motors EV factory in Saudi Arabia, with an annual production capacity of 155,000 cars. The move reflects the Kingdom’s global commitment to promoting a green economy and reducing carbon emissions.
Allaf said that voco has taken several other proactive measures to reduce carbon emissions, save energy and water, and reduce waste. “voco is a unique example of a green hotel model in the Kingdom, and it will continue to promote long-term sustainability and care for the planet in the communities where it operates,” he added.
Among its green initiatives is the use of large packages containing shampoo, soap and other toiletries for guests, which help reduce plastic waste. Moreover, voco uses recycled materials for various purposes and glass water bottles instead of plastic ones. Personal hygiene items such as toothbrushes, razors and others are made with biodegradable materials.
Recycled plastic bottles are used in guest rooms, transforming plastic waste into high-quality bedding. By November 2019, this initiative had recycled more than half a million bottles.
In order to reduce the use of paper and benefit from digital transformation, the IHG Hotels and Resorts application provides visitors with the ability to book more than 5,900 hotels and resorts within the IHG Group around the world, including voco Riyadh and Alkhobar. The hotels also plan to eliminate plastic cards and digitize reservations to reduce plastic consumption.
The IHG Green Engage program features 200 eco-friendly solutions to improve sustainability practices at a global level.