TOKYO—Royal Park Hotels and Resorts Company, Ltd. (RPHS) says that between June this year and January 2020 it will introduce biodegradable drinking straws made from polylactic acid (PLA) resin derived from renewable biomass such as fermented corn starch, thus replacing around 280,000 plastic straws per year. The company took the decision after due consideration of various options. The new biodegradable drinking straws, certified by the Japan BioPlastic Association, have a reduced impact on the environment.
Within the same timeframe RPHS will start to actively support fair trade actions which aim to improve social and environmental standards for producers and workers in developing countries. Initially RPHS will offer its guests fair trade wines and coffees, certified by Fairtrade or Fair for Life.
Back in April 2018 the Mitsubishi Estate Group, including RPHS, signed the United Nations Global Compact, a global voluntary initiative based on CEO commitments to implement a global framework of universal sustainability principles. RPHS seized the opportunity of the group’s heightened awareness of environmental issues and the general acceptance of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals, as set within the United Nations Development Program) to start implementing a set of new actions.
Actions Will Begin with Five Hotels
The sustainability-enhancing actions will commence with five hotels of RPHS, namely the Sendai Royal Park Hotel, the Royal Park Hotel in Tokyo (Nihonbashi), the Yokohama Royal Park Hotel, The Royal Park Hotel Shiodome and The Royal Park Canvas—Osaka Kitahama. The initiative is planned to be rolled out to other hotels of the group in due time.
In addition to these new actions above, hotel guests have already been given the option to influence their environmental impact deciding whether and when fresh sheets and towels are wanted.
The Royal Park Hotel Group’s CANVAS line has an amenities pick-up service in shared areas where guests can pick up anything they need in necessary amounts rather than providing complete sets in all rooms independent of guests’ requirements.
“Like many of our customers we feel an increasing responsibility towards sustainability and the protection of our environment,” says Shinya Mizumura, President of Royal Park Hotels and Resorts Company Limited. “We are certain that many of our guests will want us to put into action what we agreed to as part of Mitsubishi Estate Group in the United Nations Global Compact and show initiative to truly be part of a positive change. These actions are steps in the right direction.”