Reaffirming their commitment to combating climate change and doing business in a sustainable manner, Aitken Spence Hotels, the pioneers of biomass energy in the Sri Lankan hospitality industry, recently partnered with atmosfair, Germany, to embark on a venture that will reduce the carbon emissions of hotels and strengthen the communities in the areas the hotels are built in.
Speaking on the project Malin Hapugoda, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Hotels said, “the Heritance brand is unanimous with unique architecture and living traditions. We have gone as far as possible to be environment friendly and our most significant effort in this area is the decision to supplement the hotels’ climate change mitigation actions by replacing non-renewable fossil fuel with bio mass. We decided to opt for bio mass against other renewable energy options so that we can extend the benefits to the local communities.”
The partnership between Aitken Spence Hotels and atmosfair will spread its benefits to around 400 farmers and their families in the rural areas where the hotels operate, by helping them generate income from their barren and unfarmed lands. The project focuses on using regenerated wood supplied by the farmers to generate energy, thereby ensuring that no existing farm or forestland will be depleted as a result. Farmers will be provided with an incentive after they go through an identification and screening process to ascertain eligibility.
Commenting on the initiative Dr Dietrich Brockhagen, Executive Director of atmosfair said, “this development shows the leadership of the private sector in combating climate change in Sri Lanka. The project carried out in close cooperation of Aitken Spence and atmosfair demonstrates that entrepreneurship and environmental protection can foster each other for the benefit of all.”