Thursday, May 29, 2014

Conference Celebrates the Success of the Zero Carbon Resorts Project

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The Zero Carbon Resorts (ZCR) project conference was held in celebration of the success and achievements of the SWITCH-Asia project  in its 4 and a half years of implementation. The organizers successfully hosted a closing ceremony at the Hyatt Regency Hotel and Casino Manila on May 21, 2014.

Dr. Robert Wimmer, ZCR project leader, opened the event with his warm welcome to all guests and participants. Mr. Matthieu Penot, on behalf of the European Union funding agency, delivered an inspiring message and stressed the importance of the ZCR project for the Philippine tourism sector.

Implementing project partners namely Dr. Robert Wimmer (GrAT), Engr. Charlton Materum (GrAT), Ms. Maria Luz Martinez (PCSD), Dr. Guillermo Zaragoza (CIEMAT-PSA) and Ms. Olga Babina (ASSIST), all gave notable presentations which focused on the core outputs of the project.

The awarding of ZCR members from all over the Philippines that gained the highest energy and resource savings was considered among the highlights of the conference. Chosen as the top 10 awardees were the Daluyon Beach and Mountain Resort, Oakwood Premier Joy~Nostalg Center Manila, Kokossnuss Resort, Tropical Sun Inn, Balay Tuko Garden Inn, Puerto Pension Bed&Breakfast, Alta Pension House, River View Resort & Conference Center, Sangat Island Dive Resort and La Vicente Hotel. Following the unique 3R Methodology of the project - "REDUCE, REPLACE and REDESIGN" - the award is based on the number of implementations for energy, resource and monetary savings per room.

ZCR members who won the prestigious ASEAN green hotel award were also given special recognition. The ASEAN Green Hotel Standard is focused on sustainable tourism through environment-friendly products and services and on reducing the global greenhouse gas emissions. This year, three out of five awardees from the Philippines came from the ZCR project. The proud ZCR members were Amarela Resort, Daluyon Beach & Mountain Resort and the Manor Hotel at Camp John Hay. On behalf of the project team, they were awarded for their continuing effort to contribute towards achieving the goal of the ZCR project in lowering the carbon footprint of the tourism sector.

The conference also featured the first ZCR Showcase Bamboo Cottage, a totally energy self-sufficient and sustainable building using appropriate technology solutions. The sustainable design concepts and features of this one-of-a-kind cottage were presented by the principal architect, Architect Edgardo Mallari. The design output results of the collaboration between the ZCR project team and the design team from the ZCR capacity building program.

The parting message was the launching of a new ZCR project, expanding its scope and location in the Philippines and Thailand - "ZCR for Sustainable Tourism". A smooth transition will fully utilize the impact of the ZCR project and strengthen its visibility during the coming 4 years of implementation. Interest in this new exciting project was raised by the presentation of Dr. Wimmer on the key elements of the ZCR towards Sustainable Development of the Tourism Sector in the Philippines and Thailand.

The ZCR Green Supplier's Network exhibited their green products and technologies at the Open Market which formed a networking platform during the whole duration of the event. Represented suppliers were: Edward Marcs Philippines Inc., Emerald Vinyl Corp., Hotel and Spa Essentials Inc., SG Eco Industries Inc., JCD First Greenergy, Amon Marketing Inc., Panasonic Manufacturing Philippines, Landlite Lighting Solutions Philippines, Concepcion- Carrier Air Conditioning and the One Renewable Energy Enterprise Corp.

Partnerships with media provided a number of promotions and publicity of the event. The official ZCR media partners were the UNTV, UNTV- Radio La Verdad, Solar News Channel, Eagle Broadcasting Corporation, NET25, Hospitality News Philippines, Travel Update Philippines, BusinessMirror, Malaya Business Insight and Wazzup Pilipinas. The conference garnered a good number of 142 participants.

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