QGBC Leads the Way in Qatar’s Green Hospitality Ahead of World Cup

Jun 19, 2021 by QGBC

QF member highlights the importance of applying a supply chain for 360-degree waste management

With preparations for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ well underway, Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC), is spearheading a country-wide initiative. To ensure that Qatar is prepared to welcome football fans next year, the initiative aims to implement green practices in the hospitality industry.

One key aspect of ensuring a more sustainable hospitality industry has been the implementation of a supply chain for 360-degree waste management. In a series of recent virtual workshops hosted as part of its Green Hotels for Qatar - Challenges and Pathways, held in partnership with the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) and supported by the Qatar National Tourism Council (QNTC), QGBC converged relevant stakeholders in the hotel sector to ascertain the best way forward in the handling and recycling of solid waste.

It is important to stress the need for quality control to ensure the effective handling of waste from collection to transportation, to sorting and recycling. Key recommendations for waste reduction and sustainable procurement include: the supply chain needs to be validated and have quality assurance, making use of local and eco-friendly products; hotels should have a clear framework and clearly streamline best practices for waste management; and the circular waste economy has to gain stakeholders’ trust and support of regulations.  

Commenting on the importance of circularity in solid waste management, Hamoda Youssef, Head of Technical Affairs at QGBC, noted the many challenges facing the industry in relation to effective and sustainable waste management, which include a lack of incentives, regulation and quality assurance measures. He also highlighted the exceptional progress that is being made: “With the help of our partners and the industry stakeholders, we managed to identify the many challenges facing the hotel industry to achieve effective waste management.

“However, despite the hurdles, we are also seeing excellent best practices being implemented by hotels in terms of raising staff awareness, changing the mindset of guests, altering procurement policy, and reducing quantities of food waste.”

The process of sorting waste is particularly important when it comes to green best practices in the hotel industry. Waste handlers need to ensure that different materials are separated correctly and not mixed as failing to do so would greatly impact the possibility of it being able to be utilised for quality recycled products.

To address the need for quality assurance of waste management, QGBC recently launched Al Tadweer, a Recycling Validation Scheme that provides scalable guidance for the recycling industry in Qatar. The program offers a validation pathway for the industry covering the whole recycling lifecycle: solid waste collections and haulers to waste; sorting and processing; and waste recycling into manufacturing.

Additionally, in September 2020, QGBC released Sustainable Hospitality: Case Studies from Green Key Hotels in Qatar – a report that provides a comprehensive overview of the hospitality sector in Qatar and assesses the current challenges and what can be done to ensure more sustainable practices. The report highlights the green practices of the W Hotel & Residences, Marriott Marquis City Centre Doha Hotel, Sheraton Grand Doha Resort & Convention Centre Hotel, Radisson Blu Doha Hotel, Mandarin Oriental Doha, and Warwick Doha Hotel, all of which are Green Key certified and are leading the way in sustainability best practices in the sector, encouraging other hotels to follow suit.   

The Green Key Certificate is an international initiative that provides a sustainability framework for several sectors, including the hospitality industry. QGBC leads the initiative in Qatar, providing hotels with guidelines and checklists to implement greener practices.

“We have several hotels in Qatar that are Green Key Certified. Spearheading the initiative in Qatar, QGBC provides hotels with step-by-step guidance and trustworthy and transparent criteria to make the process of implementing green practices straightforward. The process can be done in-house whereby hotels are able to comply with the green criteria in a cost-effective manner,” Youssef explained.

Through the Green Key certification, QGBC offers the hospitality industry the tools to leverage their business in the field of sustainability while also granting them access to a global network of experts where they can keep abreast on the latest best-practice guidelines in the sustainable development of the industry.

With QGBC having laid the foundation for establishing a robust circular waste economy in the hospitality industry - one that is built on quality, engagement, and involvement - there is sure to be buy-in from other sectors in the country.

When Qatar hosts one of the biggest sporting events in the world next year, it will be well-equipped to effectively and seamlessly manage the excess waste produced in the hotel sector. This will pave the way for greener and more sustainable practices in the hotel industry as well other sectors, further position the country as a regional leader in championing sustainability.

For more information about QGBC and its sustainability initiatives, please visit https://qatargbc.org