Running an environmentally friendly business is a top priority of the FCC these days.
In fact, that has been the case for quite some time.
The Green Team Logo
Two years ago the FCC formed a partnership with the NGO Geres Cambodia to improve the company’s environmental practices.
“We approached them to do an audit on all of our businesses to determine our carbon emissions,” says Michelle Duncan, director of central services for FCC Hotels Indochina.
The company has hotel and restaurant operations throughout Southeast Asia. Cambodian operations in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap include The FCC, Café Fresco, The Quay, and Pacharan Tapas & Bodega.
Geres staff calculated emissions for all The FCC’s operations in addition to investigating such areas as solid waste and transportation, Duncan says.
The audit for 2006 began in 2007, and assessing all the company’s outlets proved an enormous commitment.
“We’ve just finished that 2006 audit,” Duncan says.
Environmental standards are rare in Cambodia’s hotel and hospitality industry, and the sector has yet to formulate any official best practices.
“There are no clear guideline on what you should do,” Duncan says. “There are no standards.”
Further, the country still lacks robust environmental legislation, which leaves environmentally conscious businesses with little official direction.
The FCC Way
As a result, the FCC is developing its own standards.
At the forefront of those efforts is The FCC Green Team. The FCC established the team to ensure that those standards produce improvements in the company’s environmental practices, not just feel-good rhetoric.
Training for The FCC Green Team began March 17 and lasts two months.
“The Green Team is responsible for ensuring procedures are done,” Duncan says.
The Green Team consists of both Khmer and ex-pat department heads.
“For me, it’s an education for Khmers who may or may not be aware of environmental things,” Duncan says.
The staff training has also been a learning experience for ex-pats who come from countries where strict environmental practices are the norm.
“Ex-pat managers actually learned something,” Duncan says.
The Green Team is responsible for ensuring all staff are aware of their responsibilities when it comes to ensuring environmental standards are met.
Making sure lights are turned off when they are not needed and maintaining efficient recycling procedures are among the practices to be implemented by the Green Team.
Step By Step
Another practice the FCC has already been working on involves having cooking oil converted to biodiesel, which in turn is used for the company’s generators, Duncan explains.
Duncan has already noticed positive changes. She sees fewer plastic bags being used and more lights being turned off.
“Every time I see paper now it’s double-sided, whereas before it was always single-sided,” Duncan notes.
Over the course of a year reductions in paper and energy use can amount to significant savings.
The hope, Duncan says, is not just to raise environmental awareness among FCC staff, but also among the larger community.
In conjunction with GERES, The FCC is planning special events for Earth Day, April 22, 2009, although details have yet to be finalized.
Previously in March, The FCC held candlelight dinners at all its outlets in support of Earth Hour, a global climate initiative led by the World Wildlife Fund.
The candles used for the event were made from soy.
“They’re even more environmentally friendly than normal candles.”