Changing the way we use plastic at Victoria Angkor
Siem Reap is experiencing a rapidly growing tourism industry and the affects of that pressure on environment has become apparent. In order to modernise and meet tourist demands, bottled water was one of the first conveniences to enter the Kingdom along with tourists. In 2019 it is forecast that close to 7 million tourists will visit Cambodia, if they have just one bottle of water each that’s a huge number, the reality is much worse.
Fully involved in the life of Siem Reap, the Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa is committed to reducing its environmental impact and to develop a strong CSR policy, to improve the working conditions of its employees and create a positive impact on the local communities. By taking part in the “Refill not Landfill” operation, or through the use of different solutions like glass bottles or bamboo straws, the hotel works for the reduction of its plastic consumption.
Continual Improvement Plan
Number of rooms
Previous monthly water cost
Current monthly water cost
bottles saved per month
How they started
First environmental changes
Our first actions were on energy efficiency, with the replacements of our light bulbs by LED lights, step by step, the improvement of our boiler usage, a work on our A/C efficiency and consumption and on our rooms’ isolation. We also changed our pest-control and gardening products suppliers to reduce our use of chemicals as much as possible.
No more bottled water
On March 2017 we stopped displaying the plastic bottles to replace them by glass bottles, so the last order may have been in February 2017.
We use now glass bottles that we fill-up daily with mineral filtered water. Two aluminium bottles per room are also available for the guests during all the length of their stay.
Costs to get started
We spent 350$ for the glass bottles, and more than 2000$ for the aluminium bottles, plus around 100$ for the room information. Our refill station are actually located in our bar, any person can come any time and ask to refill his aluminium bottle with cold or warm water.
We also removed plastic straws
We replaced all our plastic straws by bamboo straws at the end of 2016, and offered aluminium bottle to each staff to raise awareness about plastic use. We also changed our amenities packaging so they are plastic-free.
It was 500$ for the bamboo straws (est 1,000 straws) – the costs of our amenities didn’t changed from our previous packages.
In less than 5 months, the costs were accounted for and they were ahead $412 every month. Which is a cost saving of $2,884 per year.Sarah
We are planning to keep eliminating our plastic, first by using recyclable food containers for our picnic boxes. We are currently studying different options to have nice boxes. We are also planning to work on our vegetable garden, which will be chemical-free, and will provide different herbs to use in our cocktails and in the kitchen. Finally we are working to find new solutions everyday to maximise our energy efficiency, a big challenge regarding the architecture of our building and the needs of our guests.
As one of the big five-star hotel in Siem Reap, our impact on the environment of the city can’t be denied and has to be reduced or compensated. If our green policy is part of our values, our aim to reduce our plastic use has not been so easy to put in place, as it has to fit with our 5* standards, and that some of our guests are worried about not having plastic-bottled water. But I feel like the most challenging part is to educate our staff, so they understand the issues behind plastic use, and embrace that commitment in the work place and when they come back home. Of course the impact of removing the plastic bottles in room and the plastic straws can be seen right away with numbers and figures, but in my opinion the most important and valuable impact will be the one made in the people’s minds and behaviours.Géraldine Vuillier