Here at Louis Hotels, we are of the belief that CONSUMPTION is at the heart of every environmental challenge which our planet is currently facing. We are talking about consumption of electricity, fossil fuels, water, food and land, to name but a few elements. By following the worldwide developments on sustainability, we have noticed that to tackle the problem a very widespread strategy must be in place; a strategy which has many facets and branches. We feel that this is the reason why as humans, we have failed to tackle the problem; there are too many variables and too many ‘to do lists’ which instead of motivating us, actually quash our enthusiasm. We need a simple and effective strategy, a one-size-fits-all movement that requires only a fraction of the effort any of us could imagine. This is the problematic that we, as LouisHotels, have pursued over the past few years. Surely, we said, there must be something simple yet widespread, that every single one of us can afford to do?
Finally we have discovered the solution: none other than reducing our dependence on animal products (livestock). For the first time ever, mainstream blogs, books and studies have been published, stating the obvious when it comes to livestock; that one of the biggest contributors to climate change is, in fact, the food we eat. It has emerged that 18% of the world’s greenhouse gases are a by-product of worldwide livestock production to feed our neverending appetite for animal products. By comparison, worldwide transport (sea, land, and air COMBINED) only accounts for 14% of the world’s greenhouse gases.
So yes, what we eat and how often is detrimental to our planet. Far more so than our household consumption of water, electricity or fuel. Here are some more facts*:
• If every meat eater in the United States alone swapped just one portion of chicken per week for a vegetarian meal, it would be the CO2 equivalent of taking 500’000 cars off the road
• By avoiding meat one day every two months you save more water than if you didn’t shower at all for those two months
• A meal of soy beans can be cultivated with only 4% the energy required to cultivate a meal of beef
• A 2.5-acre piece of land could produce enough plant based food for the entire life span of 20 people; the same piece of land could produce enough animal products for only 1 person, therefore the implications on land use from a meat-based diet are huge
• A cow can feed 1’000 people with its flesh, yet the grains used to raise the cow for meat could have fed 128’000 people instead; this means that every steak we have comes at the expense of 128 portions of food for children dying of hunger
These stats are shocking and though energy, land, water and fuel are also used for plant based foods as well, the consumption required is nowhere near as high as meat. The solution is therefore simple: reduce our dependence on livestock, and we will reduce our impact on the environment, at a faster rate than anything else we do. It is incredible to know that the same food choices which could eliminate world hunger, are also those that take the least toll on the environment. Louis Hotels is therefore proud to support the worldwide initiative to reduce consumption of meat, called Meatless Monday (www.meatlessmonday.com). By sodoing, we aim to educate our guests about the impacts of their food choices on the environment, without however reducing the quantity, quality and variety of our meat based dishes. We will simply re-invent and re-enforce our vegetarian options so that those who wish to adopt the Meatless Monday campaign during their stay, will be able to do so in a creative, tasty and stomach-filling way. Louis Hotels promises to measure its consumption of meat from this pointon so that in one year’s time we will be able to tell you what we have achieved, together. Should you wish to follow the Meatless Monday campaign from home as well, please visit their website for resources and tips on how to adopt the campaign in your daily life. Some more information on Meatless Monday is also attached to the back of this policy statement. Our adoption of the Meatless Monday campaign is not the only initiative Louis Hotels will follow from now on. Meatless Monday may be the focal point of our campaign however we will also focus on some smaller points which are easily measurable.
Specifically, we aim to:
• Reduce our consumption of water by giving guests the choice of not washing their bathroom towels every day. Should guests not wish to have their towels washed, these
should be left hanging on the rails rather than lying on the floor or in the bathtub.
• Reduce our consumption of plastic by a) gradually replacing disposable glasses at all outdoor bars with re-usable ones b) installing dispensers where possible to serve water
rather, than serve it in plastic bottles c) replace personalized bathroom amenities with soap and shampoo dispensers.
• Reduce our consumption of food packaging by buying more products in bulk than we did up to now; for example we refrain from buying portioned jams and instead buy in larger packages.
• Recycle as many types of material as possible e.g. paper, glass, tin etc
• Reduce our consumption of electricity through a variety of tactics like installing movement sensors in public area toilets, turning off unnecessary lights, using magnets to switch electricity on and off in rooms etc
• Reduce our consumption of endangered fish species by removing them from our menus entirely e.g. eel, tiger prawn, king prawn, halibut, marlin, scampi, langoustine, blue fin
For more information on the Marine Conservation Society please visit their website
Louis Hotels is very proud to finally be launching its environmental campaign, and we hope that we will have your complete support in so doing. Especially the Meatless Monday campaign is very important to us and we hope that, with your help, we will see a decrease in meat consumption across all our hotels. We have chosen this campaign because we feel it is simple to follow for all of us, while simultaneously having the potential for wide-scale environmental benefits. To rubber stamp our commitment to the environment, as well as to employee and community welfare, Louis Hotels has become a member of the Travelife Sustainability label. This label encourages hospitality organisations to engage in a holistic approach involving environmental, social and community related criteria. For more information on the label please visit their website under www.travelife.org.
* retrieved from the book by John Robbins titled The Food Revolution: how your diet can help save your life and our world.