Sustainable luxury

Dubai: Two leading F&B and Hospitality global exhibitions, HostMilano and TuttoFood Milano, organized an international conference on sustainability that included online and in-person events at four destinations including Dubai, Miami, Milan, and Shanghai.

The event was held with the Italian Trade Agency and in collaboration with the Italian Business Council Dubai and the Shanghai Chamber for International Commerce.

The conversation, which was broadcasted worldwide on zoom, looked into the compelling topic of sustainability from a very specific perspective: How the luxury segment of the F&B and Hospitality industry is working to improve environmental sustainability.

The consensus of the conversation was very clear, sustainability is not just a fashionable concept destined to vanish, it is going to be a pillar in the F&B and hospitality industry for the foreseeable future.

Sustainability is also not a concept related to savings, unpleasant packaging, or basic food. The global luxury market is actively working to improve the sustainability of their operations and their products. So far the results have been noticeable.

"Sustainable and luxury food, beverage and hospitality services are here for us to appreciate and it should be a standard for the industry," said Roberto Luongo the Director of the Italian Trade Commission.

In Milan, Bulgari Hotel’s Senior Director Attilio Marro described the four pillars of their sustainability program. "We are planning on going completely plastic free by the end of 2020. Additionally, we are optimising our ingredient sourcing by prioritising local produce and healthy and organic food, energy saving using solar panels and motion sensors, and CSR programs through a partnership with Save the Children worldwide."

Chef Andrea Marchesin who is based in Miami has long been a proponent of farm-to-table and sustainable food. He explained how the chain of restaurants he supervises in Miami has now established as a rule to work only with farms and suppliers that recycle their waste aiming to reach zero food waste operations.

From the Yacht Club Lounge of the Bulgari Hotel in Dubai, Omar Mohammed of Jones the Grocer explained how their high-end international retail operations have selected a series of food products from self-sustaining farms from different parts of the world paying special attention to the production of ingredients and of the packaging.

Speaking from Li Xian Bao restaurant at Bulgari Hotel Shanghai, Architect Paul Tse of L&T Architecture described how sustainability in architecture is not just reusing materials such as marble and timber, but go beyond even to the “recycling” of a complete building, keeping the high-end materials and structures while redesigning key elements to make it a boutique hotel. Also, a first-class cabin design that exchange seat size for more ample and airy spaces.

Philip Wei, a leading Chinese hotelier, explained how WEI hotels incorporate elements of the Chinese tradition and culture to maintain balance between nature and human beings, focusing the attention of all aspects of sustainability.