Friday, 11 January 2008：Boutique hotel, URBN, has just opened its new property in Shanghai and has become China’s first carbon neutral property.
Converted from a former 1970s post office, the 26-room URBN Hotels Shanghai is located just north of Nanjing Road in Shanghai’s French Concession district.
“URBN Hotels Shanghai’ will be China’s first carbon neutral hotel. In May 2007, URBN entered into an agreement with Climate Bridge, an international intermediary offering bespoke solutions for companies and industries to reduce and offset greenhouse gas emissions,” said the hotel’s co-owner Jules Kwan.
“Our vision is to create destinations of comfort, style and interest across China. Our first hotel will be unlike any other, and we want to be at the forefront of promoting environmental awareness, protection and sustainable buildings within the hotel industry,” he adds.
Every bit of energy that the hotel uses, from guest consumption to staff commutes and even food and beverage delivery, will be noted and tracked to calculate a carbon footprint, which URBN would then purchase carbon credits in green energy development and emission reduction schemes in China.
Of course, being a boutique hotel, the guest experience is not ignored. With the new property offering not just a room, but a true Asian experience in extra services such as tai chi classes, bike tours and Chinese cooking classes.
“While we’re beginning to see the boutique hotel phenomenon evolve in Shanghai, a trend seen in most major cities around the world for the past 10 years, URBN Hotels & Resorts will offer an experience that will parallel the likes of London, New York and Barcelona, with a unique Shanghai chic unto itself and international quality western comforts and conveniences” states Scott Barrack, the other co-owner.
In addition, hotel guests can opt to also purchase carbon credits from programs to offset their flights into Shanghai.
Other eco-friendly solutions incorporated by the company include solutions like passive solar shades and water based air-conditioning systems.
In a statement, the hotel company said, “The company is currently negotiating on sites in Beijing, Hangzhou, Dalian, and Suzhou in the immediate future. Continuing to rehabilitate existing structures and being ‘green’ will be essential to URBN’s strategy, although the size of future hotels may increase to 50–100 rooms.”