Brands and Sustainability: Companies Making a Change

Image credit: Miriam Espacio
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The awareness of how bad a shape our Earth is in should be reason enough for us to start making lifestyle changes now. The air and oceans have reached critical pollution levels, our marine life is suffering and dying, and more and more plastic is appearing in our salt. These should be taken as blaring alarms that it’s high time to change. Much like voting, this is an instant where everybody’s action counts towards making a difference. Saying ‘no’ to single-use plastics is a good, relatively easy way to start. The goal should be to eventually adopt a zero waste lifestyle as a global community.

Companies, especially large corporations that are taking steps to help are a real sight for sore eyes. Whether it is through hotels giving guests the option to not change towels every day, or offices switching all existing light fixtures to eco-friendly alternatives, what we see so far is encouraging; we need more of this. We should celebrate brands who are working towards being more sustainable and eco-friendly.

Continue reading below about how some companies are switching from plastic straws to wheat, building a self-sustaining vertical farm facility, and upcycling plastic trash from the ocean.


Image credit: Emirates

Emirates Flight Catering (EKFC) and Crop One has announced co-investment plans to build the world’s largest vertical farming facility. The building will be near the Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central. U.S.-based Crop One Holdings is the world’s leading vertical farm operator. The vertical farm facility will encompass 130,000 square feet, but have a production output equivalent to 900 acres of farmland. At full production, the facility will harvest three US tonnes (2,700kg) of high-quality, herbicide-free, and pesticide-free leafy greens daily. All that, while using 99% less water than outdoor fields. The facility’s proximity to the point of consumption additionally reduces carbon emissions from transportation and ensures quick delivery of the fresh products to consumers. Construction of the facility is scheduled to begin this month, and will take about a year to complete. The first products are aimed to be delivered to EKFC customers in December 2019.

Read more about it here.

The Andaman Langkawi

Image credit: The Andaman Langkawi

The small step of reducing single use plastic straws has taken the world by storm, and The Andaman Langkawi has discovered a solution unique to the property and its surroundings. Instead of turning to metal, silicon, paper, or glass alternatives, the hotel has found wheat straws that are locally-sourced from the island. The straws are 100% biodegradable and eco-friendly, and has been used in place of plastic straws starting September 2018. It is the first resort in Langkawi to use these plant-based straws that are indigenous and unique, a great match for what Marriott’s Luxury Collection promotes.

See more on Marriott’s sustainability goals here.

REN Clean Skincare

Image credit: REN Clean Skincare

On 22 September 2018, we joined REN Clean Skincare for a beach clean up at Pantai Remis in partnership with Reef Check Malaysia. The event was pretty large-scale, held on the 2018 International Coastal Clean-Up Day where several beaches across Malaysia saw similar efforts. There were many other groups of participants ranging from university students to government bodies and private corporations. By the end of the morning, the REN Clean Skincare group had collected about 20kg of trash from the beach. This included a large truck tyre that was partially buried and took a lot of effort for us to dig out. Besides participating in efforts like this, REN Clean Skincare also shows their commitment to supporting the Clean to Planet initiative through a partnership with Terracycle. Terracycle creates 100% recyclable plastic bottles which are made from 20% reclaimed ocean plastics. Their Atlantic Kelp and Magnesium Anti-Fatigue Body Wash is one product example that uses the Terracycle recycled plastic bottles.

Read more about it here.

W Kuala Lumpur

Image credit: W Kuala Lumpur

Moving past just replacing plastic straws, Flock restaurant in W Kuala Lumpur practices a ‘farm to Flock’ concept. The restaurant uses organic fruit and vegetable that’s grown just for them at a farm in Tanah Rata. These include heirloom tomatoes, spring onions, heirloom carrots, fennel, and more. Chef Richard Millar, the Director of Culinary at W KL believes in wholesome eating, where quality not quantity is the focus. The restaurant goes as far as partnering Milky Whey, a company that uses local milk to produce cheese. Besides helping support local business, the special collaboration also means that diners can look forward to unique cheese flavours that are available exclusively at Flock.


Check out the dining options at W KL here.

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