Ascott and GSTC sign MOU

Ms Beh Siew Kim, Chief Financial & Sustainability Officer, Lodging, CapitaLand Investment and Mr Randy Durband, GSTC CEO.

The Ascott Limited (Ascott), a lodging business unit wholly owned by CapitaLand Investment, and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), whom manages the GSTC Criteria and provides international accreditation for sustainable tourism Certification Bodies, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to jointly train and equip industry leaders and professionals on principles and best practices in sustainability. The strategic partnership is expected to facilitate over 700 training hours across new programs in the last quarter of 2023.

The signing took place today at the ACE Learning Festival in Singapore, an annual event organized by the Ascott Centre for Excellence (ACE), Ascott’s global hospitality training center.

Ascott and GSTC Sign MOU

The collaboration will see ACE serve as the first partner to operate onsite GSTC Training in Singapore, with GSTC’s Sustainable Tourism Course (ST) as well as Sustainable Hotel Course (SHC)The SHC will be customized by ACE for hotel and accommodation professionals. Set for launch in partnership with GSTC in November 2023, it will further provide practical insights into sustainability practices for hotels and will feature expert tips and resources to tap into key solutions around current issues and trends.

Ms Beh Siew Kim, Chief Financial & Sustainability Officer, Lodging, CapitaLand Investment said, “Within Singapore where the Ascott Centre for Excellence is established, we hope to play our part as an industry stakeholder, to propel local hospitality players towards achieving targets that support the Singapore Hotel Sustainability Roadmap. As a global hospitality company, Ascott is well-placed to contribute to capability-building in the industry through this collaboration. Our extended partnership with GSTC marks an important milestone for us in our sustainability journey. We are committed to help bridge some of the gaps and challenges that the industry is facing around sustainability by empowering future leaders with the right skills and capabilities in an evolving sustainability landscape in line with the GSTC framework.”

“Staff training is essential for operating a hotel more sustainably and for eventually seeking external review and a certification mark,” states Randy Durband, CEO of GSTC. “We are impressed that Ascott is committed to continuous improvement in sustainable practices in all their properties and that they recognize the need to provide training to extend and facilitate this training for the broader industry. As such we’re pleased that they chose to base that training on the GSTC Criteria as a pathway to holistic sustainability.”

Learning Fest - GSTC CEO Randy DurbandThe ACE Learning Festival that is taking place over three days kickstarted yesterday with a session on ‘Navigating the Journey of Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry’ for leaders from the industry today. Opened with a welcome address by Ms Beh and headlined by sustainability experts including Mr Durband GSTC CEO and Mr Eric Ricaurte, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Greenview, the event delved into the global standards for sustainability for hotels and best practices in implementing the Singapore Hotel Sustainability Roadmap.

Ascott’s Advancement in Sustainability with GSTC

Following the launch of the Ascott CARES framework and in line with its goal of having 100% of its managed properties GSTC-Certified* by 2028, Ascott has also announced that two of its properties, lyf one-north Singapore and Somerset Greenways Chennai in India, are now GSTC- Certified. Efforts are currently also underway for more properties to be fully certified. In Singapore, over 95% of accommodation units across Ascott’s managed properties are slated to be GSTC-Certified by 2024. As part of the country’s national roadmap for hotel sustainability, at least 60% of all hotel room stock in Singapore are to achieve internationally-recognized sustainability certifications by 2025.

Ascott is committed to having all its regional sustainability champions trained in the SHC. Discussions are also ongoing to explore expanding the collaboration with GSTC outside of Singapore to equip industry players with the knowledge and tools necessary to implement sustainable practices in their operations.

Most recently, Ascott published its first Sustainability Highlights Report for 2022, outlining its efforts in extending care and hospitality to the communities in which they operate. The report can be accessed here.

*Note: The term “GSTC-Certified” is shorthand for “certified by a Certification Body that is GSTC-Accredited”

About The Ascott Limited

Since pioneering Asia Pacific’s first international-class serviced residence with the opening of The Ascott Singapore in 1984, Ascott has grown to be a trusted hospitality company with more than 920 properties globally. Headquartered in Singapore, Ascott’s presence extends across more than 220 cities in over 40 countries in Asia Pacific, Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the USA.

Ascott’s diversified accommodation offerings span serviced residences, coliving properties, hotels and independent senior living apartments, as well as student accommodation and rental housing. Its award-winning hospitality brands include Ascott, Citadines, lyf, Oakwood, Quest, Somerset,

The Crest Collection, The Unlimited Collection, Preference, Fox, Harris, POP!, Vertu and Yello; and it has a brand partnership with Domitys. Through Ascott Star Rewards (ASR), Ascott’s loyalty programme, members enjoy exclusive privileges and offers at participating properties.

 A wholly owned business unit of CapitaLand Investment Limited, Ascott is a leading vertically-integrated lodging operator. Harnessing its extensive network of third-party owners and in-market expertise, Ascott grows fee-related earnings through its hospitality management and investment management capabilities. Ascott also expands its funds under management by growing its sponsored CapitaLand Ascott Trust and private funds. 

For more information on Ascott’s industry record of close to 40 years and its sustainability programme, please visit Connect with us on FacebookInstagram, TikTok, Twitter and LinkedIn.

About Ascott Centre for Excellence

 About Ascott Centre for Excellence Ascott Centre for Excellence (ACE) is the global hospitality training centre of The Ascott Limited and a Continuing Education and Training (CET) centre specialising in trainings for the Hotel and Accommodation Services Sector. Built on twin objectives of excellence, ACE seeks to develop human capital for the group whilst sharing hospitality best practices with industry players through an ecosystem of training, development and implementation of innovative solutions as well as best practices. Trainers at ACE are hospitality practitioners who are involved in an organisation’s operations.

About CapitaLand Investment Limited

 Headquartered and listed in Singapore, CapitaLand Investment Limited (CLI) is a leading global real estate investment manager (REIM) with a strong Asia foothold. As at 31 March 2023, CLI had S$133 billion of real estate assets under management, and S$89 billion of real estate funds under management (FUM) held via six listed real estate investment trusts and business trusts, and more than 30 private vehicles across Asia Pacific, Europe and USA. Its diversified real estate asset classes cover retail, office, lodging, business parks, industrial, logistics and data centres.

CLI aims to scale its FUM and fee-related earnings through fund management, lodging management and its full stack of operating capabilities, and maintain effective capital management. As the investment management arm of CapitaLand Group, CLI has access to the development capabilities of and pipeline investment opportunities from CapitaLand’s development arm. 

As a responsible company, CLI places sustainability at the core of what it does and has committed to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.  CLI contributes to the environmental and social well-being of the communities where it operates, as it delivers long-term economic value to its stakeholders. Visit for more information.

For more information, please contact: Sandpiper on behalf of The Ascott Limited

About GSTC 

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council® (GSTC®) establishes and manages global sustainable standards, known as the GSTC Criteria. There are two sets: Destination Criteria for public policy-makers and destination managers, and Industry Criteria for hotels and tour operators. These are the guiding principles and minimum requirements that any tourism business or destination should aspire to reach in order to protect and sustain the world’s natural and cultural resources while ensuring tourism meets its potential as a tool for conservation and poverty alleviation.

The GSTC Criteria form the foundation for GSTC’s assurance role for Certification Bodies that certify hotels/accommodations, tour operators, and destinations as having sustainable policies and practices in place. GSTC does not directly certify any products or services, but provides accreditation to those that do. The GSTC is an independent and neutral USA-registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization that represents a diverse and global membership, including national and provincial governments, leading travel companies, hotels, tour operators, NGOs, individuals and communities – all striving to achieve best practices in sustainable tourism.

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