Green Globe Certification Award for Cinnamon Grand Colombo, Sri Lanka

Green Globe Certification Award for Cinnamon Grand Colombo, Sri Lanka
August 19, 2011 Arton Kabashi

LOS ANGELES, California – Green Globe today announced certification for the sustainable management and operation of Cinnamon Grand Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Green Globe Certification CEO Guido Bauer said: “The Cinnamon Grand is a landmark in Colombo. It is both a luxury hotel for leisure travelers, and just as importantly, a major conference and meeting venue serving Sri Lanka’s capital city.

“Cinnamon Grand has shown leadership in staff education with a recent guest lecture by Sri Lanka’s leading environmentalist, Professor Sarath Kotogama from the Environmental Science Department, University of Colombo. This education of staff and management on key concepts of sustainability and biodiversity was an exceptional contribution by the hotel.”

Cinnamon Grand General Manager Rohan Karr said: “The certification reiterates the hotel’s commitment to infuse the triple bottom line philosophy into the hotel’s daily operations and take sustainability seriously and pro-actively.

“The commitment of the hotel’s management and employees to re-evaluate the way the hotel conducted business and the mindset change that transcended into daily actions, were the key contributory factors that resulted in Cinnamon Grand obtaining Green Globe credentials.

“We will continue to further improve our business model to establish a common and global approach to environmental, employer, and social sustainability. We appreciate the guidance given by Sting Consultants (Pvt) Ltd., to evaluate and understand the processes, as well as the benchmarking tools.”

Cinnamon Grand has implemented all the standard requirements for Green Globe certification including energy management systems (EMS) for all guest rooms, certified carpets, the use of only biodegradable cosmetic and cleaning products, waste sorting and recycling, and the sale of waste organic food products to farmers as animal feed. The hotel also manufactures its own bottled drinking water, which is served exclusively throughout the property. All guest rooms are fitted with CFL and LED bulbs, and a change-out plan is in place for converting all lighting in the banquet halls to LEDs.

Environmental education is also facilitated through their Nuga Gama Restaurant, which hosts children from local communities. The children are provided with environmental education based on the natural surroundings of the restaurant (an abundance of plant species, along with a compost areas where all garden waste is directed to), and are also made aware of energy and water conservation and waste management practices. Guests are provided with environmental education through the sale of “Environmental Wisdom Cards” at Nuga Gama, the proceeds of which are invested in conservation projects.

The hotel’s “Banners to Bags” program, takes discarded promotional banners and transforms them into fashion handbags for sale from the hotel boutique. The B2b initiative is part of the “365 ways to save the Earth” program, where staff are provided with an environmental message or tip each day at the morning briefing. All funds from the sale of the fashion handbags are donated to the Children’s Cancer Ward at Maharagama Hospital.

Green Globe auditor Ruchi Gunewardene, Director, Sting Consultants (Pvt) said: “The hotel’s unique achievements are in promoting the respect and understanding of local cultures and customs, as well as in environmental education for guests, staff, and local communities.

“The hotel creates awareness of local cultures through its outdoor restaurant, Nuga Gama – “the village in the city” – where an authentic rural village experience has been created in the heart of Colombo. Apart from serving exclusively indigenous foods, the restaurant also promotes an understanding of local cultures through the displaying and sale of handicrafts and art products (made by villagers to whom the proceeds are returned), through weekly cultural shows and programs, and through active education of guests by restaurant staff.”

Areas that have been identified for continuous improvement include updating the hotel’s purchasing policies to include a stronger commitment to sustainable sourcing and favoring certified suppliers and certified products. Further, the hotel has begun the installation of sensor-operated taps in the restaurants, as well as dual-flush toilets and low-flow aerators for faucets.


The Cinnamon Grand Colombo sits in the heart of the city’s business, shopping, and entertainment district, just 35 kms from the airport, beckoning towards a journey of world-class experiences, indulgences, and a touch of Cinnamon hospitality that is truly Sri Lankan. The hotel has 501 rooms, 13 restaurants, the largest club and spa, 2 ballrooms, and 2 swimming pools. The 501 rooms include 25 luxury suites, all conceptualized to capture the first-time visitor and the seasoned traveler, blending luxuries and esoteric pleasures for the perfect holiday or business sojourn.

City-centric command centers and state-of-the-art communication facilities ensure seamless connectivity aiding a 24/7, 365 business environment. The busy executive has the choice of 2 lounges with complete facilities, while the hotel also has a hospitality lounge for early arrivals, a crew lounge for in-house airline crews, and Executive Lounge with a panoramic view of the city offering a host of complimentary privileges. The Oak Room and the Atrium offers a choice of 2 ballrooms and 8 meeting rooms that can play host to gala gatherings, meetings, seminars, or workshops with all equipment facilitated with minimum hassle. Indulgence is taken to a higher realm with the Cinnamon cuisine, an eclectic and exotic blend of culinary fare served with style and flair at the hotel’s 13 outlets, including the iconic Nuga Gama, the typical rural village in the city.

The flagship hotel of the Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts chain, under the John Keells Group, Sri Lanka’s premier conglomerate, Cinnamon Grand Colombo is a 3-time Presidential Travel and Tourism Award Winner and entrant into the Travel and Tourism Hall of Fame. The hotel was also the first hotel in Asia to receive all 3 ISO certifications of ISO 14001, ISO 22000, and ISO 18001 in 2006 and subsequent annual recertifications. The hotel’s recycling initiative of turning discarded banners into trendy bags – Banners to bags (B2b) is the first recycling drive in Asia endorsed and supported by 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Co-laureate Professor Mohan Munasinghe.

Contact: Tharika Goonathilake, Public Relations Manager, Cinnamon Grand Colombo, P.O Box 252, 77 Galle Road, Colombo 3, Sri Lanka, Tel: + 94 11 2437437/ 2320001 Ext. 2499, Fax: + 94 11 5547570, Email:, Web:


Green Globe Certification is the worldwide sustainability system based on internationally-accepted criteria for sustainable operation and management of travel and tourism businesses. Operating under a worldwide license, Green Globe Certification is based in California, USA, and is represented in over 83 countries. Green Globe is the only certification brand to be an affiliate member of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) an agency of the United Nations, and is partly owned by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC). For information, visit .