For years his hotel organised beach clean-ups, donated used linen to charity and celebrated Earth Hour.
But Iftikhar Hamdani, general manager of Ramada Hotel & Suites Ajman, was ready for a bolder step.
In January, Mr Hamdani set his mind on a more ambitious goal, to recycle as much of the hotel's waste as possible. The hotel can host as many as 800 guests at time, generating up to a tonne of waste a day.
"It was a stack every day, 365 days a year," Mr Hamdani says. "It was a crime to throw it all in a landfill."
After some months of deliberation, the Ramada now manages to keep most of its waste out of landfill.
It starts in the guest rooms, which now have three bins, with coloured liners indicating the type of waste.
Green and gray bags in the kitchen and living rooms indicate organic waste and recyclable items, while those in the bathrooms are blue, indicating their contents cannot be recycled.
Housekeeping staff collect and store the three waste types separately. It finds its way to the "green room" in the corner of the hotel's car park, where it is hand- sorted.
Recyclable waste - metal, plastic and paper - is collected by Green Mountain, an Ajman company, which sells it on to recycling plants.
The hotel also recycles about half a tonne of food waste daily from its kitchen. Since July, it has been fed into a commercial composting machine producing fertiliser.
"Initially it was really challenging," says Mr Hamdani.
Staff needed to be trained, while guests are told about the scheme at check-in. But it has been worth it.
"Our occupancy is not disturbed at all. Our commercial objectives are there, we are achieving," he says.
"What we did is not something difficult. It gives pleasure when you are doing something for society and the environment."
Similar schemes are afoot at hotels across the country.
At the Fairmont Dubai, Shelendra Singh, the operations manager for environment, health and sanitation has been designated the "green champion".
"As much as possible, all the garbage from the guest rooms and other hotel areas is segregated before disposal," said Mr Singh.
"The garbage which is not recyclable is brought to a landfill through a municipality-authorised waste-management company.
"The recyclable material is distributed to different vendors depending on the type."
Like the Ramada in Ajman, the Fairmont produces about a tonne of waste a day.
In the past year, the Fairmont recycled more than 227 tonnes of glass, 31 tonnes of plastic, 143 tonnes of paper and 14 tonnes of used oil from the kitchens.
In June, for the second year in a row, the Emirates Environmental Group gave the hotel an award for the largest amount of glass recycled.
"We are proud to have achieved a recycling ratio of 17 to 20 per cent of the total waste produced," said Mr Singh.
The hotel also tries to prevent unnecessary waste being created in the first place by using old coffee grounds as plant fertiliser, and having reusable containers in the kitchen.
It has already cut by 10 per cent the amount of waste it creates, and hopes to make that 15 per cent this year.
At the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, more than 250 tonnes of paper, plastic, metal and used cooking oil were collected and recycled last year.
The hotel also produces compost from food scraps from its kitchens, using it as fertiliser in its gardens.
Hotels in Abu Dhabi are also taking up the recycling challenge.
Every day, the Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, collects about 47 kilograms of recyclable waste - paper, cardboard, cartons, plastic bottles and containers, and aluminium and tin cans. It also recycles used cooking oil.
And Emirates Palace is planning it own a scheme. It already recycles on a small scale but is planning to bring in a professional contractor in next year to help streamline the effort.
"We have to support Abu Dhabi's vision and the global vision," said Irina Kurbatova, environment, health and safety director at the hotel.
"By recycling their waste companies can help reduce the area of landfills and avoid land contamination."