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This blog combines articles from ADEC ESG Solutions, as well as FirstCarbon Solutions (FCS), an ADEC Innovation.
Sustainability Initiatives: Sleeping Tight in Eco-Hotels
Posted by Angela McIntire on Aug 29, 2013 8:05:00 AM
Business travelers are keen to reduce their impacts on the environment by making the smart choice to stay at green-certified hotels. According to a recent survey by Timetric’s Global Business Traveler, “47 percent of survey respondents state that it is important to stay in a green certified hotel during a business trip, while 7 percent consider it to be extremely important”. Implementing sustainable practices is one way for hotels to cut down on operating costs, add more to their bottom line, and appeal to environmentally cognizant travelers. By building a new structure, or retrofitting an existing edifice to meet the standards of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) or the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), hotel owners can lower their operating costs, attract these environmentally conscious business travelers and improve their relationship with the community and local government.
Some hotels help preserve the environment by keeping linens on the beds for more than one day, saving hundreds of gallons of water used to launder them; or by simply hanging signs reminding patrons to shut off any electronic equipment when not in use. However, some hotels are taking it a step further. Take, for example, the four-star Hotel Landgut Borsig outside of Berlin. Their guests enjoy the same amenities offered by other hotels in the same league: comfortable yet luxurious mattresses, locally sourced gourmet meals, saunas or bread-making classes. The main difference between Landgut Borsig and other four-star hotels, is that they do not have a mini-bar. This is because the hotel is an almost zero-carbon hotel. It has taken steps towards producing its own energy by purchasing the surrounding forests as a means of neutralizing its carbon footprint.
Another example is Vienna’s Hotel Stadthalle - touted to be the world’s first carbon-neutral city hotel. Here, the standard sustainable offerings include organic bed sheets and towels; food items whose ingredients you can trace back to the field they were planted in simply by reading the attached label; and in addition to this, the hotel’s toilets use collected rain water.
Even stateside properties such as The Cove at Yarmouth Resort in Massachusetts have implemented changes for more efficient and effective energy management. The resort reduces its water and energy costs with the installation of new efficient hybrid water heaters that have led to a 12 percent savings. LED lights and variable speed air regulators have also helped lower energy usage. Larger, more established hotel chains such as the Hyatt, Marriott and InterContinental have also developed serious sustainability programs.
Some hotels have even begun to use sustainable "green" room key cards. The Green-Key is an environmentally friendly alternative to the typical plastic keycard. Unlike plastic keycards, Green-Key is recyclable, biodegradable and produced from a renewable resource called paperboard. The paperboard resource makes the Green-Key an economical choice versus other high priced eco-friendly products.
While there are skeptics who may believe that the sustainable efforts of these hotels are nothing more than “flowery” or “granola” nonsense, many within the hotel industry are recognizing that implementing these measures is good for business, not to mention it makes absolutely good business sense due to rising energy costs - which is generally a hotel’s largest expense.
A hotel can become sustainable through a number of ways, including but not limited to:
Sustainable supply chains for linens and other hotel supplies
Locally sourced food items
Low flow water fixtures
The hospitality industry has begun to recognize the social and economic benefit of creating a sustainable future and your business or organization can reap similar rewards by improving efficiency and productivity.
Let FirstCarbon Solutions show you how advantageous it can be to move towards a sustainable future today. Our sustainability solutions enable you to monitor, manage, and report pertinent data quickly and cost-effectively, so you can enhance your operational efficiency. Our vast experience in working with various companies, organizations and government institutions ensures you have the right strategies and practices in place. We fully integrate consulting and software with superior capability in back-office data processing to give you well-rounded and the most effective solutions for sustainable profitability.