Due to the increasing demand for eco-conscious getaways amongst consumers, green technology is rapidly becoming a key issue for hotel chains and independent hotel owners.
In the light of the recent Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, savvy hoteliers are accordingly adopting the latest green gadgets and waste reduction techniques to stay ahead of the game. In a bid to reduce carbon emissions ahead of possible future legislation, many are even adopting strategies previously used by leading housing developers to comply with stringent energy guidelines.
Many larger hotel chains are making sure they go the extra mile to ensure their green credentials are noticed, employing green consultants and architects and even launching test sites where they can assess the effectiveness of an eco-friendly strategy for sustainable technologies to be rolled out across entire hotel groups in an effort to become the front runners in the energy saving game.
Hotel architecture has also undergone something of a transformation and many new green hotel developments are being designed to fit in with the local landscape. Energy reducing technology applied at the build stage can often make significant energy savings by the use of green roofing and building materials and energy reducing technology.
Amongst the measures employed to reduce carbon emissions are bio fuel heating as a replacement for diesel and recycled water being used to irrigate hotel grounds. Some hotel chains are even using ozone instead of chlorine in their pools to reduce the chemical impact on the environment. After all there’s nothing like enjoying a break with a clear conscience.
On a smaller scale, many UK hotel chains have already adopted preliminary green measures, in the form of card key switches for electricity and air conditioning, linen cards for re-using towels and sheets and motion sensors for electricity in public areas including wash rooms, meeting rooms and exercise rooms, ensuring that energy bills are much reduced.
Other green energy management systems have become increasingly common over recent years are installing energy efficient fixtures and fittings for bathroom taps, shower heads and sanitary ware. Green gadgets such as eco-friendly kettles, fridges, hair dryers, and televisions are also proving a cost effective choice and can also reduce the impact of heavy guest usage on resources.
Of course green measures don’t have to cost the earth. Many chains are minimising waste by avoiding over-packaged products and asking suppliers to deliver using minimal wrapping. Similarly buying locally minimises emissions from shipping costs and reduces a company’s carbon footprint. Many hotels are even making a substantial cost saving on hotel property simply by sorting waste for recycling, as many items are inadvertently thrown away by guests.
Further cost effective measures can be applied when it comes to guest activities. Many hotels ensure that they promote local restaurants and attractions within walking distance or that are only a short car journey away. Many are also starting to offer bicycle hire to guests or endorse local tour firms, which save on multiple car journeys as visitors opt to visit the same local attractions.
Hotels that adopt eco-friendly measures and green technology as part of their general philosophy are also increasingly finding that guests approve of their efforts, no doubt ensuring future goodwill and increased occupancy rates. So even if you’re operating on a much smaller scale than the big chains, it’s worth adopting a green technology policy to suit your budget.
By Penny Parkin