The Green Hotel: A New Culture

Following the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, a new green culture looks set to emerge. With ambitious plans to keep global temperature increases to below 2°C, and future targets for reductions in carbon emissions likely to surface over the coming years, the summit’s ambitions seem likely to lead to a new green culture in hotel management worldwide.

Hoteliers worldwide are accordingly reviewing their energy policies to make further cuts in emissions where possible. Many are subsequently adopting green technology strategies to reduce hotel operational costs from heating, lighting and other utilities, with a view to reaping rewards from enhanced eco-credentials as well as significant reductions in running costs.

Western hotels that do follow green low carbon strategies may also reap the benefits when developing world hotels are looking for partners as they will look to chains and individuals with low cost energy strategies and impeccable green credentials to do business with. Hotels with the required green technologies in place will therefore be first in the queue for these lucrative foreign mergers.

Given that developing world economies look likely to become the trendsetters in adopting ecotourism measures themselves, western holiday resorts may well start to lag behind in comparison or suddenly be hit by legal requirements to reduce carbon emissions from their own governments if they fail to take steps now for the future. It is therefore increasingly important that western hotels clean up their act.

The biggest contributors to high hotel energy consumption costs are undoubtedly air conditioning, cookers, laundry facilities and lighting. These utilities can represent a sizeable chunk of hotel energy consumption and also a hefty bill. The United Nations World Tourism Organisation has therefore set targets of a 20% reduction in this consumption, with a desired target of around 30%.

Hotel chains that are to be seen as leading the way in green technology methods are adopting such targets at an increasingly early stage as a matter of policy, with an eye to benefiting from early compliance in terms of phasing in changes over time via a manageable strategy rather than at the last minute, with enhanced effects on profile and budget, rather than running the risk of getting left behind.

As far as newly built hotel developments are concerned, hoteliers are seizing the opportunity to employ green energy strategies from scratch as regards design, construction and low carbon technology to LEED equivalent standards. Such methods may be marginally more costly but look set to reap rewards in terms of future costs and a low carbon policy that will add impact to any PR campaign.

As part of such strategies, developments are carefully considered and planned to avoid huge open areas that will require air conditioning or heating. Site buildings are also designed to maximise heating benefits from the local climate, with steps to draft proofing windows and doors and generally minimize carbon dioxide emissions.

As well as worldwide governmental pressure, it looks likely that the hotel guests of the future will also demand higher standards of hotels, with ecotourism credentials attracting many who are looking to help preserve the environment and reduce their carbon footprint. This emerging new green culture therefore looks set to ensure that hoteliers and chains that take action now will reap the benefits financially in the future.

By Penny Parkin

DISCUSS

Share Your View

Hotel Industry Magazine: http://www.hotel-industry.co.uk | Articles (RSS) | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions
© 2015, Jamieson Media, a UK Registered Partnership