Rising global temperatures, rising sea-levels, giant plastic garbage patches floating in the oceans: it’s become pretty clear that we have to find new ways of doing business and living our lives. And the hotel industry is responding to this need in a number of ways. From using new technologies that reduce their carbon footprint and overhead to more sustainable guest experiences that cater to increasingly environmentally conscious consumers, hotel operators are re-inventing the industry. And measures that were once considered progressive or even gimmicky, are quickly becoming standard hotel management best practices.
Sustainable Hotel Management
The most direct way that hotels are implementing sustainable practices and reducing their carbon footprint is at the operational level. After all, individual consumption preferences differ widely from guest-to-guest. So while guests can be offered more sustainable options, there’s no controlling how many showers they take, how extreme they run climate control settings, or how much room service they order. By tackling sustainability at the operational level, however, hotels are able to limit the environmental impact of even the most wasteful guests. More importantly, many of these sustainable operational practices also offer cost-savings that not only pay for their initial implementation but increase overall hotel profitability. In other words, there is a very strong business case for implementing sustainable hotel management practices.
Energy consumption comprises 60% of a hotel’s carbon footprint. But it also comprises 60% of a hotel’s utility expenditures. Indeed, energy use eats up 6-10% of a hotel property’s revenues, and is one of the fastest growing operating costs for the hotel industry at large.
Specifically, while occupancy sensors and smart thermostats monitor and respond to fluctuations in room occupancy, smart energy management systems like Verdant EI employ sophisticated machine learning algorithms to continuously analyze local weather patterns, historical thermodynamics, and peak demand loads to optimize energy consumption in real-time, all year round.
HVAC Energy Management Systems
Climate control is essential overhead for any hotel property. Whether it’s heating or air conditioning, every hotel property has a need for some kind of HVAC system. So to reduce their carbon footprint, many hotels are implementing IoT-enabled energy management systems that monitor and adjust energy consumption in real-time, improving HVAC systems performance and significantly reducing energy consumption.
IoT energy management systems are also helping hotels reduce their lighting energy consumption. Just as HVAC systems use occupancy sensors and machine learning algorithms to optimize HVAC energy consumption, smart lighting systems similarly allow hotels to track occupancy patterns, set preferred lighting times,and improve overall lighting energy consumption. Indeed, both of Verdant’s ZX and VX smart thermostats integrate with external third party lighting systems, turning lights on/off according to whether or not a room is occupied. This allows hotel operators to use the Verdant EI energy management system to optimize lighting energy consumption year-round, as well. While some companies have reduced lighting energy consumption by up to 75% just by converting to a smart LED lighting system, the hotel industry has seen even greater results. When the Chatwal Hotel in New York City retrofitted approximately 1,300 lamps with smart lighting, it saved more than 410,000 annual kilowatt-hours, equating to a 90% reduction in lighting energy consumption. In fact, the Chatwal Hotel saved around $124,255 in the first year alone, demonstrating that sustainable hotel operations makes good business sense. And the results have been equally impressive the world over. For instance, when the Radisson Blu Dubai Media City replaced 95% of its lights with LEDs in 2009, it reduced lighting energy consumption by 81%. And later in 2014, when the Grosvenor House Hotel in Dubai Marina replaced over 24,000 halogen lamps with smart LED lighting systems, it reduced energy consumption by about 80%, and recouped its investment in just 18 months.
Excerpt from an article taken from Verdant blog written by John Attala on July 8, 2019