ECO-CONCERNS


 

Aim: To provide a quick guide for hoteliers and guests on the main areas of concern in an eco-friendly hotel.



Lighting and heating

Hotel concerns here are in the field of power supply generally, but also at a smaller level, for instance in eco-friendly light bulbs, sensors for lighting areas when people pass, solar panels, photo-voltaic cells or co-generators.

There must also be control over air conditioning, and low power machinery in general (washing machines and driers, steam irons and so on).

Advice can be made available to guests (and staff) on energy saving, and information about energy audits such as the five-level EU standard can be placed on the hotel website.




Water

Toilets can be equipped with dual flush mechanisms, and showers with eco-friendly showerheads.

Water-saving taps can be placed in public toilets, with guests made aware of the gains made by using such equipment.

Rainwater harvesting is now a feature of many hotels, with benefits for gardens and landscaping.

Good practices also include towel and/or bed linen policies (leading to less water used in laundries) and water control mechanisms in kitchens and other wet areas used by staff.




Inside air quality

It is possible to find eco-friendly mechanical ventilation systems and ensure top quality inside air. Natural products such as citrus leaves can be used for bedroom areas and products with green labels can be used in all areas of the hotel.

Kitchen smells easily propagate and must be controlled, and areas such as those around photocopiers need special attention.




Services and amenities

It is now common to arrange for green meetings at hotels involving recycled paper, whiteboards instead of menus or schedules on paper, water dispensers instead of bottled water, which is often wasted.

Hotel vehicles should be euro 5 or 6 standard.

Eco-friendly equipment is available for green policies applied to swimming pools or golf courses.

There are eco-friendly noise control systems that can be used for nightclubs, karaoke and other guest entertainment.




Waste

Waste separation and disposal equipment is now a common sight everywhere and all hotels should be duly equipped. It is sometimes forgotten that the hotel can, indeed should, make sure that waste collection is done in such a way as to avoid landfill to the maximum possible extent.

There are waste management involvement schemes now in many places.

Many hotels have changed to a collection procedure organised to take advantage of municipal facilities, charities and specialists (e.g. plastic bottle tops).

It is possible to put in place an eco-friendly programme for guest bathroom amenities and many items available made of natural ingredients.

Used cooking oils can be collected and recycled using licensed dealers and housekeeping trolleys divided for waste separation.




Raising awareness

It is essential for staff to be trained and there are eco-friendly hotel management training courses available. This helps staff feel committed to the hotel’s green policy, especially if the management encourages feedback on environmental issues from staff, guests, local residents and all other stakeholders.




Interaction with stakeholders

If there is close interaction with stakeholders, there should be an environmental charter available for reference, or a statement of management commitment to an eco-friendly policy.

There should be a visible partnership with the local community, for instance through links with charities (can guests contribute to a wildlife or environmental charity during or after their stay?) and through a local purchasing programme.

An environmental message could be sent to guests or included on hotel stationery and green awards or certificates placed on display.

There may also be cuttings from local newspapers about the hotel’s interaction with the community.


Greening the suppliers


It is possible to save paper with electronic purchasing software, with suppliers informed of the hotel’s green policy.

There are now many agreements between hotels and suppliers for collection and reuse of packaging.

Cleaning and washing should be with biodegradable / phosphate-free products.

Locally sourced building materials should be used in the hotel wherever possible.