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Eastern Hotelier Magazine Features Green Key


The motivation for any business to reduce its environmental footprint has changed over the past decades. What was once a demonstration of forward thinking — a way for a business to show it cared about the planet — has become a necessary part of operations and ingrained in a business’s values. Staff expect it and so do your guests. Of course, energy efficiency plays a big role in reducing that environmental footprint — and there is some great guidance available for hoteliers.

“All areas of the hotel’s operation can equally be improved for energy efficiency in so many ways starting with small steps over a period of time that is comfortable for the property,” says Rebecca Bartlett-Jones, manager of business development for Green Key Global.

For example, she suggests gradually replacing incandescent bulbs with longer lasting more energy efficient LEDs as one project. Another project may be to retrofit water-saving toilet dams, faucet aerators, and shower heads to start conserving water. Those steps can work up to using grey water, such as non-contaminated bath water, to water gardens.

Measures can be taken one department at a time — for example, in housekeeping. Bartlett-Jones offers a list:“Training staff to close curtains when rooms are not occupied to regulate temperature, turn off lights, turn TVs completely off not on standby, encourage guests to reuse towels, and offer room cleaning every other or every third day instead of daily.”

Small steps add up over the long term. “General building maintenance is key for an efficient operation: making sure water pipes are properly insulated, heaters are not blocked by furniture, and many other considerations that may be overlooked,” she says. “In engineering, it takes a lot of power to pump, purify, and heat water — installing inexpensive flow-restricting valves on faucets can control water flow, saving up to four gallons of water per minute, per tap.”