Last November, Le Méridien Piccadilly was awarded a Green Key Eco Label.
The hotel, which is part of the Starwood Hotels & Resorts, has been implementing sustainable initiatives since 2008, when the hotel started actively separating and recycling waste, as well as trying to reduce its energy output.
The hotel’s dedicated Green Council Team was put in place in February 2012. As well as developing green initiatives and monitoring the hotel’s progress, the team also works to raise awareness of Le Méridien Piccadilly’s sustainability initiatives amongst the rest of the hotel associates, letting them know how they can get involved and support the hotel’s green efforts.
The first meeting to discuss Starwood’s global environmental mission and present the water and energy reduction goals to the hotel team was held in conjunction with the launch of the first Green Council Team. From then on the hotel embarked on efforts to achieve the Green Key Eco Label.
Green Hotelier recently spoke with Oscar del Campo, General Manager at Le Méridien Piccadilly, to find out more about their quest for eco accreditation.
Starwood Hotels & Resort’s global environmental policy address six different areas of opportunity – water, energy, indoor environmental quality, waste, emissions and supply chain. The company’s initial worldwide focus is on energy and water – Starwood has committed to reducing energy consumption by 30% and water consumption by 20% by the year 2020 (from a 2008 baseline).
Oscar del Campo states, "As a hotel, we share this commitment and feel strongly that the efforts we make are vital in helping Starwood to achieve its global goal. Our associates recognise the impact that they can each make through seemingly small actions and understand that our guests want to know that we are doing everything we can to reduce the environmental impact of their hotel stay."
"Guests are also increasingly interested in what the hotel is doing from a sustainability perspective – our associates receive more and more comments on the green initiatives we have introduced and our events team are frequently asked about our sustainability, particularly in terms of food and drink sourcing. Guests now want to see that the hotel is doing everything possible to reduce its impact on the environment and our associates are proud to tell them about our Green Key accreditation and the green efforts we have been making."
Here are some of the sustainable initiatives in place at the hotel at the moment:
Energy & Carbon
- The hotel uses an in-house Combined Heat and Power unit
- LED lamps are used throughout the hotel
- Passive Infrared Sensors have been introduced in various public areas, these occupancy sensors automatically turn off lighting in unoccupied spaces
- Electronic payslips have replaced paper
- Encouragement of guests to use green transport, providing information on 'Boris' bikes and public transport
- Low flow filters have been fit on all taps and shower heads
- The hotel has started trials to introduce variable speed drivers on pumps
- Introduction of Starwood’s “Make a Green Choice” initiative which gives guests the opportunity to opt out of housekeeping for a day (saving water and electricity and reducing the amount of chemicals used) in return for a £5 voucher to spend in our food and beverage outlets
Education & training
- Annual green day is held for all hotel associates
- Environmental posters encourage green activity in back-of-house areas
- The Green Council Team conducts a presentation at every quarterly associate meeting, to educate the rest of the staff about the hotel's sustainable initiatives
- Green Council Team display boards announce the latest initiatives/achievements
- The hotel have introduced Starwood’s sustainable meeting packages which includes elements such as paperless meeting planning, provision of recycled notepaper and flip charts, LED signage and white boards, recycling bins in all meeting spaces and alternatives to bottle water
We also asked Oscar del Campo...
What have been the main benefits of implementing these green initiatives?
"As well as being able to make significant reductions in our energy consumption – for example, water consumption was reduced by 2.054 cubic metres year-on-year from 2011 to 2012 (the equivalent of almost seven of the hotel’s swimming pool) – promoting sustainability at Le Méridien Piccadilly has also helped to improve our interactions with both guests and the local community."
Do you have plans to expand on green initiatives in the future?
"As a hotel in an old building, parts of which are listed, we are constantly monitoring and expanding on our green initiatives to ensure we are operating as sustainably as possible, whilst maintaining exceptional guest experiences. For example, over the next few months we will be looking to replace old toilet cisterns, offer filtered tap water in our food and beverage outlets and introduce sensor taps in public washrooms to reduce water wastage."
What would be your top 3 bits of advice to hotels looking to do the same?
- Be green – choose sustainable products
- Drive for results – set challenging but achievable goals
- Live sustainably – monitor and document your actions to lead by example