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Delegates from across the UK met to network, find solutions and listen to presentations from those in the tourism industry whose business it is to help drive more environmentally friendly energy, water and waste use.
One key speaker was Mark Sait of SaveMoneyCutCarbon who wanted to show even small business owners how relatively small investments could reap large financial rewards – as well as improving their carbon footprint.
In the video below you can see Mark explain how SaveMoneyCutCarbon targets predominantly retrofit products and solutions offering expert advice and guidance to hoteliers on saving energy and water.
He talks about how many of their initiatives offer great quick fixes for big or small businesses.
Mark believes that the start of any energy saving journey is first in measuring the business’ energy and water use. He demonstrated how their website can help people do this and he brought a simple plastic bag that can help anyone measure water output from a tap. Mark advised that any measure above five litres per minute would benefit from water saving initiatives.
For anyone wanting to measure their property’s carbon footprint, the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI) as developed by the International Tourism Partnership is a first step.
Mark talked about his partnership with Simon Pearson of Carlson Rezidor. When Mark first met Simon who was engineer of the Portman hotel in London, their spend was £50k per month electricity.
Mark resolved to use the SaveMoneyCutCarbon website to bring together all the shared knowledge and products in one place for easy access by anyone tasked with improving their property’s green credentials. He explained how he’d invited small and large hotels like Simon’s to test the products and feed back the results.
Now they use the leverage of big projects managed by large chains to make the products more available to smaller businesses.
The website offers a built in savings calculator on the products as well as tips and advice based on experience of fitting and using the devices. The site can be searched via product, sector or service.
Mark detailed how Puma hotels £65,000 installation of shower heads across hotels had bought them £100,000 savings in eight months.
Mark then handed the floor to Simon Pearson Area Chief Engineer for Carlon Rezidor across 46 hotels in UK & Ireland.
He explained how Carlson had launched their first environmental policy in 1989 and that had now expanded into their three pronged approach; Think Planet, Think People, Think Together.
Think Planet was launched company wide in January 2012 with the target of reducing energy consumption by 25% in every hotel by 2016, based on their 2011 consumption.
He talked about how they measure fuel energy per occupied room and kwh per square metre of the property. He said that once a hotel had addressed the low hanging fruit there was a need to invest in technology if you have ambition to take energy savings further.
Think Planet has four key commitments; to have every hotel eco-labelled by an independent auditor by 2015, to improve their energy consumption, to reduce water use and waste and increase recycling.
Simon described their partnership with SaveMoneyCutCarbon, installing water saving devices and boiler optimisation at £92,000 costs, bringing £169,000 savings. They began in May 2013 with 12 hotels fitted throughout with tap aerators and shower heads. The work had saved 80,000 litres of water in four months.
Additionally they had a LED light bulb replacement scheme rolled out in three phases – phase 1 was completed in 16 hotels bringing £250,000 savings in one year. This represented switching bulbs in corridors, back of house, store rooms – areas of 24 hour lighting all replaced in the 16 hotels. It represented a saving of 3.1million kw of electricity.
Next they had examined their Building Management System (BMS). Looking at optimisation of the BMS at Radisson Blu Stansted with 500 bedrooms and 26 conference suites a £3,800 cost represented £200,000 saved. The optimisation made adjustments to how the hotel runs. Simon cited the example of the hotel’s two 1000kw chillers. Now the BMS turn the chillers off in winter, pulling in colder ambient air from outside once it drops below 12 degrees.
Additionally the BMS turns off air con and other plant equipment when areas are not in use.
Simon insisted that delegates don’t have to invest must to achieve big savings.
Looking at the targets, Simon said that 26 of 36 Carlson Rezidor hotels in the UK are now eco labelled with a target to achieve 33 by the end of 2013.
He said 13 out of 14 Radisson Blu were Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) certified and over 50% of Park Inn also had GTBS. He said they had achieved GTBS Gold in eight hotels, GTBS silver in 13 hotels and GTBS bronze in four hotels.
The Radisson Blu Portman was awarded GTBS Gold in 2009, one of only nine London hotels with Gold at that time. At that hotel energy consumption is monitored daily. It’s a 43 year old building and therefore hard to run optimally.
As part of their environmental initiatives they had fitted 1200 low energy light bulbs bringing an 85% reduction in annual lighting energy consumption; a saving of £43.5k p/a and bringing energy use down from 518.837 kwh p/a to 77, 824 boosted by installing movement sensors in corridors, and ensuring external lighting is off in daylight hours.
Additionally they had replaced the shower heads in all 272 bedrooms saving five litres of water per minute; annually three million litres.
E cubes monitors in fridges had saved up to 85% energy, a change to A rated air con and refrigeration had saved 12%. ESS optimisation on three boilers had seen 77.29 tonnes of CO2 reduction – and every tonne saved sees £12 tax reduction.
Simon’s message to hospitality business owners was to start small. He said simple, cheap initiatives can bring good returns.
Watch the videos below to see Mark and Simon’s full presentations at the Green Tourism Conference.