Thriving at Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill

Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill

Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill

by Fran Hughes

The Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill recently won Hyatt’s coveted ‘Doing it All’ Hyatt Thrive Leadership Award.

This award recognises various Hyatt hotels, resorts, and offices for their outstanding commitment in 2012 to initiatives aligned with Hyatt’s global corporate responsibility platform Hyatt Thrive.  Director of Engineering at Hyatt Regency London Ian Odendaal invited Green Hotelier to the hotel to hear about the wide range of environmental initiatives that helped the hotel earn this award.

The headline figures show impressive reductions since the 2006 benchmark;

  • Energy consumption and carbon emissions per square meter reduced by 16.6%
  • Water consumption per guest night reduced by 37%
  • Waste per guest night reduced by 10.98% since 2010

What is even more impressive is that the property achieved these reductions with a 65% increase in business since 2006, demonstrating that it is possible to bring down overall use even if your business is growing. Here’s how they did it:


Sub-metering was used to monitor electricity used in different areas and understand the savings generated by switching off equipment. A meter installed in the main function room helped the hotel reduce energy use in this area alone by 25%. Replacement of inefficient chillers delivered a saving of £45,000 per year. One of the biggest savings made was a major retrofit of LED lights in the hotel entrance, hallways and guest rooms, saving 13% on electricity consumption. Work is now in progress to evaluate LED use in other areas of the hotel. Ian Odendaal stresses the need to evaluate lighting need and the ability of current LED technology to provide the correct level and effect of lighting.


The dramatic reduction in water use was achieved by remarkably simple means. Just by fitting low-flow showerheads and restrictors to taps reduced water consumption by 20%. An additional 10% was saved by installing new dishwashers, which also reduced energy and chemical use.


Staff training had a huge impact on how waste is handled in the property. All hotel associates are given an Eco Tour of the property, which highlights how they can contribute to waste reduction and proper handling of waste and recycling. Food-handling staff underwent training to handle the food dehydrator machine – one that clearly showed the importance of food waste management. The reduction in food waste was dramatic, reducing waste to landfill and cost. One of the most innovative and successful projects was to ask four staff teams to create short videos on waste handling. All four were played in the staff restaurant, to the amusement of associates who saw their senior managers ridiculing themselves. The success of this strategy was combining a clear message with a lot of fun which staff would talk about and remember.

So what are the key lessons to share?

Pinpoint where you are using the most energy – Whilst it may cost in the short term, engaging consultants to evaluate your resource use is likely to pay off in the long run. Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill’s energy audit showed the relative consumption of different systems in the hotel and indicated that lighting was the hotel’s largest consumer of electricity. This helped prioritise investment into where the savings would be largest and deliver the fastest payback on initiatives.

Ensure clear management systems are in place to manage your energy use - Ian Odendaal highlighted that though there had been capital investments, spending on technology will only get you so far. “A cooling system or boiler can never know the occupancy or the weather outside. So we monitor these daily and set our systems accordingly to provide just what we need – no more and no less.” This measure alone resulted in an estimated reduction of 7% in electricity and 8% in gas used.

Engage your staff – Staff have a pivotal role in delivering savings. Make it a normal part of people’s job. Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill trains security staff to switch off lights and equipment when not in use. Just don’t lecture staff – entertain them, involve them, and surprise them with interesting facts to help them retain the message.

Low cost measures do work – Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill made some significant reductions in water, waste and energy through relatively simple means, good management and staff training.

Speak the language of those you need to persuade to invest - Talk to your finance manager like a finance manager. Get your facts right on costs, savings and payback and be prepared to argue the case for investment. No finance manager likes to hear you propose to spend £60,000 on lightbulbs, however, this investment at Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill paid back in 9 months and is set to deliver savings of £80,000 per annum.

Ensure any changes do not compromise quality and guest comfort – Don’t rush into a lighting retrofit without doing a thorough evaluation of lighting needs and the ability of available technology to provide this. Lighting needs to be right, so make sure your design team are engaged and work together to balance all your needs.

About Hyatt Thrive:

Hyatt’s global corporate responsibility platform, Hyatt Thrive, is designed to help make their communities places where their associates are proud to work, their guests want to visit, their neighbours want to live and owners want to invest. Harnessing the power of more than 90,000 associates worldwide, Hyatt Thrive brings together teams of passionate people to focus on positive local efforts that create a significant global impact.

Brigitta Witt, vice president of corporate responsibility for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, said the locally driven efforts of Hyatt hotels around the world such as those of Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill are both inspiring and crucial to Hyatt’s strategy. “Actively contributing to the environmental and social well-being of our communities is integral to sustaining our business; and the recipients of the Hyatt Thrive Leadership Awards exemplify Hyatt’s longstanding commitment to contribute to the prosperity, health and advancement of the many communities around the world that we serve,” Witt said.

For more information about Hyatt Thrive, please visit

Follow this link for more information about Hyatt Regency London - The Churchill.

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