Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront wins Rezidor’s Think Planet award

Think Planet Go for Gold winners

Think Planet Go for Gold winners, by Mark Squires

230 foldable bicycles were handed over to staff at Cape Town’s Radisson Blu Hotel, Waterfront for winning Rezidor’s international energy saving initiative, Think Planet

Worth R7000 each, the 'b’win tilt 7'bicycles were officially handed over to eager staff members by Rezidor’s Vice President of Responsible Business, Inge Huijbrechts, in a prize giving ceremony held on the hotel’s private, seafront promenade in the company of honoured guests from local government and the media.

Launched by Rezidor in January 2012, the Think Planet initiative strives to achieve a 25% reduction in the hotel group’s total energy consumption by 2016 across their entire portfolio of 430 hotels in over 70 countries. The Go For Gold incentive was introduced to reward the individual hotel which affected the highest energy saving; and the Radisson Blu Hotel, Waterfront got the all gold, outperforming all international competition by smashing the 5% targeted reduction set for each property with an incredible 28% year on reduction.

Huijbrechts, who champions Think Planet internationally, travelled from the head office in Brussels, Belgium for the special occasion, while TV personality and renowned MC, Lance Witten, entertained all the Radisson Blu staff who had earlier assembled themselves in the Think Planet logo on the hotel’s lawn.

Bedecked in green Think Planet T-shirts and scarves sponsored by ESKOM, strategic partners in the Hotel’s energy saving drive,  the staff listened as Huijbrechts framed their stellar performance in a global context,

As one of the fastest growing hotel groups in the world, the rapid expansion of Rezidor’s operational footprint can only be considered a success if we can pro-actively reduce our carbon footprint and energy consumption at the same rate or faster. Of the 35 000 employees who competed  worldwide in this initiative, the 230 staff members of this hotel managed to save 1 million kilowatt-hours, or the equivalent of 20 000 LED bulbs lit for one year.

Lodine Redelinghuys, Marketing Operations Manager of ESKOM, was on hand to congratulate the hotel staff for their enthusiasm and dedication to this important project. “The focus on reducing energy consumption is not limited to South Africa, but is a global concern which is escalating in importance as the world takes stock of its finite resources. At ESKOM we fully support corporate energy saving initiates such as Think Planet and commend the staff on their winning performance.”

“This truly was a team effort which required the buy in from the whole hotel, including our many guests who helped play a valuable part,” remarked Hotel General Manager, Michael Rathgeb. A Think Planet committee, comprising a cross section of staff from all departments and seniority levels, was established to identify energy saving opportunities throughout the hotel. In addition to creating a newsletter for all staff and guests which highlighted the Think Planet objectives, the committee advised on refurbishing the hotel’s cooling towers and HVAC system. Further savings were achieved by the installation of LED lighting and lighting motion sensors throughout the property.

According to Huijbrechts, Think Planet focuses on creating smart energy habits – such as switching off lights & equipment, turning heating and cooling to eco-mode, and reporting energy related issues that request attention and preventive maintenance. “The basic Think Planet tools, comprising daylight and motion sensors for lighting, condensation water recuperation from air-conditioning, and alarms on freezers, are simple and low-cost solutions. We focus on energy saving investments with a return on investment up to 7 years and our energy saving results are monitored and verified through monthly reports on environmental key performance indicators,” explains Huijbrechts.

“Of the many awards and accolades this hotel has won over the years, I believe this is one of the most valuable as it stands as a reminder that we all have our part to play in ensuring we all use our energy resources as carefully as possible,” remarks General Manager, Rathgeb. We have all benefited tremendously from the Think Planet initiative – and not just in bicycles – but in the awareness and sensitivity to energy expenditure that will follow and guide all our actions in the workplace and at home.”

For more information about Think Planet read our Industry Leader interview with Inge Huijbrechts

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