Kempinski manages sustainability through KREEN

Kempinski hotels, green hotels

KREEN, the short form of Kempinski Renewable Energy, is a consulting and project management company whose purpose is to provide renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency (EE) solutions to Kempinski’s worldwide hotel portfolio.

Founded in 2011 as a joint venture between Kempinksi Hotels SA, Stadtwerke Mainz AG and Marshfield Energy Switzerland Ltd, KREEN consists of a team of engineers and hoteliers who are devoted to improving hotels’ energy efficiency and sourcing a considerable amount of their primary energy from renewable sources.

The need to reduce energy consumption is not new to the hotel industry. On average, full-service hotels spend between 4% and 6%, and historic and luxury properties up to 10%, of total revenue on energy costs. Increasing fossil fuel costs and the need to address pressing environmental issues have moved the topic of energy efficiency and renewable energies to the top of many hoteliers’ agendas.

Markus Semer, Member of the Board of Management of Kempinski AG, explains Kempinski's unique approach to sustainability, "Kempinski has a pragmatic approach to hotel management and the services it provides. Sustainability is no different; we sought an innovative solution which would add value to the owners of the hotels we manage. Through KREEN and our partners, we can offer expertise in consulting, planning, project management and quality assurance services on the use of renewable energies and energy efficiency to Kempinski hotels." He continues, "This allows Kempinski to drive real efficiency and, ultimately, concrete savings in hotels at any stage of their lifecycle: through KREEN's involvement right from the planning stages of a new property, as well as solutions which can be implemented for properties already under operation."

In order to get a better understanding of how KREEN aims to address this problem, it is helpful to look at how individual properties are approached and solutions are evaluated.

At first, after a property has been contacted by KREEN, a Pre-Feasibility Study is conducted which answers initial questions regarding the property’s potential for EE and RE solutions:

  • Where does the property stand in terms of its energy efficiency?
  • How urgent is the need for a thorough measuring & metering concept?
  • How good is the RE potential at the specific location of the hotel in terms of technical feasibility, costs, and efficiency?

From this it becomes clear where the property stands, how it is performing compared to a set of benchmarks and what can be done in order to improve its position. For this, KREEN generally proposes a second, more detailed Feasibility Study. Here, a close look is taken at issues involving:

  • Implementation of a measuring & metering concept
  • On-site energy efficiency audit
  • Analysis & preparation of audit report
  • Site investigation to identify renewable energy options
  • Conceptual design of renewable energy options and feasibility report
  • Recommendations for owner
  • Presentation

In general, the results of this second study outline what measures can be taken, how much they would cost, how much energy costs could be saved and how fast the entire installation can be amortized. Faced with this information, the owner and management now have a solid base for their decision on when and how they would like to go ahead with the proposed solutions and invest.

When the decision is taken KREEN experts select the most suitable supplier from KREEN’s pool of highly qualified suppliers to commission and implement the developed concept. At this stage, KREEN benefits from the joint venture partners regarding their specialized knowledge, resources and network, which also offers access to suppliers of related products, systems and technologies. KREEN takes on the role of project manager during the implementation phase to ensure that construction is on time and within the proposed budget.

An example of a recent project under development is the Kempinski Hotel Ajman in the UAE, where KREEN and the system supplier Millennium Energy Industries are currently constructing a solar thermal installation. Due to the property’s location, it is estimated that amortization of the entire investment should occur in slightly less than five years, which is achievable through high system efficiency and the constantly high solar radiation which occurs in those latitudes. The property’s need for warm water in different areas from in-room appliances (showers, bath) to kitchen facilities to the pool heating will be met in varying degrees depending on the time of the year.

Green Hotelier spoke to Ulrich Eckhardt, Kempinski Regional President Middle East & Africa, to find out what impact the service has had on the ground...

What in your opinion are the main benefits of working with an external partner like KREEN?

As a part of the Kempinski group, Kempinski Hotel Ajman has a social and ecological responsibility. Working with KREEN allowed us to make a meaningful contribution to the environment, while cutting down hotel operating costs in the long-run. The hotel benefited from KREEN’s experience in this field, and was also able to count on their guidance from the early planning stages to finalising the implementation.

KREEN installed solar thermal collectors on the roof of Kempinski Hotel Ajman, which now heat much of the hot water used in the hotel’s operations through the energy of the sun. Kempinski Hotel Ajman is able to heat up to 30,000 litres of water on a daily basis without any energy costs.

What can other hotels learn from this approach?

KREEN provided Kempinski Hotel Ajman with the best tailor-made, energy-efficient solution, including a long-term cost decrease and environmentally friendly measures. I would recommend KREEN to any hotel wishing to make a more significant contribution to the environment.

What is the best thing that the partnership with KREEN has enabled?

KREEN created a solution tailored to our specific hotel, taking into account its size, operational requirements and geographical location. In less than five years, Kempinski Hotel Ajman will have recovered the cost for the whole installation while at the same time saving up to 140 tons of CO² per year. This demonstrates nicely how renewable energies can be a great solution for decreasing hotels’ energy bills while actively supporting a more responsible approach to business.

From the beginning of the project, KREEN supported us with their experience in implementing comprehensive energy management policies: they provided us with conceptual advice, full guidance throughout the implementation process and put us in contact with the best suppliers for the solution tailored for our hotel.

Currently, KREEN is in its first phase servicing Kempinski hotels. We look forward to hearing about carbon savings made by other Kempinski hotels that chose to work with KREEN.

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