ITP members lead the way in NYC water conservation challenge

Hotel Water Conservation Challenge. Photo: NYC DEP

Hotel Water Conservation Challenge. Photo: NYC DEP

Last week the Department of Environmental Protection honoured participants in New York City’s Hotel Water Conservation Challenge. Top performing hotels reduced their water consumption by more than 11 million gallons last year.

New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Emily Lloyd on honoured eleven of the city’s premier hotels for their participation in New York City’s Hotel Water Conservation Challenge. Over the last year, each of the hotels took steps to conserve water with the goal of reducing their total consumption by 5% The Sheraton TriBeca achieved the best results, reducing their annual consumption by more than 20%. Three other hotels, The Intercontinental Barclay New York, The Ritz Carlton, and the Carlton Hotel also surpassed the 5% goal, each reducing their consumption by more than 10%. In total, the four hotels that achieved at least a 5% reduction in water consumption conserved nearly 11,300,000 gallons of water over the course of the challenge. The Commissioner gave the New Yorker Hotel an honourable mention for managing to maintain the lowest water usage per square foot for the majority of the challenge.

At today’s ceremony, DEP also introduced its new Hotel Manager’s Guide to Water Efficiency which provides tips on conserving water in guest rooms, common areas, food service, laundry and pool operations, and how to detect leaks. DEP plans to distribute the guide to hotels throughout the five boroughs in an effort to replicate the success of the Hotel Water Conservation Challenge. All of the hotels in New York City consume approximately 10 million gallons of water a day. If one third of hotels in the city reduced their consumption by 5%, is would save roughly 64 million gallons of water each year.

“We are very fortunate in New York to have an abundant supply of clean drinking water, but faced with the likely effects of climate change and a growing population we must conserve our natural resources and find other ways to make our city more sustainable,” said DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd . “I would like to extend my thanks to the participants in the City’s conservation challenge and I encourage them to keep up their efforts to save water.”

“The Carlton is proud to have been an active participant in the NYC Water challenge and thrilled that we were able to save to our targeted goal. We will continue to apply the lessons learned in this valuable initiative and promote awareness to our guests and our associates,” said Vic Freeman, General Manager of the Carlton Hotel.

A representative of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel added: “The Ritz - Carlton NY Central Park is thrilled to join the New York City Department of Environmental Protection's efforts to reduce hotel water consumption and meet the goals set for the Hotel Water Conservation Challenge. As the property continues to strive toward sustainable quality and distinction, we look forward to continuing to preserve the City’s natural resources and support our local community through ecologically sound initiatives.”

The Hotel Water Conservation Challenge is one part of DEP’s efforts to conserve water as part of a $1.5 billion initiative to ensure clean, reliable, and safe drinking water for more than nine million New Yorkers for decades to come. As part of this initiative, DEP is working to repair leaks in the Delaware Aqueduct that supplies roughly half of the city’s daily drinking water. In order to complete these repairs to the Aqueduct, the tunnel must be temporarily shut down between 2020 and 2021. Ahead of the planned shutdown, DEP aims to reduce citywide water consumption by 5%.

As part of the City’s Greener, Greater Buildings Plan, owners of large buildings are required to annually measure their energy and water consumption in a process called benchmarking. Local Law 84 standardizes this process and captures the information within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's free online benchmarking tool called Portfolio Manager. By empowering building owners, and potential buyers, with a better understanding of a building's energy and water consumption, the market will eventually shift towards increasingly efficient, high-performing buildings.

For more information, visit or check out their guide on Water Efficiency in Hotels. For related content see Green Hotelier's articles on water.

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