Library Archives

 
Sam Small

Concrete is one of the most prevalent construction materials used to rebuild in hurricane zones. Unfortunately manufacturing concrete releases a lot of carbon gas into the atmosphere, which today is making for stronger hurricanes. As well, esthetically speaking, concrete doesn't have a very friendly personality. In a modernized twist on the most ancient of building materials, Structural Bamboo offers an attractive solution that not only reduces the carbon released into the atmosphere it actually removes carbon from the atmosphere and sequesters it away indefinitely. Read on...

Bill Meade

US-based hotel chains are in various stages of adopting corporate environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility programs. The trend tracks rapidly increasing utility costs, growing awareness among guests of global environmental issues such as climate change and scarcity of water resources, and the introduction of a wide variety of "environmentally-friendly" product and technology alternatives. US hotel chains are also taking advantage of collaborative voluntary initiatives at the local, national and international level. Read on...

Jim Poad

With skyrocketing fuel prices eating into profits, hoteliers have few reservations about cutting energy expenses. They're adjusting thermostats, dimming lights in lobbies and hallways, consolidating trips for supplies, and even posting signs that ask guests to "please reuse towels." While these are all good ideas, they're really just a start. To maintain or even maximize profitability, hoteliers need to go beyond mere cost-cutting and step into the realm of energy budget management. It can be a very effective strategy for reducing operating expenses and is something that, surprisingly, many hoteliers are overlooking. Read on...

Steve Kiesner

In the short term, using natural gas and electricity more efficiently is vital. For the lodging industry, energy conservation is a well-recognized element in lowering costs. On average, America's 47,000 hotels spend $2,196 per available room each year on energy, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). There are also a number of quick and easy steps your company can take right now to step up its control over energy use. These are probably already second nature to you, but here are 10 no- or low-cost ideas to start saving energy today: Read on...

Steve Kiesner

Energy conservation has always made good business sense. Now, with the nation's natural gas prices at or near record levels, it is imperative that hotel executives make sure they are getting the most value they can from every energy dollar. According to the latest data available from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the nation's lodging industry annually spends over $5.5 billion for energy. Of that amount, 40 percent is for natural gas. For hotel executives, knowing how a hotel uses energy is the first step toward knowing where to start conserving. Water heating alone, for example, accounts for almost 40 percent of a hotel's total energy cost, and two thirds of its natural gas use. Read on...

Steve Kiesner

Electricity is there when you need it. And it has been this way for almost one hundred and twenty-five years, since Thomas Alva Edison developed the first practical electric light bulb and set off a revolution that changed virtually everything in our society. But electricity, and indeed all energy, is something we can't take for granted. Although most people think about electricity only when they flip on the light switch, the U.S. electric system consists of a massive, interconnected network of generating plants, transmission lines, and distribution facilities. Energy legislation is needed now to reinforce electric reliability, foster more efficient, competitive electric power markets, promote fuel diversity, and expand our energy supplies and production. At the same time, a national energy bill needs to stress efficiency and the wise use of existing resources. With electricity consumption expected to increase 49 percent between today and 2025, these supply and demand measures are the best long-term solutions for our energy future. Read on...

Tyler Tatum

I found a little secret about energy cost in your hotel rooms. Did you know that 30% of the energy cost in your property is used by your HVAC units? Did you know that you could reduce the energy consumption of your HVAC unit just be keeping it clean? Once clean, your guest complaints will go to zero, and you will be shocked at how many guests show up at your property. You may ask why I am so excited about this idea. First, I hate that moldy smell that hits me as I walk into the majority of the hotel rooms I have visited. Second, I am all for any idea that has a 6-month ROI on energy savings alone. Third, this solution cuts down severely on the amount of perfumes and chemicals used in the room. Read on...

Steve Kiesner

For the lodging industry, energy conservation is a well-recognized element in lowering costs. With energy typically accounting for three to five percent of a hotel's total operating expenses, getting the most value out of every energy dollar can improve profitability. A comprehensive plan can lower energy use by up to 20 percent. America's electric companies encourage you to explore new ways to use energy more wisely. Power companies are promoting the wise use of electricity because it benefits hotels and all their customers. They are also doing so because it helps electric generating plants and transmission wires to operate more effectively. This can improve the reliability of electricity supplies, especially during peak electricity demand periods such as the summertime. Encouraging the efficient use of electricity also helps the power company to conserve natural resources and protect the environment. Many energy-saving measures cost little or nothing. But the returns could surprise you. Here are some easy-to-implement tips that can be put in use today... Read on...

Arthur Weissman

Becoming green is not a one-time thing: it requires a concerted effort over time from a number of people and departments. This article will outline some recent trends in developing an environmentally responsible corporate policy, the steps to build a green program in a property or group of properties, and information about what should be covered by written policies and procedures. Read on...

Steve Kiesner

In working with national lodging chains, I know that improving energy efficiency has long been a focus of the industry. Efforts have included simple measures, such as reminding guests to turn off lights, to more complex efforts, such as installing high-tech energy management systems and innovative heating and cooling systems. These efficiency actions have paid off in greater profitability. Energy typically accounts for three to five percent of a hotel's total operating expenses. The money saved through energy-efficiency has created more money to spend on guest amenities, on staff salary increases, or on other vital areas. What you may not know is that your energy-efficiency actions, and those by other businesses and consumers across the country, are part of the reason why the nation's air quality has been improving. A new report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency shows that overall air emissions nationwide have dropped by more than 50 percent since the Clean Air Act was adopted in 1970. Read on...

Steve Kiesner

Customer service. The hotel industry knows how important it is to exceed its customers' expectations every time they check in. For the nation's power industry, the same attitude holds true. Electric companies strive to provide their customers with affordable power every time they flip the switch. Two events in August-the well-publicized blackout and a less publicized environmental ruling-will both have a far-reaching impact on the ability of the power industry to serve its customers. Read on...

Steve Kiesner

Experts are predicting that last winter's record high prices for natural gas are likely to become the new baseline for the near future. In any event, high gas prices will likely pose a continuing challenge for the lodging industry and others that rely on gas to a large degree. According to the latest data available from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the lodging industry annually spends over $5.5 billion for energy. Of the total energy consumed, natural gas represents about 40 percent. Read on...

Steve Kiesner

Conserving natural resources and protecting the environment make good business sense. For the hotel industry, the recent efforts in many parts of the country to ask guests for their help in conserving water is a compelling example. Hotels that have done so have strengthened relations with their customers by creating a positive connection between the hotel industry and the environment. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), taking steps to conserve water throughout a hotel property can also cut water and sewer costs by up to 30 percent. Read on...

Steve Kiesner

When uncertainty develops in the nation's power industry, and it certainly has these past few years, the prospect of the local government taking over the power company is sometimes raised. Takeover proponents promise lower prices and greater reliability, questioning the local electric company's ability to deliver what hotels and other customers expect-a reliable and affordable electricity supply. But government takeovers aren't the answer. In the end, government takeovers of the local power company bring with them new risks and potential costs for hotel executives and all electricity customers. To assure your hotel of a competitively priced power supply that is there when you need it, we need a national approach that includes three elements... Read on...

Steve Kiesner

A significant change in the nation's electricity industry during the past five years revolves around who will supply your hotel with electricity. As with any change, how well your company responds will depend upon how well prepared it is. Competition, now that it is a reality, is here to stay. The U.S. Congress initially looked at mandating a specific date for all states to begin competing. Today, however, they are focusing their attention instead on the issues in the country's wholesale electricity markets that effect the success of competition at the state level. If your company has a hotel in an area that has adopted retail electricity competition or is considering it, how can you prepare for the change? Here are some suggestions. Read on...

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Coming up in August 2019...

Food & Beverage: Millennial Chefs Lead the Way

Led by Millennial chefs, hotels continue to foster sustainability, sourcing and wellness within their dining rooms and banquet spaces, and by all measures, this is responsible for an increase in their revenues. In many hotels, the food & beverage division contributes 50 per cent or more to hotel sales and they are currently experiencing double-digit growth. As a result, hotel owners are allocating an increasing amount of square footage for F&B operations. The biggest area of investment is in catering, which is thriving due to weddings, social events and business conferences. Hotels are also investing in on-site market or convenience stores that offer fresh/refrigerated foods, and buffet concepts also continue to expand. Other popular food trends include a rise of fermented offerings such as kombucha, kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, kefir and pickles - all to produce the least processed food possible, and to boost probiotics to improve the immune system. Tea is also enjoying something of a renaissance. More people are thinking of tea with the same reverence as coffee due to its many varieties, applications and benefits. Craft tea blending, nitro tea on tap and even tea cocktails are beginning to appear on some hotel menus. Another trend concerns creating a unique, individualized and memorable experience for guests. This could be a small consumable item that is specific to a property or event, such as house-made snack mixes, gourmet popcorn, macaroons, or jars of house-made jams, chutneys, and mustards -all produced and customized in house. One staple that is in decline is the in-room minibar which seems to have fallen out of favor. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will document the trends and challenges in the food and beverage sector, and report on what some leading hotels are doing to enhance this area of their business.