Sustainable Hotel Principles and Practices: Money in the Bank
By Jane Watkins President, Watkins Public Relations | June 10, 2012
The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives (Sioux Proverb)
As Kermit the Frog said, "it is not easy being green," but it is worth the effort and investment. When done right, going green can help hotels reduce costs, increase profits and allow investment in areas that directly benefit guests.
Whether a new build or a historic hotel, savings, both economical and ecological, can be made with simple steps. Water is an environmental issue that impacts all communities and hits the bottom line for hotels. The EPA estimates that a 150-room hotel can save about $30,000 per year if 65% of its guests participate in its linen-reuse program, a simple and effective water conservation effort.
Water charges in the Naples, Florida range from $1.31 to $3.92 per 1,000 gallons, profits at Lemon Tree Inn were going down the drain. With water usage at an estimated 100 gallons per room, water costs for the 34-room hotel can be as much as $6,000 annually.
"That amount may be insignificant to a large resort, but for a small hotel, it hurts," said Sid Kalmans, owner of Lemon Tree Inn. To help get guests involved in reducing water usage, Lemon Tree Inn took advantage of the Water Conservation Hotel and Motel Program (Water CHAMP), a free awareness program provided by the South Florida Water Management District that provides signage encouraging guests to use towels and linens more than once during their stay. A 2010 survey projected that more than 186 million gallons of water were saved by Water CHAMP participating properties.
"The impact has been very positive," said Kalmans, "In addition to reducing our water usage, we are also using less detergent. A direct benefit to guests is that by reducing our costs, we are able to keep offering affordable rates."
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