NSW accommodation hotels are setting the standard internationally with their sustainability efforts slashing energy usage by millions of kilowatts each year.
The recent sustainability drive not only saves the environment but makes sound business sense too – with energy and water usage costs in particular dropping.
Tourism Accommodation Association director Carol Giuseppi said key NSW hotels were leading the way in setting new environmental standards including:
• Marriott, Sydney
• Park Hyatt, Sydney
• Grace Hotel, Sydney
• Sydney Harbour Marriott
• Hilton Hotel, Sydney
• Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG)
• The Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa
• Four Seasons, Sydney
• Sheraton on the Park
“This is not only good environmental practice, it makes sound business sense,” Ms Giuseppi said.
“These hotels really are setting the standard for a sustainable future in a world where more and more travellers – particularly corporate – are concerned about their carbon footprint, and where every dollar saved in long-term sustainability measures makes a hotel that much more competitive.
“Recent multi-million dollar renovations and upgrades at several hotels have given them the opportunity to invest in sustainable initiatives right across the board and they are reaping the dividends.”
Ms Giuseppi said sustainability was something the accommodation industry was now taking very seriously. “Take the Intercontinental Hotel Group for example; IHG has recently appointed its own dedicated director of sustainability to its Australasian operations – Victoria Rose.
“It has also secured more than $2 million in funding from the Aus-Industry Green Building Fund and together with other funds has used the money on projects at Crowne Plaza, Terrigal and Crowne Plaza Coogee as well as the Holiday Inn at the Airport.
“This will see energy consumption reduced by more than 7 million kWh and cut energy costs by more than a million dollars a year – annual carbon emissions will be reduced by more than 8750 tonnes of CO² (equal to 1000 years emissions from the average household).”
Ms Giuseppi said the Park Hyatt, Sydney will achieve a 30% energy saving through initiatives including “smart room controllers and occupancy sensors”.
“The Marriott Sydney has also made major changes to its carbon footprint with an extensive environmental program that sees water saving measures in place in hotel rooms and public areas and an extensive recycling system,” she said. “These initiatives have seen a saving of 25% in energy levels over the last year.
“At the Hilton, Sydney we have seen 744 LED light bulbs placed in guest corridors reducing energy requirements by 85% in those areas. Total energy per capita has dropped 6.5% in the last year and water use was cut by 2.3%. The Hilton also now has its own environmental and sustainability co-ordinator overseeing more changes.”
“The Grace Hotel, Sydney has reduced energy consumption by 20% through systematic lighting upgrades and air-conditioning improvements while over at the Four Seasons we have almost a million dollars currently being spent on sustainability including new technology in guest rooms and replacement of showerheads (saving nine litres of water a minute).
“Meanwhile, Sheraton on the Park has introduced a range of initiatives with the goal of reducing energy consumption by 30% and water consumption by 20% by 2020.”
Ms Giuseppi said outside of Sydney, the Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa had kept its carbon neutral status for the second year in a row with a carboNZero certification from an internationally accredited greenhouse gas certification scheme. The first hotel in the world to achieve this accreditation.
“Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa has a range of large-scale environmental programs in place including the protection of remnant vegetation areas, the planting of more than 17,500 trees in wildlife corridors and the use of solar power and heat recovery,” Ms Giuseppi said.