Reducing Costs and Attracting Customers Through Water and Energy Conservation, Waste Reduction, and Toxics Use Reduction

OTA hosted a conference in Marlborough, Massachusetts on water conservation and other greening opportunities for the hospitality industry. The conference, Saving Money Through Greening Hospitality: Reducing Costs and Attracting Customers Through Water and Energy Conservation, Waste Reduction, and Toxics Use Reduction, featured speakers from the hospitality industry, experts in water conservation, and government officials. Nancy Stevens, the mayor of Marlborough, welcomed forty attendees from the hospitality sector and other interested parties.

Dan Cook, a water conservation expert, pointed out that water conservation investments typically have rapid paybacks, immediate reduction in operating expenses, and often save on energy as well as water. He described technologies that save energy, water, and chemicals, such as low-flow shower heads; the "Dolphin" nonchemical cooling tower maintenance system that uses an electric field to prevent the precipitation of minerals that cause scale build-up; ozonating washers that reduce the need for laundry soap, heat, and water; steam trap repair; pool covers, and simple rainwater capture for landscape irrigation.

Other speakers included Glenn Hasek of the industry newsletter Green Lodging News who gave a presentation on many new certifications of environmental responsibility that hotels can receive, including 17 new state green hotel programs. Both Dan Ruben of Boston Green Tourism and Tedd Saunders of the Lenox Hotels spoke about the rise of consumer interest in green hotels and the commercial benefits of meeting that challenge. In particular, Ruben noted that there are now 405 hotels rated as efficient under the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Energy Star program and that several major chains have announced environmental initiatives, such as LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for Starwood's ELEMENT hotels. Several speakers also noted that meeting planners are asking for environmental information in their Requests for Proposals, and some government agencies, including the EPA, require staff to stay in green hotels.

While the profusion of certifications and standards has created confusion about what constitutes a "green" hotel, each speaker was clear about the advantages of greening operations: for example, Energy Star buildings use 35% less energy than comparable buildings, the Hyatt Regency Boston reduced electricity use from 12.3 million kwh/yr to 7.5 million kwh/yr, and the Westin Copley Place reduced water use by 22.5 million gallons in 2008 alone. The manager of the Marlborough Marriott stated that the energy and water audits arranged by OTA identified many options for savings, such as low-flow fittings, lighting, and space and water heating.

A lot of the information presented is also applicable to large commercial facilities. The conference brochure, which includes the agenda and the presentations are posted below. Please contact Rick Reibstein for further information at (617) 626 1062.

Proceedings from the OTA Greening Hospitality Conference pdf format of green_hotels_proceedings.pdf

Greening Your Hotel - Boston Green Tourism pdf format of greening_your_hotel_dan_ruben.pdf

Green Certifications - Green Lodging News pdf format of green_certifications_green_lodging_news_glenn_hase

Whole Building Assessment Initiative - National Grid pdf format of whole_building_assessment_initiative_national_grid

Water Conservation In Massachusetts - EEA pdf format of water_conservation_in_massachusetts_kathy_baskin_e file size 2MB

The Bottom Line of Green is Black - Ecological Solutions pdf format of the_bottom_line_of_green_is_black_ecological_solut file size 1MB

C & I Energy Efficiency Programs - NSTAR pdf format of ci_energy_efficiency_programs_2009_nstar.pdf file size 1MB

Reduce Reuse Recycle - MassDEP pdf format of reduce_reuse_recycle_morgan_harriman_massdep.pdf

TUR for Hotels - MA OTA pdf format of rick_reibstein_ma_ota.pdf

Energy Star Opportunities For Savings - US EPA pdf format of energy_star_opportunities_for_hospitality_savings_

Real Life Examples of Successful Water Conservation in Hotels - Conservation Solutions Corp pdf format of success_water_conserv_hotels.pdf file size 1MB