ENVIRONMENT AWARENESS IN THE HOPITALITY INDUSTRY
The IHEI (International hotel Environmental Initiative) was founded in 1992 by 10 multinational hotel groups. The main objective was to :-
1. Raise environmental awareness in the hotel industry
2. Development of hotels specific to environmental information enabling hotels of all sizes to implement environmental programs
3. Promote the hotel sector to position itself as a leader in sustainable development within the tourism industry.
The 3 major basic principles of environmental conservation are –
1. Reduce: use less resource – leads to immediate cost savings.
2. Reuse: eg – laundry bags, washable napkins, rechargeable batteries
3. Recycle: eg – papers, bottles etc.
Following eco-friendly products can be used in hotels –
• Civil Work:
1. QED wall panels(Quite Easily Done) – It is used for internal partitions. Material is 4 inches thick per block and is made from fertilizer waste – terulite and vermin proof and is fire resistant.
2. Siporex – Used for external walls. It is completely inorganic, totally incombustible and offers twice the fire protection of concrete. As strong as R.C.C. but 1/4th its weight. Saves 30-40% cement and 35-50% steel compared to ordinary R.C.C.
3. Key Stone Kool Desk – Used around the swimming pool – a concrete desk surfacing material which lowers surface temperature and is completely non – skid.
1. Aerators/Flow Restrictors: Used in all taps and showers which will reduce water usage by restricting water flow
2. Sewage treatment plant: The waste water is treated and recycled for use in air-conditioning and gardening purposes.
3. Stockosorb Super Absorbent Polymer: Used for landscaping and gardening purposes. Specifically designed to improve the capability of soil to hold water and plant nutrient. It reduces the amount, frequency of watering required – it is non-toxic, environmentally safe and does not contaminate plants, soil and groundwater.
4. The Geberit Concealed Cistern for W.C.: it has a unique water-saving system which uses 6 lit of waters per flush(the conventional flush uses approx 15-20 lit of water).
5. Geberit Urinal Flush Valve: it ensures a definite flushing after every use as it is activated by infra-red sensor(the time set flushing system works irrespective of usage or not leading to water wastage)
Green Guest Rooms
1. Rubber wood: Processed and upgraded recycled wood – used for furniture and window frames
2. Nuwud MDF(Medium Density Fibrewood): Used for interior made from recycled waste wood.
3. Hangers: made from pressed particle board.
4. Eco-Directory: placed in a guest room, making the guest aware of the hotel’s environment awareness programs, it is energy saving program and how the guest can preserve the environment. Eco-tips and eco facts are also provided.
5. Hotel uses herbal products for guest amenities and soaps, shampoos, moisturizers etc.
6. Cloth laundry bags are used and newspapers are delivered in cane baskets
7. A Control Panel – known as green button is installed on the bedside table. The thermostat of the AC unit is stepped up by 20% saving in electricity. This is translated in rupee terms and displayed on the guest folio and profile
8. Eco Harvest: Basket containing of herbal pillow placed under the pillow to give sound sleep. Two aromatic oils and a bunch of neem sticks and 5 herbs.
9. Pen/Pencil: Eco-pens are made using recycled cardboard, reprocessed plastic and scrap wood.
10. Stationery: made from hand-made paper or recycled paper.
11. Eco-friendly slippers used in guest-rooms made from natural materials like jute.
12. Recycled Bin: placed in guest rooms with a sticker for guest use.
13. Guest Bathrooms: Glasses are placed upside-down – avoiding the use of plastic wrappers. Guests are requested in occupied rooms to reuse the towels. Soap dispensers are used near wash basins. The toilets have an option of water spray or toilet paper mae from recycled fibre upto 69%.
14. Photo Electric Controls for Lighting: These are sensitive to natural daylight and suitable for entrance light and corridor light as soon as daylight is adequate.
15. Heat pumps: the heat generated from AC can be used to heat the water used in kitchen and laundry.
16. Paints: the paints for the exterior of the hotel is water based paint with negligible V.O.C (volatile organic compound) contant of only 0.125% and the paint used for interiors has zero VOC content. If the VOC content of the paint is high it emits fumes which are harmful to the environment.
17. Cut flowers v/s potted flowers: rooms should have natural plants, with use of cut flowers to a minimum for few flower arrangement put in public area only.