(Environmental management for hotels: the industry guide to sustainable operations, 2008)
A hotel requires considerable amounts of water which becomes an increasingly scarce and expensive resource (Kirk, 1996). Water accounts for 10% of a typical hotel utility bill, therefore a lower consumption would lead to reduced costs (Fig.1). Moreover many hotels pay for the water they consume twice: purchasing and then disposal of the grey water and black water (ITP, 2008).
Average Hotel Water Usage
Fig.2 depicts the different areas where water is used in a typical hotel which also applies to HI, large amounts of water being consumed on the 168 bedrooms with bathtubs, the in-house laundry, the restaurant and the tennis and golf courts. The percentage of 1% in the water used for pools is definitely higher for HI taking in consideration their indoor pool, the Jacuzzi and the spa. Moreover, the water used for space ventilation is also higher because HI provides ACs in every room and it also has15 air-conditioned meeting rooms.
Energy is the second largest cost to IHG hotels after people and produces the most carbon footprint (PLC, n.d.) and usually accounts for almost 78% of the utility bill(Fig.1). As the charts in fig.3 depicts, the major areas of energy consumption in a hotel are lighting (55%) and space conditioning (28%). These percentages changes taken in consideration that in winter the heating system operates for longer periods, that the increases in occupancy leads to more energy and water waste and that lights generate heat, consequently air-conditioning loads are increased (Kirk, 1996).
Fig.3 ENERGY CONSUMPTION IN A TYPICAL HOTEL Source: (SMUD, n.d.)
It can be observed that water consumption and energy have a close relationship, taking in consideration that hotels use a large amount of heated water and that hot water is a large percentage user of natural gas (30%). In the case of HI which uses a boiler and implicitly natural gas to heat water, the percentage can go higher considering the heated swimming pool and the in-house laundry and dry cleaning. Moreover, HI owns a sauna and a steam room which need electrical heaters and also consume energy.
A negative impact of energy consumption is the fossil fuels burnt which contribute to global warming, ozone depletion and acid rain (Environmental action pack, 1995). As Webster (2000) suggests the hospitality industry is dependent on refrigeration and air-conditioning in order to provide qualitative services and products and to meet the safety and comfort customers require....