Hotels worldwide going green with LEED
As environmental awareness continues to increase and environmental responsibility becomes increasingly important for businesses, hotels around the world are getting in on the green trend.
More and more hotels are promoting themselves as being certified green by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System, reports Hospitality Net.
Currently, there are about 400 LEED-certified hotels in the world that cover nearly 133.9 million square feet. Most of those are either at the silver or gold level. In the next few years, that number is expected to increase significantly. There are around 1,600 hotels currently going through the process of becoming certified.
How Does This Impact Hotels?
Consumers today demand that the companies they buy from are committed to environmental responsibility, and some will even pay more for greener products and services.
This means that going green can be good for business, because it makes customers more likely to have a positive view of a hotel and may even be willing to spend more to stay there.
In addition to helping hotels make more money, it can also save money through lower energy and water costs due to improved efficiency. In many areas, tax rebates and other incentives are available to hotels that become LEED certified.
LEED-certified buildings also tend to have better indoor air quality, which will positively impact the health of guests and employees.
How Are Hotels Changing to Become Greener?
Hotels owners can make a wide variety of changes to increase the sustainability of their buildings. Changes to energy use, recycling programs, water use and more can all have impact.
About half of larger hotels have installed energy management systems to help keep energy use lower, according to a 2016 survey by the American Hotel & Lodging Association.
Smart systems can help turn down heat and air conditioning when rooms aren't in use and turn off appliances that aren't being used. Sensors can also be placed in rooms to help determine whether people are there or not, and then turn down heat or switch off lights if the room is empty. The majority of hotels now also use LED or other energy-efficient lighting.
Some hotels have also installed electricity generators, such as solar panels or turbines that run on the hotel's exhaust heat. Hotels can also opt to purchase their electricity from renewable energy resources.
About three quarters of hotels have implemented water saving programs. Most today encourage guests to reuse towels in order to reduce the amount of water used for laundry. Installing water fountains or providing guests with water filters can also reduce the use of bottled water.
What's the Cost of Going Green?
Going green might have some upfront costs, depending on the steps taken. If a hotel installs more energy-efficient windows, for example, it will have to pay a considerable up-front price. Similarly, energy-efficient light bulbs and appliances can cost more than less efficient models.
Efficient light bulbs, however, use less energy and last longer, meaning the operation will have to buy them less often. In the long run, the bulbs and other energy-efficiency measures will end up saving money.
Other methods of making a hotel greener, such as doing less laundry, provide up-front savings.
Topics: Associations / Organizations, Automation and Controls, Building Owners and Managers, Certifications, Construction Firms, Consulting - Green & Sustainable Strategies and Solutions, Energy Saving Products, Healthy & Comfortable Buildings, Hospitality, Indoor Air Quality (IAQ), Sustainable Communities, Technology, USGBC, Water Saving Strategies and Devices