EnerSavings Offers Green, Greener, Greenest Program to Help Hoteliers Prepare for a Net Zero Future
The hospitality sector was decimated during the global pandemic, but its rebound back to profitability will inevitably include a more environmentally sound approach to the way hotels do their business.
Between a generational shift and increasing awareness of the impact of human activity on the health of the planet, the post-pandemic consumer is making more conscientious choices in how it decides to spend its money — including travel and recreation dollars. According to the United Nations Environment Program, half of consumers worldwide have increased environmental awareness post-pandemic, and an astounding 83 per cent consider the environment when booking a trip. Further, 11 per cent have reported changing their purchases based on environmental concerns.
“These are important figures for the hospitality sector to consider,” says Kevin Lisso, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of EnerSavings. “At EnerSavings, we have been put on a track to a Net Zero future by 2050, and every sector of the economy will a role to play to reduce our carbon emissions. Hotel owners in particular will need to assess every aspect of their properties to determine what they have to do to prepare for this future.”
When considering the size of a hotel, the lighting within, heating and cooling systems plus the vehicles their guests use, these factors add up to a potentially significant contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. The Hotel Global Decarbonization Report by the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance has found that the global hotel industry needs to reduce its carbon emissions by 66 per cent per room by 2030, and by 90 per cent per room by 2050, to ensure that the growth forecast for the industry does not lead to a corresponding increase in carbon emissions.
Achieving these reductions without driving up costs requires careful planning in the sector, and it is possible with smart decisions to upgrade water and hydro infrastructure and prepare for an electric vehicle future.
- Lighting — Incandescent and fluorescent lighting use a lot of energy. A switch to LEDs will drastically reduce the energy use of a building; however, many property owners fear the cost of a large transition. Hotel property owners and managers can take advantage of EnerSavings’ Hydro Helper program, a solution that removes the upgrade costs from the capital expenditure ledger and puts them on the utility bill — with no up-front costs — and the monthly fee charged for the upgrades is less than the savings realized from installing a more efficient system. EnerSavings has worked with the Prime Real Estate Group to convert 33 facilities to LED lighting; the work resulted in $1.25 million in rebates and incentives, with $815,000 in annual energy savings. Maintenance costs dopped $9,000 per facility and — perhaps most important – it cut greenhouse gas emission by an equivalent of the energy use of 416 homes.
- Water — The Watergater Valve doesn’t necessarily save water, but it does ensure building owners only pay for the water they use. As much as a quarter of what passes through a typical building’s water meter is just air. The Watergater Valve compresses that air making meter readings much more accurate. The Novotel Toronto Vaughan installed a Watergater Valve to makes its water flow more efficient; over a decade, it will save the hotel $158,320.
- HVAC — Post-COVID, air quality is top of mind for employees and guests alike. It requires building managers to seek systems that can reliably maintain a comfortable temperature while meeting stringent air quality standards and being as efficient as possible. Upgrades or new system installations can be coordinated with government incentives and rebate programs to maximize value while ensuring that guests enjoy the comfort of consistent temperatures and clean air.
- EV Ready — The use of electric vehicles is on a steady rise, and will only continue to climb with Canada expected to prohibit the manufacturing and sale of gasoline-powered engines in a little more than a decade. Hotels have to be ready for this new reality, and work towards the assumption that eventually every guest will be driving a vehicle that needs to be plugged in. EnerSavings, in partnership with LG, is assessing the needs of the hospitality industry to further develop EV charging solutions to meet future demand.
EnerSavings has packaged each of these elements into its Green, Greener, Greenest Program, enabling hotel owners to customize its climate-friendly solutions and maximize their return on their investment.
“Consumers are evaluating hotels based on their green footprint and have an expectation that their energy-efficient needs will be met when they are on the road or on vacation,” says Mr. Lisso. “The hospitality sector is uniquely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. It has to be prepared, and look at a Net Zero future as a an opportunity. It is what their consumers are demanding and is the responsible course of action to take. And it can be more than affordable — it can be profitable.”