Go Green Concept in Hospitality Industry
Course: Housekeeping Management
Go green concept:
Few years ago when climate change really started to come into focus and people began to think how to protect our mother Earth and of the ways to create a sustainable hospitality industry, many hotels and resorts started their green programs being a first choice for many guests and travelers since last decade. Governments are also encouraging their people to go green while traveling. Statistics of the US only shows that 43 millions of the Americans are ecologically concerned and that many travelers all over the globe are now putting hotels and airlines which have a sustainability agenda and green programs at their first preference.
Green Behind the Scenes:
Floor care chemicals such as cleaners, strippers, restorers and finishes are of particular concern to environmental advocates and hotel properties eager to transfer from conventional cleaning systems to those that are green. One of the key problems with many traditional chemicals is that they can release large amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can impair indoor air quality and trigger headaches, respiratory problems and other ailments among staff and guests “The VOC level of a traditional floor-finish stripper typically is about 15 to 30 percent,” says Mike Sawchuk, vice president and general manager of Enviro-Solutions, a manufacturer of green cleaning products. “On the other hand, a green-certified floor-finish remover may have a VOC content of less than 6 percent.
According to Sawchuk, some of the other ingredients of concern in conventional floor care products include 2-butoxy ethanol, which is often found in floor strippers and considered a possible carcinogen, and EGME (ethylene glycol methyl ether) and EGEE (ethylene glycol ethyl ether), which are found primarily in floor finishes and have been associated with eye, skin, and ear infections and even birth defects. There are 3 main areas to improve the planet, giving hotel customers a chance to ” green their stay” which basically adopt following actions:
Waste Management: Including recycling, hazardous /controlled waste management, organic waste management Styrofoam elimination, amenity management, bottled water alternatives, sustainable food & beverage and environmentally preferred products.
Energy and Water Conservation: Through high efficiency lighting, occupancy sensors, toilet & urinal efficiency and low flow faucets and showerheads. Preventive Maintenance being an important and essential factor that ensure all equipment and systems perform their intended function reliably and efficiently, thereby promote energy and water conservation. By implementing good housekeeping and pollution prevention, encouraging green practices in both employees and guests, conserving energy and water, minimizing food waste and reducing solid waste, we assure providing quality service while helping the environment and ensuring our responsibility towards protecting the planet, Said Atef Wilson, General Manager, Sheraton Montazah. Ernst & Young examines the eco-friendly efforts of hotels and resorts in eight regions of the world, finds progress in the greening of the hospitality industry and identifies 10 areas in which the business could do etter. Over the last decade, the movement towards ecologically sound tourism has swept across the globe; and the practices being implemented are as diverse as the different geographies.
Hotel companies are being prompted by rising energy costs, government pressure, consumer expectations and the competitive landscape to increasingly make sustainability a top priority. Researchers saw growth in Earth-friendly attributes and amenities in luxury lodgings throughout the areas examined. The degree to which such practices were in place for other brackets of travel differed from region to region.Highlights of findings from the various areas included:
In Asia in general, a strong focus on corporate social responsibility and “environmental harmony” among resort brands and boutique hotels.
A variety of different lodgings — luxury, business and economy — pursuing green strategies in Japan.
A target set in China for 10,000 green hotels by 2010.
A small-scale but increasingly popular move toward ecotourism in the Caribbean, where 57 hotels have received industry certification under the Green Globe standard — the most of any one region reviewed — Green being considered a key differentiator in Europe among boutique hotels; tour operators and agencies favoring environmentally responsible lodgings and brands.
Vast green luxury resorts and the world’s first zero-carbon, zero-waste city planned in the Middle East. Drawing on the World Travel ; Tourism Council (WTTC) Green Globe Program as a resource, the report said that points on which the industry could take further action include:
- Waste minimization, reuse, recycling
- Energy efficiency, conservation, management
- Land-use planning and management
- Management of freshwater resources
- Involvement of staff, customers, communities in environmental issues
- Waste water management
- Design for sustainability
- Hazardous substances
Partnerships for sustainable development In the meantime, there are ways hotel housekeepers can be more environmentally responsible when it comes to floor care.
The following are some of Sawchuk’s green floor care suggestions:
- Select products with a pH no higher than 11. and total phosphorus concentrations of less than 0. 5 percent;
- Choose products with a flash point above 150 degrees F. ;
- Avoid products that contain carcinogens, heavy metals or aqueous ammonia;
- Select products that have total VOCs less than seven percent after dilution;
- Purchase from jansan distributors and suppliers that are well versed on floor care and green cleaning and will provide hands-on training as necessary.
Another way for hotel operators to achieve green housekeeping is to install automatic dilution systems for mixing chemicals — not only for floor care but also for all cleaning.
“The ‘free pour’ method has been the cause of many worker injuries,” says Sawchuk. “And very often workers pour too much chemical, which harms the environment and is not cost-effective. ” As for dilution, he also suggests that cleaning professionals use only cold water since warm water can cause vapors and fumes to rise, green or conventional, that can be potentially harmful if inhaled or enter HVAC systems. Also, with some floor care products, warm water can hasten evaporation, negatively affecting the performance of the product. “As a final but very important thought, proper training is essential,” says Sawchuk. “Not only are the chemicals powerful and potentially hazardous, but hotel floor care is the most labor-intensive of all cleaning tasks. Proper training reduces injuries, cuts costs and improves worker productivity as well as the floor’s appearance.
Proper and ongoing training has pluses all around, particularly in the hotel business. Green Sweep: In hotels, vacuum cleaners play a great role in maintaining indoor health and protecting the environment. This is largely because carpeting acts like a sponge; guestroom carpeting can absorb dust, dirt, textile fibers, pollen, hair, skin flakes, residue from cleaning chemicals, decaying organic matter, dust mites, bacteria, fungi, viruses and various other contaminants and soils. Odors can develop and the health of the staff and guests are put into jeopardy if these contaminants and soils are not eventually removed. Green vacuum cleaners are probably the most effective means of removing this matter. “Historically, the top considerations when selecting a hotel vacuum cleaner have been cost, durability and power,” says Mark Cuddy, director of sales, eastern region, with Tornado, a leading manufacturer of professional cleaning equipment. “However, in recent years, how ‘green’ the machine is, especially in hotel properties, is becoming a growing concern.
” What makes a vacuum cleaner green? The first consideration is filtration. A vacuum cleaner’s filtration system can have a major impact on indoor air quality. “By far the most effective filtration systems on vacuum cleaners are HEPA filters,” says Cuddy. “The filters are composed of a mat of fibers that remove at least 99. 97 percent of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria and other [potentially] airborne particles. ”