Irish Hotels Environmentally Benchmarked

Date released: Oct 15 2007

Fifty six Irish hotels have engaged in a unique programme, Greening Irish Hotels, to reduce their environmental impact.  The programme has resulted in reduced costs for hotels, giving a win-win outcome for business and the environment.  The final report from this programme was launched today by Larry Stapleton, Director, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) at the Young Hospitality Manager’s Conference in White’s Hotel, Wexford.

Developed by the Irish Hospitality Institute (IHI) this programme was one of a number of initiatives part-funded between 2005 and 2007 under phase two of the EPA’s Cleaner Greener Production Programme.

“The Irish Hotel Industry has been environmentally benchmarked for the first time in this pilot programme, which has delivered the blueprint for better, greener business for Irish hotels.” said Larry Stapleton, Director, EPA Office of Environmental Assessment.

“What we would like to see happen now is that the momentum from this programme will be carried forward.  The programme has engaged the hotel industry and created an effective environmental focus.  It is replicable across the whole accommodation and catering sectors” Mr Stapleton continued. “Not only that, but the leadership shown by the hotels sector through this programme can also serve as an example for other service sectors of the value of a co-ordinated approach, and thus play an important role in promoting the greening of the Irish economy overall, ”

The programme incorporated detailed cleaner production audits, identification of cleaner production opportunities and assistance with development of cleaner production programmes at the participating hotels.  The progress and results achieved provides a cleaner production model for Irish hotels, together with a benchmark of achieved standards.
 
Key Results and Conclusions

- 56 Hotels were involved in the programme in more than 20 counties.
- Hotels involved in the programme included 3, 4 and 5 Star hotels ranging in size from 30 to 255 bedrooms. 
- Training sessions and workshops were held throughout the programme, with over 600 person training sessions delivered. 
- Detailed Environmental Reviews were carried out and Cleaner Production Plans created for the participating hotels.
- Environmental Management principles were introduced to more than 3,000 employees.
- Best practice standards were identified.

Quantifiable environmental achievements by the end of 2006 included:
- the diversion of 1,113 tonnes of waste from landfill;
- the reduction of more than 3,000 tonnes of CO2 output;
- the reduction of more than 5,000 tonnes in water consumption.

The programme identified future industry opportunities for energy savings, waste & water savings and CO2 reductions.

Potential Reductions for Irish Hotel Sector

The programme, which involved approximately 10 per cent of the total hotel stock in the country, identified future environmental and economic savings across the industry.  An estimate of the total economic benefit to Irish hotels is €81.4 million per annum at 2005 prices.  There is a possibility of:
- the diversion of 56,000 tonnes of waste from landfill;
- the reduction of 162,000 tonnes of CO2 output;
- the reduction of more than 4,500,000 tonnes in water consumption.

The Greening Irish Hotels report is available on the EPA website at: http://www.epa.ie/downloads/pubs/research/tech/.

Further Details on the Cleaner Greener Production Progamme are available at: http://www.cleanerproduction.ie/.