EPA announces new Environmental Project for the Hotel and Hospitality Sector

Date released: Apr 23 2008

The EPA National Waste Prevention Programme today announced a new project for the Hotel and Hospitality Sector, which will work with individual Irish hotels over the next four years to significantly improve environmental management practices, prevent waste and encourage resource efficiency, while reducing operating costs for the sector. The announcement was made at the second National Environmental Conference for the hotel and tourism sector in Dublin.

The target for 2008 is to recruit 150 of Ireland’s largest hotels and help them to make environmental improvements. Over 70 hotels have already signed up and eighteen of these were today granted awards in recognition of the steps they have taken to improve their environmental practices.

The Hotel and Hospitality Project is a follow up to the original successful EPA Greening Irish Hotels project that found that the potential for environmental improvement and cost savings in the Irish hotels’ sector is considerable.  It is estimated that Irish hotels could save over €80 million per annum by making environmental improvements, many at no or low cost. This illustrates that environmental best practice is a way to improve profitability. Download information on the Greening Irish Hotels project.

To promote and help achieve environmental improvements in the Irish hotel and hospitality sectors over the four years of the project the EPA will provide over €1.6 million under its National Waste Prevention Programme.  The major focus of the environmental improvements will be on:

  • reducing waste, and food waste in particular
  • increasing recycling and composting (to avoid landfill);
  • reducing hot and cold water consumption;
  • reducing usage of lighting and heating and
  • the efficient use and management of supplies for food preparation and cleaning.

From 2009, the Hotel and Hospitality Project will be broadened to other major food-producing sectors such as restaurants, contract catering and hospitals, with a view to reducing the gross generation of food waste and diverting it from landfill towards recycling and composting.  The Hotel and Hospitality Project is managed on behalf of the EPA by a consortium led by the Clean Technology Centre and including Hospitality Solutions Consulting.

Further information on the Hotel and Hospitality Project and the National Waste Prevention Programme is available at www.nwpp.ie

Editors's Note:

The National Waste Prevention Programme commenced in 2004 at the request of the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. The Environmental Protection Agency leads and co-ordinates the Programme. There are two major strands to the National Waste Prevention Programme:

  1.  The Green Business Initiative seeks to promote and bring about better environmental performance in Irish businesses and other organisations. A range of tools are in development that will allow organisations to measure and manage their waste generation, water consumption and use of resources. The Hotel and Hospitality Project is the first of a series of sectorally-based projects to be implemented under the Green Business Initiative
  2. The Local Authority Prevention Demonstration Programme commenced in 2006. Fourteen local authorities are now participating and are receiving considerable grant aid to enable them and their environmental staff to develop capacity in the fields of waste prevention and resource efficiency. Participating local authorities are helping local businesses and organisations to achieve waste prevention and cost savings.

Other projects associated with the National Waste Prevention Programme include:

  • packaging prevention, led by Repak and supported by the EPA;
  • Green Homes, led by An Taisce and supported by the EPA, as a follow up to the successful and ongoing Green Schools programme;
  • certified training courses for business (led by IBEC), local authorities (led by the Clean Technology Centre) and packaging (led by Repak); and
  • implementation of product compliance directives including:
  • ROHS – restricting the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment
  • Decorative paints – restricting the use of organic solvents in paints