Additional Guidelines 
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Here you will find guidelines on energy, water, solid waste, and education/resources.

 Energy header 

  • Each hotel should form an environmental committee that is responsible for developing an Environmental Green Plan around each pillar.  The success of any environmental program also includes associate engagement.
  • An essential part of managing the hotel’s environmental performance is having accurate, monthly utility and waste usage information. 
  • Larger operations should be working with energy/engineering consultants regarding their needs.  Higher costs are likely associated with the types of upgrades needed at larger hotels, as well as more professional expertise in their design and implementation.
  • Utilize the Energy Star Portfolio Manager tool to record your energy usage and receive additional information that compares your hotel to hotels of a similar type. 
  • If your score in Portfolio Manager is below the average score of 50, it is advisable to have an energy audit performed.  Refer to the Green Operations section on AH&LA's Green Resource Center for information about potential assistance in your state with audit activities and assistance for financing to improve energy performance.
  • Case Study: Replace T12 fluorescent tubes with high performance T8 lamps and electronic ballasts. 
  • Case Study: Replace incandescent and fluorescent exit signs with LED exit signs wherever possible. 
  • Case Study: Install occupancy sensor controls on lighting systems in meeting rooms and in back of house areas where possible.  
  • Case Study: Implement a scheduled HVAC filter replacement program in all guestrooms. 
  • Case Study: Install smart vent hoods in the kitchen. 
  • Case Study: Lower power factor penalties. 
  • Case Study: Install variable frequency drives on electric motors.  
  • Case Study: Replace fixtures on parking lot poles with LED fixtures wherever possible. 
  • Case Study: Replace interior lamps with LED lamps wherever possible. 
  • Case Study: Participate in demand response incentives. 
  • Case Study: Perform an hotel energy audit at your hotel. 
  • Case Study: Implement a vending machine savings program. 
  • Case Study: Perform a night audit for energy reduction opportunities. 
  • Case Study: Use energy-saving window film. 

For more guidelines on lighting, heating, cooling, ventilation, and other energy, click here.

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 Water header 

  • Utilize the Energy Star Portfolio Manager tool to record and track your water usage and costs within individual hotels as well as across your entire hotel portfolio.
  • Check guestroom toilets for leaking valves by placing a small amount of food coloring in the toilet tank and seeing if it appears in the toilet bowl.  Replace valves when leaks are noted.
  • Laundry water usage can be reduced by the use of more water-efficient laundry equipment.  If considering replacement of equipment the installation of washing equipment with microprocessor controls can reduce water usage.
  • Consider the installation of an ozone system in the laundry.  Ozone laundry systems have been shown to reduce the need for water and chemicals in laundry operations while providing high levels of cleaning and reduced laundry cycle times.
  • Foodservice operations can use substantial amounts of water.  Do not thaw foods by running water over them.
  • In kitchen prep sinks, use spray-nozzles that automatically close to rinse dishes.
  • When purchasing new dishwashers, purchase Energy Star labeled products.
  • Water usage for irrigation should be monitored and minimized.  Do not “water” roads and parking lots.  Control irrigation via a rain gauge or soil moisture sensor.
  • Install sub-meters on water lines serving cooling towers, swimming pools, and irrigation systems.  Record the usage of water in these areas.  If this represents a substantial portion of your total water usage, investigate savings opportunities in these areas.  You should be able to get a sewer credit for cooling tower and irrigation usage. 
  • Be sure water-cooled icemakers do not utilize potable water for cooling via a “once through” system.  Replace “once through” icemakers with air cooled icemakers or connect the icemakers to the chilled water system if one exists.
  • Case Study: Conserving Water with a Landscape Irrigation System 
  • Case Study: Add Laundry Ozone System to Washing Machines 
  • Case Study: Install waterless urinals in public and employee restrooms. 
  • Case Study: Reducting storm water fees. 

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 Solid Waste header 

  • The priority in solid waste management is Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.  A good starting point for solid waste management is to perform a waste audit to categorize the content in the existing waste stream.  And, after the actions below are initiated, periodic audits of the waste stream are also recommended to identify further opportunities and problem areas.
  • Use the spreadsheet found here to record your hotel’s solid waste data. Click on Partner Support and then click on Measure Your Progress.  The Waste Reduction and Buy Recycling Tracking Sheet can be found on this page.
  • Once you have collected data on your hotel’s solid waste generation and costs, review this for savings opportunities.  Many haulers have a pickup fee and a fee based on the amount of waste.  It may be possible to reduce the frequency of pickup, especially as solid waste reduction actions are taken. 
  • Hotels may find additional information on the EPA’s Waste Wise site useful.
  • Contact your trash hauler and local solid waste recycling authorities to determine the regulations and opportunities for solid waste recycling in your area.  If you are in an area with several other hotels, you may wish to investigate shared services involving recycling to reduce costs and coordinate efforts.
  • Eliminate or substantially reduce the use of individual bottles of water for meetings and breakout service.  Replace individual bottles with either larger refillable bottled water dispensers or with tap or filtered water table top dispensers similar to those used to dispense other cold beverages such as lemonade or iced tea.
  • Eliminate or substantially reduce the use of disposable cups and dishes for meetings and breakout areas wherever feasible.
  • If you provide free newspapers to guests, make these available at central locations rather than delivery to each room (where brand standards allow).
  • Implement back-of-house recycling programs.  Most operations should be able to implement recycling in a cost effective manner for the following:
    • Cardboard
    • Newspaper
    • Other Paper
    • Glass
    • Metals
    • Plastic
    • Printer and Toner Cartridges
  • Implement a guestroom recycling program.  Some operations find it easier to separate recyclables at the room level (via separate waste receptacles for these) while others prefer to collect all waste and separate out the recyclables in a back-of-house area.
  • If foodservice operations exist at the property, investigate the opportunities for the following food waste composting and donation of unused food to local food banks.
  • All renovation plans should include methods to employ to reuse/recycle materials removed during construction.
  • Case Study: Implement a vegetable oil recycling program. 
  • Case Study: Implement a food and resource conservation program. 
  • Case Study: Implement a refillable amenity dispenser system. 
  • Case Study: Implement a composting program. 
  • Case Study: Implement a mattress recycling program. 
  • Case Study:  Implement a guestroom soap and amenity donation program. 
  • Case Study: Implement a textile recycling program. 
  • Case Study: Using Biodegradable Hotel Key Cards  

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  • The hotel’s environmentally conscious purchasing plan should consider life-cycle costs and testing of environmentally-responsible products and services.
  • Information about the energy-efficient operation of buildings can be found by referring to the Building Upgrade Manual at EPA Energy Star site.  The Upgrade Manual has a section specifically devoted to hotels and motels as well as more general information.
  • There are additional resources on a range of environmental topics available from AH&LA and the Educational Institute
  • The US Green Buildings Council has established the Leadership in Environment and Energy Design (LEED) program to encourage the development and operation of green buildings.  LEED has a number of rating programs and standards that can assist properties in identifying opportunities for environmental improvement and for achieving recognition for their efforts. 
  • EPA operates the Water Sense program whose goal is to reduce the usage of water in homes and businesses. 
  • EPA operates the Waste Wise program, which serves to assist businesses in reducing their solid waste production and in purchasing of recycled products. 
  • One important element of an environmental program involves the quality of the indoor air environment.  A source for information on this topic is Building Air Quality: A Guide for Building Owners and Managers.
  • A particular indoor air quality problem in hotels over the years has been mold and mildew.  An excellent source on dealing with the mold and mildew problem is Commissioning Buildings in Hot and Humid Climates by Odom and DuBose.  Copies of this book are available through a number of online book distributors.
  • The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) has a number of standards and publications dealing with indoor air quality.  Their publication Indoor Air Quality Guide: Best Practices for Design, Construction, and Commissioning, as well as a number of other materials is available via their Website. 
  • The Federal government operates an Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) program, which offers information on the program, its standards, and products. 
  • Purchase non-VOC products to improve indoor air quality. 
  • Step-By-Step: Implement an Integrated Pest Management plan to minimize the use of chemical pesticides.
  • A closer look: Use a Utility Bill Paying Service to Record Your Energy, Waste, and Water Consumption Data. 
  • Case StudyElectric Vehicle Charging Stations are coming to your hotel. 
  • New guidelines to Reduce Mold and Mildew in your guest rooms.
  • New Green Meeting Guidelines.
  • USDA Certified Organic Foods and the Farm to Table Movement.

For more information on purchasing guidelines, click here.

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