Every year, hotels around the world grapple with the enormous costs associated with serving hundreds of thousands of guests. Most of this expense is due to extraordinary amount of energy required to power the facility’s daily operations like running laundry machines, heating water, cooling and heating the buildings, and illuminating common areas and guest rooms. Often, a significant portion of this energy usage stems from uncontrolled use and thoughtless waste by guests who—because they don’t pay for it—don’t monitor their energy consumption like they would in their own homes.
The good news is that once hotels make a few eco-conscious improvements and engage their guests in conservation strategies, like giving guests the option to decline daily housekeeping and linen replacement services, they can easily realize immediate and substantial cost savings. The first step, however, is to renovate properties to incorporate alternative energy sources.
The following are a few hotels that have successfully taken advantage of alternative energy sources:
The Radisson Blu, Frankfurt, Germany
One top hotel, the Radisson Blu in Frankfurt, Germany, is leading the way with eco-friendly renovations that incorporate alternative energy solutions like fuel-cell technology. This project will allow the 400-room hotel to produce two gigawatt hours of heat and three gigawatt hours of electricity. Since fuel-cell technology is a non-combustion process, it will lower the hotel’s carbon monoxide emissions by more than 600 tons each year.
Hotel Stadthalle, Vienna, Austria
Renovated in 2009, this boutique hotel is a zero-energy balance building, which means that it generates all the electricity it uses. It does so through a variety of renewable energy power sources, including photovoltaic panels and ground-water heat pumps. Moreover, the hotel is awaiting approval to install three wind turbines. For its commitment to the environment, Hotel Stadthalle earned the Green Hotelier Award for Europe in 2015.
Ramada Couran Cove Island Resort, Queensland, Australia
Nestled on one of Australia’s rare sand islands, the Ramada Cove Island Resort uses liquefied petroleum gas instead of diesel to generate power. It creates additional power with a wind turbine. These changes have led to a 70 percent reduction in the property’s greenhouse emissions. To further conserve energy, the resort heats the swimming pool and the water in its eco-cabins with generator’s excess heat, and uses solar-powered vehicles. Couran Cove Island Resort has garnered Advanced Ecotourism certification and more than 50 awards for its eco-friendly initiatives.
Peppermill Resort Spa Casino, Reno, Nevada
Since 2007, the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino has been the only resort in America to obtain its heat entirely from geothermal energy generated onsite. A geothermal well located over 4,000 feet under the property creates enough energy to heat all of the 2.1-million-square-foot facility’s domestic water, including two pools and three spas, and provide 100 percent of its mechanical heat. As a result of the development of the geothermal well, the Peppermill can heat up to 1,200 gallons of water per minute, which saves the resort almost $2 million annually compared to the natural gas heating system it used previously.
Candia Maris, Crete, Greece
A 5-star hotel right on Crete’s Amoudara beach, the Candia Maris hotel boasts 2397 square meters of solar fields with 850 high-performance collectors that produce enough electricity to fulfill 10 percent of the property’s energy requirements. These solar fields constitute the largest solar panel system in a European hotel. In addition to producing its own electricity with solar power, the hotel uses sea water to cool its rooms. As a result of its environmental policies, the Candia Maris became the third European and first Greek hotel to achieve ISO environmental management certification. It has also earned “Blue Flag” and “Green Key” eco-label designations.
Meliá Hotels, Italy
Since 2016, all Italian hotels operated by Meliá Hotels International, including the Gran Meliá Rome, Meliá Milan, ME Milan il Duca, Meliá Genova, Meliá Villa Capri, and Meliá Campione, have been running on 100 percent renewable energy as part of an agreement with A2A, the country’s second-largest producer of renewable energy. The hotels either generate this energy onsite via solar panels or wind turbines, or they purchase it from certified renewable energy providers. Since 2017, the company’s Spanish hotels have also been operating entirely on renewable energy sources. For its environmental accomplishments, Meliá Hotels International earned an “A-” grade from the Carbon Disclosure Project organization. It also garnered title of “Leading Company in Sustainability, Spain” at The European’s Global ESG Leaders Awards in 2017.