Hotels Drown Drought With Water-$Aving Solutions

Water-efficient sink aerators, showerheads & ozone laundry systems help hotels shore up both the environment and their bottom lines

Upland, Calif.—(Aug. 9, 2002) America is suffering one of its worst droughts ever. Hot, dry conditions have fueled raging wildfires in several western states, and according to the latest seasonal outlook from NOAA's National Weather Service, conditions aren’t expected to improve much through September. On the East Coast, forecasters also predict drought conditions to linger as the summer heats up.
According to the Rocky Mountain Institute, by simply replacing 80 percent of the showerheads in the U.S. with high efficiency, low-flow models (2 gallons per minute), we collectively could save 1 billion gallons of water a day (twice the flow of the Colorado River), reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20 million tons per year, save 18 billion KWH of electricity per year and 1.5 billion therms of gas per year.
“Nearly four years of little rain and snow in some places has left many areas with deep water deficits, said Vice Adm. Conrad Lautenbacher, Jr. USN (ret.), NOAA's administrator. Changing weather patterns may offer a glimmer of hope, but we don't see the water levels returning to normal anytime soon.

Bottom-Line Benefits
There are 3.1 million hotel/motel rooms in the U.S., most of which could benefit from taking simple and inexpensive steps to save water. Once water-saving changes are made, hotels can expect to start saving money in every guestroom, immediately adding more dollars to the bottom-line. And there are more than 43 million “eco travelers” who are even willing to pay up to 8.7% more at hotels with environmental policies and products, according to The U.S. Travel Data Center.
A few months ago, KANA Hotels installed low-flow showerheads, and high-efficiency toilet flappers and diverter valves in six of its hotels. According to Alpesh Patel, a KANA Hotels VP, “thinking green” isn’t just about feeling good by doing good for the environment, but it is also very much about identifying cost savings by looking at traditional operating efficiencies from a new perspective.
Patel estimates that KANA Hotels could save $100,000 annually at the six properties and said the company likely will adopt such measures at its 12 other properties in the near future to reap a collective $300,000 annual cost savings.
Tyler Tatum, Project Planet Corp. GM, said studies have proven that most guests really appreciate the option to re-use their towels and bed linens to help the hotel save water, energy — and the planet. And with drought conditions and wildfires as bad as they are, guests are more aware than ever of the need for water conservation.
“With Green Suites’ Project Planet Towel & Linens Re-Use Program, a typical 100-room hotel on average can reduce its water usage by 72,000 gallons and detergent usage by 480 gallons — saving more than $20,000 net annually,” said Ray Burger, V.P. Sales & Marketing for Green Suites International. “Thousands of hotels out there should be reaping similar savings, and helping the environment at the same time — and our new, popular Pennies Per Occupied Room Program makes this a can’t-resist value proposition.”
Ozone laundry systems and water re-use equipment are other big money machines.
“About 60 percent of the costs incurred to install Green Suites’ O-Tech Direct Injection Ozone Laundry System on three of our washers in January 2001 were covered by rebates from local utilities,” said Doug Bartells, Vice President and GM of the 123-room Best Western Executive Inn in downtown Seattle. “Yes, oft-ignored laundry operations — tucked away in the basements of hotel operations — can combine
O-Tech and ongoing rebates from local utilities to inject big bucks directly into properties’ bottom lines.”
Adriano Corsini, GM of the 237-room Seattle Hilton Hotel, agrees and estimates that Green Suites’
O-Tech Direct Injection Ozone Laundry System will save the property tens of thousands of dollars annually.
The Big Picture
Conditions like the current drought drive home the fact that the environment is considered by many to be the No. 1 issue facing mankind and requires everyone to take action. In the West, states suffering the worst drought conditions are Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, and parts of Nevada, Idaho, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas. The entire state of Wyoming has been declared a drought disaster area.
In today’s economy, hotel operators must constantly look at the bottom-line as the first step in considering any environmental initiative. The good news is that it makes great economic sense to implement environmentally friendly “green hotel” initiatives. Many of the programs typically deliver a complete payback in six to 18 months, with significant ROI continuing to be reaped for years thereafter.
“Suffice it to say that the time, energy and money savings are substantial — no matter what type of property or market,” said Ray Burger, Green Suites International VP Sales & Marketing. “Now is the time to look more closely at all of these solutions.”
Saving water and related monies is surprisingly easy. Following are just a few of the many affordable water-saving solutions offered by Green Suites International:
• Low-flow showerheads – Reduce water flow to 2 gallons a minute, but still provide enough pressure and water for a satisfying shower.
• Low-flow sink aerators – Not only is water flow reduced, but the aerated water flow is preferred by most guests because it reduces splashing.
• Early-closer toilet flappers – By closing more quickly, these flappers reduce the amount of water in the tank and water used to flush, while maintaining flush effectiveness.
• Toilet tank diverter valves – Reduce water waste down the diverter tube and allow the use of less water.
• Linen and towel reuse programs – By encouraging guests to reuse linens and towels while staying at hotels, these programs help save laundry labor, water/sewer and gas costs.
Green Suites International has refined the concept of a “green room” into the EcoRoom offering for traditional guestrooms and the Green Suites Accommodation offering for expanded lodging suites. These green guestroom solutions offer hotel operators a one-stop source for conserving water, energy and significantly reducing waste as well.
EcoRooms are a great way to bring together all the pieces of the environmental economic puzzle. In addition to the environmental benefits, properties that undertake EcoRoom initiatives reap the benefits of reduced operating costs, improved guest and staff satisfaction, and enhanced public image.
The most dramatic potential for saving water comes from changes in the laundry system. Typical savings possible by using Green Suite’s O-Tech Direct Injection Ozone Laundry System include: Up to a
40-percent decrease in water and sewer use; up to an 80-percent decrease in related energy use;
a 40-percent decrease in chemical detergent use; and the benefits of up to 50-percent longer linen life; and up to a 7-minute savings in labor time per wash load.
Hotels can often save even more by taking advantage of rebates from utility companies and incentives from governments for implementing water saving solutions. For example, recently the City of Austin and the State of Texas encouraged hotels to reduce water use by offering a rebate towards the purchase of ozone and water reuse equipment. The State of Texas also offered tax incentives for this type of equipment, designating ozone laundry systems and laundry water reuse systems exempt from sales tax and in many cases from property tax. Similar programs might be available in your region.
“It’s critical that we as an industry ACT NOW to save water, because together we can put a real dent in this drought,” said Dan Bornholdt, President & Founder of Green Suites International, hospitality’s leading provider of ecological solutions providing economic benefit. “Our water-efficient solutions are very affordable and easy to implement; they pay for themselves in a matter of months; and they bolster guest satisfaction and a property’s public image among our nation’s 43 million environmentally concerned travelers.”
“With just a little forethought, you can save water and help the planet, while at the same time adding significantly to your hotel’s bottom-line,” said Bornholdt. “It’s high time we hoteliers drown this drought with smart water-saving solutions that shower our bottom lines with unparalleled cost savings.”

Based in Upland, Calif., Green Suites International assists hotels by developing solutions that are profitable to hotels and image enhancing to the more than 43 million environmental travelers in the United States. Solutions include natural amenities delivered from elegant dispensers, non-toxic cleaners, air and water filtration systems and energy and water efficient products. Facilities reaping the benefits of Green Suites’ solutions include properties from every state and 12 different countries. For more information on Green Suites International, its water saving products, as well as an array of other ecological solutions providing economic benefit, please contact Ray Burger, VP Sales & Marketing, at 888-590-2285, e-mail rburger@greensuites.com, or visit www.greensuites.com.