These Days, Even Waste Compactors are Smart
Hotels can now acquire trash or cardboard compactors with wireless sensors that monitor their capacity for material, forecast when they will be full and alert managers when they reach a certain fill-level.
Smart compactors save hotels money by assuring that their trash and cardboard is only picked up when necessary. According to Save That Stuff's Adam Mitchell, hotels will come out ahead if the sensors eliminate as few as one pick-up per month.
Hotels can rent smart compactors from Maguire Equipment or buy it from Enevo.
A New Kind of Green Certification: Healthy Hotels
Two new certifications have been launched this year, which deem properties to be "healthy."
The Institute for Healthy Destination Accreditation (IHDA) offers the Approved Healthy Destination Membership. Applicants complete a survey that asks about items like dietary offerings, bedding, ventilation, ergonomic chairs, fitness equipment, recreational offerings and spa treatments. Hotel members pay an $850 annual membership fee. Since the program launch this summer, 15 U.S. hotels have earned membership--none in New England so far.
Last month, the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) launched the WELL Building Standard, which marries green building and human well-being criteria. It applies to new construction and major renovations for commercial and institutional buildings. The standard consists of performance requirements in the areas of air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind. It's fully consistent with the LEED green building standard.
Applicants receive an onsite building assessment and third-party performance testing. Hence, the certification is expensive--$.05 to $.07 per square foot for a three-year certification.
I don't expect the IHDA or the IWBI certifications to become common in the lodging industry. It's difficult to get hotels to apply for certifications unless they come with strong marketing cache (TripAdvisor) or a recognized brand (Energy Star).
However, I do think that these certifications are valuable to the industry. It's worthwhile to review their checklists--especially the Well Building Standard. It's a user-friendly, 218-page document that helps building managers improve indoor air quality and take other healthy-building measures. To name just a few examples, it lists standards and good practices for ventilation, VOC reduction, air filtration, mold control and air quality monitoring.
Who's on Your Green Team?
Green Teams do best when they include staff from departments that have the most influence on the property's environmental performance: Engineering, Housekeeping, Purchasing, Food & Beverage, Sales and Marketing and the GM's office.
It's also worthwhile to include employees from any department who bring knowledge and enthusiasm to the team.