October 6, 2015

Dear Boston Green Tourism Members,

The presentations from the September 17 meeting are linked below. See the other sections, too.

Our next meeting will be Thursday October 22 at Taj Boston.


Boston Green Tourism Meeting
September 17, 2015
Location: Hyatt Regency Boston
Hosts: Terry Dunbar, Brian Gorski, Ganga Singh

credit: celebrateboston.com
Present: Brian Gorski, Ganga Singh, Kelly Ametta, Tom Taylor, Marc Cohn, Fabienne Eliacin, Dan Buker, Samantha Sorrin, Scot Hopps, Jamie Darling, , Bill Scherer, Alex Alexandrovich, Dmitriy Solovyov, Hugh Leahy, Keith Istler,  Karen Weber, Pamela St. Aimee, Bob Shatten, Dinesh Wadwhani, Stephen Ashkin, Tory Kempf, Geoffrey Phillips, Dan Ruben.

Brian Gorski, Director of Engineering & Facilities, Hyatt Regency Boston

Hyatt Regency Boston, has already cut its electricity use by 40%. Mr. Gorski detailed 2014 and 2015 plans to reduce its electricity use further, and to cut natural gas and water use, too: 
  • modernize elevators.
  • install low-flow showerheads and toilets.
  • install a high-efficiency condensing boiler.
  • finish the conversion to LED's by replacing A-19's and fluorescent tubes.
  • install EC motors in the guest rooms.
  • coordinate electric baseboard heat with the Building Automation System in a way that reflects outside air temperature.
  • optimize the static pressure reset in the variable air volume air conditioning system.

Mr. Ashkin made the case that green cleaning processes and products promote guest and staff health, and have a commendable impact on the environment. He showed us how disease can be transmitted in hotels and outlined cleaning practices that reduce transmission. 

Mr. Ashkin spoke highly of various kinds of engineered water, including tap water that has been activated, ozonated or electrolyzed to create effective cleaning products.
He also advocated using non-tree paper products; paper towel rolls instead of folded towels--to cut paper use by 30%; high filtration vacuum bags; cleaning soap dispensers regularly; UVC wands to sanitize electronics and other high-touch areas; and having housekeepers wash hands between rooms, especially during flu season.

Tory Kempf, Account Executive, Energy Efficiency, Eversource Energy

Mr. Kempf showed how hotels can reduce energy and water use by optimizing their chillers. The best opportunities are for water-cooled centrifugal chillers with long run hours and 300 tons or more of cooling. 

Hoteliers get the biggest impact when they view the system wholistically (slide 5, "relational control" column), rather than fixing individual components (pumps, towers) independently, because fixing some components might adversely impact other components.

Eversource can help hoteliers identify financially-attractive opportunities and whether the project qualifies for a rebate.

Geoffrey Phillips, Product Management, Energy Efficiency, Eversource

Mr. Phillips discussed this tool, which will enable large commercial properties to analyze their energy use, benchmark their property and identify energy-saving measures. 

Eversource will roll out this product between November and March.

BERDO Goes Live: Boston Building Energy Information Posted Online 
credit: wallpapersdb.org
The energy and water use metrics for over 1300 Boston commercial buildings, including hotels, was posted online on October 1. The reporting rate for Boston properties was 84%. 
The Boston Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO) requires this data to be publicly accessible. BERDO is a component of the Boston's Climate Action Plan. The program is intended to spur building owners to invest in energy efficiency.
The metrics include Energy Use Intensity (kBTU / square foot); Energy Star score; whether the 
property achieved Energy Star certification; the proportion of energy use attributed to electricity, 
natural gas and steam; water intensity (gallons / square foot); user submitted information; and more.
The Boston commercial building data can be found in an Excel table and on an interactive Boston map. Here is a table that includes Boston hotels only

I counted 42 hotels on the report. Some hotels aren't listed. Perhaps they didn't submit their data.

BERDO information will be updated annually, based on the information that building owners submit every May.
Thus far, 14 U.S. cities and two states post commercial building energy metrics. Cambridge will post energy information starting next year.
Interestingly, the data reveal that the worst performing hotels have over three times more energy use intensity (203 BTU / sq. ft.) than the best performing ones (54 BTU / sq. ft.). Taking away the three outliers at the top of the bottom of the range, the variance was still over two (71 BTU/sq. ft. to 153 sq. ft.). Some of that variance reflects the difference in hotel offerings (restaurants, swimming pools, parking garages, etc.), the type of energy used and the level of luxury. 

Energy Star corrects for some of these variances. The range of hotel Energy Star scores varied between 1 and 93. (Energy Star rates hotels from 1 to 100. A hotel with a high score is more energy efficient than ones with lower scores.) Taking away the three top and bottom outliers, the range was 15 to 79.
The practice of posting building energy data online is still new. So we don't know yet whether meeting planners will consider this information when selecting a hotel; and whether hotel buyers will evaluate this information.
Are you interested in improving your property's Energy Star score? I offer a (free) workshop for BGT members that helps hotels reduce energy use, and green their properties in other ways. The workshop is based on the strategies and practices of successful U.S. hotels. Contact me if you're interested.
Other resources, not specific to hotels, can be found here.

Hotel Pillows-How Long is Too Long?  
credit: dailymail.co.uk
Brian Guernier, Green Lodging News, August 4
The author encourages hotels to implement a pillow cleaning and restoration process. Hotels can restore their pillows by purchasing the necessary equipment or hiring a company that provides this service. The process takes four to five minutes per pillow. 
By restoring pillows, hotels eliminate the need to purchase new pillows and reduce pillow waste by 85 percent. The author claims that 300-room hotels save $15,000 per year by restoring their pillows.
A 2013 presentation on pillow restoration at a BGT meeting can be found in this newsletter.

Janet Haugan, Leanpath
LeanPath has worked with chefs for the past decade to identify why food is wasted and to design food waste prevention solutions. They compiled 20 tips that have worked in practice.
I encourage you to share this guide with your chefs. It might cut your property's food purchasing bills and benefit the environment.

The following meetings will be 2:30 to 4:00.

October 22:
Taj Boston
December 10:
Le Méridien Cambridge-MIT

See you October 22 at Taj Boston!