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NATIONAL REPORT—In hotels, utility costs consist of four major components. According to the 2015 edition of Trends in the Hotel Industry, electricity is the largest utility expense comprising 60 percent of total expenditures. Water/service is the next largest utility cost (23.8 percent) followed by gas/fuel (10.6 percent), and steam (2.3 percent). Trends in the Hotel Industry is the annual survey of U.S. hotel operating statements conducted by PKF Hospitality Research (PKF-HR), a CBRE Company. Over the years, the energy component of the consumer price index (CPI) has been a good indicator of the direction of the change in total utility expenditures at hotels. In general, when the energy CPI has gone up, hotel utility costs have increased, and vice versa. The energy CPI measures the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for gasoline, fuel oil, electricity, and piped gas service. In the past three years we have seen a departure from this relationship. Starting in 2012, the energy CPI increased, while hotel utility costs declined.
MANCHESTER, N.H.—Xeros, maker of an ultra-low water laundry system, announced that it has expanded its market presence into the Canadian commercial laundry and dry cleaning market with a channel partnership agreement for its polymer bead cleaning systems with Michael St. Clair Fine Cleaners in Vancouver. Under the agreement Michael St. Clair Fine Cleaners will sell and service Xeros’ polymer bead cleaning laundry systems which are proven to dramatically reduce water, energy and detergent usage.
VISTA, CALIF.—California regulators have been speeding up water-efficiency standards for faucets, toilets, and urinals in response to the state’s fourth year of drought. The new regulations which have been signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown go into effect January 2016.
ST. PAUL, MINN.—The Water Risk Monetizer, a publicly available financial modeling tool that enables businesses to factor current and future water risks into decision making, now provides users with insights into how water scarcity impacts revenue. The tool’s new assessment helps water-dependent businesses better understand the full value of water to their operations and identify revenue at risk based on current and projected water scarcity.
LONDON—In the Silver Jubilee year of World Water Week (August 23 to 28), multiple global hotel companies are meeting the challenge “to think innovatively—together—about new development pathways” and are developing a methodology and calculation tool to enable hotel companies and individual properties to measure and report on water consumption in a consistent way. Following the success of the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative, now used by over 21,500 hotels around the world, the International Tourism Partnership (ITP) is developing the equivalent tool for water consumption. As World Water Week demonstrates, water scarcity is a recognized global problem, with demand for water projected to exceed supply by 40 percent by 2030. By the same year, more than a third of the world’s population will be living in areas of high water stress. As part of a rapidly growing tourism sector and a large consumer, the hotel industry has recognised it needs to take action if it is to mitigate risk going forward. In its thematic document for 2015, World Water Week says: “If we are to progress beyond ‘business-as-usual’ that did not fully deliver on the MDGs, we need to think innovatively—together—about new development pathways. Our various communities, too often separated in silos, need to form new alliances, innovative public-private partnerships and social entrepreneurships for an effective and socially accepted development agenda.”
STAMFORD, CONN.—With more than half of its current and future properties in areas facing critical water issues, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. shared its holistic water story detailing the company’s efforts to tackle this important matter. As part of the company’s overall strategy on water issues, including scarcity, flooding, and quality, Starwood has set a system-wide water reduction goal, introduced new technology and dedicated on-property actions, offered conservation-focused guest programs and joined with community partners. “Some say water is the new oil and, as we execute a global growth strategy, water is not only an environmental consideration, but also a potential business risk that impacts guests, properties and the communities where we operate,” said Ken Siegel, Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel and Head of Global Citizenship at Starwood. “Starwood has to look beyond conservation and leverage innovation and partnerships to limit its environmental impact, support and enhance its local economies, and protect people and the planet, all while delivering an unmatched guest experience.”
WOODRIDGE, ILL.—Gerber, an industry leader in high performing plumbing fixtures, has expanded its product line servicing back outlet plumbing needs. Available is a 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf) gravity toilet option in both wall-hung (MX-21-021) and floor-mounted configurations (MX-21-022).
NEW YORK—GROHE introduces its Retro-Fit Shower System, which transforms an existing showerhead installation with concealed pressure balance valve into a luxurious shower system without breaking the wall, all in under an hour.
BOISE, IDAHO—Cary Thomas and Ruth Hurt, owners of QuickRinse.net, announced the launch of their first product, Quick Rinse, a new way to rinse showers during the cleaning process that is six times faster and uses up to 83 percent less water than the traditional method of rinsing with a cup.
MANCHESTER, N.H.—Xeros, the innovator of an ultra-low water laundry system, announced recently that it is helping five California-based businesses reduce water usage by up to 80 percent in their laundry operations. To put this in context, laundry operations in hotels represent 20 percent of their overall water usage. The California Althletic Club, Stanford Park Hotel, Quality Inn Petaluma, Fairfield Inn Sebastopol, and Hilton Universal are all using the Xeros polymer bead laundry systems.
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