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Guest Columns

Green Lodging News provides a forum for anyone in the lodging industry to offer their take on a particular topic. All are welcome to participate. Submissions should be approximately 800 words and should include a photo of the writer. Contact Glenn Hasek, editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at: editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

Guest Columns

Home Guest Columns
Green Lodging News provides a forum for anyone in the lodging industry to offer their take on a particular topic. All are welcome to participate. Submissions should be approximately 800 words and should include a photo of the writer. Contact Glenn Hasek, editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at: editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

Employee Engagement—Your Secret Sustainability Weapon

Sustainability is now a commonly used catchword and focus for all businesses on some level. For many being a “green” or sustainable organization can be a daunting task, but is increasingly becoming a business imperative. Rest assured you are most likely doing more than you think.  The triple bottom line approach of sustainability—people, planet and profit (or more recently productivity)—focuses on ensuring financial profitability is aligned with other key performance indicators such as environmental best practice, employee health and well-being, and community stewardship. The most successful businesses realize that engaged employees are key to a winning culture and the organization’s...

New Commercial Boiler Standards Mean Savings on Heating Bills

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently finalized a new energy efficiency standard for “packaged boilers” that heat commercial and multifamily buildings, which will save consumers and businesses billions of dollars on their heating bills. Nearly a quarter of the commercial floor space in the United States is heated by packaged boilers and given that space heating is by far the biggest energy user in these and other commercial buildings, the standard will trigger a significant amount of savings. Commercial packaged boilers, which are also found in multifamily buildings and small industrial facilities, are powered by oil or natural gas...

Beware the ‘Because I Said So’ Syndrome of Sustainability

Sustainability, like any major change initiative, is dependent on executive sponsorship, but the focus on top leadership buy-in can be skewed. Executive sponsorship is no doubt vital; projects without it have lackluster results and high resentment. So much time is invested wooing executives, but initiatives become watered down by the time they reach managers and frontline employees. This is where it becomes the “because I said so” methodology of change. Note that “I” may be replaced with the name that carries weight or power. If Steve is the CEO, then the mantra might become something like “well, Steve said this...

Hotels Are Green Mines of Paint Waste

Hotels are gold mines (green mines) of paint waste! Sitting in the bowels of the building, in a storage room, or straddled over several parking spaces a few levels underground, or out on the loading dock, partially used paint buckets and canisters abound. A single property can have one to three tons of paint waste per building. That’s as much as 800 gallons of paint! Reasons Hotels Have So Much Paint Waste on Site Paint that matches the existing palette is needed anytime there are structural renovations or remodeling. Corporate or property interior designers change the paint color schematic. Paint is needed for...

New Regulations for Commercial Kitchen Refrigeration

This year is ushering in a host of new regulations for commercial kitchen refrigeration that will drive significant efficiency benefits for kitchen operations. The phasing in of new air quality standards, combined with limits on energy consumption, are all poised to create the most efficient refrigeration cabinets that commercial kitchens have yet seen. Starting in March 2017, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) regulations will go into effect that will set a mandatory limit on the maximum daily energy consumption (MDEC) allowed for a given commercial refrigerator or freezer. In tandem, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program is significantly increasing...

Thirdhand Smoke a New Concern for Hotel Properties

On January 30, 2014, the U.S. Federal News Service and the University of California at Riverside issued the following alert: “Do not smoke and do not allow yourself to be exposed to smoke, because secondhand smoke and thirdhand smoke are just as deadly as firsthand smoke. While firsthand smoke refers to the smoke inhaled by a smoker and secondhand smoke to the exhaled smoke and other substances emanating from a burning cigarette that can get inhaled by others, thirdhand smoke is the secondhand smoke that gets left on the surfaces of objects, ages over time, and becomes progressively more toxic.” This...

New Ceiling Fan Standards Will Keep Consumer Bills Cool

Temperatures may be cooling across the country, but new ceiling fan energy efficiency standards announced recently mean that consumers will stay comfortable in years to come while paying less on their energy bills. With an estimated 80 million U.S. households owning at least one ceiling fan, the energy and dollar savings will really add up under this update required by federal law to cut energy waste. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) projects the new standards will cut the energy use of ceiling fans by about 26 percent, resulting in national savings of about 200 billion kilowatt-hours of energy over...

Energy Management 101

Start discussing a technical topic and watch as people’s eyes glaze over, even if those people are fully aware that it’s something they should be paying attention to. Embarking on a path toward a more sustainable and energy efficient hotel operation qualifies as one of these “glazed” subjects, so to eliminate any possibility of eyelid fatigue, let’s talk about this extremely important issue in terms of something just a bit more fun—golf. A Golf Analogy Tired of listening to your old college buddies boast about how well they’re scoring on the course, you finally decide to up your game. All indications...

Hotels Hit with Fees for Not Complying with Energy Benchmarking Rules

In the United States, 16 locations, ranging from entire state policies to county laws, require some type of energy benchmarking. Many regulations are new, and the cumbersome process is costing hotels thousands of dollars every year. Energy benchmarking—the process of tracking a building’s annual energy use and using a standard metric to compare the building’s performance against past performance and to its peers nationwide—is gaining momentum as businesses and building owners see huge savings in crunching the numbers and making small adjustments to their energy use. But as more cities and states adopt annual benchmarking regulations, the new procedures and...

Improving Your Bottom Line with Refrigeration Maintenance

Hotel venues of all types contain many plug-in refrigeration and freezer units (“coolers”).  Examples include plug-in refrigerators and freezers in kitchen/foodservice areas, vending machines, ice machines, beverage merchandisers, and the like. These appliances contain a condenser coil unit that is responsible for rejecting to the atmosphere the heat that is extracted from the enclosure being cooled. To do this job effectively, these coils need to have good airflow so that good heat transfer is achieved. Unfortunately, since the coils are exposed to the atmosphere, they become progressively clogged with dust and other debris over time (see photo at right...