Home Publisher's Point of View Tokyu Hotel Just About as Innovative As You Can Get

Tokyu Hotel Just About as Innovative As You Can Get

Glenn Hasek

I have written about the use of hydrogen fuel cell systems in hotels before but unfortunately, they remain a rarity in our industry. I am sure cost tops the list for not using such systems. That is why it was a no brainer this past week to write about the Kawasaki King Skyfront Tokyu REI Hotel in Kawasaki City, Japan. (See article.) The 186-room property is run by 100 percent renewable energy. Thirty percent of the energy is derived from hydrogen. Seventy percent of the energy is derived from food waste generated renewable energy. Since transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy the hotel has saved more than $15,000 per year.

To generate hydrogen, used plastics (household plastic trash plus hotel amenities) are sent to Showa Denko K.K.’s hydrogen production facility where they are turned into hydrogen that is sent through pipelines to Toshiba’s H2Rex, a pure hydrogen fuel cell system that converts hydrogen to heat and electric power without producing CO2. The hydrogen generated electricity is used by the hotel where it meets 30 percent of the property’s electricity and hot water needs.

In one year, a total of 450,000kWh of power is generated with a total CO2 reduction effect of about 200,000kg. This is equivalent to providing electricity for 82 households of four people per day and reducing CO2 equal to that of 14,300 cedar trees.

Just as cool and innovative, the Kawasaki King Skyfront Tokyu REI Hotel participates in a project where its “food waste” is methane-fermented by microorganisms to generate electricity by using biogas as fuel. This process provides the balance—the remaining 70 percent—of electricity that the hotel needs. J Bio Food Recycle Co. Ltd is a recycling facility and biogas plant that processes the hotel’s food waste and is based in Yokohama city, established as a collaboration between East Japan Railway Company (JR East) and JFE Engineering Corp. It was designed to process up to 80 tons of food waste per day.

The Result of A Lot of Planning

The Kawasaki King Skyfront Tokyu REI Hotel benefits from not only having progressive ownership but being in the right place at the right time—being part of a supply chain that allows it to run on 100 percent renewable energy. You can bet it took a lot of planning and coordination with city officials and other companies to make this happen.

As if all of the above were not enough, last year a “plant growing module” was installed in the lobby of the hotel, so that guests staying there could visually experience the effects of renewable energy. The module and installation cost a total of approximately $829,000. This figure includes design costs, material procurement, etc. At a daily running cost of approximately $110, (running costs include consumable goods, electricity, etc.), lettuce is cultivated using hydrogen energy, and the harvested lettuce is then available to guests at the hotel restaurant. The plant module generates photosynthesis using an LED light source and hydroponics with a nutrient solution.

Last year, the Kawasaki King Skyfront Tokyu REI Hotel was selected to receive the grand prize of Kawasaki City’s “9th Smart Lifestyle Award”, which recognizes outstanding efforts such as carbon dioxide reduction. Kawasaki City, with the collaboration of various entities, is promoting efforts to reduce CO2. As part of this, in collaboration with the CC Kawasaki Eco-Conference, Kawasaki City has been commending excellent efforts of citizens and businesses that contribute to the reduction of CO2 and global warming countermeasures with the “Smart Lifestyle Award” since 2012.

Congratulations to the Kawasaki King Skyfront Tokyu REI Hotel for its achievements and for setting an example for others to strive for.

Who is Your Sustainability Champion?

Green Lodging News is always looking to profile sustainability champions in our Personnel Profile section. If you would like to nominate someone for this section of Green Lodging News, contact me at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com.

Looking for Guest Columnists

Every two weeks Green Lodging News posts a new guest column on its website. (Click here for examples.) The guest column also appears in the weekly e-newsletter. Green Lodging News is currently in need of industry experts to contribute occasional guest columns. Experts may include consultants, architects, designers, suppliers and those who own or operate green lodging establishments. Columns may be articles that take a stance on a particular subject or be strictly educational in nature. Columnists benefit by having their photo included along with a one paragraph description of their company. Interested in writing a column? Contact Glenn Hasek, publisher and editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com.

Get in the Green Suppliers Spotlight!

Green Lodging News, lodging’s leading environmental news source, publishes Green Suppliers Spotlight, an e-blast to 23,245 subscribers that features the lodging industry’s leading green products and services. The e-blast features multiple vendors—unlike the current Green Supplier Spotlight that allows one supplier to “own” the Green Lodging News subscriber list for one e-blast. (Click here for a Green Suppliers Spotlight sample.)

Green Suppliers Spotlight is published weekly on Thursdays to general managers, owners, management companies, directors of sustainability, directors of engineering, facilities managers and many others who are either in purchasing positions or who influence purchasing decisions. Suppliers of green products and services throughout North America and beyond are invited to participate in the e-blast. (Minimum two suppliers per e-blast.) Green Suppliers Spotlight was created to give vendors an opportunity to reach a high number of industry purchasers at a very low cost—as low as $200 per e-mail. (Click here for rate sheet.)

Those advertising in Green Suppliers Spotlight can include up to 100 words, one image, contact information and multiple links to their website in their ad. At the end of each month, a report will be sent to each supplier with information on delivered e-mails, opens and click-throughs.

Planning Advertising for 2021?

Green Lodging News is accepting reservations for advertising spots for 2021. Many excellent spots are available on our website and in the weekly e-mail newsletter. Many Green Supplier Spotlight dates are also available. Interested in receiving a 2021 media kit? Be sure to contact me as soon as possible at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com. Media kits can also be accessed by clicking here. Thank you to all those companies that consistently support Green Lodging News.

Newsletter & Green Supplier Spotlight Circulation

The circulation of our weekly e-newsletter and Green Supplier Spotlight currently stands at 23,245. Thank you to our new subscribers for signing up. Be sure to encourage your colleagues to do the same. There are “subscribe” links on the Green Lodging News home page. You may also e-mail greenlodgingnews@gmail.com to be added to our list.

Green Lodging News & Social Media

Green Lodging News now has 1,753 Twitter followers. Thank you to all of those who follow our tweets. In addition to following us on Twitter, be sure to bookmark the Green Lodging News Blog in your browser. More importantly, participate with your comments. Green Lodging News is also on Facebook. Be sure to “Like” us there. Green Lodging News now has 981 Facebook likes.

As always, I can be reached at greenlodgingnews@gmail.com.