EPA Launches WaterSense H2Otel Challenge To Help Hotels Reduce Water Use

Posted by on March 4, 2014 in Green

HiltonHotels account for 15 percent of the total water use in commercial and institutional facilities in the U.S., according to the EPA. Restrooms, laundry operations, landscaping and kitchens comprise the largest uses of water in hotels. Multiply all of the faucets and shower heads in every hotel room around the world, and a tremendous amount of water is being used.

In order to help hotels reduce their water use, the EPA launched the WaterSense H2Otel Challenge, part of its WaterSense program. Hotels who sign up for the Challenge will take a pledge to ACT, an acronym stands for assessing water use and savings opportunities, changing products and processes to more efficient models and methods, and tracking the progress of water use reduction. As part of the Challenge, the EPA launched a series of education webinars on February 13, 2014 to help hotels, plus it provided a free online guide.

Caesars Entertainment is the first company to sign up for the Challenge. The company, which operates hotels and casinos around the world, has already reduced its water use by seven percent per air-conditioned square foot from 2008 to 2013. The target goals are a 10 percent reduction by 2015 and 15 percent by 2020. Caesars has over 100,000 faucets in its properties, along with shower heads and other appliances that consume water. One way Caesars has reduced water use is by installing reduced-flow shower heads and sink aerators in hotel rooms and other properties owned by the company, including its golf courses in Nevada which uses reclaimed water to irrigate.

Caesars may be the first hotel chain to sign up for the Challenge, but it is not the only one reducing water use. Both Marriott International and Hilton Worldwide have also worked on reducing water use. Marriott has reduced its water use by 11.6 percent, according to its 2013 Sustainability Report. The company partnered with EcoLab, and in 2010 piloted their innovative laundry system called Aquanomic, which reduces water and energy use by up to 40 percent. It continues to use Aquanomic, and uses a similar system, called Ensure, in Asia. In 2012, Marriott installed a water treatment and monitoring equipment called 3-D Trasar in over 214 of its full-service hotels worldwide. The equipment has saved an estimated 107 million gallons of water a year.

Hilton’s 2012-2013 CSR report reveals that the company reduced its water use by 10.2 percent, just a bit more than its target of a 10 percent reduction by 2012. To achieve its reduction Hilton developed several partnerships to improve its laundering technologies, which can reduce water use by up to 45 percent. The hotel chain also developed sustainable housekeeping supplies that reduce the amount of water used in cleaning processes by up to 30 percent. Hilton also switched to lighter weight and more durable towel. Since they are lighter weight, more towels can be washed per load, which means less loads of laundry and less water used.

Caesars, Marriott and Hilton all operate worldwide, including in drought-stricken areas like California, which is experiencing its third consecutive year of drought. The state is not expected to have much rainfall this year and its water supplies have dipped to alarming levels. Every effort to reduce water use helps places that are drought stricken. Water is a precious commodity and hotel chains that operate worldwide are wise to learn from EPA’s WaterSense program.

Sources cited

  • http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d0cf6618525a9efb85257359003fb69d/cdb5647cb3411d5985257c7600568e79!OpenDocument
  • http://www.epa.gov/watersense/commercial/types.html#tabs-hotels
  • https://www.caesars.com/corporate/environment-using-less-water.html
  • https://www.caesars.com/images/PDFs/caesars-sustain-report-2012.pdf
  • http://www.casinocitytimes.com/news/article/caesars-entertainment-recognized-for-sustainability-by-epa-travel-and-tourism-organizations-208438
  • http://codegreen.harrahsblogs.com/make-a-green-new-years-resolution/
  • http://www.marriott.com/Multimedia/PDF/CorporateResponsibility/Marriott_Sustainability_Report_Update_2013.pdf
  • http://www.ecolab.com/solutions/laundry/aquanomic  http://cr.hiltonworldwide.com/sustainably/sustainability_water.html

Photo: Hilton Worldwide Environment and Climate Change

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