Environment industries archive
Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.
Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.
|By involving all of its staff, the Parkroyal on St Kilda Rd made some simple housekeeping and equipment changes that improved its environmental performance and saved money. Annual energy savings alone are nearly $30,000 and potential for further savings have been identified. Other measures have involved water conservation and paper recycling. Staff and guests have responded well to the program and further initiatives will be integrated into future Hotel refurbishments.|
A 220 room hotel, the Parkroyal on St Kilda Road (the Parkroyal) is part of Bass Hotels and Resorts (BHR), the largest hotel group worldwide. It is one of five BHR hotels in Melbourne, and is an established boutique hotel catering to the corporate and domestic leisure markets.
There are many aspects to the operation of a Hotel that impact on the environment. Measures in individual rooms often seem insignificant, but when added up over 220 rooms, they can have a significant impact.
The Parkroyal involved all its staff in an Environmental Education Strategy, focusing on identifying, and implementing, practical actions aimed at reducing the hotel's environmental impact and generating operational savings.
The Environmental Education Strategy was developed through a partnership between the Parkroyal and the Victorian Environment Education Council. Corporate Environmental Management Pty Ltd facilitated the project, carrying out the initial staff training sessions.
Initially, the Environmental Education Strategy Committee met twice a week to discuss ideas raised by staff, and to bring in information from environmental specialists. A questionnaire and letter were given to 200 of the hotel's regular guests to spark awareness of what was going on and how they might be involved. To arouse interest on a wider scale, staff wore badges proclaiming 'Parkroyal on St Kilda Rd - Caring for the Environment'. Many guests commented favourably.
A number of easily implemented initiatives were undertaken quickly, as listed below.
An energy audit led the Hotel to change its electricity tariff and modify its air handling equipment, leading to operational savings of $24,000 per year.
The back service corridor had a single door, left open all day for ease of making deliveries. By hanging spring-loaded, plastic flap doors, energy savings of $300 per month were made, and nearby staff now work in a more consistently comfortable environment.
Changing a total of 250 light globes in public parts of the hotel from 100 watt light globes to 13 watt energy-efficient globes led to a cost saving of $2,166 per year.
Installation of water-efficient shower roses in all rooms has halved water consumption from 26 litres of water per minute to 13 litres of water per minute. Reduced flow has the added benefit of reducing the energy required to heat the water. One of the hotel's three boilers was converted to stand-by.
Instead of automatically washing all guests' towels daily, the hotel gives the choice of retaining their towels by hanging them on the rack, or indicating they want a fresh towel by putting their used one in the bath. Approximately 30% of guests have taken up the hotel's suggestion to have their towels washed less frequently, many commenting favourably on the initiative on guest comment cards. This saves expense but more importantly reduces detergent use.
As in any kitchen, chemicals are widely used for cleaning. The Parkroyal and other BHR hotels have negotiated with a major chemical supplier to introduce a new chlorine-free range and a system which reduces chemical dependency. This initiative has been cost neutral.
Kitchen staff training on improved environmental practices is seen as essential; for instance, in regularly turning off gas burners when they are not in use.
Separate bins for the recycling of kitchen glass, paper and plastic have been supplied.
Bar, bistro and dining room
Separate bins for recycling of glass, paper and plastic have been installed.
The glass washer is only used when it is full, a great energy saver.
A full statement of costs and benefits has not been prepared, but the energy savings alone have exceeded $30,000. The measures are consistent with the findings of a 1994 study, Hotels and the Environment, prepared for the Accommodation Division of the NSW branch of the Australian Hotels Association. Thirteen Sydney hotels were involved in the study, which found the savings listed below from measures similar to those undertaken by the Parkroyal.
Summary of hotel environmental initiatives in NSW and associated savings, 1994
|Area||Environmental Initiatives||Av. cost savings per room per year|
|Waste management||Reduction in compactor pick-up fees due to recycling||$43|
|Water conservation||Low-flow showers and taps||$76|
|Electricity||Power factor correction||$112|
|Gas||Reduction in hot water boiler temperatures||$26|
|Lighting||Installation of compact fluorescent lights||$20|
By introducing only these five simple changes, a 220 room hotel like the Parkroyal would save over $60,000 a year.
Apart from the financial incentives, the Parkroyal has valued the enthusiasm of both staff and guests for environmentally aware practices.
A questionnaire distributed to Parkroyal employees found that 94% of staff respondents felt that environmental issues were important in the workplace. In a report funded by the Victorian Environment Education council, the Parkroyal claims that: "Being part of a team effort to find and implement effective environmental measures is seen as a powerful learning experience for all involved". Environmental Education Strategy activities were reported as important "in developing motivation, environmental knowledge, teamwork and problem-solving skills."
All new staff receive basic training in environmental principles. A 'Green Corner' has been suggested for the Parkroyal's staff magazine, highlighting and making staff aware of new environmental initiatives.
The long term aim is to disseminate the Environmental Education Strategy throughout the other BHR hotels in Melbourne, and eventually throughout Australasia.
The Parkroyal Environmental Education Strategy Committee has identified the critical factors for the success of the project as "the strong support and active participation of staff from all areas and levels of the hotel and the availability of a facilitator with appropriate time and expertise to assist the project's planning and implementation".
The Hotel also identified a number of other measures that could be undertaken, but which can only be done cost effectively in future refurbishments, or when equipment became due for replacement. For example, the front door was identified as an area of significant energy loss. Installation of a sliding door would cost $7,790 but save $600 per month in energy costs
The benefits of these initiatives have been maintained and some further improvements have been made including: