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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Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time.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.

The Regent Sydney
Cleaner Production - Resource Minimisation and Recycling

Recycling of materials - from paper, cardboard, bottles, cooking oil and old linen - along with simple measures to reduce energy and water consumption, have yielded $250,000 in savings for The Regent in Sydney over the last few years. The cleaner production measures were introduced without having to compromise the hotel’s luxurious five-star service.


The Regent Sydney is a five-star Hotel situated in George Street, near Circular Quay. It was built 1982 on the historical site of Sydney's first hanging and gaol.

The building comprises 36 stories, 28 of these being accommodation. Food and beverage outlets, a health club and a number of commercial shops occupy six floors, while kitchens and a valet/laundry use up three floors.

Guest comfort and the standard of service must always be the highest priority in the Regent. Therefore setting out to achieve energy and environmental savings can only be undertaken when they do not noticeably detract from the expected standard of five-star service.

The process

In 1992 The Regent Sydney embarked on a campaign to improve the energy and environmental measures that were already in effect within the property. The Director of Engineering assisted by other Department heads, reviewed the excisting recycling program and energy usage throughout the Hotel. A Management/Staff team was then set up to ensure that the following actions were carried out:


The Regent’s recycling campaign involves other companies, including Australian Paper Mills, Aspex Paper, Moons Recycling (glass), and Oil Recycle.

Energy and water conservation

In 1992 a load analysis was carried out and Management decided to change to a more economical tariff. Changing to a new tariff resulted in a saving of $18,000*. (*Savings made through electricity tariff changes are not strictly related to cleaner production, as they do not result from reduced electricity usage.)

The change to a new tariff system also gave Management the opportunity to review the power factor of the main switchboard. Power factor capacitor banks were installed in 1993 to take further advantage of the KVA tariff and to reduce the amount of power lost due to voltage drop. Further savings of $30,000 per annum were achieved.

1,000 incandescent lamps of 75w were replaced with 13w and 10w compact fluorescent globes, where dimming controls were not available.

In 1993, the Hotel was asked to participate in an energy audit in conjunction with Pacific Power. This audit study was conducted by an environment consultant and Hotel staff. External audits involving staff, combined with internal audits, are invaluable and have produced many ideas and actions to improve the use of resources.

A 'Platypus System' was installed. This is a valve system which balances and reduces flow in hydraulic systems. The system has not only solved pressure fluctuation problems, but has also resulted in a 30% reduction in water usage. Further, a reduction in the volume of hot water used has reduced water heating costs.

CFC (Chlorofluorocarbon) reduction

The Hotel Management and Owners have drawn up a full CFC-reduction plan. Under the plan, the following actions have been taken:

Advantages of the process

When added up, all the cleaner production measures have resulted in savings of approximately $250,000 over the last few years. In addition to the financial savings, some of the measures have also helped reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The Regent Sydney continues to reduce energy costs, and in 1996 and 1997 installed variable speed drives to all heavy air conditioning fans and pumps. This reduced electrical usage, thus, reducing co2 emissions.

Cleaner production incentives

The Regent in Sydney put in place recycling and waste minimisation strategies in the late 1980s, but acknowledged that further improvements could be made, particularly in tightening up the implementation of the cleaner production measures.

It has identified three key factors to ensure further improvements:

  1. Sound Environmental/ Energy Plan
  2. Commitment from management and staff
  3. Commitment from Property Owner


The main constraint for introducing cleaner production measures at The Regent is the five-star standard it has to protect. No waste minimisation and recycling measure must compromise the luxury service which is the Hotel’s trademark.

Special areas for large-scale recycling had to be set aside in strategic places in the Hotel. In a building that was already built and fully operational, and where space is at a premium, this space requirement had to be carefully though out. The Management/Staff team had to ensure that recycling contractors are reliable and are on time to avoid build up of material.

Further Developments

The Regent Sydney has continued to benefit from the initiatives described above.

During the 1999 refurbishment of the Regent Sydney the hotel changed all of the minibar fridges to absorb units and removed all the old R11 minibar units from all rooms. 550 units were replaced.


Phil McKendrick
Director of Engineering
The Regent Sydney
199 George St
Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: 61 2 9250 3198
Fax: 61 2 9251 3682
Date of implementation: 1996.
Date of further initiatives: Ongoing.
Case study prepared: January 1997 by ACCP.
Date last modified: May 2001.