Tuesday 16 October 2007

EPA-backed initiative leads to eco-savings for ‘green’ hotels

THE Environmental Protection Agency yesterday said the Greener Irish Hotels initiative involving 56 Irish hotels has resulted in the diversion of thousands of tonnes of waste to landfill and also reduced carbon dioxide output drastically.

Developed by the Irish Hospitality Institute Greener Irish Hotels was one of a number of initiatives part-funded between 2005 and 2007 under phase two of the EPA’s Cleaner Greener Production Programme.

More than 3,000 employees were given training and by the end of 2006, the 56 hotels in 20 countries had diverted 1,113 tonnes of waste from landfill, reduced CO2 output by 3,000 tonnes and cut water consumption by 5,000 tonnes.

The EPA said the programme had also resulted in reduced costs for hotels, giving a win-win outcome for business and the environment.

The hotels involved included three to five star properties ranging in size from 30 to 255 bedrooms.

It said that if spread to the other hotels around the country, it could result in savings for the sector of €81.4 million per annum at 2005 prices and result in:

The diversion of 56,000 tonnes of waste from landfill.

The reduction of 162,000 tonnes of CO2 output.

The reduction of more than 4,500,000 tonnes in water consumption.

“The Irish Hotel Industry has been environmentally benchmarked for the first time in this pilot programme, which has delivered the blueprint for better, greener business for Irish hotels.” said Larry Stapleton, director at the EPA Office of Environmental Assessment. “What we would like to see happen now is that the momentum from this programme will be carried forward.

“The programme has engaged the hotel industry and created an effective environmental focus.

“It is replicable across the whole accommodation and catering sectors. Not only that, but the leadership shown by the hotels sector through this programme can also serve as an example for other service sectors of the value of a coordinated approach, and thus play an important role in promoting the greening of the Irish economy overall.”

Irish Examiner

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