Are you a hotel thinking of going green? Well, according to the industry buzz, it’s time to stop thinking and start doing. From adopting a comprehensive recycling program to introducing green amenities for every guest, hotels are going above and beyond to implement green policies that aim to attract every traveler.

Inge Huijbrechts, Director of Responsible Business at Rezidor, owners of the Radisson, Park Inn, Missoni and Regent hotel chains, suggests that the demand from corporations seeking greener accommodation is on the rise: “You certainly see more corporate travelers specifying environmental aspects in their RFPs (requests for proposal)”.  In an effort to stay ahead of the curb, hotel groups like Rezidor are scaling up efforts and adopting long-term policies that are sustainable in more ways than one.

Rezidor aims to cut 25% of energy used by 2016

In order to combat the onslaught of businesses looking to book responsibly, Rezidor has launched a sustainable initiative called Think Planet, with a target to reduce energy consumption by 25% by the year 2016 in all Rezidor hotels throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

In a statement describing the initiative, Huijbrechts says: “Think Planet reinforces Rezidor’s position as one of the industry leaders in terms of sustainability. Many of our hotels have already introduced progressive, environmentally friendly measures – now we are spreading these initiatives into all our properties and focus on key energy-saving investments that will have the biggest impact”.

According to a press release circulated by Rezidor, whose hotel group includes over 330+ hotels in 70 countries with another 100 additional properties currently under development, the initiative will save Rezidor over 25 million Euros over the 5 years and cut electrical usage by 1.1 terrawatt hours. In case you’re wondering, that’s 1.5 times the consumption of all households in Iceland.

Staff engagement integral to success

While Think Planet was developed by an interdepartmental and cross-regional team at Rezidor that included representatives from Technical Services, Operations, Purchasing, Finance, and Responsible Business, one of the key focuses of the energy-saving initiative is staff engagement throughout the group.

Rezidor is making use of its Yes I Can! philosophy as well as a cute firefly named Lumi, the Think Planet mascot, dedicated to bringing 35,000+ employees on-board by providing audio and video training about smart energy saving habits in housekeeping, kitchen and meeting areas. These include switching off lights and equipment, turning heating and cooling to eco-mode and reporting energy related issues that require attention or maintenance. Lumi will also conduct a “Lumiquiz” each month as well as a competition for the most efficient, energy saving hotel of the year.

Think Planet? Think Profit

Despite the suspicion that a program like Think Planet might mean a lot of money being invested into something with little return, Wolfgang M. Neumann, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer at Rezidor is positive that saving energy also saves cost in the long term: “We are currently faced with significantly rising energy costs in many countries, along with government carbon taxation. Moving forward, reducing our energy consumption will also contribute to maximizing our profits”.

Questions or comments about Rezidor or Think Planet? Leave them below!

image credit: Teviot Creative