A 220 room hotel, the Parkroyal on St Kilda Road (the Parkroyal) is part of the Southern Pacific Hotel Corporation (SPHC), the largest hotel group in Australasia. It is one of four SPHC 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.
Cleaner production initiatives
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 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 SPHC 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.
Recycled paper is used for letterhead, conference pads and the photocopier, saving over $2,000 per annum.