The Association of Green Property Owners and Managers (AGPOM) recently finished updating its Green Property Behavioral Plan for Hotels and Resorts. The plan outlines practical behavioral initiatives available to hotels and resorts for reducing their expenses and improving their indoor working environment. For ease of use, the plan is segregated into topics including Energy Efficiency, Water Conservation, Indoor Air Quality, Site Sustainability, and General Business Practices. Under Energy Efficiency, the plan suggests practical steps one can take in the areas of Heating and Cooling, Lighting, and Operations. Within the Heating and Cooling section, for example, the plan suggests to keep window coverings closed in unoccupied rooms and common areas to combat extreme hot and cold temperatures. Another suggestion is to clean refrigerator condenser coils at least every three months and defrost freezers frequently.
The Water Conservation section is separated into three areas: Building Maintenance, Laundry Facilities, and Exterior Areas. One water conservation suggestion, for example, is to only wash fully loaded dish racks. A commercial dishwasher will work the same and use the same amount of water no matter how many dishes are in the rack. Using full racks will make the dishwasher more efficient with the water is already using. Another water conservation suggestion: Avoid plant fertilizing and pruning that would stimulate excessive growth.
The Indoor Air Quality section includes general suggestions as well as those related to Green Cleaning. One Indoor Air Quality suggestion is to vacuum carpets regularly, preferably using a vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. When cleaning carpets, use a non-chemical, low-water process, and use fans afterward to dry the carpeting quickly. Also, carpets should never be installed in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms or other high-moisture areas. Another suggestion: Use microfiber pads for cleaning rather than paper or other disposable products. Cloth cleaning rags can be laundered and reused. Paper towels usually just end up in a landfill.
The section on Site Sustainability is divided into Food & Waste Management, and Reduce and Reuse. One suggestion under Food & Waste Management is to provide smaller portions. If plates are repeatedly returned with only a portion of the food eaten, then you are serving too much. Cut back to reduce the amount of food waste.
In the final section, General Business Practices, suggestions range from supporting vendors and business partners who have green policies in place, to turning off computers, monitors, printers and copiers during non-business hours.
The Green Property Behavioral Plan is a worthwhile read for those just starting to implement green practices or those with established green policies. Click here to check it out.