Part of Millennium Hotels and Resorts’ (MHR) Responsible Hospitality programme is its global water conservation plan. Central to the plan is to increase water recycle and reuse.
MHR is introducing alternative, more efficient methods to its chiller systems at new hotels and hotels undergoing major system and property renovations.
Water conservation strategies also include investing in water-efficient technologies, process improvements and reusing and recycling water. For example, in addition to treating water in its swimming pool, Millennium Minneapolis in the US backwashes its swimming pool every two to three days instead of daily. Backwashing is the process of thoroughly cleaning a swimming pool filter by reversing the flow of water.
Landscaping with less water
A major use of water at MHR is in maintaining its hotels’ beautiful grounds, gardens and landscapes. Many hotels have found ways to save water without affecting impacting their green spaces.
In New Zealand, Copthorne Hotel and Resort Bay of Islands irrigates its landscaping and vegetable gardens with groundwater and water collected from its greenhouse roof.
Millennium Rotorua has re-planted 80% of the gardens with native plants that require no watering during summer. Landscaping with native plants not only significantly reduces water consumption and bills — it also has large benefits for biodiversity, reduces the need for chemical fertilisers/pesticides, and lets guests experience the local flora.
In the US, Millennium Buffalo has installed a rain monitor on its irrigation system, so that the irrigation system will not switch on in rain or freezing weather.
What is measured is saved
At the moment, 71% of MHR hotels have some form of water saving measure in place, but only 21% are measuring their water bill savings. The hotel group is retrofitting motion sensors and low flow fixtures in common areas, back-of-house areas and guestrooms.
To reduce its water footprint, MHR has focussed on areas such as kitchens, laundry areas, gardens, spas and heating and cooling systems.
Grand Copthorne Waterfront in Singapore has changed out its water fittings throughout the hotel, including guest rooms taps, to ones that meet the Water Efficiency Labelling Scheme requirements by Singapore’s Public Utilities Board.
UK’s Chelsea Habour Hotel’s water saving measures have led to savings of at least 5% on water bills each month. It has installed new water-efficient showerheads and tap restrictors, and dual flush toilets to allow users to choose between full- or half-flush.
The human factor
MHR is actively encouraging personnel to preserve water usage throughout the business, particularly in hotels operating in water stressed regions. Regional and hotel teams are educated about water saving initiatives.
MHR’s hotel General Managers are the driving force in implementing various green initiatives and projects. One example is Millennium Sirih Jakarta in Indonesia, where guests are encouraged to help play their part to save water by opting not to have their towels changed daily.