Review of energy efficiency in the accommodation and conference services industries

As with the analysis of life cycle costs, there are many kinds of indicators for evaluating energy efficiency and the carbon footprint. The diverse practices are indicated in a survey sent by Hansel, in December 2016, to suppliers of Hansel’s framework agreement on Domestic Accommodation and Conference Services.

The accommodation and conference services sector uses, e.g., the Nordic Swan Ecolabel, the EU Ecolabel, and the Green Key eco-label. Furthermore, the industry uses certified systems, such as ones with the ISO 14001 environmental certificate.

Both framework agreements require the framework supplier to show how accommodation companies included in the agreement take account of energy efficiency and how the carbon footprint is measured. More than half of all respondents measure energy efficiency with their own model, which makes it difficult to compare suppliers.

Even the big ones start with small acts

Suppliers differ from one another in terms of size category and the local aspect, for example. Large hotel chains may operate on a global scale, which distinguishes them from a local accommodation business. Taking the regional aspect into consideration is one way to secure equal treatment, as is the case with Hotel Helka in Helsinki.

On the basis of answers to the survey, suppliers share a way of connecting energy efficiency, eco-friendliness and corporate responsibility to their daily business operations. The examples range from the observation of groundwater to the use of low-light sensors. Key issues in the sector also include reducing food wasted, the treatment of waste, and other sustainable use of natural resources. Responsibility is also a marketing effort for suppliers of accommodation and conference services.