Hotel Operations

15hotel operations

Energy Management

Administrative offices house the management team and managerial staff ( general manager, department heads, secretaries, etc). By incorporating high technology into the office operations, such as, computer systems, the consumption of energy naturally increases. Most offices in a hotel area also equipped with central heating and air conditioning systems. Due to the nature of this area, an energy-saving program in hotel offices is easily overlooked or sometimes ignored than those of other departments. On more occasions that not, managers tend to focus on the hotel's service quality and customer satisfaction rather than their internal controls. If we were to analyze the office systems in many hotels it would be found that much of the energy consumption is unnecessary and inefficient. Therefore an effective energy management program or system in your office(s) can save you a large sum by controlling the times at which energy is bought maximizing its efficiency. For example, costs can be radically reduced by the installation of lighting control systems since people frequently forget to turn off the lights when they are no longer required.

Here are some simple energy management ideas you can implement:

  • Do not use artificial lighting in offices when the natural light is sufficient
  • Open draperies and raise shades whenever adequate light from windows is available
  • Use energy-saving fluorescent lights and lamps
  • Switch off lights and appliances in unoccupied offices
  • Turn off the bathroom's fan and lights whenever they are not occupied
  • Install the light sensors to remind and educate office users about wasted light
  • Use rechargeable batteries for calculators and other office devices
  • Turn off computers that are not used, and utilized computer's energy/power management tools ( i.e. sleep mode, hibernate mode, screen saver)
  • Reduce the use of lighting during night cleaning
  • Arrange office meetings or conferences in the day time
  • Keep office doors and windows closed if heating and air conditioning is on
  • Switch off HVAC systems in offices when they are not in use
  • Ensure thermostats are correctly adjusted
  • Train and educate office employees to follow correct procedures of energy uses
  • Report immediately for any abnormal equipment operation
  • Purchase and use high efficiency office equipment and devices
  • Set up a self-adult system for the office energy consumption

Water Conservation

The maintenance or engineering department for hotel properties can significantly impact water consumption. Maintenance has a direct responsibility to prevent water wastes by repairing tap and toilet leaks, using water saving equipment, maintaining current systems, and reusing and recycling waste water ( to name a few).

Every use of water in a hotel or restaurant imposes short-term operating and long term capital costs in water supply, water heating or cooling and ultimately wastewater treatment. Every reduction in water use has the potential for a savings in each of these areas. Therefore, water conservation also equates and wastewater treatment savings.

Maintenance has direct control over the amount of water used in the hotel's guest rooms, refrigeration and HVAC systems. For example, untended faucet and toilet leaks will cause higher water costs. Reducing water use, reusing waste water, and increasing equipment efficiency can offset or reverse increasing water consumption and costs.

Here are some simple water conservation ideas :

  • Implement preventive maintenance
  • Frequently check taps, toilets and other systems for leaks
  • Install leak-detection equipment
  • Monitor taps, effluent and ventilation systems frequently
  • Install aerators/flow restrictors into water outlets
  • Install infrared-activated faucets in public bathrooms
  • Minimize the water used in cooling equipment
  • Maintain insulation on hot water pipes
  • Avoid excessive boiler and air conditioner blow down
  • Clean the sidewalks with a broom instead of a hose
  • Install water meters to monitor high consumption equipment and areas
  • Recover waste water from laundry rinse cycles & dry cleaning cooling cycles for reuse
  • Keep utility bills in file to track the consumption of water in maintenance
  • Establish scheduled maintenance procedures and processes of equipment
  • Establish an effective employee training program about water conservation

Solid Waste Management

Hotel offices generate large quantities of solid waste of which some are toxic and pollute our environment. Much of the waste consists of stationery, paper, and toner cartridges of copiers and printers. Offices should have strict recycling and waste disposal programs to protect employees and our environment, and reduce operating expenses.

There are many possible environmental solutions for hotel offices. These may include source reduction, conservation, recycling and reuse. For example, the office should purchase office products with the minimum packaging , purchase recycled office supplies, and properly dispose toxic wastes, such as toner cartridges. The recycling program itself might include separating recyclable waste from the non-recyclable, reusing some waste and recycled materials, and promoting recycling programs within the various offices of the property. These actions can save resources, reduce pollution, and protect the environment and employee health, while reducing operating costs, improving the hotel's image among customers, increasing employee's loyalty, and increasing profit margins.

Here are some simple solid waste control idea for your office:

  • Avoid unnecessary paperwork
  • Cancel junk mail
  • Reuse scrap paper for notes
  • Use voice mail and electronic mail rather than hard copy mail
  • Set up a solid waste reduction program
  • Recycle all office paper
  • Reduce paper use through double-sided photocopying and make the exact number of copies needed
  • Use refillable pens and toner cartridges
  • Reuse envelopes for interoffice mail
  • Use recycled paper for stationery
  • Use white paper rather than colored paper for easy recycling
  • Use paper and envelops made from recycled paper
  • Purchase fax machines that can use plain and recyclable paper
  • Involve the office's employees in all stages of recycling program
  • Contact local recycling coordinators
  • Revise purchasing procedures, such as adjusting order quatities

Air Quality 

The quality of your hotel's administrative office air directly affects your employee's health. This is due to many reasons; one being is the number of hours that employees must work in this confined space. Some of the consequences of poor indoor air quality are: loss of worker attention and productivity, negative health effects, increased building energy and maintenance costs, and even the possibility of civil liability suits against the property. Many national and state governments have banned smoking in any public facility, such as office buildings so be sure to check what laws apply to your property.

Taking a proactive stance to implement indoor air quality programs in office areas will benefit employees and increase their loyalties. One simple solution to address the office air quality issue is to mandate smoking office employees to smoke outside the building, and the hotel should also modify its air handling equipment to ventilate "fresh" air. Aside from the smoking issue, there are many other factors that influence an office's air quality, such as carpeting, cleaning and the maintenance of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems (HVAC).

Here are some ideas to improve air quality in your office:

    • Ban office employees' smoking in any hotel areas
    • Improve and modify the HVAC systems in offices
    • Vacuum office's floors and clean the office completely
    • User as much fresh air as possible in offices
    • Replace the office's carpet, furnishings & furniture which may generate unpleasant smells
    • Clean and maintain the air ventilation system filters frequently
    • Call for an immediate repair if the HVAC system develops a problem
    • Establish an effective employee training program about indoor air quality improvement
    • Comply with any national or local regulations on air quality; if none  exist, develop your own prudent standards


Purchasing Management

A good purchasing practice will have a long-term benefit for your property. A good purchasing practice will directly and conspicuously reduce the volume and toxicity of wastes. Like any other office, hotel offices also deal with paper products, stationery, and office equipment like printers, copiers, and fax machines.

A well-defined waste management system alone may not be effective if your hotel ignores the purchasing issue. More often the volume of wastes depends upon what, where, when and how to purchase. The purchasing policy itself must be both economically and environmentally sound.

You might want to consider Eco-Purchasing programs which can successfully assist hotel purchasing managers reduce and control the volume and toxicity of wastes generated in offices.  The program can help reduce the hotel operational costs and support recycling.

Here are some simple Eco-Purchasing management ideas for your hotel office :

  • Purchase :
    Recycled and recyclable office products
    Locally made products
    Minimal packaged office supplied to reduce waste.
    In bulk specifically what and when you really need.
    Non-toxic inks & correction fluid for reducing hazardous waste & protecting employees.
    Remanufactured toner cartridges for laser printers, copy machines, typewriters & fax machines.
    Office appliances that don't require batters or use rechargeable batteries.
    Office furniture and supplies made from recycled materials.
    Energy efficient equipment: lights or lamps, computers, printers, copiers and fax machines ( look for the Energy Start label).
  • Avoid products containing environmentally harmful materials
  • Avoid unnecessary purchasing
  • Be aware of the international recycling symbol on purchased paper products
  • Do not order or purchase for only one office at one time which may cost more on delivery
  • Keep all purchasing records in file
  • Inform your suppliers about your Eco-Purchasing program
  • Communicate and recommend the importance of the effective purchasing program hotel managers and employees

Last edited: 09/12/2018

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