Last week, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the launch of the WaterSense H2Otel Challenge to encourage hotels to use best management practices that will save water and money, while reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that contribute to climate change.
“Hotels that reduce their water use will not only help their community save precious resources, but can gain a competitive edge in today’s green marketplace,” said Nancy Stoner, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Water. “Since 2006, WaterSense has helped Americans save more than 487 billion gallons of water, and now we’re building on that success to help hotels take their sustainability efforts to the next level.”
Caesars Entertainment has become the first hotel chain to take a pledge to “ACT”— assess, change and track its water use in the following ways:
- Assess water use and savings opportunities throughout its hotels.
- Change products and processes to more water-efficient models and methods.
- Track water reduction progress before and after incorporating best management practices.
In December, Caesars released its fourth CSR and Sustainability Report, which details the company’s progress in enhancing employee well-being, guest experience and economic development, and reducing energy use — including a savings of roughly 750 million kWh since its benchmark year in 2007, representing an 8.5 percent absolute reduction in electricity and gas — but makes no mention of the company’s attention to water use.
“At Caesars Entertainment's resorts throughout the country, we know that sustaining our local water supply is as important as providing the best entertainment experience we can to our guests,” said Eric Dominguez, Caesars’ Corporate Director of Engineering, Utilities and Environmental Affairs. “Over the last few years we successfully implemented several water-saving projects, such as adding low-flow showerheads and sink aerators at our Las Vegas resorts. We are excited to participate in the WaterSense H2Otel Challenge and to identify where we can make even greater improvement to our operations."
“Here in Las Vegas, the hospitality industry is critical to our local economy. Fortunately, our hotel and resort industry has long been a valuable partner in our successful efforts to improve water efficiency in the hospitality sector,” said Doug Bennett, Conservation Manager for the Southern Nevada Water Authority. “We are excited that some of our largest resorts will share their knowledge and participate in the H2Otel Challenge.”
The EPA is calling on hotel chains across the country to join the H2Otel Challenge. To help hotels make operational changes and meet growing customer demand for green lodging, EPA will begin a series of educational webinars on February 13 and provide free tools based on the online guide, WaterSense at Work: Best Management Practices for Commercial and Institutional Facilities. WaterSense will also offer outreach materials for hotels to publicize their efforts and celebrate their successes with guests and employees.
Last year, Marriott International reported in its 2013 Sustainability Report update that it had reduced its global water usage by 12 percent in 2012, while rival Hilton Worldwide reported it exceeded its five-year goal to reduce water consumption by 10 percent a year early.