BWH Hotels partners with University of Queensland for new sustainability initiative

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BWH Hotels have launched a new sustainability initiative that recognises the importance for the hospitality industry to take the lead on establishing sustainable programs that meet evolving guest expectations.

The new initiative focuses on the three pillars of Earth, People and Community (EPC).

“Our hotel family is deeply committed to implementing environmentally friendly hotel practices, fostering a work culture where diversity is celebrated and partnering with charitable organisations to give back,” said Rod Munro, managing director of operations at BWH Hotels Australasia.

“Through our new EPC effort, our attention is focused on establishing ourselves as the place to stay and the place to work.”

In cooperation with Professor Sara Dolnicar and her Low Harm Hedonism team at The University of Queensland, BWH Hotels is working with its properties to measure environmental performance.

One of the current studies running at BWH Hotels across Australia investigates guest use of in-room refrigerators. Measurements remotely taken from the hotels about electricity consumption and guest use of minibars suggest that many guests do not use the fridge at all. The team are investigating the potential solution to the underutilisation of in-room refrigerators and its impact on guest satisfaction.

Another study soon to be carried out investigates the effectiveness of communication messages in an aim to reduce unnecessary use of the air conditioner to drive down electricity consumption. Guests will be displayed messages that suggest the choice of most customers, in a bid to influence their decision by the opinion of the majority. By implementing this simple communication strategy regarding air conditioning temperature controls, Professor Dolnicar’s team hopes to see a decline in electricity consumption.

“The work we’re doing is not going to change the industry overnight, but it can materially improve the environmental sustainability of the tourism sector, especially if many hotels adopt practical measures proven to be effective,” said Professor Dolnicar.

“Our collaboration with BWH Hotels will benefit the entire hospitality and accommodation sector as we will widely share all the measures that improve environmental performance while also reducing cost.”