1. Significance of Sustainability
Water is a scarce resource. (Aintablian, 2018) Non-domestic sector such as hotels uses 55% of Singapore’s water supply. Based on a water consumption data done in 2016, each occupied guest room in Singapore’s five star hotel consumes 1210 liters of water daily. (Public Utilities Board, Singapore’s National Water Agency, 2018) It is important for the hospitality industry to be sustainable and ensure that present generation needs are fulfilled without sacrificing the abilities of the future generations to meet their own needs. The importance of water conservation can be raised globally through the hospitality industry.
2. Impact on the Industry
Many hotels are developing water efficiency management plan to improve water efficiency. (Khor, 2017) One of the largest contributor of water in hotels is the cooling towers. Grand Hyatt in Singapore tackles this issue by recovering condensation from the air-conditioning for their cooling tower. (Chua, 2014) Water efficiency fittings are also being introduced in hotels. The bathroom fittings in W Hotel Singapore are all complied with Public Utilities Board (PUB) Efficiency Labelling Scheme. (Kang, 2013) Hotels are also encouraging guests to reuse their linens and towels. Carlton City Hotel in Singapore was able to save up to 4,233 cubic meters of water between 2014 and 2016. (Koh, 2018)
The efforts of conserving water is being recognized through the Singapore Green Hotel Award. The Green Mark awarded to a building is also determined by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) through a set of criteria, including water efficiency.
3. Opportunities and Limitations
In recent years, more hotels are looking into developing a water efficiency management plan. Their commitment in saving the environment helps to further strengthen the hotel’s branding. Eco-friendly accommodation has also became a popular option among tourists as many are well aware about climate change. (Elliott, 2017)
However, water efficient fittings are not deemed as a feasible action taken by some hotels despite the cost saving in the long run. (Leblanc, 2018) The high startup cost for this initiative is a concern for these hotels.
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The government should provide subsidies for hotels that are showing effort towards water conservation. (Keung, 2010) This would encourage hotels to participate in conserving water, which reduces their water utility bills. Guest satisfaction is key in the hospitality industry, and this savings would be able to assist hotels with improving guest experience in other aspects of their stay.