Crowne Plaza Alice Springs was today unanimously voted Asia Pacific’s most environmentally sustainable hotel, at Hong Kong’s HICAP 2010 Asia Pacific hotel investment conference.
Assessed by an independent panel of respected judges including representatives from the National Geographic Society and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the highly-contested award was established in 2007 to inspire industry-wide commitment to sustainable hotel operations.
Crowne Plaza Alice Springs’ AU$3.6 million investment in a multitude of water, waste and energy management projects has seen water usage reduced by 26%, electricity usage by 36% and gas usage by 49% over the last three years.
The most visible component is the solar photovoltaic 1,326-panel installation which reduces the hotel’s annual carbon footprint by a massive 420 tonnes of CO2 and generates over half a million kWh per year – enough to power over 60 family homes. It was the largest roof-mounted installation in the southern hemisphere when commissioned in 2009.
“It’s exciting to see our environmental sustainability initiatives validated and recognised within such an important forum as HICAP which brings together key decision makers of future hotel capital investment who will define how those investments will impact local and global environments, communities and cultures,” said hotel owner Investnorth principal Lloyd Berger, who accepted the award alongside IHG’s chief development officer Asia Pacific, Tony South.
“The Crowne Plaza Alice Springs sustainability project that we started in 2006, remains a groundbreaker. It’s a great example of how existing infrastructure can be adapted to dramatically increase energy efficiency and drastically reduce reliance on non-renewable resources.”
Other components of Crowne Plaza Alice Springs’ energy efficiency program include:
- Installation of Energy Eye, an innovative solution that uses a combination of entry door monitors and wireless radio frequency motion sensors to determine guest room occupancy; which in turn manages the heating and cooling systems with savings of 264,475 kWh realised. The intuitive system even recognises when a guest is sleeping and maintains desired room temperature allowing for a comfortable night’s rest.
- Installation of 32 Quantum heat pumps which reduce the hotels gas consumption by 1434Gj or approximately 50% of the hotels gas demands. Heat-pump technologies absorb energy from renewable energy sources such as the sun, air and water, and apply this heat to the water through the application of refrigerant gas. They can operate in ambient temperatures from as low as -10°C to +40°C.
- Replacement of over 3,800 light bulbs with energy efficient options in all guest rooms, foyers, meeting spaces, restaurants, corridors and back of house areas to save nearly 270,000kWh per year – the equivalent of powering 30 family homes. Changes included installation of current technology LED lighting and lighting control systems including motion sensors and photo electric controls.
- Installation of Jemflo showerheads into all guest rooms to improve water and gas usage, creating savings of 11,580 kilolitres of water each year – enough to fill more than 30 Olympic swimming pools – and 778,120 mega joules of gas saved from reducing the quantity of hot water now reuired.
- Drawing live data from the hotel’s rooftop solar PV panels to feed into an in-house television channel so guests can see how much energy the hotel is saving at any given time of the day – providing real-time information for the increasingly green-conscious consumer.
The HICAP award is the latest in a string of environmental sustainability accolades from the likes of the Australian Hoteliers Association (AHA), Tourism Australia and the National Business Travel Association (NBTA).
The solar installation is a joint initiative between the owner of Crowne Plaza Alice Springs, Investnorth Pty Ltd, and the Australian Government, and is part of the Alice Solar City Project – one of the seven cities selected for funding under the Australian Government’s $94 million Solar Cities Program.