Feature

Business columns: ‘Green’ hotels are not just a lot of PR

&ldquo;InterContinental Hotels calculates that its towel reuse program saves 199 million liters of water a year in the U.S. alone,&rdquo; said Charles Batchelor in the <em>Financial Times.</em>

Charles BatchelorFinancial Times

Experienced travelers are familiar with hotels’ requests “to reuse towels for benefit of the environment,” said Charles Batchelor. What they might not realize is the effect that such requests have in the real world.

“InterContinental Hotels calculates that its towel reuse program saves 199 million liters of water a year in the U.S. alone.” And with fewer towels to wash, hotels use less energy to run their washers and dryers, and release fewer pollutants into local waters. But “while hotels are well-placed to make a contribution to reducing environmental damage,” they have to do so “without obviously impinging on the pleasures of the stay.”

So hoteliers have turned out to be quite the innovators. One European chain, for example, is adding air to its shower water, maintaining the strength of the flow but cutting the amount of water used. Ultimately, the same technology could be used throughout towns and cities. Strange as it seems, hotels are becoming the testing grounds of the green revolution.

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