Meliá Hotels International, the leading hotel company in Spain, launched a pioneering energy efficiency initiative six years ago to reduce the environmental impact of the business. The consolidation of its SAVE project, now implemented in 200 hotels, confirms the company’s commitment to the future as a responsible and sustainable business, as well as highlighting the positive return of efficient energy management.
The SAVE Project’s main objective is to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, and formed part of the company’s 2007 Strategic Plan within the commitment to the environment and sustainable development. The project involves the management, monitoring and control of energy demand, the standardisation of energy efficient systems and products, raising awareness amongst company employees, and feasibility studies of investments related to energy saving.
The actions introduced through the SAVE Project has provided Meliá Hotels International with annual reductions of 3.7% in the number of kilograms of CO2 per stay and 7.7% in cubic metres of water used per stay over the period 2007-2010 compared to 2004-2006, resulting in cost savings of 3 million euros.
Monitoring of energy use
The company hotels in the SAVE network have an accurate and up-to-date record of their energy and water consumption so that they can validate the improvements made after the saving measures are applied, eliminating any deviations caused by changes in climate and hotel occupation.
These savings are qualified in terms of cost, consumption and CO2 emissions, allowing an analysis of energy, environmental and economic sustainability in each of the hotels. The measurement methodology is endorsed and certified by Bureau Veritas, and has led the SAVE Project to be recognised by the Spanish Ministry of Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs, including it in the voluntary system for the reduction of emissions.
The management of the information (consumption, costs and CO2 emissions), together with a corrective system based on hotel occupancy, has enabled performance to be linked to the variable bonuses of hotel management; a further demonstration of Meliá Hotels International’s commitment to sustainable and responsible behaviour.
Efficient systems standardisation
Meliá Hotels International regards energy efficiency as critical when purchasing products and designing facilities. It is well worth highlighting here the standardisation of energy efficient lighting in hotels, involving an investment of 710,000 euros.
Other actions have included the introduction of central heating and lighting control systems through presence detection in rooms, the installation of water flow regulators on taps and showers, which has resulted in considerable water and fuel savings, and the use of biofuels or combustion enhancers in boilers.
In addition to the previous investments, Meliá Hotels International has also included a series of environmental recommendations in its Sustainable Development Manual to help all newly built and renovating hotels to mitigate their environmental impact, responding to the company’s Global Sustainability Policy. Some of these actions include using LED technology, hot/cold air conditioning systems using geothermal energy, installation of solar panels, improvements in insulation and cladding systems, full use of the water cycle and installation of gas stops to reduce oil consumption, amongst others.
Photo: Gran Meliá Palacio de Isora (Tenerife, Spain), a sustainable icon